Can you imagine going to school and only being taught English and not given the chance to learn Chamorro, Spanish, or Japanese? Prior to the 1970s, English was the only language expected to speak in schools, other languages spoken resulted in punishment. It wasn’t until GFT first obtained its Board-union contract for teachers in August 1970 which had a provision allowing other languages to be taught in the classroom. The provision helped preserve not only the Chamorro language but other language rights (Filipino, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, etc.). The provision stated, “Teachers shall be expected to speak English in the classroom except where the use of other languages shall aid in the teaching process. Teachers and students shall not be restricted to the use of the English language outside the classroom.” This is such a significant provision that gives our children broader awareness and acceptance in other cultures. The ability to learn other languages also gives a sense of appreciation for cultures around the world. Without this provision, our children wouldn’t have the privilege to learn other languages but most importantly our local Chamorro language.

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