Ph.D. in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization

Coordinator: Scott Saft, Ph.D.
Email: saft@hawaii.edu
Website: https://olelo.hawaii.edu/khuok/mhhphd.php

Professors:

Associate Professors:

For Information Contact:

Kuʻulei Kepaʻa
Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelilkōlani
University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
200 W. Kāwili Street
Hilo, Hawaiʻi 96720-4091

Tel: (808) 932-7730
Email: kuulei.kepaa@hawaii.edu

The Ph.D. in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization has a unique status within the University of Hawaiʻi system - it is the first doctorate in a Hawaiian Studies field and the first doctorate in the world specific to the growing field of Indigenous language and culture revitalization. The program began with provisional status in 2006 with Hawaiian and other Indigenous candidates and was approved as an established program in 2015.

The Ph.D. in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization engages candidates in rigorous research in linguistics, language planning, culture, and education that enhances leadership capacity to strengthen language and cultural vibrancy within their communities.

Program Description

Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelilkōlani is widely recognized as the leader in indigenous language revitalization in the United States, and indeed the North Pacific Basin. Concentrated in Hilo is a preschool through graduate school Hawaiian medium educational system and key support offices providing administrative, curricular, language planning, and technological support to programs throughout the Hawaiian islands. In addition, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani provides government sponsored outreach services to support indigenous languages throughout Polynesia and the United States.

The Ph.D. in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization engages candidates in rigorous research in linguistics, language planning, culture, and education that enhances leadership capacity to strengthen language and cultural vibrancy within their communities.

All students in the doctoral program are required to speak an indigenous language - their “language of focus” - and further develop their knowledge of that language in courses that explore the similarities and differences among such languages. In addition, students choose two specializations from among the four systematic fields offered in the program, a) Indigenous Language and Culture Education, b) Indigenous Language and Culture in Society, c) Language Planning, and d) Hawaiian Language and Culture. Thus, students who focus on a non-Hawaiian indigenous language will choose two specializations from areas a), b), and c); students who focus on Hawaiian language may choose among all four areas. A number of possible paths from other universities lead into the doctoral program, including the master’s in Indigenous Studies, Anthropology, Languages (including English), and Linguistics.

Mission

The mission of the College is to assure the revitalization and continued advancement and growth of the Hawaiian language and mauli ola Hawaiʻi. A thriving Hawaiian language is the means through which the mauli ola Hawaiʻi will once again become commonplace in both traditional and contemporary contexts in Hawaiʻi. The College joins with other Indigenous peoples in the revitalization of their own languages and cultures. Our collective efforts will ensure the furthering of local, national and international initiatives toward establishing language and cultural vibrancy throughout the world.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate advancement in spoken and written Hawaiian with fluency and consistency in all educational contexts, adhering to graduate-level writing standards.
  2. Demonstrate analytical skills and comprehension of content and overall constitution of literary, cultural, and historical Hawaiian language texts.
  3. Examine and articulate the Hawaiian language renormalization movement within the broader context of language revitalization.
  4. Apply knowledge of and skills in the performance of Hawaiian chant, dance, and oratory.
  5. Exhibit leadership in Hawaiian and Indigenous language and culture revitalization in academic and community environments.

Admission Requirements

  1. Master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 grade point average in an approved field of study (e.g., Hawaiian Language and Literature, Indigenous Studies, Anthropology, Languages, etc).
  2. Proficiency in and academic knowledge of the applicant’s indigenous language of focus, as demonstrated by a taped speech and written essay, with English translation. (The level of proficiency and academic knowledge required will depend on the status of the indigenous language, in terms of how endangered it is and how much linguistic description has been done.)
  3. A letter requesting admission to the program which describes the applicant’s:
    • academic objectives and research interests.
    • experience in educational service to his or her indigenous language of focus.
    • diverse experience with the contemporary status of an indigenous or threatened language and culture besides the student’s own indigenous language of focus. The social and political environment of this additional language should be different from that of the student’s language of focus.
    • future plans regarding work to revitalize his or her indigenous language and culture.
  4. A sample of written work (usually the master’s thesis).
  5. Course work of at least 6 credits in general linguistics, linguistic analysis, and sociolinguistics
  6. Complete taped interview either in person or by telephone.
  7. Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which must focus on the applicant’s background in the language and culture of an indigenous people and service to that indigenous community.
  8. For second language speakers of English, passing scores on the TOEFL or other evidence of English fluency.

Further information on the details of fulfilling admissions requirements are available from the Director of Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language.

Graduation Requirements

1. KIND 730 Rsch Meth Hwn Ind Lang Culture (3)

2. Advanced Study of Language of Focus (8):

  • KLAN 701 Semantic/Pragmatic Indig Lang (1) Semantic/Pragmatic Indig Lang (1)
  • KLAN 702 Stylistics/Domains Indig Lang (1) Stylistics/Domains Indig Lang (1)
  • KLAN 703 Semantics-Prag of Indig Langua (3) Semantics-Prag of Indig Langua (3)
  • KLAN 704 Stylistics-Domain of Indig Lan (3) Stylistics-Domain of Indig Lan (3)

3. Additional Language Requirement:

  • Language of focus is Hawaiian: Approved second language equivalent to the 101 level as taught at UH-Hilo.
  • Language of focus is other than Hawaiian: Hawaiian equivalent to the 101 level as taught at UH-Hilo.

4. Two of Four Areas of Specialization (12-14):

  • a. Indigenous Language and Culture Education (6-8):

    • KED 794 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged)
  • b. Indigenous Language and Culture In Society (6-8):

    • KIND 731 Indig/Minor Autochthonous Lang (3)
    • KIND 732 Lang Plcy/Pract Endanger/Indig (3)
    • KIND 733 Hawn and Indig Language Med Ed (3)
    • KIND 794 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged)
  • c. Language Planning (6-8):

    • KLIN 794 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged)
  • d. Hawaiian Language and Culture (6-8):

    • KHAW 751 Hoʻoikaika ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (2)
    • KHAW 794 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged)
    • KHWS 741 Classical Hwn Ed: Gen Hwn Cult (3)
    • KHWS 794 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged)

    The amount of course work in the two areas of specialization will be determined upon admission to the program.

5. Up to six semester credits (or equivalent) at another accredited university in courses pre-approved by the program chair and transfer the credits to the University of Hawai'i at Hilo in place of any of the listed program courses.

6. Completion of all graduate courses with a grade no lower than “B.”

7. Successful completion of a comprehensive examination consisting of oral and/or written questions.

8. Submission and approval of a portfolio which documents the student’s work to improve public opinion and/or government policy concerning the revitalization of the student’s language and culture of focus. The portfolio may include newspaper or periodical articles or oral presentations aimed at the student’s indigenous community or the larger public; it may include written material or oral testimony given at government forums concerned with indigenous language and culture revitalization.

9. KIND 800 Doctoral Dissertation Research (1–6) *minimum 6 credits; successful completion of a dissertation; and final oral examination in defense of the dissertation.