Saturday, August 16, 2008

20th Annual Regional Language Arts Conference

Pictured L-R: International Reading Association officers Elizabeth Hamilton, Sandy Liberty and Tina Buendicho; Dr. Catherine Stoicovy and Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera, Language Arts Conference (LAC) Chairs. Not pictured is Dr. Clarisa Quan, LAC Chair.

The 20th Annual Regional Language Arts Conference was held last November 16 and 17, 2007 at the University of Guam and the Guam Marriott Resort and Spa. Its theme was “Enhancing Teacher Quality and Literacy in Multiple Ways.” The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Underwood. The plenary speakers were Dr. John Sanchez and Dr. Chris Schreiner. The LAC was co-sponsored by the International Reading Association, Guam Council.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Preserving Guam’s Culture through Literature

Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera and Lois Taitano Gumataotao have written their cultural anthology titled Our Native Daughters' Reflection of Guam and Its People based on their personal experiences and research on Guam’s rich history. Pictured L-R: Gumataotao and Rivera.

Preserving Guam’s Culture through Literature

In an effort to preserve ideas, thoughts, and personal reflections of the island’s Chamorro culture, Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera and Lois Taitano Gumataotao formed the Korasón Organization to carry out cultural projects that they hold dear to their korasón, (Chamorro word for “heart”). With the support of the Guam Humanities Council, they were awarded a grant to complete their cultural anthology titled, Our Native Daughters’ Reflection of Guam and Its People.

They hope that you will enjoy their cultural anthology composed of poems they have written based on their personal experiences and research relative to the island’s history and its connection with the Guam community. A common identity we share with our Pacific Islanders is our rich oral society filled with plentiful stories, legends, and other important values shared throughout generations. This anthology will continue to preserve such stories. It is a resource one can read to learn more about Guam and its people, including its rich culture and the traditions that give us a better understanding, in creatively woven lines of poetry, ultimately resulting to meaningful connections fellow islanders share.

There are fifty seven cultural topics explored in the anthology, such as familia, fiesta, fishing, flores, funerals, Guahan, kelaguen, lancho, Latte stones, manamko, nana, tata, typhoons, weaving, and so much more.

Rivera, an ESL teacher/coordinator in the Guam Public School System and adjunct for the University of Guam, is the project director and co-author of the anthology. Gumataotao, who is also a GPSS ESL teacher/coordinator, serves as the traditional teacher and co-author for the project. The anthology project’s scholars include local authors Joaquin Nangauta Naputi and Marilyn Camacho Salas. Naputi, who is also an agriculturalist, has written books dating back to the 1970’s, including the Island of Guam Coloring Book and Island of Guam Cookbook. Salas has written books such as, Lepblo Para Tane’ Famagu’on I Isla: A Chamorro Interactive Book for Island Children and Chamorro Word Book.

The Korason Organization, in conjunction with the Guam Humanities Council, held a cultural exhibit on December 11, 2004 to showcase the anthology at the Hagåtña Public Library. Copies of the anthology were also provided to the Guam Humanities Council, Guam Public Library System, Micronesian Area Research Center, and the University of Guam’s RFK Library. The poems can also be viewed on Rivera’s PDN blog.

Rivera and Gumataotao hope that by reading their poems, you can grasp cultural identity from within yourself and be enlightened. They have reflected on their personal experiences, researched, and interviewed family and friends, to enable the people of Guam to better understand the island’s history, its cultural significance, and its social environments, through their eyes. Hence, the project’s title, Our Native Daughters’ Reflection of Guam and Its People. This anthology project is certainly a labor of love that they have committed themselves to, but it is well worth the time invested, especially knowing that it will serve as a cultural resource for generations to come.

Language and Literacy Book Fair

Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera and her ED642 students from the University of Guam's School of Education are pictured participating in the Language and Literacy Book Fair, with the theme, "Literature Around the World," held April 17 at the Guam Marriott Resort & Spa. From left: Brigida Agustin; Xylina Torres; R-Lynn Layson; Gemee-Lynn Escuadra; Dr. Rivera; Tressa Rose Cundiff; Rosemarie Castro; and Jennifer Concepcion. Not pictured is Amanda Quan.

Language and Literacy

Presentation: University of Guam Master's of Education students enrolled in the ED647 Special Topics in Language & Literacy and ED661 Second Language Theory and Development courses completed the semester on Dec. 1 with a presentation of their online LiveText portfolios and final self-reflections at the UOG Computer Center. The courses focus on literacy instruction, including selection of existing second language materials, adaptation of materials and development of original materials for use in a second language or bilingual classroom. From left: Vito Calvo; Mary Nolte; Dawn Maka; Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera, instructor; Lois Gumataotao; and Shuichi Ema.