Hawaiian Immersion

Kumu ‘Ôlelo Ipolani Vaughan

About Kealaleo

Kealaleo or ”The Voice Path”' is based on the Silent Way which is used in American Sign Language.  Established in Aotearoa and known as, "Te Ataarangi," Kealaleo Hawaiian Immersion is modeled after this unique method of learning language with the use of manipulatives.   The philosophy and methodology of Kealaleo is based on five rules which are the foundation of the papa (class).  Hand signs or ho’ailona are used in conjunction with manipulatives as Hawaiian is spoken from the very first class.  Kealaleo is geared to those of the adult population who desire to learn the Hawaiian language and who seek to strengthen their language speaking skills.

The Kealaleo Immersion Program shadows the 'ölelo nö'eau (proverb), "E nänä ka maka, E ho'olohe ka pepeiao, E pa`a ka waha, a e hana me ka lima," – “Look with the eyes, listen with the ears, close the mouth and do with the hands.”  The ability to understand follows without the need for an english word equivalent, yet is not rote memorization.  Writing is not allowed during papa, as everything is spoken.  At the end of class, the patterns and or lesson taught are written for the haumäna (students) and at that time  grammar questions are addressed.  This aids the student with the ha’awina pili home (homework) that may be assigned after each class.  Completion of the ha`awina is up to each student and allows the Kumu to track individual progress and to address those areas that may need reinforcement.

Students who have had any form of Hawaiian language must allow our new students the opportunity to find the language for themselves.  We do not learn at the same pace and therefore, Kealaleo teaches and emphasizes ahonui (patience), not only with others, but especially with ourselves.  It is in the interaction of the students one with another that allows their own self-correction to take place.   Kealaleo encourages students to challenge themselves and not others as Kealaleo is a non- competitive class.  Students follow the rule of, “E mälama kekahi i kekahi”, (Encourge one another), thereby creating a safe environment condusive to learning.   

Our Kupuna are a large part of the Kealaleo Program and bring with them many Hawaiian cultural pieces and values which aid all in strengthening  their wala’au hawai’i .  Sharing and storytelling play a great part amongst all and allows students to express themselves openly and freely. Each student’s effort and input in this class as an individual also help to determine their progression in the language as each class will add something new to their pahu hopu (goal).

Kealaleo is a language journey of self-discovery for adults and elders…learning ‘ölelo hawai’i based on a hands-on approach that actively involves students in their own learning process and self-correction.  Kealaleo emphasizes patience and nurturing, yet encourages students to challenge themselves while inter-acting and having fun with others in a safe environment. 

E komo mai a huaka’i me mäkou ma Kealaleo!

Come and journey with us on The Voice Path! 

Nä Lula `Elima - The Five Rules

1. E `Ölelo Hawai`i wale nö        

2. E mälama kekahi i kekahi    

3. E mälama i kou küleana pono`ï

4. E `ölelo i kou manawa wale nö

5. E ho`omaopopo i ko ha`i na`au


Speak only Hawaiian

Allow your fellow student their dignity

Take care of your own responsibility

Speak only when spoken to

Have empathy for your fellow student