Chaminade University Associate Professor Eva Washburn-Repollo, Ph.D. has received a prestigious $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The short-term seminar grant from the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program will support Washburn-Repollo’s research into the development of foreign language acquisition skills and aid in the advancement of culture-based teaching curriculum.
As Associate Professor of Communication, Washburn-Repollo’s expertise is in the fields of language, identity and multiculturalism. The funding will allow her to examine the effectiveness of language immersion and build lesson plans that utilize culture-based learning techniques. The study-abroad grant will also bring ten (10) K-12 teachers and graduate students to the Visayas for six weeks.
“Analyzing language within the framework of natural resource management will allow us to gain valuable insight into the connection between the language and culture,” said Washburn-Repollo. “By learning through storytelling, visual arts, and performance as pedagogical tools, we will be able to bring that knowledge back to our respective institutions and deepen our students’ connection with the language.”
The award will also be used to develop innovative teaching approaches that will foster active learning through the use of creative hands-on, tactile, and kinesthetic experiences in K-12 and undergraduate classrooms. Additionally, participants will produce lesson plans for learning indigenous languages and disseminate their lesson plans to a wider audience. The grant will cover 100 percent of the project’s expenses.
Through these activities, Professor Washburn-Repollo hopes to further the development of language acquisition teaching plans as well as increase interest in the study of indigenous cultures.
Added Professor Washburn-Repollo, “I am incredibly honored to accept this award. It is an exciting time for us here at Chaminade University as we begin to implement some significant transformative changes in the Communication field. I truly believe that our research in the field of language acquisition will play a vital role in encouraging students to learn a new language, bridge differences between cultures, and utilize indigenous wisdom to develop greater technology for sustainability.”
The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) program is designed to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the United States by providing training opportunities for faculty, teachers, and upperclassmen and/or graduate students in foreign countries where the United States has diplomatic representation.
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Chaminade University of Honolulu provides a collaborative and innovative learning environment that prepares graduate and undergraduate students for life, service and successful careers. Established in 1955, the university is guided by its Catholic, Marianist and liberal arts educational traditions, which include a commitment to serving the Native Hawaiian population. Chaminade offers an inclusive setting where students, faculty and staff collectively pursue a more just and peaceful society.