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FILIPINO HERITAGE CAF É FILIPINO HERITAGE CAFÉ: Classroom Without Borders FILIPINO HERITAGE CAF É Imelda Gasmen University of Hawaii at Manoa Nenita Pambid Domingo University of California at Los Angeles Project Background

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Without Borders

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Imelda Gasmen

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Nenita Pambid Domingo

University of California at Los Angeles

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Project Background

National Foreign Language Research Center [NFLRC] at the University of Hawaii

  • Developed a prototype online café for language learning

  • Included four languages: Chinese, Japanese, Samoan & Filipino

  • Held a workshop Summer 2008 featuring “Cultura” a Web-based intercultural project situated in a language class.

  • Piloted online café with Cultura as a model in Fall 2008

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Project Background

CULTURA: Web-based intercultural project

  • Developed & created at MIT in 1997 as exchange between American & French students

  • Pedagogically sound design, approach and methodology, allowing students from different cultures to construct together, via a common Website and a computer-mediated exchange, a deeper understanding of each other’s cultural attitudes, beliefs and values.

  • To help students develop understanding of the values, attitudes, beliefs and concepts inherent in another culture; to understand how people in the other culture interact, look at the world and frame their thoughts and ideas.

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Project Background

CULTURA: Web-based intercultural project

  • Culture is the focus of the language class

  • Culture: “the silent language,” “the hidden dimension” [Edward Hall]

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Project Background

Based on the Cultura model, the NFLRC On-line Cafes

  • Enable students to participate in a gathering place for conversation and engage in social interaction

  • Feature a social area for free chat, a discussion area for instructor-guided interaction, a grammar clinic for focus on form, and a gallery for sharing pictures of school and community as well as other graphics.

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To create an online cafe for students learning Filipino in order to:

  • broaden students’ awareness and understanding of Filipino identity through the sharing of cultural experiences from two different social contexts

  • improve linguistic skills in listening, reading, writing, and comprehension

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Participant Cohorts


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Participant Cohorts

  • One Intermediate Filipino class with 11 students from UCLA;

  • One Intermediate Filipino 201 class with 15 students from UHM and;

  • One Intermediate Filipino 202 class with 11 students from UHM

  • Participation in the online café was part of the syllabus

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Online Set-up

  • Questionnaire

  • Word Association

  • Sentence Completion

  • Discussion Forums:

    a. Moderated: 3 topics initiated by teachers]

    b. Unmoderated: “Cafe”

  • Time Frame: 8 weeks from September 24 - November 14, 2008

  • Classes met in computer lab once a week; the rest of the activities was done outside of class time

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DESIGN8 weeks September 24 - November 14,  2008

  • Fall 2008 Quarter

  • September 25, Thursday Instruction Begins-

  • Nov. 11Tuesday Veteran's DayNov. 27- 28    ThanksgivingDec. 5   Friday- Instruction Ends         

  • UCLA Intermediate students Filipino 4

  • Total: 11 students

  • Winter Semester

  • Intermediate Filipino 201 class with 15 students from UHM and;

  • Intermediate Filipino 202 class with 11 students from UHM

  • Total: 26 students

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  • Language of exchange: Filipino & English

  • Teacher as facilitator

  • Asynchronous (3 hours difference; classes meet at different times, days)

  • The Café exchange/activity was integrated with syllabus [grafted on to existing syllabus]

  • Motivation: grade & curiosity about the students of Hawaii

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The Language of Communication:Native vs. Target Language

Cultura Model: `

  • Native language: questionnaires & forums

  • Target language: communication with peers in class, oral presentations & assignments

  • Use both languages: Depending on the level of class and teacher’s objectives

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The Language of Communication:Native vs. Target Language

Filipino Heritage Café:

  • Any language of choice: free for all Café

  • Target language: questionnaires, forums, communication with peers in class, oral presentations & assignments

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• Introduction

• Questionnaire

• Discussion Forum [3 teacher-generated forums [Family, Images of Filipinos in Media***, Celebrations & Traditions*]

• Café

• Grammar

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Pedagogical Tool












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  • 1. I am taking Filipino because __________________________________

  • Nag-aaral ako ng Filipino kasi __________________________________.

  • 2. Being Filipino means ______________________________________________

  • Ang Pilipino ay _______________.

  • 3. A good family is ___________________________________________

  • Ang isang mabuting pamilya ay _________________.

  • 4. The important lesson my parents taught me is ______________________________

  • Ang pinakamahalagang itinuro sa akin ng mga magulang ko ______________.

  • 5. My favorite celebration is ___________________________________

  • Pinakapaborito kong pagdiriwang ang ________________.

  • 6. The Filipino I admire most is ___________________________________________

  • Ang Pilipino ay _______________.

  • 7. My goal in life is __________________________________________

  • Pangarap ko sa buhay na _______________________________________.

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Observations in the Use of Language at UCLA

  • Mahalaga ang klaseng ito para sa akin. Nabubuhay ang kultura at kaysayan namin sa pamamagitan ng klasent ito. Nakakilala ako ng mga ibang estudyanteng may katulad na karanasang pangkultural. Nagbahagi rin kami ng mga karanasan namin sa mga estudyante ng dalawang klase ng Filipino sa Hawaii.

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Student Response

  • Masaya ako at pinili ko ang salitang Pilipino kase maraming akong gustong pag-usapan sa aking pamilya. Sinabi ko sa kanila yung tungkol sa Pilipino Café nakasali ako; at pinakita ko sa aking pamilya ang mga palabas galling sa café, katulad ng patalastas ng Jollibee, at tumawa sila. Ang café ay isang magandang paraan sa pagsanay ng pagsulat para sa akin.

  • I am so glad that I chose to study the Filipino language because I have more things to talk about with my family. I told them about the Filipino Café that we participate in; I also showed my family the videos from the café, like the Jollibee commercial, they laughed. The café is definitely good writing practice for me.

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Student Response

  • natutuwa ako sa patuloy na Intermediate Pilipino. Kahit na ito ay mahirap, ako ay naniniwala na ito ay tumutulong sa akin pagyamanin ang aking panloob at kultural Pinagmulan ng isang lunas sa lahat ng aking ibang mga pandaigdigang pag-aaral ng klase. Ako magtamasa pagtatasa ng mga pangungusap sa Filipino, pagbabasa ng mga istorya, nanonood ng mga pelikula sa aking lola at tsimis sa ibang mga mag-aaral mula sa Hawaii sa internet café.

  • … I am glad I continued on to intermediate Filipino. Although it is challenging, I believe it is helping me enrich my inner cultural roots and a relief of all my other global studies classes. I enjoy analyzing the sentences in Filipino, reading stories, watching the films with my grandmother and gossiping with the other students from Hawaii on the internet café.

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Student Response

  • Sa biyernes, pumupunta kami sa lab at gumagawa kami ng mga trabaho sa kompyuter. Nakakawiling pumunta sa lab kasi nakausap namin ang mga kaklase namin sa University of Hawaii, Manoa. Nagugustuhan ko ang mga ginagawa namin sa kompyuter lab kasi madaling gawin at saka intersante. Nakakanood kami ng bidyo tungkol sa kultura namin at saka nakakagawa kami ng aklat na sanayan tungkol sa kultura ng Filipino. Dahil sa mga ginagawa namin sa klase, tumataas ang halaga ko sa kultura ko.

  • On Fridays we go to the lab and we do work on the computer. It is interesting to go to the lab because we get to talk to our classmates from University of Hawaii, Manoa. I like the things we do at the computer lab because they are easy to do and they are interesting. We get to watch videos concerning our culture and we also get to do exercises about our Filipino culture. Due to the things we do in class, I have grown a deeper appreciation for my culture.

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More student response

TAGLAGAS, Linggo 4 (Fall, Week 4)

  • Lagi kaming pumupunta sa “Internet Café” para sa klase at nagsusuri kami ng mga iba’t ibang salita. Ang pabarito kong parte sa “Internet Café” ay kung nag-cha-chat kami sa mga estudiyante sa Hawaii. Mabuti na may isang “penpal” kami na estudyante sa Hawaii kasi “MAKAKAPAG-USAP” kami at makapaggtutulUngan kami sa isa’t isa. Ang paraan nG PagSUsulat ng mga estudyante sa Hawaii sa forum ay iba sa amin at maraming “slang” na salitang GINAGAMIT.

  • We have been getting more into the Internet Café and analyzing the different words. My favorite part is when we interact with the Hawaii students. It would help to have penpals that way we have one student that we always talk to and help each other on. The way the Hawaiian students write on the forum is a different style and has more slang, to me.

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Student Response

  • Malugod ako nasiyahan sa mga natutunan ko dito sa klase; ang histori, ang kultura, at saka ang wika ng Filipino. Sa pagkalipas ng tatlong buwan natutunan ko mabuti ang pagbasa at pagsulat. Mas nagtitiwala ako ngayon ng pagsulat ko, lalo na sa Internet Café. Ang aking ngayon pinagsisikapan ay ang mga pagsusulit at mga eksamen.

  • I appreciate everything I am learning in this class; the history, the culture, and of course the language. As the quarter has progressed I have definitely improved in my reading and writing. I feel more confident now when I write, especially in the Internet Café. What I struggle on now are the quizzes and exams.

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Student Response

  • Sa kaso nito, hindi dapat mag-aral ng wikang Filipino lang. Dapat matuto RIN kami tungkol sa kultura ng Pilipino

  • In this case, it’s not good just to learn the Filipino language only. We should also learn something about the Filipino culture.

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Revisit goals / specific & achievable outcomes

Develop framework for assessment & evaluation for language use

Need more time for articulation

Need a baseline information about students on their language level /proficiency

Need student-initiated topics for the forum

Develop guidelines for posting or language use

Partner with cohorts in the Philippines, in the context of second language learning [UP, International School, Brent,]

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Lessons Learned

  • Make guidelines for the project

  • How free should the exchange be? Censorship? Politics and Religion?

  • Construct assessment tools (self-assessment? Project assessment? Grading rubric?)

  • Stand alone On-line Filipino course?

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Teacher’s Observation-UCLA

  • Improved reading

  • Improved ease in writing

  • Improved speaking through the response that can be recorded & uploaded to the forum

  • Feeling of being comfortable in the language

  • Encourage critical thinking among participants

  • Made students aware of communities of learners

  • Enabled students to "see and experience" Filipino culture from a different perspective and share their insight

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