STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3195

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.C.R. No. 121

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fourth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2008

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

Your Committee on Education, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 121 entitled:

 

"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING TEACHING STRATEGIES FOR SPEAKERS OF HAWAII PIDGIN IN HAWAII PUBLIC SCHOOLS,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to request the Department of Education to develop bidialectal teaching strategies for teachers whose students' mother tongue is Hawaii Pidgin.

 

Testimony in support of the measure was submitted by fourteen individuals. Testimony in opposition of the measure was submitted by the Department of Education.

 

Your Committee finds that Hawaii is composed of diverse ethnic, as well as socioeconomic, political, religious and philosophical groups. One aspect of the local culture is the use of Hawaii Pidgin by children and adults, particularly in specific geographic areas within the State. Your Committee finds that the implementation of bidialectal, or speaking fluently two dialects of the same language, learning strategies has been beneficial in helping Hawaii Pidgin speaking students to succeed on Standard Achievement Test scores. This measure requests the Department of Education to develop bidialectal teaching strategies for teachers whose students' mother dialect is Hawaii Pidgin to provide students with the skills and knowledge to speak Hawaii Pidgin at home with family and friends but also learn to speak standard American English while at school or as otherwise necessary and appropriate.

 

The Department of Education indicated that it currently maintains standards for educating students in the use of standard English, including through programs for English as a Second Language students and English Language Learner students, and opposed this measure due to its low priority and the increased costs associated with its implementation. Your Committee determines that although the Department supports some efforts to assist Hawaii Pidgin-speaking students, the implementation of additional strategies may still prove useful.

 

Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Requesting the Sato Center for Pidgin, Creole and Dialect Studies and the Department of Second Language Studies of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, in consultation with the Department of Education and the College of Education and the Department of Linguistics of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, to develop bidialectal teaching strategies for teachers whose students' mother tongue is Hawaii Pidgin, as well as to develop plans for conducting a controlled empirical study on the effectiveness of bidialectal teaching strategies for Hawaii public schools with strong Hawaii pidgin populations; and

 

(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive changes for purposes of clarity and style.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 121, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 121, S.D. 1.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,

 

 

 

____________________________

NORMAN SAKAMOTO, Chair