Talking Story about Pidgin
Exploring the creole language of Hawai‘i
Talk Story about Pidgin
Check out Hawai‘i kine Pidgin
About Us & Contact Info

About Us

The site is part of an outreach project that aims to provide educational materials about Pidgin for high school teachers and students while also acting as a resource for community members and anyone else who is interested in the creole language of Hawai‘i. The project is officially titled Talking Story about Language: Materials Development for Two Films on Hawai‘i Creole, and it is funded by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities. The two films that the project title refers to are Ha Kam Wi Tawk Pidgin Yet? and Pidgin: The Voice of Hawai’i.

The primary investigator for this project is Christina Higgins, Assistant Professor in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She is a novice learner of Pidgin and a strong advocate for multilingualism in schools and society. She is glad to be working with the amazing Searider Productions staff and students at Wai‘anae High School who continue to produce film projects about Pidgin.

Scholarly activities and educational outreach on marginalized languages like Pidgin should be done very carefully, with the utmost respect paid to the opinions and perspectives of the speakers of these languages. Hence, these materials have been developed collaboratively with the filmmakers and with members of Da Pidgin Coup, an advocacy group that meets at UH-Manoa. All of the filmmakers involved in producing Ha Kam Wi Tawk Pidgin Yet? are speakers of Pidgin who were enrolled in Wai‘anae High School’s Advanced Media Productions Class at Searider Productions in 2008-2009. The director of Pidgin: The Voice of Hawai‘i, Marlene Booth, produced the film with Kanalu Young, a professor of Hawaiian Studies and a speaker of Pidgin, Hawaiian, and English. To read more about Marlene’s experiences, see her essay, Learning Da Kine, published in Perspectives, UH-Manoa’s College of Education journal.

The educational materials have also been developed in consultation with eight high school teachers who work in schools on the Leeward Coast, a region of O‘ahu that has a high number of Pidgin speaking students. The teachers watched the two documentaries and then made suggestions for activities and lessons that they thought would be relevant and interesting for their students. The teachers also considered how the activities would meet the needs of their own curricula and of the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s standards and benchmarks.

Contact Info

For further information about this project, please contact Christina Higgins at the following email address: cmhiggin at hawaii dot edu. More information about Pidgin is available at the Charlene Sato Center for Pidgin, Creole, and Dialect Studies website.

Hawaii Council for the Humanities
This project is sponsored by The Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities