“Now We Speak Our Own Languages” The Ministry of Education calls on social education institutions to promote local languages in response to International Mother Language Day
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has set February 21 as the annual International Mother Language Day. In order to promote local native languages to the public, the Ministry of Education (MOE) called on social education institutions and public libraries in counties and cities to participate in its upcoming activity on February 11, 2022: a conference responding to International Mother Language Day entitled “Now We Speak Our Own Language.” The MOE has also invited a French Taiwanese, Mr. Remy Gils, who is fascinated by local Taiwanese languages, to be an activity ambassador. During the conference, the Minister will draw a task card for the ambassador, Mr. Remy Gils, and then require him to complete the task in the stated local native language. By undertaking this activity, Mr. Gils will show his passion for local native languages, as well as raise awareness about the importance of cherishing all of them.
Not only do all levels of schools continue to respond to International Mother Language Day activities, but also this year there are ten new national social education institutions and public libraries in counties and cities that will respond in the middle of February. On February 19, National Taiwan Library is going to hold “Let’s Read Together: Taiwanese Sign Language Picture Books for Children,” hosted by both hearing impaired teachers and sign language interpreters, using sign language to introduce vivid picture books and engage in activities with participants. During this activity, sign languages will be orally translated by sign language interpreters. In addition, the National Taiwan Science Education Center has created science materials such as board games for biodiversity development, habitat maps and animal picture books in Taiwanese Hokkien. The Center expects to combine popular science and local languages together.
On February 12, the Kaohsiung Public Library in Kongsan is going to invite Chinese opera teacher Miss Su-Ping, Tseng from the opera group Southern Heritage, which will display elements from the classic play “Chen San Wu Niang.” Teacher Tseng will lead the participants to learn and experience some simple clips from the opera. Turning to the Taipei Public Library, this organization is proposing “Human Library” and has invited local native languages experts as the activity leaders, introducing the local native cultures of languages and encouraging people to learn these language cultures. Additionally, Lienchiang County Government has established “Let’s Speak Matsu Dialect,” where people can read picture books written in Min Dong dialect through online streaming and live activities. Overall, the MOE and social education institutions are anticipating that the local people will wholeheartedly welcome these much-anticipated events.
The events in response to International Mother Language Day are going to begin in February. There are more than 50 activities containing local native language exhibitions, board games, lectures, oral stories, local troupes and Taiwanese operas. The MOE and social education institutions welcome all people in the Republic of China (Taiwan) to participate in these language events. For more details about these activities, please browse the MOE website of local native language resources to confirm further information: https://mhi.moe.edu.tw/index.jsp.