Friday, October 16, 2009

Language Revitalization Night

(Message from UC Berkeley Asian American Association)

I am the chair of the Issues Committee in the Asian American Association,
one of the student organizations on the UC Berkeley campus dedicated to
uniting the Asian American community at Berkeley.

This semester, the Issues Committee is planning a Language Revitalization
Program to aid students, whose heritage language is an East Asian
language, gain better fluency in the language they speak at home. We are
trying to increase their comfort and fluency in their native languages
through conversation groups to create an encouraging atmosphere conducive
to attaining these goals. These conversation groups will have bimonthly
meetings where students can practice speaking their language with other
students. We are also inviting more fluent speakers and international
students to assist those who are less fluent in the languages.

I wish to invite the students in the Y and X series to come to our
Language Revitalization Info Night to give a brief talk about heritage
language loss in second or later generation Asian Americans and how it is
important to maintain a grasp in one's heritage language rather than
losing it to a more "popular" language spoken in school or work. During
the Info Night, we will be giving an overview of how the program is
structured and how everyone can participate in the program. We'd really
appreciate it if you could tell your students about this new program.

The Language Revitalization Info Night will be on Friday, October 16th at
7pm in 219 Dwinelle Hall.

Thank you for your time in helping us spread word about language loss in
Asian American students at UC Berkeley.

Jessica Chin (Chen Pei Yi)
Issues Committee Chair, Asian American Association
Art History & Asian American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Monday, October 12, 2009

In Memory of Gina Hotta

Gina Hotta, the producer of APEX EXPRESS passed away on September 28, 2009 due to a heart attack. Gina was a tremendous supporter of APIEL NOW! and numerous other Asian-American and progressive causes. We will miss her dearly.

Information on Gina Hotta's public memorial service:

APEX Express

by Renee

A public celebration of the life of Gina Hotta will be held on October 25 from 5-7pm, with a reception following.

We will gather at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th street 2nd floor, in the Pacific Renaissance Plaza.

If you are interested in sharing your memories or music, please contact us by Friday, October 16.

You can contribute photos or other small items to the Community Altar, or bring an appetizer for the reception.

Please bring cranes to add to our 1,000 cranes installation in honor of Gina's legacy.

510-848-6767 x 464

An article in Hyphen Magazine on Gina Hotta:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Interview on KPFA w/ Gina Hotta

APIEL NOW! members Amy Lee and Andrew Leong discuss the 9/24 walkout and the current state of API education and languages at UC Berkeley on APEX, a weekly radio show hosted by G. Hotta on KPFA.

A day before 9-11 we let comedy through the gates with Kabeezy Singh and Sammy Obeid. Navigating race, fear and being funny with Ko Comedy. And, Sept.24 UC Walk-out/ Teach-In over cutbacks, increasing fees and UC executive pay. A talk with students' support of teachers, staff and fighting to save Asian language classes. Plus, Odissi is Indian temple dance that comes alive with Jyoti Kala Mandir and a full orchestra, hear more about their performance.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

APIEL NOW! Survey/Questionnaire

Please provide your name and e-mail and list what language(s) you have taken, or want to take at UC Berkeley. Then respond to the questions below. If you would prefer your response to be anonymous, or would prefer to send your response by e-mail, then send a message under the subject heading "APIEL NOW! Survey Response" to

1. Please describe your experiences when enrolling in Fall 2009
language and/or culture classes. What were some of the challenges,
obstacles, or positive experiences you encountered?

2. Please describe your experiences when signing up for and taking
language and/or culture classes throughout your academic career at
Berkeley thus far. As you answer, please feel free to comment on
things like class size, being on and getting off of the waiting list,
switching sections, class availability (the number of available
sections, the types of classes offered, section times, etc.), and also
consider any similarities or differences between the different
semesters and classes.

3. Is there anything else you wish to tell us about your enrollment
experience in language and/or culture classes?

4. Do you give permission for APIEL NOW! to quote from your responses in materials used to promote increased access to API language education and expanded programs of study in API languages?

Friday, September 4, 2009

An EALC Major's Perspective on Overcrowded Classes

So the first official week of school is almost over! How has it been for all of you? Busy? Running around all over the place? Or just chilling? For me it’s been pretty busy. I’m a Chinese and Japanese double major, and I know if I hadn’t been a declared major for both of them, I would be a lot more stressed out about getting into my classes (and not being waitlisted.) Yep, that dread word—WAITLISTED. All my classes are full or overenrolled (and they all happen to be, surprise, in the EALC department). Day by day, people have been dropping like flies either to—horror of horrors, especially for a five-day-a-week-language class—eight o’clock section or simply, dropped.

It’s easy to place the blame on the most obvious target: the budget cuts. Overcrowded buses that come less frequently, libraries closed on Saturdays, sections cut, classes canceled, the rising cost of a UCB education… Yet I think that this overenrolled, overcrowded situation in many of the classes in the EALC department is not a budget crisis thing. It’s something that I’ve been seeing with the EALC department for a while now. It’s been consistently non-majors and graduate students being dropped to early morning sections, and classes growing larger and larger.

Take my Chinese 110 class for example. It’s a literary Chinese class that’s a requirement for majors and basically everyone in the class is a major or minor. You’d expect it to be full, or almost full right? Wrong. Completely overcrowded to the point where you gotta open all the windows and let the air in. Around sixty people were in class on the first day for a thirty people class. The professor teaching—Professor Ashmore—told me how he was shocked at how the class has grown since he’s last taught it a few years ago. It used to be from fifteen to twenty five people. Now the official roster is almost fifty people. In a few years. This is how fast the program has grown. Same with Japanese. My professor for Japanese 120—literary Japanese—told us how the class used to filled up two small rows of students. Now it’s over seven rows of students in a completely over enrolled class, just like the literary Chinese class. Isn’t it crazy?

You’d expect demand to be answered with supply, but instead, it’s just been answered with stuffy classroom overcrowding. It’s been this university consistently placing languages in the service education category, impervious to blatant signs of over enrollment. With the budget cuts slashing left and right, it won’t be long before overcrowding becomes downsizing what should have been expansion.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More Links
(Analysis by UC-AFT Pres. Bob Samuels), (Letter to Students from TDPS Prof.
Catherine Cole)

News and views aggregators on the UC budget crisis:,

An economic analysis of the UC buget by Physics Professor Emeritus
Charlie Schwartz, aka "The Man Who Devoted His Retirement To Parsing
What Little Of The UC Budget The Regents Made Public"
Also see his series, "Financing The University" at

Marc Bousquet's blog about the casualization of higher ed., (Faculty on food stamps!
Grad students turn to sex work to pay the bills! Freeway flyers! Ph.D.
Casino! The collpasing tenure system!)

Also two must-reads from Bousquet:, The Waste Product of Graduate
Education: Toward a Dictatorship of the Flexible
The Rhetoric of "Job Market" and the Reality of the Academic Labor

George Lakoff on Privatization and the UC Budget Crisis:

SAVE (Save The University)--Faculty Group:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

UC Faculty Walkout 9/24/2009

UC faculty have announced plans for a system-wide walkout on September 24, 2009 to protest President Yudoff's assumption of "emergency powers" and the deceptive implementation of furloughs on "non-instructional" days. For more information see the following link:

Welcome Back - Fall Meetings

APIEL NOW! will have weekly meetings every Friday at 4pm in 591 Barrows Hall. Our next meeting is September 4, 2009. If you're concerned about API language education at UC Berkeley, then come and bring your friends and classmates. See you there!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Links about the Budget Crisis

*UCLA Faculty page about the UC Budget Crisis

*UC Berkeley English Department Blog w/ Responses to the Budget Crisis

- UC Berkeley Budget Crisis

- Charlie Schwartz's blog:

- Charlie Schwartz's series, "Financing the University"

- Chris Newfield's blog (probably the most comprehensive updates about the crisis system-wide):

Links to Information on the UC Budget Crisis

- John Vasconcellos's take on the CA budget crisis:

- Helpful interview with AFT President Bob Samuels on Dan Tsang's radio show (KUCI) about UC budget cuts

- Professor Charles Schwartz's website, which contains a very comprehensive numerical analysis of the budget, among other critiques of the university administration's lack of transparency:

- Excellent but upsetting article (2007) about the death of the UC Pension Plan, which is very relevant right now since faculty and staff will be required to contribute to the pension plan starting next year for the first time in many years.

- UCSB Professor Chris Newfield's blog ("Remaking the University"), which has a comprehensive compilation of helpful links, op-eds, petitions, etc.:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Korean language and Korean studies fundraiser coverage

Here are two articles that came out in the Korean language media recently, after the April fundraising event.
Please forward any more articles you find on this or other relevant stories to apielnow AT gmail DOT com so we can get the word out. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Grades Are In -- 2008: Is California Measuring Up?

Link below to the February 2009 report "The Grades Are In -- 2008: Is California Measuring Up?" (Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy and CSU Sacramento). Thanks to Katherine for the link.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More media coverage

Media coverage of the Language Matters event, the ongoing struggle of API languages at Berkeley, and APIEL Now! activity...these links, and links to other articles, will be added to the "Media coverage" list on the right side of the page. Please email "apielnow AT" if you know of more. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hardboiled article

If you haven't seen it already, be sure to check out Eunice Kwon's recent article where she talks about the threat to Asian languages at Berkeley and the work of APIEL Now!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Language Matters video online

Hello all, please check out the Language Matters forum video here!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Facebook pages up - Tell a friend!

Hey everyone, please spread the word on Facebook
Suggestions for other ways to get the word out? Post a comment here or send mail to apielnow AT Thanks!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

LANGUAGE MATTERS Event February 19

API Education and Languages NOW! PRESENTS


An open forum to promote dialogue among UC Berkeley students, API community organizations, and UC Berkeley faculty and administration invested in building a robust API language curriculum at Berkeley.

KEYNOTE Talk on API Linguistic Diversity
By Scholar-Activist LING-CHI WANG, Professor Emeritus of Asian American Studies (UC Berkeley)

"As long as Asian languages are not taken seriously as living languages used by billions at home and abroad and treated as languages with long and rich literary traditions, which are linked and integral to majors and graduate curricula, then Asian language education will remain second-class and perennially vulnerable to budgetary volatility and cuts." -- Ling-Chi Wang

Also featuring presentations by:
FIONA MA, California Assemblywoman
GIBOR BASRI, Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion (UC Berkeley)
ELAINE KIM, Professor of Asian American Studies (UC Berkeley)
and others....

Feb 19, 2009, 4:00-7:00 PM
Heller Lounge, MLK Jr. Student Union
Free and Open to the Public
Light Refreshments

For more information, please contact apielnow AT

Co-sponsored by the Vice Chancellor's Office of Equity and Inclusion, Asian American Studies Program, Center for Race and Gender, Institute of East Asian Studies, Center for Japanese Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Center for Southeast Asia Studies, Center for South Asia Studies, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, Asian Pacific American Student Development Office, Asian Pacific American Coalition, Townsend Center Working Group on Asian Cultural Studies, Filipinos for Affirmative Action, Korean Community Center of the East Bay, Chinese for Affirmative Action

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Welcome to our new blog

This is the blog of the new ASUC-sponsored student group, API Education and Languages NOW! This group includes many members of the 2008 ad-hoc coalition to Save East Asian Languages and Korean Studies at Berkeley; it aims to further the cause of Asian and Pacific Islander Education and Languages in the face of ongoing budget cuts and institutional restructuring that place API languages, especially those historically underrepresented, at risk. Please check back frequently.

Posts from the Save East Asian Languages and Korean Studies at Berkeley blog have been imported below; the old blog will continue to exist at its current URL.

Please direct any inquiries to "apielnow AT". A big thank-you to all supporters, new and old!