Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Five of our students volunteered last night at a beautiful reception held on the grounds of the Hawaii State Art Museum. The reason for the event? To celebrate the sister-state relationship between Hawaii and Hokkaido, Japan.
There was a brass band that came from Hokkaido. Their performance was fantastic, but we were mainly impressed by how confident they were speaking English in front of hundreds of people.

There was a lot of delicious food from Hokkaido! We could feel the warmth from all the vendors and see their love for Hokkaido.

Our volunteer students assisted with parking, helped prepare some of the food, and joined during cleanup.

Our students all went to school in the morning or afternoon before joining this event. Even though they worked hard and stayed up late, all of them came to school on time today!

Our governor, David Ige, with the governor from Hokkaido.
We ran into Jessica, who studied at Hawaii Palms 4 years ago. Now she lives and works in Hawaii as a tour coordinator; she was in charge of the brass band from Hokkaido.
One of our student volunteers, Toki, also volunteers as an assistant for a kids soccer club. He studies at school in the mornings, and spend his afternoons and evenings volunteering in the community.
James, standing in the center, was very involved in organizing this event and made it possible for our students to volunteer.
It's interesting to see how English can help strengthen the bond between two different cultures. We saw yesterday how English can help open the door to new opportunities and new people. So don't be afraid to practice your English, you never know where it will take you.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

We Have A Mission

Kayoko was surprised to find Scott standing on a chair by our bulletin board. "What are you doing up there?"

It turns out he was painting a frame for our mission statement, which Bri had beautifully handwritten on the wall above our bulletin board last week.

So what is our mission statement?

We aim to provide students of English a comfortable place to immerse themselves in a foreign culture and improve their language skills. We strive to provide students with a high-quality learning experience that will inspire them to become global citizens, as well as to serve as a link between cultures in order to promote cross-cultural understanding and interaction.

If you're in Waikiki, stop in and say hello. And check out the beautiful calligraphy and art work by our two awesome teachers!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Life's a Beach


Two weeks ago, Waimanalo Beach got a makeover. 

Dozens of volunteers from around the island arrived at this beautiful beach on the East Coast. Their mission was very simple: collect as much trash as possible. Volunteers started arriving at 9:00am and by noon had collected a massive amount of trash, mostly plastic. People filled garbage bags and buckets with debris found along this long beach.

After everybody's hard work, a free lunch, shave ice, drinks, games, and an awesome concert was held. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.


Some Palms students joined in the cleanup fun, too.

It was a fantastic day spent alongside people who not only appreciate the natural beauty of our island, but also care enough to help it look and be its best.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016



We met local musician Mike Love last weekend in Waimanalo. It was for a festival celebrating Earth Day, and dozens of people (including Palms students) volunteered to do Beach Cleanup for a few hours in the morning. And then the music started.

Mike Love and his band gave us an amazing performance. They mix rock and reggae to create their unique flow and sound. Their lyrics have depth and they have a positive message to share.

Do you have 10 minutes? Hit play, turn up the volume, sit back, and get ready to bob your head:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wellness in Yoga, Yoga Wellness

English + Yoga + Wellness...

Palms yogini Kayoko is thinking about your health. She's thinking about it so much that she's introducing a new concept: Yoga Wellness.

Every Friday, she will offer a 45-minute park or beach yoga lesson, followed by a refreshing (and of course, healthy) drink before an hour long English lesson in which she'll discuss topics related to a healthy body an mind.

A great way to kick off your healthy weekend.

What does Kayoko say about our Yoga Wellness classes?

"It feels good to start your day with some stretching at the park. The fresh air, the sunshine... there's something very healthy and powerful about the feeling you get from an outdoor yoga session. I love sharing that feeling with our students".

So join us. Be healthy. Be happy. And contact us for more information. Namaste.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Momoe's way

What's the best way to learn English?

For Momoe, an Intensive Course student at Palms, the best way is to volunteer in the local community.

"I have free time here in Hawaii and I want to be able to use English outside of school". 

Momoe is 18 years old. In Tokyo, she goes to school and has a part-time job.

Here in Hawaii, she studies English and volunteers at an outdoor playgroup for kids.

Three days a week after her morning English classes, Momoe walks over to the park and spends her afternoons interacting with local coworkers and playing with kids.

"It's a great way for me to improve my English. Kids speak English differently than adults so at first I couldn't really understand them. I'm used to it now so I can communicate with them".

"If you come to Hawaii and want to improve your English, I really recommend that you volunteer. Besides helping with my English, being a volunteer has given me a deeper connection to Hawaii and the people who live here".

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A bit of Americana

Last Sunday, about half of all homes in the United States sat down to watch America's biggest sporting event of the year: The Superbowl. This is the final game that decides the year's best NFL football team.

But not everyone who watched the game was interested in football. A lot of people were more interested in the commercials. Yes, the commercials. With so many people watching, Super Bowl commercials have become a very big deal. There are websites and videos and TV shows dedicated to analyzing the year's Super Bowl commercials. The best ones get awards and everyone talks about them for a few days following the game.

So with so much attention given to them, commercials have to be entertaining; or funny; or shocking; or exciting - they need to grab our attention. Companies who want to advertise during the Super Bowl have to pay $4,500,000 (four and a half million dollars) for just a thirty second ad. It's a crazy number. It's a lot of money. And with so much money and pressure, Super Bowl commercials can resemble short movies.

Here's a Super Bowl ad that has the feel of a movie: