Hawai'i TESOL 

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Hawai'i TESOL proudly presents....

The  2015 Language Experience:

 Let's Learn Thai Language!

You are cordially invited to participate in an exciting HITESOL event!

Put yourself in the shoes of your language students and
experience what it feels like to be a beginning language learner.

Presenter: Ms. Orn Patharakorn will lead us in an exciting introductory language lesson in Thai Language and provide a brief introduction to the culture and society of Thailand.

When: Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 6:30-8:00 PM
Where: Moore Hall 119, UH Manoa (Map and Parking)
Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members
Food: Delicious Thai food and drinks provided

RSVP by registering at The 2015 Language Experience: Let's Learn Thai Language! by Friday, May 15th so we know how many are coming and how much food to purchase. On site registrants not guaranteed dinner.

Help advertise by printing a flyer: 2015 hitesol language experience flyer.pdf

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In Other News
Getting Political, the Hawai'i TESOL Board has submitted the testimony below to the BOE and our own Shawn Ford has been attending meetings and discussions about the State Seal of Biliteracy. 

Shawn Ford
Socio-Political Action Chair
Hawai‘i TESOL
March 3, 2015, 1:30 p.m.
Agenda item VI.A, Discussion of the State Seal of Biliteracy and Senate Bill 900

Re: Support for S.B. No. 900, Relating to State Seal of Biliteracy

Dear Board Of Education Chair Donald Horner, and BOE members,

Hawai‘i TESOL is the largest state-wide organization representing teachers of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) – commonly referred to as “ESL teachers” – most of whom support the English language development of immigrant students in Hawaii’s DOE schools. 

Hawai‘i TESOL is writing the BOE today to express support for the proposed Hawai‘i State Senate Bill 900 that will establish the Hawaiʻi State Seal of Biliteracy, which will be affixed to certificates of recognition awarded to graduating students who attain proficiency in English and at least one other language.  Such a distinction will promote the development and maintenance of literacy in two or more languages and recognize the rich and diverse language assets of Hawaii’s DOE students.  It will better position the students and the state for the economic and cross-cultural needs of our globalized world.

Hawai‘i TESOL respectfully requests the BOE to also support Hawai‘i State Senate Bill 900 and advocate for its advancement and passage during the current legislative session.

Whereas S.B. 900 seems to place a primary focus on the study of world languages in elementary and secondary schools as the means to achieve biliteracy, the Senate Education Committee has acknowledged that immigrant English Language Learner (ELL) students, who enter Hawaii’s DOE schools with first languages other than English and who achieve proficiency in English while maintaining or continuing to develop proficiency in their first languages by graduation, are subsumed under this Measure.  Therefore, the Senate Education Committee has accepted Hawai‘i TESOL’s amendments to make explicit the inclusion of immigrant ELL students in S.B. 900 as it advances in the Senate.

As proposed, S.B. 900 will explicitly recognize the importance of the world language resources that immigrant ELL students bring with them to Hawaii’s DOE schools, thereby adding academic legitimacy to their home languages.  In addition, S.B. 900 will recognize and promote the continual development of the first languages of immigrant ELL students as a means of achieving biliteracy, which will in turn strengthen their development of English.  Furthermore, S.B. 900 will provide a pathway for immigrant ELL students to demonstrate their first language proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, in a language other than English, which will give them access to receiving the Seal of Biliteracy through their home languages, with English as their second language.

Hawaii TESOL believes that S.B. 900 is an important step in a more positive direction to provide comprehensive linguistic support for our state’s immigrant ELL students.  It will complement actions that the BOE is currently taking to craft a statewide language policy for the DOE, which will help provide a more equitable education our state’s immigrant ELL students and will further promote the rich diversity of our state.  Hawai‘i TESOL is looking forward to continue working with the BOE and all other interested stakeholders to support our immigrant ELL students to become productive, successful adults within our multilingual and multicultural community.

Hawai‘i TESOL Board


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