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EFP picnic promotes aloha, language use

by Jillian Nicole Lynes, staff writer

   

HPU’s English Foundations Program (EFP) welcomed international students, old and new, to a festive “Aloha!” picnic at the Hawai‘i Loa campus Oct. 9. HPU faculty who teach English as a second language put on this annual picnic with help from the Pals organization and the International Teachers Organization (ITO).

The picnic started at 10 a.m., but for many, the day began much earlier. EFP Student Advisor Mary Landolt, faculty Bill Potter and Gene Kirshenmann, and Program Chair Barbara Hannum, along with countless volunteers, hustled to prepare food and activities for more than 150 students and faculty who attended the event.

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Arriving picnicers were greeted by student volunteers Tina Huang, fourth-year undergraduate, and Shiho Kawano and Florian Rouch, both MA TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) students. Each female was offered a flower to put in her hair, and everyone was given name tags as they assembled on the Academic Center lanai to learn a traditional hula.

Hannum explained that the Center for English Language Programs holds two picnics annually to provide international students a sense of family or ohana with their school. About 30 percent of HPU students come from other countries, Hannum said. Of these, 10 percent are involved in the CELP program. By getting involved outside the classroom, they are able to practice the English they are learning in fun and friendly ways and to develop a sense of community that the hectic downtown way of life inhibits. And it allows them to make friends.

The picnics are just two of the many events CELP puts on for its students. In the past, the program has taken students on fun excursions such as Sea Life Park, the botanical gardens, dinner, HPU sports events such as a baseball or volleyball game, bowling, ice skating, and many other activities.

It is through its fun activities that CELP hopes to truly reach the international students, Hannum said. “They need a sense of belonging. Their best memories from college will be made here, not in the classroom,” she added.

 

 

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