Professor: Teach College Courses in Hawaiian

He urges University of Hawaii to offer a curriculum in native language
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2017 3:30 PM CST
File photo of an activist pushing for more recognition of Native Hawaiians.   (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)

(Newser) – A University of Hawaii professor is working to get an entire curriculum at the university taught in Hawaiian to supplement the language courses taught to children across the state, reports AP. About 3,000 students in preschool through high school are involved in Hawaiian language immersion programs statewide, associate professor Larry Kimura told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. "We're trying to convince our state—the University of Hawaii is part of the state—that we need to continue Hawaiian native education at the college level as well," Kimura said. He said having college courses such as math and chemistry taught in Hawaiian would benefit students and help make Hawaiian one of two official languages of the state.

Kimura discussed his plans this week at the He Olelo Ola Hilo Field Study, a two-day gathering of people from around the globe who are trying to save indigenous languages. Attendees visited Hawaiian language immersion classes on Monday and Tuesday to learn how they can incorporate the Big Island programs into their own schools. They learned how to deal with "new concepts—in a language that has been sleeping for quite a while," said Kimura. "It's not only about traditional things," he added. "The hardest thing is understanding how our traditions and laws are going to transition into today." (Read more Hawaii stories.)

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