Department of English and Applied Linguistics: Chair's Message

Welcome to Hawai’i Pacific University’s Department of English and Applied Linguistics (DEAL)

Dr. Kathleen Cassity, English Department Chair

Through language, we communicate, shape our world, and create meaning. The activities pursued by English students—reading, writing, analysis, interpretation, the study and teaching of language—are central to success in all other professional and creative endeavors.  HPU undergraduate English students can major in English or TESOL. We also offer minors in English, TESOL, Writing, and Film Studies, along with a TESOL certificate.  Our certificate and minors can be combined with one of our major programs to help you develop a unique skill set. For those interested in graduate study, we also offer a Master’s in TESOL. 

English majors study a range of literary texts, interpret them within a variety of frameworks, and write in multiple academic and creative genres.  Writing, sharing, and interpreting literature—stories, plays, poems, and more—are at the core of what it means to be human, and developing these aptitudes prepares students for numerous professional careers as well as richer, more meaningful lives.  Our HPU English alumni have gone on to pursue careers in education, sales, management,  professional/ technical writing, journalism, advertising, editing, publishing, teaching abroad, and more. Many have successfully completed graduate programs in such disciplines as English, education, communication, business, law, film studies, Asian studies, library science, and public administration.

TESOL majors study aspects of language that relate to the acquisition of a first or second language: pronunciation, grammar, methods of teaching and assessing reading, writing, speaking and listening. They lso learn about language in society, the historical development of English, as well as curriculum and materials development and the use of technology to teach language. TESOL students graduate with job preparation training, opportunities to travel, and viable career paths. They may teach internationally in public or private schools, specialized language schools, and workplace programs, and in North America they may teach English as a second language (ESL) in a variety schools as well as in programs serving immigrants of all ages. They may also find positions as international student advisors, immigrant service providers, and teachers of other languages.

Our majors, minors, and alumni in all our programs speak highly of our close-knit student body, our numerous hands-on opportunities such as TESOL practicum courses, paid peer tutoring, and editing positions with both student and professional literary magazines.  Our students also praise the one-on-one attention they receive from our talented, creative, and cohesive group of faculty members.

Whether you have decided to major or minor in one of our programs or are still considering it, I invite you to discuss your options with me or any of our DEAL faculty. My office is on the second floor of MP (1188 Fort Street Mall), with others either here in MP or in LB (1060 Bishop Street).  We each hold regular office hours, and we welcome you to stop by and discuss majoring or minoring in one of our programs.

Please explore the rest of our website, which includes information about our programs and events, our English Honor Society (Sigma Tau Delta), The Write Club, TESOL’s International Teachers Organization and lively extracurricular activities, and the many positive student opinions about our department.  If you have any questions or need advice, feel free to drop by or contact me or any of our faculty by phone or email.

Come join us for an educational experience that will change your life, for the better and forever!


Kathleen Cassity, Associate Professor of English
Chair, Department of English and Applied Linguistics
1188 Fort Street Mall 201-G
kcassity@hpu.edu808-356-5235