Multilingualism at UH Mānoa

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) campus is a multilingual place because of the students, staff, and faculty. While English is the dominant language, it is not uncommon to hear languages such as Hawaiian, Pidgin, Japanese, Korean, or Tagalog, to name a few. In addition to Hawaiian and English as a Second Language, 30 foreign languages are taught in UHM classrooms on a regular basis.

Multilingual Multicultural Strategic Initiative

The UHM Multilingual Multicultural Strategic Initiative is focused on strengthening the recognition of Hawaiʻi’s multilingual and multicultural environment through various projects within the UHM community and through community outreach. These projects include signage on the UHM campus, graduate and undergraduate certificates, a virtual institute, and a multilingual cohort.

UHM Signage: Resemiotizing UHM as a Hawaiian Place of Learning

As part of the UHM Multilingual Multicultural Strategic Initiative, the first phase of enhancing the public signage on the UHM campus was done by Dr. Christina Higgins (PhD, Department of Second Language Studies) and Kapuaokeko’olauikaulupua (Kapua) Adams (Research Assistant, Department of Second Language Studies). The first phase of the project put forth the initial steps to highlight UHM as a Hawaiian place of learning by proposing signage that shows the historical geographic overlay of Mānoa with the UHM campus, as well as ways to make the Hawaiian history, plants, and art more visible on campus.