English Learners » Highlights



Queen Kaahumanu School's English Language Learners (ELL) Program continually seeks ways to provide learning opportunities for ELL students and their parents, and cultural awareness opportunities for teachers working with these students. This has been (and currently is) done through the inclusion of research-based instructional philosophies and methods, a variety of parent involvement activities, innovative grant ideas, school-based projects, and coordination of school-wide and complex-wide events.



Extended School Day - Two extended school day programs (before and after school tutoring) for grades 3, 4, and 5 ELL students focusing on language skills are held if funds are available.


Extended School Year - A two week summer program for ELL students is held if funds are available.



Parent Involvement continues to rise as parents are extended invitations to participate in activities such as informational meetings, hands-on workshops, projects, and appreciation hours. Parents become more knowledgeable and empowered as they work together with the school to help their children become successful learners.







ELL SWAP Meet (The ELL Program holds an annual SWAP Meet in the month of November. The purpose of this mini fund raiser is to raise funds to support program activities. Donated items from the school faculty and staff are sold at bargain prices.)


ELL Teachers' Survival Kit (The ELL Teachers' Survival Kit is a project which was started a few years ago. It is based on a suggestion made by a parent. The purpose of the survival kit is to provide teachers with a basic survival communication tool to use with ELL students who may be at the beginning stages of English language proficiency. Components of the survival kit are a binder with language/cultural information and lists of school and classroom phrases (both in the students' first language and English) and recordings of the phrases on cassette tapes. Parents met for several months and participated in this project. Each homeroom teacher was provided with a survival kit. The survival kit enables the comprehension of basic phrases as the teachers use the binder and cassettes to aid in the initial communication they have with the students. Languages included in the survival kit are Korean, Japanese, Marshallese, Chuukese, Chinese, and Vietnamese, with others to be added at a later date.)


ELL Lesson Plan Manual (The ELL Lesson Plan Manual is a collaborative project which provides ELL teachers an opportunity to share ideas on how to help ELL students. For the past three years, approximately 100 letters were sent to all elementary school ELL teachers in the four Oahu school districts at the beginning of each school year. Teachers were asked to share lessons and strategies that they have found successful when working with ELL students. After these were received, they were complied into a manual. Each teacher who participated received a copy to share with his/her school.)



Culture Day - Every year, the ELL Program coordinates its annual school-wide event, the ELL Culture Day, which brings together students, parents, school and district staff, and community members. The purpose of Culture Day is to provide opportunities for ELL students and their parents to showcase their languages and cultures and to bring awareness of the diverse cultures represented at our school. This is done through cultural activities which are held for the entire school over a two day period.


Community Day - In April, the ELL Program coordinated its annual school-wide event, the ELL Community Day, which provides teachers, students and their parents the opportunity to meet representatives from community organizations and learn about their functions. Approximately 35 community organizations from the fields of safety, health, retail, recreation, transportation, small business, finance, and government also have the opportunity to meet and interact with the students, parents, and teachers on this day.

McKinley Complex Schools ELL Parent Fair
- Queen Kaahumanu School's ELL Program coordinated the second McKinley Complex Schools ELL Parent Fair on May 26, 2005. It was held at Queen Kaahumau School for parents of ELL students from the McKinley Complex Schools of McKinley High, Central Middle, Queen Kaahumanu Elementary, Royal Elementary, Kaiulani Elementary, Kauluwela Elementary, Likelike Elementary, Lanakila Elementary, and McKinley Community School for Adults. The purpose of the fair was to provide parents information on community services available to them; to provide parents suggestions on how they can help their children at home; and to provide parents information on ways they can become partners with the school. Happenings at the fair included visitations of community, state, and district agency/organization stations; demonstrations of activities parents can do with their children at home; viewing of educational materials displays; an example of an interactive, instructional unit incorporating several content standards; bilingual assistance; student guides; lucky number-type drawings for educational supplies; distribution of 3-ring binders to parents to file the brochures/handouts collected so they could start their own parent manual; and bus transportation to the event for parents. Funding support was provided by the McKinley Community School for Adults (buses) and Project METALS of the University of Hawaii (educational supplies and materials).


McKinley Complex Schools ELL Speech Festival (see grants section)


Grant Source:

Good Idea Grant 2003-2004

Project Title:

ELL Outreach Literacy Centers


Diane Murakami, ELL Program Teacher/Coordinator

Project Description:
Queen Kaahumanu School is a kindergarten to grade 5 school with a total school population of 700 students, of which 185, or approximately 26%, speak a first language other than English. This presents a challenge to the school. The acquisition of functional and academic English by these students in their quest for literacy needs to be accommodated. These students receive language support through the English Language Learners (ELL) Program, but this support may be continued on a limited basis when students are in their regular classrooms. Though the regular classroom teacher wants to address the needs of these students, it is a difficult task when dealing with up to 30 students in the class. This project will assist the regular classroom teacher provide meaningful language support to ELL students who may not be ready to participate in regular classroom instruction. The focus will be on building a foundation through vocabulary and basic English skills which will assist the student develop English language proficiency. The project will address the Language Arts Oral Communication standards which state:

  • Communicate orally using various forms for a variety of purposes and situations;
  • Use strategies within speaking and listening processes to construct and communicate meaning; and
  • Apply knowledge of verbal and nonverbal language to communicate effectively.

(Though the Oral Communication standards are being emphasized, the other Language Arts standards will also be addressed since language skills are always integrated.)

The ELL Outreach Literacy Centers will be mobile work stations which can move from classroom to classroom. There will be one literacy center per grade level. Each literacy center will include, but not limited to, tape recorders, headphones, books, cassette tapes, charts, flash cards, and manipulatives. These items will be transported in pull-carts from classroom to classroom. The literacy centers will be set up in a designated area of the classroom which is conducive to independent learning. Different language learning activities will be set up for the students to practice and apply their communication skills in the literacy centers. Through practice and application, the students' needs to acquire basic English language vocabulary and skills will be addressed when they are in their regular program class, which in turn will assist the student as he/she strives to meet the standards listed above.

Grant Source:

Oscar and Rosetta Fish Fund for Speech Therapy and Forensics

(Hawaii Community Foundation)

Project Title:

McKinley Complex Schools English Language Learners (ELL) Speech Festival '04


Diane Murakami, ELL Program Teacher/Coordinator


Project Description:
ELL Programs from McKinley Complex Schools McKinley High, Central Middle, Queen Kaahumanu Elementary, Royal Elementary, Lanakila Elementary, Kauluwela Elementary, Kaiulani Elementary, Likelike Elementary, and McKinley Community School for Adults) will be invited to participate in a speech festival. Students performance will be done through individual or group. Speech categories include, but are not limited to, storytelling, interpretive reading, reader's theater (choral reading), and impromptu speaking. Individual schools will be responsible for ensuring that their student participants are engaged in the process of speechmaking, from composing to rehearsing to performing.

On the day of the festival, judges will be on hand to rate the performance based on specific criteria important in public speaking/speechmaking.

Awards will be given for exemplary performance, with all participants receiving certificates of participation. Participating schools will be given a school award for engaging their students in the process which provided their students with an opportunity to practice and demonstrate their public speaking/speech skills, and which will enable the schools to continue to provide opportunities for oral communication activities at their respective schools.