7 Nov 2016

Guam close to opening full-immersion Chamorro school

From , 6:01 am on 7 November 2016

Guam has taken a big step towards opening its first full-immersion Chamorro language school.

The number of people who speak the island's indigenous language has declined to dangerous levels over the past few decades, with fewer than 20,000 speakers today, most of them over the age of 50.

Rufina Mendiola, from the Guam Department of Education's Chamorro division, says there has long been a demand for a Chamorro school, similar to native language schools in Hawaii and New Zealand.

She told Jamie Tahana the department hopes to open a full-immersion pilot classroom in time for the next school year.

Student, tablet, education. (stock image)

The number of Chamorro speakers decreased from 35,000 in 1990 to 25,000 in 2010. Photo: 123RF