CHAPTER III - METHODOLOGY
This historical-comparative study of the language policies
in Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico intended to
systematically present the factors and social processes related
to language maintenance and language shift in these areas. In
particular, those factors related to nationalism and its role in
native language maintenance were examined.
In addition to contributing to a research area where
systematic analysis has been found lacking (Fishman, 1972, 1977,
1991), strategies for formation of more effective and
ethnoculturally sensitive language policies were recommended.
A historically-based comparative study, the basic strategy
behind the design was to identify similarities and differences in
the historical processes related to nationalism and native
language maintenance in Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.
This concords with Bereday's (1964) description of comparative
education design which he states should include the selection of
similar variable(s) for comparison in order to provide a world
perspective of social institutions. A similar design is also
recommended by Altbach, Arnove and Kelley (1982) in order to
provide informed policy and practice based on the results.
The variables selected for analysis in all three countries were:
-Factors known to be related to language shift
School and government use of the language
Prestige level of a language
-Nationalist groups defending the native language
-Language policies and language planning efforts
Guam: Guam, an unincorporated territory of the United States, is
the largest and Southernmost island in the Marianas. The Island
lies approximately 3,700 miles West-Southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii
and 1,500 miles South of Tokyo, Japan. It is approximately 30
miles long and five to eight and a half miles wide. The
population of Guam in 1990 was 133,152 (Department of Commerce,
1993, p. 1).
Philippines: An archipelago of approximately 7,100 islands
stretching 1,100 miles from North to South, the Republic of the
Philippines is located off the Southeast coast of Asia. The
population in 1990 was 66,647,000 (The World Almanac, 1992, p.
Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the U.
S. is a Caribbean island located in the Greater Antilles. Its
total land area is of 3,435 square miles and it measures
approximately 100 miles long by 35 miles wide. The 1990
population was recorded as 3,336,000 (The World Almanac, 1992, p.
According to Bereday (1964), in a historical-comparative
study, documents presenting unanalyzed data constitute primary
sources. Sources of this type, from the years 1898 to 1993, used
in the study were:
-Reports from Departments of Education and other government
offices and agencies
-Official correspondence from government agencies and offices
-Bills for legislation
-Newspaper reports of events
-Speeches by public figures
-Public forums and debates
-Letters to the editor of newspapers
-Documents published by non-governmental groups defending
language or nationalities
Other primary sources included observation in the field and
informal discussions with linguists, educators, public officials
and researchers working closely with language policies, language
planning or nationalism.
Informal, unstructured interviews were held with the
-Mr. Michael J. Levin, U.S. Bureau of Census
-Dr. Mary Spencer, Micronesian Language Institute
-Prof. Doreen Blas, ESL Program: Guam Community College
-Dr. Bernardita Duncga, University of Guam
-Mr. Peter Onedero, Director: Chamorro Language Commission
-Prof. Ann Rivera, Chamorro Language Program: Department of
-Mr. Angel Guerro-Santos, spokesperson: Chamoru Nation
-Dr. Isagani Cruz, Director: De La Salle University Press
-Dr. Andrew Gonalez, President: De La Salle University
(author of the book Language and nationalism: The Philippine
experience thus far.)
-Dr. Barry Miller, Canadian linguist studying the
acquisition of Pilipino as a first language.
-Dr. Maria Luisa Camaguy, Philippine Language Center:
University of the Philippines
-Prof. Lourdes Batista, De La Salle University
Puerto Rico: The researcher has been a permanent resident of
Puerto Rico since 1978, is fluent in both Spanish and English,
and has been working as a professor of English as a second
language at the university level since 1982. Therefore, the
possibilities to listen to and talk with linguists, researchers,
educators and policy-makers in both formal and informal
environments was for all practical purposes unlimited.
A journal was kept throughout the researcher's stay in Guam
and the Philippines so that comments made in the informal
discussions were recorded immediately or shortly after.
Observations on language use while the researcher was present on
the Islands were also recorded in the journal.
Secondary sources used included numerous books and journal
articles, most by authors from Guam, the Philippines and Puerto
In order to gain access to the documents necessary for the
research at hand, travel to Guam and the Philippines was
necessary. Initially, letters were mailed or faxed to Deans of
Studies from the different universities in the area. The letters
stated the purpose of the trip and asked for suggestions as to
possible contacts with people interested in the topic. Contact
with Dr. Isagani Cruz from De La Salle University in the
Philippines and Prof. Doreen Blas from Guam Community College
were made in this manner.
Another measure taken was the posting of a message
expressing my interest in meeting researchers in Guam and the
Philippines on the Pacific Studies ListServ. A ListServ is a
service available through internet, a computerized network of
networks that permits access to information from all over the
world. A ListServ permits people to subscribe to a list of
people with similar interests. Once subscribed, any message
posted is sent to all the members of the list. It was through the
Pacific Studies ListServ that contact with the Micronesian Area
Research Center was made.
Funding for travel to the Philippines and Guam was provided
by Inter American University of Puerto Rico. As a faculty member
since 1987, the researcher requested and received financial
assistance for the purpose of completing doctoral studies.
Due to professional obligations, the amount of time spent in
Guam and the Philippines was extremely limited. The time period
allotted for research in these areas was from July 25, 1993 to
August 6, 1993. Approximately six days were spent in each
country. Because of the very little amount of time available,
documents were photocopied or purchased and brought back to
Puerto Rico for analysis. Most of the documents in Guam were
found in the Micronesian Area Research Center and in the Chamarro
Language Commission, while the majority of the material in the
Philippines was located at De La Salle University's Linguistic
Library. The documents related to Puerto Rico consisted of a
large amount of material compiled over the years by the
Research questions were used to guide in the analysis and
classification of the data. Three major tasks were involved in
the analysis of the role of nationalism in native language
maintenance in the countries. The first task was to examine the
degree of shift from the native language to English on the three
islands. Special attention was given to the use of English in
the school system, in the government and at home from 1898 to
1993. Second, indication of nationalist adoption of the native
language as a symbol of national, ethnocultural identity was
identified and in turn, consequent ideological associations with
English as described by these groups were also examined.
Finally, the participation of nationalist groups in the
formation of linguistic policies which promote native language
maintenance and language planning efforts were examined.
Language Maintenance and Language Shift
To determine the presence of language shift or language
maintenance in Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico, primary
focus was placed on the use of English in the school, in the
government (including the courts and legislature) and at home.
One indicator of language shift used was census data. Other
documents such as independent language surveys, personal journals
and reports and special projects within the public school system
were also examined. Government publications both from the
federal and local governments were checked for indications of the
spread of English into government and the school.
Language shift in the school system was analyzed through
documents such as the curriculum design, annual reports from the
Department of Education, special reports for educational or
linguistic policy reforms in the school system and language
surveys carried out in the schools and universities. Informal
interviews with local linguists and heads of language commissions
were also carried out.
Congressional reports, Presidential and Governor's annual
reports as well as legislative and senate reports were
scrutinized for indications of language shift into these
institutions. The language in which these documents were written
was also used as evidence of shift. Language surveys, court
decisions, school reglamentation and reports filed by special
committees for educational or linguistic reform were also
consulted. In addition, economic reports that indicated the
level of American investments in the areas, promoting language
shift were also perused.
Census data and independent language surveys were used to
determine patterns of language usage at home and across
generations that indicate shift. Census data were also used to
show if there was a large population of English language
speakers, a factor known to be related to language shift.
Nationalism and Language
Nationalist adoption of language as a symbol of
ethnocultural distinction was identified in sources such as
political speeches and public debates, government documents,
proposals for educational and language policy reforms, newspaper
articles and documents published by nationalist groups. In
addition, the ideological weight placed on the English language
and its speakers was also examined in these sources.
Nationalism and Language Planning
Nationalist involvement in language planning was evidenced
by the existence of institutes, agencies, offices, organizations
or movements which explicitly stated their objectives as the
preservation of ethnocultural traits including a language or
languages or to the preservation of the language exclusively.
Also, proposals for specific linguistic policies naming official
or national languages and proposals for constitutional reform to
include such policies were examined to identify the presence of
nationalist sentiment and its influence in initiating the reform.