Session 1: Get Pidgin?

Session 2: Talking story about Pidgin

Lois-Ann Yamanaka ( Author Bio:Lois-Ann taught English, Drama, and Speech for twelve years with the Department of Education (DOE).

Darrell H. Y. Lum ( Retired editor, author, and co-founder, Bamboo Ridge Press “‘Pidgin is not capable of conveying width and breadth of human emotion.’ —UH Drama Dept graduate student, circa 1972” An examination of growing up local and the development of Pidgin as a literary language. Bio: Darrell is a fiction writer and playwright. He, along with Eric Chock, founded Bamboo Ridge Press in 1978 and both served as editors for 37 years. He is a retired academic advisor from UH-Mānoa.

Lee A. Tonouchi ( Da Pidgin Guerrilla “Pidgin Positive: Changing Yourself vs. Changing da Perception” Eh, go learn how mild mannered Lee Tonouchi came all transform into what one newspapah wen go call “one of the stateʻs most outspoken and revolutionary rebel theorists.”  Try go listen to dis talk for learn da secret origin of. . . Da Pidgin Guerrilla. Contact: Bio: Lee stay one Pidgin author and playwright.

Scott Kaʻalele ( Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, UH-Mānoa “Growing up in the 80s speaking Pidgin earned you cracks” Aloha, my name is Scott Kaalele and I am a PhD student and instructor in English at UH Mānoa. In my household growing up in the 80s in Kaneohe, speaking Pidgin earned you cracks. In college, studying Pidgin can earn you a degree. As a non-traditional college student (meaning old), this change has been inspiring and I am excited for the future of our language. Bio: Scott is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the English Department. He was born and raised in Hawaiʻi and has come into contact with snow only once. His areas of study include Hawaiian literature and composition pedagogy.

Keynote speech by Augie T

Session 3: Wat teachers do wit Pidgin?

Breakout sessions – track 1

Dr. Lorna Holmes ELL tutor, Princess Ka‘iulani Elementary “Try Look!  Using Bilingual Pidgin-English Texts with Elementary ELL Students”

Jamie Cruz ( Instructional Coach, Kamaile Academy “Incorporating Pidgin into Rigorous Common Core Aligned Curriculum”

I will be talking about my cross-curricular project for ELA and SS in middle school. Students learn the importance of code-switching first! They tell stories in both Pidgin and Standard American English. Additionally, students are required to demonstrate that they are able to code-switch and use Pidgin in a highly academic way.

Susan Izawa ( Language Arts teacher, Hilo High School “Language and Dialect in Hawai‘i: Students Right to Their Own Language”

I will share my experiences doing a trial run of a unit on language and dialect in a language arts class.  In brief, we began with Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue,” moved on to NCTE’s resolution “Students’ Right to Their Own Language,” Pidgin and some post-colonial dialect poetry, and ended with students sharing their original compositions of an “I Am” place-based poem. We also made connections to Jim Crow, To Kill a Mockingbird, African American English, and more.

Raenette Marino ( Language Arts teacher, Waiakea High School “Coming of Age in Hawai‘i:  Kimo Armitage’s Mahch Fye in the Language Arts Classroom”

Locally born, locally raised, I consider Hawaiian Creole English my intimate language.  It is the language I use with my elderly father, siblings, and–to a lesser extent–my children and spouse.  As a high school English teacher at Waiakea High School, I teach to the best of my ability Standard English.  However, I  use the personal narrative “Mahch Fye” by Kimo Armitage to introduce and teach many literary elements.  When we began using the SpringBoard curriculum, I did not deviate but incorporated “Mahch Fye” into the short story unit; it seemed like the perfect fit for the coming-of-age theme.  I’m not sure how Dr. Kimo Armitage feels about having his work included with that of Harper Lee and Shakespeare, but my students often mention his work to me years after they leave my classroom.  That, I believe, is a good thing

Breakout sessions – track 2

Donald Carreira Ching ( Lecturer at Leeward Community College, teacher at HPU “Try Write, Can Write: A perspective on Growth Mindset and Pidgin in the classroom.”

In the presentation, I will be discussing how I incorporate growth mindset into the classroom along with various readings to encourage students who have been led to believe that they do not speak “proper English” and ” no can write.” Bio: Donald was born and raised in Kahaluʻu. His debut novel, Between Sky and Sea: A Family’s Struggle, was published by Bamboo Ridge Press in December 2015. He lives and teaches on Oʻahu.

Alicia Rozet ( Hawaiian language instructor, UH-Mānoa “Yuzing Pidgin foh teech Hawaiian to mainland an loco keedz alike”

If you “get” da kine frazes laik “nice yoa slippahs”, “watchu ste doing” owa da suddotees between “haaaaah?!” an “foh reeelz!” owa between “dat gai” an “dat friken gai”- den bahleeve it owa naht you won stepp closah to lerning an undahstanding simpo struktchas and frazes in da Hawaiian language, da ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi nō hoʻi. In dis preezentashun you’ll lern hau we ste yuzing um foh teech Hawaiian to mainland an loco keedz alike. Bio: Ali is an instructor of Hawaiian language at Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She received her BA in History and her MA in Hawaiian from UH Mānoa. Pidgin has been very helpful to her in the classroom, where she teaches beginning Hawaiian levels 101, 102 and 201.

“The HI-SKILLS after-school program: Hawai’i School Kids Investigating Language in Life + Society” Kids are experts about the language they hear around them every day. In this talk we present HI-SKILLS, an after-school program that puts kids at the center of linguistic discovery by guiding them through the process of carrying out original research on language use in their own peer groups, families, and communities, including the use of Pidgin in their homes, schools, and communities. HI-SKILLS is an outreach project of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai’i and is sponsored in part by the Sato Center. If you are interested in having HI-SKILLS come to your school, please contact us at

Presenters: (all affiliated with UH-Mānoa)

  • Kevin Bätscher is a PhD student at the Linguistics Department at UH Mānoa. A Swiss national and language enthusiast, he is actively working on the documentation and promotion of indigenous languages in the Philippines, Taiwan, and Canada.
  •  Andrea Berez-Kroeker is a professor in the Linguistics Department at UH Mānoa. She specializes in language documentation and conservation, and has worked with speakers of endangered languages in Alaska, Canada, and Papua New Guinea.
  • Ashleigh Smith is a PhD student in the Linguistics Department at UH Mānoa. Originally from Minnesota, she spends her time on O`ahu studying linguistic diversity and learning how to document languages. She has worked with speakers of endangered languages in both the United States and Canada and is passionate about the revitalization of Indigenous languages.
  •  Maggie Sood lived in the bayous of Louisiana and the mountains of Northern California before making her way out to the island of Oahu. Having lived in and traveled to many colorful places, it didn’t take her long to realize she loved language. That’s why she’s now a Master’s student in Linguistics at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa studying Language Documentation. Maggie has worked with speakers of endangered languages of Mexico, Micronesia, and Argentina. She has also taught Spanish and ESL, and currently works as an English tutor to high-school ESL students. When she’s not concentrating on her studies or work, she can usually be found filling in crossword puzzles, dashing around the basketball court, or relaxing with a cup of tea.

Dr. Larson Ng ( Ph.D.  Educational Specialist  College of Education  University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa “You like stats or couple slaps?”

The following presentation will share my experiences of using Pidgin in the teaching of statistics in graduate school.  I will recollect how Pidgin has helped in alleviating stress/anxiety due to the difficult subject matter and contributed to the retention of statistical concepts as a result of it being taught in the first language for the majority of my local students. Bio: I was born and raised in what I call the Kalihi Triangle.  After graduating through the our Hawai‘i public school system, I am currently working as part of the graduate faculty at the College of Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.


Darrell Lum:

Larson Ng

Jamie Cruz

Alicia Rozet

Full text of “Students’ Right”:

Full text of “Mahch Fry”: