HLRIiconNovember 18, 2016 | 3:00-4:00 PM | Moore Hall 258


The Hawai‘i Language Roadmap Initiative:  A (student-centered) update and a look at future plans

Dina R. Yoshimi

Director, Hawai’i Language Roadmap Initiative, Associate Professor, EALL

In September 2013, the Hawai‘i Language Roadmap, a community-based plan to visualize, advocate for, and build a multilingual workforce for Hawai‘i, was published and presented to a large gathering of educators, employers, and communityorganizers.  Three years later, the Roadmap has established itself as a meaningful voice in conversations about career readiness, language access, and the importance of multilingualism in the state.  Work with partners from business, state agencies, the non-profit sector and education (including faculty at UH-Mānoa), has enabled some of the projects listed under the eight Roadmap initiatives to come to fruition, most notably, the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy, which is in its inaugural year.  Outreach and research endeavors have enabled the Roadmap to develop an initial sketch of workforce language needs statewide, and engagement with students has provided a composite profile of learners’ self-assessment of workplace language skills.  Most importantly, we have learned that while connecting world language learning with employment opportunities is a strong motivation for high school and college students, they need our help to visualize that link, and to realize a fruitful outcome.  The presentation will include a brief history of the Roadmap, followed by an overview of the accomplishments and findings of the first three years.  The latter will lead into a discussion of future directions for the Roadmap Initiative, with particular focus on the potential for interface between Roadmap endeavors, curricular development and instructional activities in LLL courses, and career development opportunities for LLL students.  Audience participation is invited, and welcome!


Dina Rudolph Yoshimi has served as Director of the Hawai’i Language Roadmap Initiative (College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature) since September 2013.  In this role, she has coordinated the launch of the Hawai’i Language Roadmap, the first and second Language Roadmap symposia, and numerous Roadmap outreach endeavors across the state.  She conducts research on language and the workforce in Hawai’i, with a particular focus on workforce needs analysis, curricular development, and language training for the workforce.  She has been invited to speak at the annual Office of Language Access (OLA) Conference, Marshallese Education Day, the Chamber of Commerce Hawai’i (COCH) Committee on Education and Workforce Development, and the National Language Service Corps (NLSC) annual meeting, among other venues.  She is a member of the Kapi’olani Community College Global Learning and Development (GLAD) Advisory Council and the Moanalua High School World Language Center Advisory Board.  She also edits the Hawai’i Language Champions blog on the Roadmap’s webpage.  In her day job, she is Associate Professor of Japanese in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa, where her research interests include Japanese L2 acquisition and pedagogy with a focus on the pragmatics of everyday conversation, including extended discourse and conversational stories.