Sea Breeze Conference Center
March 22 -25, 2004
Recommendations of FSM Languages Conference
The following are the major recommendations resulting from the FSM
Languages Conference held at Sea Breeze Conference Center in Kolonia,
Pohnpei from March 22 - 25, 2004. The conference had representatives from
all State Departments of Education, National Division of Education and the
College of Micronesia - FSM.
The FSM Languages Conference recommendations the implementation of the
FSM Language Policy and improvement of FSM Languages instruction be
priority activities of the nation. The following were key components discussed
during the conference that are needed for immediate action. Some of the
components will require substantial time, resources and commitment.
h b l i c Information
Educate stakeholders on the importance of strengthening and expanding
literacy in local languages and English.
Educate stakeholders on current trends in local languages that indicate
language loss and language shift is becoming a critical concern for FSM
language experts (if we lose our languages we lose our identity, values
and cultures). It has been predicted that if action is not taken at this
time, local languages in the FSM could be lost within two generations.
Educate stakeholders on the importance of teaching local languages
throughout the child's complete schooling period (K - college).
Educate stakeholders on how languages are learned and acquired.
Instructional program review - Each state department of education and the
COM-FSM needs to conduct a language instructional program review for local
languages and English to determine where we are in implementing programs to
improve student and teacher language competence.
The College of Micronesia - FSM is the national college of the FSM. It should
have courses in all major FSM local languages. Graduation requirements
should include FSM local languages. The development of FSM local languages
courses and requirements should be a priority as COM-FSM allocates it
' The FSM Languages Conferences was hosted by the FSM National Division of
Education's Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant (TQEG) Program with assistance of the
College of Micronesia - FSM Career Ladder Grant Program.
Local language components should be added into high school entrance
examinations in each state.
The National Language and Cultural Institute (NLCI) is a vital part of the FSM
Language Policy. It will provide a forum and focus for research, technical
assistance, clearinghouse, continued documentation of FSM local languages
and assist in training and improved teaching of both FSM local languages and
English. Core funding for the NLCI should be from local sources. The National
Division of Education is requested to submit legislation to the President for
review and consideration and transmittal to the FSM Congress for funding of
Development of FSM local language training modules
The National Division of Education through the Teacher Quality Enhancement
Grant (TQEG) and COM-FSM will assist each State Department of Education in
developing teacher training modules for each of the FSM major languages and
other local languages as funding permits.
A s part of FSM local language modules development for teacher training,
assessment systems for teacher competence in FSM local languages will also be
developed. The National Division of Education will also work with the State
Departments of Education and COM-FSM to develop national methods of
assessing student competence in FSM local languages.
Once the FSM local language teacher training modules are developed, the
delivery of those modules will be a priority for each state department of
education and COM-FSM.
Endorsement programs will be developed for FSM local languages as part of the
revised FSM Teacher Certification System.
Pacific Islands Bilingual/Bicultural Association (PIBBA)
The Pacific Islands Bilingual/Bicultural Association (PIBBA) is the only existing
organization for promoting languages and cultures in schools and society in
Micronesia. We recommend all levels of government and the society support
the activities and concept of PIBBA. The Pohnpei Chapter of PIBBA will host
the upcoming 2 3 r d International Conference from June 22 - 24, 2004 at PICS
High School. The theme of the conference will be "The Pacific Family:
Foundation of our Languages and Cultures". Each State Department of
Education, COM-FSM and the NDOE are encouraged to provide presentations
at the International Conference of PIBBA this summer. A s the issue of FSM
languages is a high priority for improving the education system and supporting
economic growth and social development, entities should allocate resources to
support participation in PIBBA.