Harvard University is set to offer a course on Tagalog, the fourth most spoken language in the United States. The course will be taught by three instructors hired by the university's Department of South Asian Studies for the academic year 2023 to 2024, alongside courses on Bahasa Indonesia and Thai. The funded positions are subject to a three-year term with the possibility of renewal for up to five more years, and have a budget of $1 million raised through fundraising efforts.

Harvard University
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According to James Robson, the Asia Center Director at Harvard, the university's efforts to expand Southeast Asian education had been ongoing for over two years. Through the Tagalog course, the university hopes to demonstrate the demand for Southeast Asian languages and encourage the administration to further support Southeast Asian studies.

Tagalog, a prominent language in the Philippines, has played a significant role in the development of the country's national language, Filipino, along with English as the two official languages. While the Harvard Philippine Forum (HPF) has appreciated the news of a Tagalog course at the university, they have also expressed concerns about Harvard's history of lacking emphasis on Southeast Asian studies. The group's co-president, Eleanor Wikstrom, said that while the hiring of a Tagalog preceptor is a necessary first step, she refused to celebrate Harvard for a legacy it has yet to remake.

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While Harvard is not the first American school to offer Tagalog to students, the course marks an important step towards the recognition of Southeast Asian languages and cultures within the university's curriculum. Other universities that offer Filipino or Tagalog courses include the University of Washington, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California San Diego, Cornell University, and the University of Michigan. The University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu offers students the opportunity to specialize in the Philippine Language and Culture by earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. This degree program provides comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the language, culture, and traditions of the Philippines. The curriculum covers a broad range of subjects such as literature, history, politics, and social sciences to help students gain a deeper appreciation of Philippine culture and its influence on the world. Graduates of this program are well-prepared to work in fields such as education, journalism, international relations, and business that require expertise in the Filipino language and culture.