Chinese Language Class Offered at Kohala High

Aliyah Page, Reporter

During my last three years of attending Kohala High, I’ve heard of students taking language courses that were available online, with only a minimum of two languages actually taught physically here in this school. Not many languages are offered in this school due to having to find an available online course offered and the struggle of finding a teacher who fluently or understands how to speak the language- they also need to be approved by the Department of Education to teach the language class.

Hawaiian is a language that can be taught here because of the many possible Hawaiian teachers available who not only knows the culture and history, but can also speak the native language while knowing what they’re saying. Spanish is a language that can also be taught both online and with an actual teacher here in this school, as it is a common language to be learned by many. There has been other languages like Japanese thats been offered in the school only as an online course. This isn’t about any of those languages however. Kohala High School finally offers a Chinese as an actual class rather than an online course.

This is the first year Chinese has ever been offered in this school, as it was never offered as an online course. According to Howard Hashimoto, he states “The hard part is to get a teacher to teach. We’re actually lucky that Mr. Chen speaks Chinese so he was hired to teach the class.” As stated before, there are different components to having a teacher teach a language class such as knowing the language fluently or through years of taking the language courses, and they must be approved by the DOE. This school was just fortunate to have a teacher among themselves to teach the class.

Interviewing Mr. Chen about his thoughts about being the first teacher to teach the class as well as how he thinks the students are doing, he says “I’m honored that I’m the first teacher to teach this subject. Flattered that students signed up. Grateful to share my knowledge with these students. They are adjusting really well. This is only the first month and already having 6-7 lessons students are already holding 3-7 minute conversations in Chinese.”

Many students have signed up to take the course and shows to have absolute interest in the class itself. I’ve interviewed two students to hear their opinion about the class:

Student Kawehe Amina says “It’s complicated but it can also be easy.”

Student Reyanna Savedra says “It’s actually kinda cool when Mr. Chen is speaking in mandarin.” Mandarin is a Chinese language for those who don’t know it.

The course can be easy or even challenging depending on the person themselves. Students here tend to enjoy the chance of learning another language that isn’t English, Hawaiian, or Spanish. With the progress I’ve already heard of from Mr. Chen himself, the class sounds like it is succeeding really well with students already understanding the language so far. This first year sounds like a good year for the course. May it continue to grow and prosper onto the next oncoming years at Kohala High.

Mr. Chen’s period 1 Chinese class learning how to write the date in Chinese.