The Plan is Phase II of the “Six-Year Plan for Taiwan’s Indigenous Languages Revitalization (2008-2013)” which further strengthens the force and depth of implementation of the various measures for revitalizing Taiwan’s indigenous languages. Overall, this Plan aims to “reinvigorate ” Taiwan’s indigenous languages and to realize the substantiality of “linguistic rights” and the basic human rights of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. Specifically, the six goals of the Plan are as follows:
I. Create an living and learning environment for indigenous languages
With respect to the experience and theories regarding the revitalization of ethnic minority languages in Western countries, the effectiveness of revitalization of indigenous languages can only be observed through intergenerational inheritance in families, villages, and communities. Based on the foundation of Phase I, this Plan continues to enhance indigenous languages learning in families and in villages. And building a sound environment for living with and learning indigenous languages was set as the goal We hope to form a trend of “speaking and learning indigenous languages” in the entire indigenous society and thereby promote the revitalization of indigenous languages through promoting indigenous languages in families, villages, and communities.
II. Developing a complete system for indigenous language learning
To supplement the insufficiency of diverse learning methods and channels in Phase I, this Plan will develop a systemic learning measure for indigenous languages for each learning stage and enhance the implementation of “immersive learning of indigenous languages for preschoolers.” This Plan arranges channels for learning indigenous languages corresponding to stages, including preschool education, school education, and adult learning. This Plan will also develop various convenient e-learning materials in response to evolving information technology.
III. Cultivating talents for revitalizing indigenous languages
The revitalization of indigenous languages requires the engagement of sufficient personnel. Therefore, the education of talents for revitalizing indigenous languages has become exceptionally important. In this Plan, we will establish a complete education system, including basic, fundamental, advanced, and professional trainings to educate more talents for revitalizing indigenous languages. In addition, to further developing higher-level specialists of indigenous languages, we will collaborate with colleges and universities to introduce master’s and doctoral programs for indigenous languages studies and fund talents for short-term overseas training or organize international symposia to learn the strategies and teaching methods for revitalizing indigenous languages from other countries.
IV. Developing comprehensive teaching materials for indigenous languages
Apart from editing three sets of teaching materials: “Alphabet”, “Daily Conversation”, and “Reading and Writing” in Phase I and continuing to edit advanced “Cultural Creation” teaching materials, we will subsidize the publication of children’s picture books, translated readers, literature, and grammar books in indigenous languages to diversify teaching materials. In addition, we will build the “Indigenous Languages Resources Integration Platform” and “e-Learning Web” for different learners to use various learning and teaching materials conveniently.
V. Realizing the basic contents of linguistic rights
The definitions and contents of linguistic rights may vary in different countries due to societal differences. However, according to the experiences of developed Western countries: language is one “freedom” that no country should intervene with the free use of language of its people. In addition, linguistic rights form part of social rights that every country is obliged to promote such rights voluntarily. Furthermore, to indigenous peoples or ethnic minorities, the language is a “collective right” relating to the sustainable development of an ethnic group. Therefore, based on the foundation of Phase I, this Plan hopes to continue to realize the basic contents of linguistic rights to fulfill the country’s constitutional obligations.
VI. Eliminating gender discrimination and promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion by the constitution
To eliminate gender discrimination and promote substantial gender equality, we will encourage governments of all levels and private groups to incorporate gender identity and gender awareness to the revitalization of indigenous languages. Apart from effectively enhancing the preservation and development of indigenous languages, we will also educate our plan participants to appreciate the value of respecting diversity and tolerating differences.
I. Optimizing the laws and regulations for indigenous languages
The Council of Indigenous Peoples have invited experts and scholars and surveyed public opinions to amend and establish the following laws and regulations:
1.“Indigenous Languages Development Act”: The Act is established to specify matters in relation to the preservation, inheritance, and development of indigenous languages to ensure the linguistic rights of indigenous peoples.
2.“Regulations for Certification of Indigenous Language Proficiency”: These regulations are amended in coordination with the Indigenous Language Proficiency Test.
3.“Directions for Incentivizing Communities Revitalizing Indigenous Languages”: These Directions are established to incentivize communities revitalizing indigenous languages under subparagraph 3, paragraph 6, of this Article.
4.“Directions for Subsidizing Caregivers Using Indigenous Languages”: These Directions are established to promote “Plan for Subsidizing Caregivers Using Indigenous Languages” section II-1-(1) of this Plan.
5.“Directions for Subsidizing Indigenous Languages Research”: These Directions are established to encourage the investigation, collection, and study of the corpus of Taiwan’s indigenous languages.
6.“Directions for Promoting Immersive Kindergartens of Indigenous Languages”: These Directions are established to promote the establishment of kindergartens teaching in indigenous languages under the “Directions for Subsidizing Caregivers Using Indigenous Languages” section II-1-(1) of this Plan.
II. Establish a complete system for indigenous language learning
From the experiences and theories regarding the language revitalization of ethnic minorities in Western countries, immersion teaching (or language immersion) for children is proven to be the most effective language program to preserve the native language(s) of a country. Children enrolled in the language immersion program make significant progress in the proficiency of indigenous languages, and the effectiveness of revitalization of indigenous languages can only be seen through intergenerational inheritance in families, villages, and communities. Hence, learning mechanisms corresponding to different age groups and learners of different levels will be planned and designed to develop a complete system for learning indigenous languages according to the following methods.
1. Language immersion program for preschoolers (age 0-6)
(1) Directions for Subsidizing Caregiver Using Indigenous languages (age 0-2)
A. Education of caregiver using indigenous languages: There are two sources for caregivers using indigenous languages: (a) guidance for people passing the indigenous language proficiency test (ILPT) to acquire the caregiver license; and (b) provision of language and cultural trainings for those graduated from related disciplines or certified caregivers.
B. Implementation methods: Caregivers are divided into “relative-based” and “general” caregivers and requested to interact with infants with indigenous languages for infants to naturally acquire indigenous languages in an “indigenous languages only” (immersive) environment. Apart from offering in-home parent-child classes and parenting education and sharing activities, teaching aids or picture books will be developed for the reference of caregiver using indigenous languages.
C. In addition, this Plan will be implemented according to the provisions in relation to the principles of home childcare management according to the “Building A Friendly Childcare Environment: Child Caregivers Management and Childcare Fee Subsidization Implementation Plan.”
(2) Plan for Subsidizing Kindergartens Adopting Indigenous languages Immersion Program (age 3-6)
A.Instructor training: Arrange various training courses for early childhood graduates to improve their command of indigenous languages and guide them to become preschool assistant educators in kindergartens.
B.Implementation methods: Build the immersion environment for indigenous languages in suitable kindergartens and plan learning courses by fully integrating the cultural and ecological resources in the village or community.
C.The implementation contents and resources allocation of this plan will avoid overlapping with existing affairs of the Ministry of Education to prevent repeated investments of resources.
2.Courses for students learning indigenous languages (age 7-18)
In addition to the regular courses for learning indigenous languages, we will organize the following courses for indigenous language learning:
(1) First language learning:
Immersive indigenous language pilot class in elementary schools
Select suitable elementary schools in cooperation with local governments to implement immersive indigenous language pilot class in lower years.
Village-specific language school program
Encourage junior and senior high schools to sign up to the village-specific language school program of the Council of Indigenous Peoples.
(2) Second language learning:
Organizing thematic language training camps
1. Organize language training camps for young indigenous peoples living in the metropolitan areas for a long time to return to their indigenous hometowns and develop their ethnic identities.
2. Encourage cooperation with feature schools in indigenous townships.
Promoting the “indigenous language engraining plan” through church
Subsidize indigenous churches to promote the “Indigenous Language Engraining Plan.” Apart from strengthening the language preservation and development functions of churches, this plan allows indigenous people to learn the indigenous language at church.
3. Activities for college and university students to learn indigenous languages:
Encourage colleges and universities to offer courses on indigenous languages and indigenous student groups to organize activities in relation to learn indigenous languages and cultures.
4. Opportunities for adults to re-learn indigenous languages:
Provide adults with opportunities for re-learning indigenous languages through the indigenous language learning family program, church indigenous language engraining plan, community university indigenous language learning courses, indigenous language learning family program, and indigenous language tutoring program.
III. Promoting the Romanization and digital archives of indigenous languages
1. Continuation of the compilation of a dictionary of Taiwan’s indigenous languages
(1) Apart from continuing the compilation of the Dictionary of Kebalan Language, a comprehensive review of the accuracy and supplementation of the inadequacies of the contents of the dictionaries of 16 indigenous languages from 14 indigenous groups will be conducted to accurately preserve the languages of each indigenous group and provide an important reference and resource for instructors of indigenous languages and an tool for self-learners of indigenous languages.
(2) Continue to implement the Indigenous Lexicon e-Platform Construction Plan.
2. Continuation of the compilation of teaching materials for indigenous languages: Apart from continuing with the compilation of two sets of teaching materials “Reading and Writing” and “Literary Works” under the “Indigenous Languages Teaching Materials Compilation Plan”, various promotional activities will be organized to plan and design the compilation of auxiliary learning materials like “Student Workbook”.
3. Subsidization for the publication of textbooks on indigenous languages: The development of indigenous languages evolved from “spoken languages” to “writing systems”, and it requires linguistic expertise in “phonology”, “morphology,” and “syntax.” Therefore, to develope Romanization and promote the standardization and normalization of indigenous languages, we will subsidize the publication of all types of textbooks in relation to the word formation, grammar, or poetry of indigenous languages.
4. Construction of a portal for indigenous language learning:
(1) Building an open platform for compiling teaching materials: Government entities or private groups will be commissioned to build an open platform for indigenous languages teaching materials and for people who are interested in editing indigenous languages books to exchange ideas on this platform.
(2) Uploading all types of indigenous language teaching materials: All types of indigenous language teaching materials complied by the Council of Indigenous Peoples will be put on a portal website. Those interested learners can learn from the portal and its strengthened the interactive learning functions.
(3) Building a media platform: Encourage the production of videos, animations, or “indigenous languages in modern society” documentaries with resources on the Internet and build an online media platform. More people will be able to learn indigenous languages easily through the convenient Internet resources.
IV. Promoting the research and development of indigenous languages
Delegation or subsidization to the Indigenous Education and Research Center in colleges and universities to setup the “Center for the Research and Development of Indigenous Languages” and to engage in the following matters:
(1) Loanword and new vocabulary research.
(2) Syntax and morphology research.
(3) Indigenous languages teaching research.
(4) ILPT research and establishment.
(5) Research and development of the policies for the revitalization of indigenous languages.
(6) Construction and operation of the corpus of indigenous languages website.
2. Continuation of the “Survey on the Status and Attitude of Use of Indigenous Languages” to understand the command of and attitude toward indigenous languages of indigenous peoples of different age groups to provide a reference for establishing measures for revitalizing indigenous languages.
V. Empowerment and trainings of personnel for revitalizing indigenous languages
1. Empowerment and trainings of personnel for revitalizing indigenous languages by stages:
To provide opportunities for empowerment and trainings for those interested in the teaching and revitalization of indigenous languages in order to strengthen their professional competencies, CIP will develop a complete training system and invest in appropriate teaching venues and indigenous language revitalization fields based on the professional conditions from trainings.
(1) Basic training: The development of indigenous languages evolved from “spoken languages” to “writing systems”; and it require the knowledge of “phonology”, “morphology”, and “syntax”. They must be acquired and become a habit before personnel can promote standardization and normalization of indigenous languages after Romanization. Therefore, we will open the “Indigenous Languages Writing Symbols Training Course” in collaboration with 15 indigenous universities across Taiwan to train personnel for revitalizing indigenous languages in different ethnic groups, different townships, and different villages to get familiar with the writing system of indigenous languages.
(2) Elementary training: Arrange “Training for ILPT-Certified Personnel of Indigenous Languages” for ILPT-certified personnel, we provide them with the opportunities to become instructors of indigenous languages. And trainings are based on their specialties and interests and they get to familiarize themselves with the structure of indigenous languages and learn the theories and skills of teaching indigenous languages. They then become the assistant instructors of indigenous languages, teach indigenous languages in indigenous or community universities or support indigenous languages teaching at elementary and junior high schools to demonstrate their specialties and what they have acquired.
(3) Advanced training: Colleges and universities will be selected to organize advanced trainings through open selection. The country will be divided into five regions. Advanced trainings will be arranged for those who completed the elementary trainings and the in-service indigenous teachers. For indigenous peoples participating in the elementary trainings, they will receive advanced trainings. The advanced trainings are organized in two types:
A. Training Program for Teaching Indigenous Languages: The program is divided into three levels, including the “Basic Course,” “Advanced Course,” and “Research and Development Course,” totaling 120 hours. They offer professional courses on class management, lesson plans, teaching methodologies, teaching techniques, production and flexible use of teaching aids. Through the long-term and hierarchical learning process, trainees can strengthen their professional competencies in teaching indigenous languages.
B. Training Program for Compiling Teaching Materials for Indigenous Languages: Like the above teaching program, this program is divided into three levels with a total length of 120 hours on the writing system, morphology, and syntax of indigenous languages; and the principles, rules, and skills for compiling teaching materials. This program aims to strengthen the trainee’s competency in compiling teaching materials for indigenous languages.
(4) Professional training program: Divided into the following two courses:
A. Test Question Preparation Expertise Training Course: Training and education for test question preparation personnel of different indigenous groups (3-5 talents from each of the 42 dialects).
B. Translation Expertise Training Course: Training and education for translation personnel of different indigenous groups (5-7 talents from each indigenous group).
(5) Organization of other related empowerment activities: Subsidize governments of all levels to organize observation and learning activities and seminars on language teaching materials and teaching methods for indigenous languages to research and develop teaching methods for indigenous languages, in order to improve the expertise of instructors of indigenous languages.
2. Organization of international visits and exchange or short-term overseas trainings: Combined with the Talent Education Plan of the Council of Indigenous Peoples to encourage outstanding in-service indigenous teachers and indigenous languages assistants to engage in international visits and exchange or short-term overseas trainings.
3. Education of professionals for producing mass media programs for indigenous languages learning: To cultivate different kinds of talents for revitalizing indigenous languages and to meet the demand for learning indigenous languages with multimedia, we proactively train voice acting professionals and scriptwriters in each indigenous group.
4. Continuation of the expansion of the talent pool for revitalizing indigenous languages: Gather the information of professionals for revitalizing indigenous languages in different indigenous groups and build the talent pool for revitalizing indigenous languages for governments and schools of all levels to select appropriate talents conveniently.
VI. Building a living environment of indigenous language:
1. Encouragement and promotion of indigenous language revitalization in villages:
(1) Encouragement of voluntary promotion: Encourage villages to voluntarily promote the village-based revitalization of indigenous languages; stimulate indigenous peoples in communities and villages to value indigenous languages; combine the strength of schools in villages and communities, local elites, the churches, and enthusiasts from all parts of the society to re-build a dynamic and static environment for revitalizing indigenous languages.
(2) Evaluation and commendation: Invite experts and scholars to set the indicators for evaluating the indigenous language revitalization in the villages, and accepting applications for evaluation of villages. Villages evaluated as excellent indigenous language revitalization will be rated as model indigenous language revitalization villages. Apart from open commendation, they will be rewarded with cash incentives.
2. Use of mass media to increase the opportunities for exposure and use of indigenous languages
(1) Production of public information films (PIFs) to enhance the awareness of indigenous languages: Subsidize the production of PIFs and microcinemas and enhance publicity with the full use of broadcast, TV media, and the Internet; encourage parents to teach children indigenous languages at home and in communities and to speak indigenous languages; and to promote the Community Mother Tongue Day to raise the awareness and lead the trend to learn indigenous languages in indigenous villages and communities.
(2) Subsidization for producing radio and TV programs or publications using indigenous languages.
3. Promotion of building the accessible environment for indigenous languages in government entities.
VII. Rescuing endangered indigenous languages:
Plan subsidized projects for the mentored indigenous languages learning for nine endangered indigenous languages, including SaySiyat language. Major matters include:
1. Continuation of the guidance for the rescue teams of various indigenous languages.
2. Enhancing the breadth and depth of the mentored learning of endangered indigenous languages.
3. Dubbing the videos of indigenous seniors.
4. Establishment of strategies for revitalizing the indigenous languages with special culture of individual indigenous groups.
VIII. Implementing the indigenous languages proficiency test (ILPT):
The ILPT will include four levels: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, and Heritage. Candidates can apply for the level appropriate to their command of indigenous languages. However, before implementing the ILPT, we will continue to organize the “Indigenous Languages Certification Test” for general indigenous peoples and the “Test of Indigenous Cultural and Linguistic Competencies for Preferential Admission to Higher Education” for indigenous students.
The ILPT will be implemented through the following three aspects:
1. Building an ILPT data bank:
To define the difficulty, reliability, competency and classification of each ILPT level, after meeting the standard of each ILPT level, a “handbook for preparation of test questions” will be compiled according to the listening, speaking, reading, and writing competencies specified for each ILPT level. This handbook will also serve as a reference for the preparation of test questions.
Provide trainings to members of written and oral test committee , so they are able to learn the principles and skills for preparing questions for indigenous languages to equip them with the ability to identify the difficulty, reliability, competency and classification of the tests; while oral test personnel will acquire the skills and objective rating standards of the oral tests for indigenous languages.
3. Organization of the ILPT:
After the institutionalization of ILPT, amendment of related laws and regulations, construction of the data banks of individual ILPT levels, and the education of personnel for written and oral test, the ILPT will be implemented.
IX. Organizing competitions using indigenous languages and commendation activities:
1. Organizing competitions for dramas, recitations, speeches, singing, and puzzles (scrabbles) using indigenous languages.
2. Organizing competitions for literature, teaching materials, teaching aids, and lesson plans using indigenous languages.
3. Commending individuals, families, villages, groups, or enterprises with outstanding performance in preserving and inheriting indigenous languages.
X. Organizing visits, guidance, and evaluation:
1. Planning visit and guidance work and develop various evaluation indicators.
2. Establishing visit, guidance and evaluation teams: Establishing visit and guidance teams with local native language guidance team of each county and city and evaluation teams to enable a full review of the effectiveness of learning indigenous languages.