Hawaiian Language Classes Open To All at Waikoloa

Hawaiian Language Classes Open To All at Waikoloa

Kudos go out to the Waikoloa Beach Resort for a new program recently started at "The Studio" in the Queens' Marketplace, whereby guest speakers offer Hawaiian language classes to interested participants. Entitled "I ka ‘ōlelo no ke ola/In Language is Life", the first classes, which took place this past fall, were deemed a "huge success" by Waikoloa planners and Kumu Hula Keala Ching, who taught the sessions. Plans for upcoming sessions are currently in the works. 

The workshops, hosted by Ching, were offered to both keiki and adults, and cost a minimal $15 per week. Sessions occurred three times during the week, for two hours each class. Participation in all of the 4 weekly sessions (for a total of 12 classes) was encouraged, although students (locals, visitors, etc.) could certainly sign up for individual sessions. 

According to Ching, the sessions were far from "textbook" classes. A Cultural Advisor for the Outrigger Keauhou Resort, the Kona Pacific Public Charter School and various halau in Hawai'i, California, Japan and Europe, Ching's method of teaching involves interaction with the places, elements and significant protocol from the various aspects of Hawaiian culture. In lieu of straight-forward English-to-Hawaiian translation, Ching stresses emotion and visual aides to learn words, encouraging students to make meaningful connections with the terms and phrases they are learning. 

“You don’t have to worry about all those little words, ‘i,’ ‘ka,’ ‘me,’ ‘no,’ ” says Ching.  “I tell my students to look at the words they already know, like ‘aloha’ or ‘pono’ or ‘Waikoloa.’  Then pick out the most interesting or exciting word in a sentence and focus on that one.  It all starts coming together in amazing ways.” 

Although exact dates for 2009 have not been finalized, Waikoloa Beach Resort organizers of the sessions encourage interested parties to call  (808) 886-2055 (or visit www.waikoloabeachresort.com) for more information on upcoming Hawaiian language classes. Advanced reservations are required to participate.

Ching's method of teaching involves interaction with the places, elements and significant protocol from the various aspects of Hawaiian culture.