Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Benefits of Teaching Dual Literacy

With a bachelor of arts from Hawaii Pacific University, Kristin Kinkel taught ESL (English as a second language) for about three years. During this time, Kristin Kinkel was involved in examining the benefits of teaching dual literacy to native Spanish-speaking children.

Studies show that helping Spanish-speaking children develop into bilingual and biliterate students has many benefits. Research out of York University in Toronto, Ontario, discovered that preschool-aged children who are bilingual have better cognitive flexibility than those who only speak one language. Other research also suggests that, in the long term, the cognitive ability acquired through mastering two languages may prevent dementia. 

Children also benefit culturally and economically from being fluent in two languages. Mastering Spanish can help them to better retain their native culture and maintain relationships with those who share their ethnic background. Furthermore, learning English can help children become immersed in American culture. Additionally, a study out of the University of Florida shows that adults who learned two languages may earn up to $7,000 more a year than their colleagues who only speak English.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Trail Blazers Select Zach Collins in NBA Draft

Kristin Kinkel earned a bachelor of arts from Hawaii Pacific University, where she was a member of the school's cheerleading team. Additionally, Kristin Kinkel organized and led cheerleading camps for Varsity Spirit Corporation and served two years on the Portland Trail Blazers stunt team. 

During the NBA Draft on June 22, 2017, the Trail Blazers added Gonzaga University’s Zach Collins to their roster. Portland owned three first-round picks in the draft, but packaged picks numbers 15 and 20 in a trade to move up and select Collins tenth overall. The move was lauded among analysts and reporters despite the fact that Collins averaged only 10 points per game with limited play time in 2016-17 as a freshman with Gonzaga.

Collins didn't start a single game last season with the school, but he became Gonzaga’s first-ever freshman to be drafted into the NBA. The 7-foot center averaged 10 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 17.3 minutes per game. With plenty of time to grow as a player, he should be a nice fit in Portland's frontcourt alongside Jusuf Nurkic as a three-point-shooting big man with elite shot-blocking ability.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Alpha Chi Holds 2017 National Convention in Kentucky

An experienced educator, Kristin Kinkel earned her degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Hawaii Pacific University. She recently served as head instructor and judge at Varsity Spirit Corporation where she led workshops and camps for different cheerleading teams across the country. While studying at university, Kristin Kinkel was a member of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, a co-educational honor society that aims to promote excellence in academics and character among students in colleges and universities. Since 1922, the society has honored students who have achieved such merit.

Around 400 members of Alpha Chi gathered in April, 2017, in Louisville, Kentucky, for the society's annual national convention. Themed “Transcending Boundaries,” the convention kicked off with different activities including individual research presentations, collaborative research project competition, and keynote addresses. Dr. Ed Madden, a poet and professor at the University of South Carolina, was recognized as this year's distinguished alumnus for his ardent conviction, intellect, and artistry.

During the three-day event, recipients of the society’s fellowship and national scholarships were announced. The awards included the Joseph E. Pryor Fellowship and the Edwin W. Gaston, Jr. Scholarship.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

TESOL’s 2017 Convention in Seattle

After attending the University of Oregon for a year, Kristin Kinkel won a full scholarship for cheerleading to attend Hawaii Pacific University, where she studied English language teaching. From there, Kristin Kinkel applied her TESOL certification to positions as a bilingual educational assistant in Hillsboro, Oregon, and as an English teacher working with Japanese students in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

TESOL is an international association that focuses on excellence in English language teaching through publications, online resources, and events like the 2017 TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo, held this past March in Seattle, Washington. 

The convention focused on improving English teaching techniques with modern technology, interconnection, and innovation. Over 6,100 participants attended the conference, representing more than 100 countries all over the world. The conference provided approximately 1,000 different sessions the participants could attend on topics like language assessment, public policy, and technology. Writer Sherman Alexie opened the event with a keynote speech on his experiences living on an Indian reservation and the idea of English identity. The 2018 TESOL convention will be held in Chicago, Illinois.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

California Reverses Decision on Bilingual Education

Kristin Kinkel is a former cheerleader and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. In her work, Kristin Kinkel assisted English language learners who spoke various languages including Japanese and Spanish. 

The debate over bilingual education came to a head in California 20 years ago, when disagreements about immigration transformed education policy. In 1998, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 227, the English in Public Schools Initiative. 

This legislation reshaped the way students who do not speak much English are educated throughout the state. Specifically, the law ended bilingual education for students classified as Limited English Proficient (LEP). California began educating these students in English only and reduced their access to special support classes. 

In November of 2016, California voters reversed this decision. Proposition 58 passed with 73-percent approval, showing widespread support for the return to bilingual education. 

This will allow many of California's 1.4 million ESL students to learn in two languages, improving their English while they develop skills in their native tongue. California's new policies, set to take effect in July, are being fine-tuned.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Japanese Visitors in Hawaii

Having graduated from Hawaii Pacific University on a cheerleading scholarship, Kristin Kinkel went on to travel the world as a cheerleader, cheerleading instructor, and Varsity Spirit Corporation judge. During her time at Hawaii Pacific, Kristin Kinkel taught English to students visiting from Japan. 

Hawaii is a very popular destination for Japanese visitors, with Hawaii-bound flights from the nation tending to fill to 80-90 percent consistently. In 1997, 2.2 million Japanese residents visited Hawaii, and while Japanese travelers are less common than they used to be, 2015 still saw 1.5 million tourists to Hawaii, more than any other destination from Japan. 

In addition to the pleasant climate, beaches, and luxury shopping, Hawaii is very friendly to Japanese visitors, with plenty of access to Japanese foods and language. Even those who don’t speak any English can get along quite well in Japanese alone. 

Aside from these practical considerations, there is a cultural idea of Hawaii as a paradise for the wealthy in Japan. This idea preexists World War II and survived even Pearl Harbor. The mythology of Hawaii maintains its mystique today, even though trips to the state have become quite affordable. For these reasons, many Japanese tourists take the seven-hour flight more than once a year.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Alpha Chi National College Honor Society - Undergraduate Scholarships

Kristin Kinkel is a former educator with experience teaching in Hawaii and Oregon. Prior to her work as an ESL teacher, Kristin Kinkel attended Hawaii Pacific University, where she was a member of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. 

Alpha Chi is a coeducational national honor society for college and university students. It welcomes the top ten percent of undergraduate and graduate students from any academic discipline at participating accredited schools. These students are afforded opportunities to further their studies, establish themselves in new careers, and learn from mentors and peers alike.

Alpha Chi offers a range of scholarship and fellowship opportunities for exceptional students. Undergraduate students may apply for the Edwin W. Gaston, Jr., scholarship and the Alfred H. Nolle Scholarship, which include awards of $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.

In addition to academic records and an introductory letter, applicants must include an an academic paper or similar formal presentation appropriate to their field of study. This should be in proper form, and should demonstrate a firm understanding of the subject matter at hand. This submission is the most crucial part of the scholarship application. 

To apply or learn more about the 26 scholarship opportunities available to Alpha Chi members, visit: