Sungduan: For inclusive education – SUNSTAR


An ILOKANO lexicographer based in Hawaii, USA, revealed new proposals for inclusive education.

At the International Forum of Educators on Language Teacher Education held on April 24, 2021, attended by nearly 400 educators from many parts of the world, including participants from Ecuador, Mongolia, Pakistan, United States United, South Korea and the Philippines, Dr. Aurelio Solver Agcaoili unveiled a new proposal on liberating education.

Agcaoili, a faculty member at the University of Hawaii, proposed the urgency of counting all Filipino languages ​​and not recognizing just a handful for native language teaching.

Founder of the Nakem Conferences in the United States in 2006 and seeing the founding of a national counterpart in the Philippines, the Nakem Conferences Philippines in 2007, he has been at the forefront of the struggle for linguistic justice, cultural democracy and emancipatory education in the Philippines and the United States.

In his speech on “Ilokano Lexicography for Liberatory Education: Theory and Practice”, he argued that the country is obligated to ensure that all Filipino languages ​​not only survive but thrive.

He defined the flourishing of a language as its use not only at home and in the community, but also its use in education, in public services and in the professions.

Agcaoili also proposed that all languages, including Ilokano, adopt an attitude of aggiornamento or updating.

He said that Ilokano, in his current state, cannot fully accomplish his task in all of these areas of social life if he does not update himself.

To pursue this goal, he said that language specialists must be aware of the sources of the corpus of the language they are working on, respect the corpus, but must be critical of the areas where the areas need to be extended, enriched or updated.

In the case of Ilokano, he demonstrated the need to have what he calls “Low Ilokano” as an inventory of this language, and a “High Ilokano” as an evolved form that can meet all the challenges of the community. , professions, and the rest of the fields of intellectual and social life. Between these categories, he speaks of a concentric circle which allows to have a transitory category, the “Ilokano Middle”.

Agcaoili, one of the leading ilokano lexicographers, is currently working on his Ilokano multilingual dictionary and thesaurus.

Previously, he worked on four other dictionaries, including a monolingual Ilokano dictionary and an Ilokano grammar written in Ilokano.

In December 2020, together with the President of Nakem Philippines, Dr AlegriaVisaya, Agcaoili led the holding of the 15th Nakem International Conference on “Inclusion and Critical Engagement in Education in the Time of Covid-19”.

The conference brought together more than two hundred academics, cultural workers, teachers, researchers, writers and representatives of local government units.

At the aforementioned Educators’ Forum, where participants were encouraged to work for a more equitable education, Agcaoili expressed the point of view and warned that if the world does not listen to the needs of indigenous language communities, the international community, including the Philippines, will see more and more cases of linguicide or systemic killing of languages.

A multi-award-winning scholar, poet, novelist, novelist and educator, Agcaoili was awarded the U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in 2019. He was also awarded a post of visiting professor in the fields of language and culture at the Baguio University of the Philippines.

On May 8, Agcaoili will again give a lecture for academics, educators, cultural workers and students, especially from Southeastern University in Mindanao. His speech will focus on “Indigeneity, Engaged Inclusion and the First Nations of the Philippines”.

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