Teaching Indigenous Languages  

Teaching Indigenous Languages

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Chapter 14, Teaching Indigenous Languages edited by Jon Reyhner (pp. 151-157). Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University. Copyright 1997 by Northern Arizona University. Note: Many of the URLs in this paper are no longer linked to web pages.

Incorporating Technology into a Hawaiian Language Curriculum

Makalapua Ka'awa and Emily Hawkins

This paper describes Hawaiian language courses developed at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa that incorporate computer technology in the teaching of Hawaiian language.
The history of public education in Hawai'i extends back to the time of the Hawaiian monarchy. Public education at that time was conducted and administered in Hawaiian to a populace that had one of the highest levels of fluency in its native language. In 1896, however, the use of Hawaiian as a language of the classroom was banned by law. What followed was the near extinction of the language until 1978 when a constitutional amendment and related legislation established both English and Hawaiian as official languages of the State of Hawai'i. Until 1986 when the restriction against Hawaiian as an instructional language in public schools was removed by the legislature, it could only be taught as a "foreign language" and thus the strides made in learning it were limited. In 1990 Congress passed the Native American Languages Act in recognition that language is "critical to the survival of cultural and political integrity of any people." These two moves have been instrumental in the reestablishment of Hawaiian as a language that has a greater chance of surviving the threat that global English holds over all native languages.

The 'Aha Punana Leo started preschools in 1984 and the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (HLIP) was established in 1987 for the purpose of revitalizing the Hawaiian speaking community and providing an opportunity for Hawaiians to receive an education in their native language. Each year it has continued on to the next grade level with the Board of Education in 1992 giving consent to continuing the HLIP through twelfth grade. Its effect on the community and other Hawaiian language programs is remarkable. Communities throughout the State continue to call for the opening of new immersion sites by the Department of Education. Enrollment in public school Hawaiian language immersion programs has grown from 40 students in two schools in 1987 to 1,208 students in eleven schools in 1996, along with 174 students in eight Hawaiian language preschools. More than 3,500 students are in non-immersion Hawaiian language programs in grades K-12 and more than 3,000 in community college and university programs. Enrollment in Hawaiian language classes on the nine campuses of the University of Hawai'i system has jumped from 800 in 1985 to more than 2,000 in 1997. Both of the baccalaureate degree granting sites at Hilo and Manoa have been unable to keep up with the demand for classes and services. Hawaiian as a second language programs in both Hawaiian public and private high schools have shown this same growth with over 2,500 students now taking Hawaiian classes.

Hawaiian is now frequently heard in gatherings of the Hawaiian community: at birthday parties, concerts, and sporting events to name a few places. It is becoming possible to write checks in Hawaiian, buy goods in a large store, and order food at a restaurant with a Hawaiian speaking person. Revitalization is evident to observers both within and outside the Hawaiian community.

The role of the University of Hawai'i

The University of Hawai'i is committed to extending Hawaiian language education, especially the full development of Hawaiian immersion in the educational system. The Hawai'i Department of Education expects the University to be the primary agency to guide and assist all educational programs. In that effort the University trains the teachers, conducts evaluations of the programs, prepares materials in various subjects and numerous reading textbooks, conducts classes for inservice teachers, and coordinates many activities with the schools. We are also providing language training to many students who will never become teachers but will become parents, friends, and relatives to children who can now grow up speaking Hawaiian. Our commitments to teaching Hawaiian include:

1. provide pre-service and inservice training
2. develop curriculum
3. train curriculum developers
4. provide expertise in language policy issues
5. develop proficiency guidelines and measures
6. supply a continuing source of Hawaiian speakers
7. provide venues for use of the language
Technology is simply one of the tools with which we involve students and community members in learning and using Hawaiian in their daily lives. It is also a link with the culture that surrounds most of us today and which is so attractive to the younger generations. What we are presenting in this paper is the utilization of technology that has been developed or implemented at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Technology has the potential to:
1. document and promote culture and native speech
2. help to revitalize language
3. promote the status of the language as a viable medium of communication
4. expand and strengthen Hawaiian language communities by creating an audience and purpose for writing in Hawaiian
5. make Hawaiian language resources available beyond educational institutions
6. expedite production and distribution of relevant, quality Hawaiian language materials and resources
7. provide opportunities to create multimedia projects
8. excite learners to become motivated, engaged in the learning process and producers in the target language. Aspects of multi-modal capability include integrated text, sound, and graphics which are suitable for a range of learner types
9. increase student-student communication and collaboration
10. enhance and expand instructional strategies
11. build upon/enhance existing and effective pedagogy
12. promote literacy skills
13. promote computer literacy. Computers add to the study of Hawaiian, and computer skills that are learned transfer to other courses and aspects of students' lives. In order to maximize computer literacy, a hands-on training component is built into the curriculum.
Brief description of software/technologies

The Hawai'i Interactive Television System (HITS) provides four channels of video and audio communication among the major Hawaiian islands for distance learning. In addition electronic-mail is being used for communication. The Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment (DIWE 1.3) software promotes interactive written discourse in a student centered learning environment, including "real-time" group/class discussion, and WRITE/RESPOND/INVENT stand-alone software encourages the writing process, with invent, prewrite, compose, and revise prompts. Activities are communicative in nature and stress fluency, rather than "correct" use of patterns. Students also use Adobe Pagemill (2.0) authoring software program for the World Wide Web, which easily builds and previews texts, images, sounds, tables, animation, and links.

Hawaiian 201/202

Haw 201/202 is a writing intensive intermediate level course in Hawaiian offered at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa with regular once-a-week computer lab sessions. Technology-mediated activities in the course include:

a. e-mail (Eudora): Class lists are formed with weekly communication among class members is required, ongoing collaboration on exploring cultural and contemporary issues and ongoing practice of analula (new grammatical patterns) is desirable.
b. Daedalus: weekly computer lab sessions to "discuss" topics and issues of interest. The first few weeks activities are designed to get acquainted, therefore discussions focus on asking and responding to questions about family, interests, favorite places, food, music, pastimes, songs/musical groups, travel, movies, and so forth. Current and controversial topics and issues include sovereignty, raising university tuition, racism (on campus and in Hawai'i), tourism, use of Hawai'i Creole English (pidgin) in schools and in community, gun control, water and land usage/rights, elections, comparison of classes, campuses, college experiences, Hawaiian language education, gambling, and so forth. During the entire class period, students are encouraged to write as much as possible, to ask (especially to clarify ideas) and respond to questions, and to include as many classmates as possible in discussions. Smaller conferences are possible for more in-depth discussion.

Sample assignments in Haw 201/202 include:

1. Describe your favorite place as colorfully as possible without telling its name and exact location. Respond to your classmates questions and inquire about their places.
2. As the newly elected mayor of Honolulu, what are three major changes that you'll immediately make? Respond to your classmates ideas and be sure to defend your own proposals.
3. Should a new four year university be built in West O'ahu? Defend your position and attempt to persuade those who have a different position.

c. Semester projects: Students research a Hawaiian topic of interest with a minimum of three drafts, including a detailed outline, bibliography, and three to four typed pages of text with graphics. Using Pagemill, students design projects to be posted on the WWW. Oral presentations share projects with the class, where feedback is expected and revisions may take place prior to final grading. Haw 201 students' comments (12/96) include "We 're learning to communicate in our own language and we have to do it well. It's not a matter of just slapping some text on the page" and "Hawaiian communication has always focused on beautyThe web allows for a spirituality, a beauty, to be conveyed as part of the messageit's not just naked ugly text."

Hawaiian 301/302, 397, and 470

Hawaiian 301/302 (HITS) is an advanced level Hawaiian language course for three credits that meets once a week for three hours. Enrollment includes twenty-four students on four islands, 22 are Hawaiian immersion teachers. Class takes place at Manoa, with students meeting at HITS sites on their respective islands. The offering of this course on HITS is very important as otherwise there are no opportunities available for advanced language study on neighbor islands. Islands can see and hear each other, with the exception of Moloka'i, who has only telephone for oral communication. Supplemental use of video, cassettes, Elmo, and the computer. Teacher's comments regarding drawbacks of distance learning this past two semesters are: insufficient equipment and training, difficult to provide assistance to students, lessons are sent back and forth through mail, e-mail, fax, telephone, and computer. The university has supplied 3 hours/week on an 1-800 number in order to assist students.

Hawaiian 397 is a new course has been proposed for Spring 1998. It is a computer-mediated Communication. The purpose of HAW 316 is to integrate training in technology and literacy with Hawaiian language learning, focusing on composition and communication using computer technologies. A service-learning component project will be incorporated into the course where students will provide technology training off-campus to the Hawaiian language community, including students, parents, and/or teachers of the Punana Leo and the Hawaiian Department of Education Papahana Kaiapuni Hawai'i (Hawaiian Language Immersion Program).

Interactive multimedia projects include:

1. E Ola Mau Ka 'Olelo Hawai'iusing Authorware Project documents various aspects of the Hawaiian language, including legislation, use in schools, opinions, status, and so forth from the early 1800s through 1996. Videos of native speakers, artwork of immersion children, archival newspaper articles and photos, and audio are integrated into a canoe voyage through time in which students interactively choose what is needed to supply their voyage.
2. Ka Leo Hawai'iusing Hypermedia Digitize audio from radio programs with native speakers. Interactive lessons with sound and graphics will be created.
3. Technology intensive courseplanned for 1997-98, this is a University of Hawai'i Manoa project supported by the President's Educational Improvement Fund to establish and refine standards and develop training for new designation of "technology intensive course" for 100-200 level writing intensive courses. Hawaiian 202 will be taught Spring 1998.
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for websites is included here for an introductory tour to Hawaiian language and Hawaiian-related resources on the World Wide Web. These websites include:
A comprehensive unit on Hawai'i's birds developed for the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program.
Curriculum projects developed for the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program by students in Hawaiian 470 Immersion Curriculum Development Course (Fall 1996)
Semester projects produced by intermediate level Hawaiian language students (Fall 1996)
This 'Aha Punana Leo site provides a timeline showing the history of Hawaiian language.
Kualono, The Hawaiian Language Center at University of Hawai'i at Hilo. A number of Hawaiian language documents are on-line through this site, including a dictionary and newspaper articles. You have the option to read either in English or Hawaiian.
This site has an article about 1996 being the Year of the Hawaiian Language.
Nation of Hawai'i homepage provides information of this sovereignty group, their community in Waimanalo, and also many things: language, politics, environment, music.
This site contains listings for indigenous languages worldwide, including demographic/geographic/statistical information.
Hawaiian 470 (Writing Intensive) Ho'omohala Ha'awina Kaiapuni (Hawaiian Immersion Curriculum Development) (3 credits) Semester projects are the development of thematic, multimedia curriculum units designed for the Papahana Kaiapuni Hawai'i (Hawaiian Language Immersion Program). Students are advanced level Hawaiian language students preparing for a career in Hawaiian immersion education. Applying Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory, students identify specific learner outcomes for each of the intelligences (linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal) within a framework that integrates content and skills within required content areas (language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music, etc.). Resources, lessons, and activities are collected, translated, reformatted, and/or created. Starting with Fall 1996, most of the materials (those which are most appropriate) are put on WWW with the use of Pagemill 2.0. Please visit our first attempt at <http://www.lll.hawaii.edu/web/ haw470>.

Other projects

Na Manu is a web-enhanced version of materials that were prepared for the Hawai'i Department of Education on some of the birds found in Hawai'i, particularly native ones. The web allows the inclusion of bird calls and video clips, as well as the accompaniment of relevant songs. Please visit this site at <http://www.lll.hawaii.edu/programs/haawina/ na_manu>.

Ku'i Ka Lono is a Hawaiian language newspaper project involving the Hawaiian immersion children, grades 6-10, at Kula Kaiapuni 'o Anuenue, Palolo, O'ahu. Funding by the 'Aha Punana Leo provided a Power Macintosh, university release time for a coordinator, and ten hours per week of student help. Students chose topics to report on, write numerous drafts, edit and revise each other's work, and input their stories into the computer. Photos are taken using either a regular or digital camera and are scanned into a computer. Graphics are selected and layout and design are completed by a growing team of students using Pagemaker 6.0. Three issues have been produced this past year. Plans are to put the issues on the World Wide Web (WWW) this summer.

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