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By Trina A San Agustin

HAGATNA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Jan. 6) –The Department of Chamorro Affairs at the University of Guam has received a one-year grant of $87,040 to conduct a scientific assessment to determine the current status of the Chamorro language on Guam, according to the Governor’s Office.

The grant was given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under the Administration for Native Americans to the Department of Chamorro Affairs. The department and UOG’s Center of Excellence for Chamorro Language and Culture have already began its work.

The assessment, according to the Governor’s Office, will focus on Chamorro usage, on the number and age of people speaking the language, the levels of fluency, intergenerational use and rate of loss or gain.

The entire community, including elders, parents and children, students taking Chamorro classes and members of faith-based and native organizations will be surveyed.

The information collected will provide baseline information to benefit Chamorro program planners in schools, community-based projects such as grants, research and community planning and program implementation. It will also assist in refining and prioritizing long-range plans for preserving and protecting the language.

"The vitality of the Chamorro language is important to our culture and to our people," said Gov. Felix P. Camacho. "This study will help us in planning educational efforts in our schools and in our community for the preservation, protection and promotion of the Chamorro language."

January 6, 2005

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