The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature Dean Robert Bley-Vroman, and members of his faculty met with top-ranking officials from the National Security Education Program, including its director Michael Nugent, to discuss the University of Hawaiʻi’s critical role in language learning for global workforce purposes. The college’s expertise in this area is extensive.
The college has the unique distinction of having two nationally-designated language flagship programs within the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures—one in Korean and the other in Chinese. It also provides leadership for the Hawaiʻi Language Roadmap Initiative, which is an effort to bring together employers and educators to address the growing demand of language skills and cultural expertise in the workforce.
Joining Bley-Vroman and Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures chair Robert Huey were Ho-min Sohn, Dong-Kwan Kong, Sumi Chang and Lydia Chung from the Korean Languages Flagship Center and Song Jiang from the Chinese Language Flagship Program.
- Chung reported that the Korean Language Flagship Center is experiencing great progress and success in its pre-college language programs at Roosevelt and Moanalua High Schools.
- Jiang noted that student recruitment for the new Chinese flagship is exceeding expectations.
- Dina Yoshimi, who leads UH’s involvement in the Hawaiʻi Language Roadmap Initiative, shared news of efforts to build teams from members of government, the private sector and community organizations in order to most effectively train language proficient workforces. The team is finding that language needs are prevalent in many obvious and not-so-obvious areas, ranging from the public arena to private enterprise.