Free weekly classes in beginning Chamorro - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Free weekly classes in beginning Chamorro

Posted: Updated:

by Krystal Paco

Guam - If you've always been interested in learning the island's native tongue but may have been too busy or too intimidated to sign up for a Chamorro class, now's your chance.

"It's not a real class. It's basically if you're committed, if you've always wanted to learn Chamorro, if you don't like sitting in a classroom then you can come hang out at a coffee shop and its very relaxed," explained UOG's Dr. Michael Bevacqua.

And every Friday at noon, more than a dozen flock to Java Junction in Hagatna to take his beginner's class. Bevacqua, who serves as the program coordinator for the newly established Chamorro Studies Program at the University of Guam, invites everyone and anyone to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the island's language and culture in the most casual of settings.

"I find it's really helpful in getting students comfortable with the language. Because one of the big hang-ups that people have is that if you didn't grow up speaking Chamorro but you heard your grandparents or your elders speak it, you don't feel like its really your language. So I find that this relaxed atmosphere can help students feel that this is my language," he said.

But what can you expect and why's it so important to learn the language today?

"You get grammar, you can ask any questions you want and I'll do my best to answer but its really for people in the community who have not been able to go and take a class at the university but really want to get into it," he said.  "The Chamorro language is endangered. But if more people started to learn the language and speak the language then it could survive for another 4,000 years."

For some, the class is close enough to their workplace to take on their Friday lunch break. For others like Andrew Gumataotao, the class reinforces what he's learning in the classroom. Gumataotao, who is a music and Chamorro studies major at UOG, is always looking for a crowd he practice with.

"The biggest challenge is incorporating it like constantly full immersion all the time. I try to hang out with some of the secretaries at UOG trying to be in that atmosphere," he said.

And working towards fluency has been a great bonding opportunity for Gumataotao and his father.

"It's always fun especially learning the language through song with my dad. He gives me insights on certain things back in their time and how would you court someone. He even tells me his own stories about his life," he said.  "Try to make it a part of your life as much as you can. Me, I like music. I do it. Even if there's a song I'm trying to translate it's a very contemporary song it's a Bruno Mars song. I'm trying to work and see if we can incorporate it into my band's repertoire."

For more information on the free beginner's Chamorro class held weekly, like the Chamorro Studies Facebook.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Fire evacuates 8 people from Mangilao home

    Fire evacuates 8 people from Mangilao home

    Eight people had to be evacuated after a structure fire in Mangilao. It happened around 5pm today on Roberto Street. Units are working to put out the fire to a wood and tin extension of a concrete home. The tenants were able to get out of the home without injury. Eight people had to be evacuated after a structure fire in Mangilao. It happened around 5pm today on Roberto Street. Units are working to put out the fire to a wood and tin extension of a concrete home. The tenants were ab...More >>
    Eight people had to be evacuated after a structure fire in Mangilao. It happened around 5pm today on Roberto Street. Units are working to put out the fire to a wood and tin extension of a concrete home. The tenants were able to get out of the home without injury. Eight people had to be evacuated after a structure fire in Mangilao. It happened around 5pm today on Roberto Street. Units are working to put out the fire to a wood and tin extension of a concrete home. The tenants were ab...More >>
  • Senators debate lifting business privilege tax

    Senators debate lifting business privilege tax

    Facing a substantial loss in tax revenue as a result of federal reforms, Senators held an oversight hearing to discuss lifting the more than 30-year exemption on business privilege tax on wholesalers, and other industries.

    More >>

    Facing a substantial loss in tax revenue as a result of federal reforms, Senators held an oversight hearing to discuss lifting the more than 30-year exemption on business privilege tax on wholesalers, and other industries.

    More >>
  • Man accused of touching 8-year-old

    Man accused of touching 8-year-old

    Not once, not twice, but on seven separate occasions he allegedly touched an 8-year-old girl. Now, 19-year-old Javin Ross Garrido faces multiple counts of first and second degree criminal sexual conduct charges, all as first degree felonies. The incidents typically took place when Garrido and the victim played video games, but were often interrupted by a family member entering the room. Court documents state he also state he showed the girl a pornographic video on his phone. When ...More >>
    Not once, not twice, but on seven separate occasions he allegedly touched an 8-year-old girl. Now, 19-year-old Javin Ross Garrido faces multiple counts of first and second degree criminal sexual conduct charges, all as first degree felonies. The incidents typically took place when Garrido and the victim played video games, but were often interrupted by a family member entering the room. Court documents state he also state he showed the girl a pornographic video on his phone. When ...More >>
Powered by Frankly