ERIC Number: ED321561
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov-18
The Hawaiian Language Immersion Program: Classroom Discourse and Children's Development of Communicative Competence.
Watson-Gegeo, Karen Ann
In its first year, the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program combined kindergarten and first-grade students in two classes. About half of the students had no speaking knowledge of Hawaiian; the remainder had attended Hawaiian-language preschools and/or spoke Hawaiian at home. Both teachers, fluent speakers of Hawaiian, were new to teaching. The teachers spoke only Hawaiian after the first 2 days of school, and students were reminded to speak in Hawaiian. By spring, lapses into English or pidgin became infrequent. Visiting parents were impressed with the warm relationships evident between children and teachers. Classroom organization combined adaptation to Hawaiian values and cultural practices with practices common to other elementary classrooms. While occasionally correcting students' Hawaiian, teachers more commonly modelled correct form or set up repeating routines to support student learning. Teachers treated students as true conversational partners, focusing primarily on content comprehension, with brief but significant instructional sequences inserted. Language learning in peer-peer interactions was encouraged. The students were found to take their work seriously, and were on task a high proportion of the time. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (79th, Baltimore, MD, November 18, 1989).