Harvard University to Offer a Tagalog Language Course


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Harvard University will soon offer a Tagalog language course.

This will be the first time that the language will be taught as a course in the university’s 386 years of operation.

According to the Harvard Crimson, the university’s student newspaper, the Department of South Asian Studies will hire a preceptor, or instructor, to teach the course for the 2023-24 academic year. The preceptor will be one of three to teach Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesian, and Thai.

These positions are three-year term appointments and can be renewed for up to five additional years.

Executive Director Elizabeth K. Liao said that the Harvard University Asia Center received financial support for the positions through fundraising efforts. James Robson, a professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and director of the Asia Center, revealed that the budget for the Tagalog preceptor position is $1 million (roughly P54.4 million). He noted, however, that the funds for the position will be “probably not entirely sustainable” after three years.

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