Language Policy


Hakka Language School 

Various schools have adopted the "Guidelines for Subsidizing the Promotion of Hakka Language Schools by the Hakka Affairs Council" in an effort to promote Hakka culture by improving the Hakka learning environment, creating more interactive opportunities for teachers and students when speaking the Hakka language, and fostering student interest and confidence to speak Hakka. Each school will implement the Hakka language plan using a formal curriculum that includes language, the arts and humanities, clubs, and integrated activities. Moreover, each participating school should arrange a Hakka Day (Week or Month) in which the school broadcasts songs during the morning independent-study hours or cleaning hours, designs Hakka-learning activities, teaches indigo dying, introduces traditional Hakka toys and delicacies, engages in occasional Hakka "ton liang e (riddle-guessing),"   organizes art competition series (creative Hakka class slogans, Hakka children song recitals, readings, story-telling, speeches, cross-talks, jokes, and drama contests), and creates a Hakka classroom environment. A rich and diverse Hakka learning environment will create more interactive opportunities for teachers and students, boost the students’ confidence to speak Hakka, and promote the Hakka language in a more meaningful, public, educational, and diverse manner. 

 

When the Hakka language school plan was first implemented in 2003, only 63 schools participated. By 2016, the number of participating elementary schools, junior high schools, and kindergartens reached 566, increasing nine-fold over 12 years. With the active participation of schools, this plan will help revive and ensure the growth of the Hakka language. 

The Hakka Affairs Council organized the “National Hakka Language Education Exhibition” starting in 2005 to offer students opportunities to learn from each other; in 2013, the event was renamed  the“National Hakka Art Competition Series”. All schools, not just the Hakka language schools, can participate in the competition, which consists of northern, central, southern, and eastern preliminary contests and one national championship. The rich content of Hakka culture will be preserved and passed on to the next generation through traditional songs, oral arts and drama. The competition aims to regenerate the vitality of Hakka culture through the students’ passion for the Hakka.


Hakka Language Teacher

Starting in 2009, the Hakka Affairs Council established the official certification "Hakka language teacher" to revive and develop the Hakka language. People who have talent in Hakka language, literature, songs, and drama will be certified and given the title "Hakka language teacher" as proof of their devotion to passing down Hakka language and culture. Hakka language teachers, families, schools, and communities are given grants in an effort to integrate and set up schools to teach Hakka language, literature, drama, and songs. Teenagers or children under the age of 19 account for half of the participants in each class and are the main subjects of the program.

From 2010 to April 2016, 3,267 people in total were certified "Hakka language teacher," and 5,144 classes have been arranged with 81,009 students in total. In addition, the "Hakka language teacher" award system grants incentives to encourage teachers who have outstanding performance when guiding students to pass Hakka certification exams. Since 2011, 379 outstanding Hakka language teachers, who have guided students to pass the basic, intermediate, and high-intermediate level tests of Yoyo Hakka Language Certification Game, have been certified and qualified for the award. 

Training courses for "Hakka language teachers" are arranged to improve their professional knowledge and skills, enhance their teaching effectiveness, and enable them to pass down Hakka culture. From 2009 to April 2016, 71 training courses have been organized with 3,204 participants. The courses have greatly improved the teaching quality of Hakka classes. 

In addition, the Hakka Affairs Council created a website especially for "Hakka language teachers" website, allowing people to submit their application for certification online. For more information, please visit https://master.hakka.gov.tw/ 

or call 02-8995-6988, ext. 657 or 652.

 

Promoting Restoration and Preservation of the Hakka Language

As a means to preserve Hakka traditional culture, ten basic Hakka language proficiency tests were held from 2005 to 2015, with 58,505 examinees passing and certified. An additional seven intermediate and high-intermediate Hakka language proficiency tests were held from 2008 to 2015, in which 25,863 examinees passed the intermediate level and 11,162 passed the high-intermediate tests. In total, 95,530 examinees passed the Hakka language proficiency and certification tests.

The Hakka Affairs Council issued “Guidelines for Awarding Scholarship to Elementary School and Junior High School Students with Distinguished Hakka Proficiency” on November 20, 1999 in an effort to increase elementary school and junior high school students’ interest in the Hakka language and encourage students to take the Hakka language proficiency tests. From January 1, 2000, elementary school and junior high school students who passed the Hakka language proficiency tests have been awarded scholarships, with NT$1,000 for basic level certification, NT$5,000 for intermediate certification, and NT$10,000 for high-intermediate certification. Starting in 2012, high school and vocational school students and above (excluding adult students) are also eligible for the scholarships. In addition, school faculty who receive an outstanding score on the Hakka language proficiency test will be given merit or even rewards. Incentives will be awarded to encourage Masters of Hakka Cultural Heritage Arts who have an outstanding record in guiding students to pass the Hakka certification exams. Registration fees are waived for examinees under the age of 19 (said examinees are only subject to the NT$150 fee for document processing). Civil servants and school faculty who have passed the Hakka language proficiency tests will also be awarded. All of the above-mentioned measures are aimed to motivate and encourage people from all walks of life to take the Hakka language proficiency exams.

The 2015 Digital Basic Hakka Language Proficiency Test took place on September 12 and 20, and the exam results were released on October 23. In total, 5,261 examinees passed the exam, 4,379 of which were students, accounting for 77.9% of those who passed the exam. The 2015 Intermediate and High-intermediate Hakka Language Proficiency Tests were held on November 22, and the test results were released on January 15, 2015. A total of 5,278 people applied for the test and 3,050 examinees passed. A total of 2,440 people passed the intermediate level, and 610 passed the high-intermediate level. Those who passed the high-intermediate level certification are eligible to apply for teaching assistant certification for Hakka language courses in elementary and junior high schools through their county (city) government. Additionally, those who pass can apply for certification of “Masters of Hakka Cultural Heritage Arts”. Once they complete the certification, people can apply for a grant from the Hakka Affairs Council to establish Hakka language tutorial institutes to create a comprehensive Hakka-language learning environment.

The Hakka Affairs Council organized the first-ever Yoyo Hakka LanguageCertification Game program for Hakka language proficiency for children aged five to six years old in effort to establish a foundation for Hakka language learning. The program uses interactive games to test children’s Hakka listening and speaking skills. In 2012, 3,024 children registered for the program and 2,439 passed and were certified. In 2013, more exam rooms were set up to facilitate the examination process, and a total of 3,382 out of 3,713 registered children passed the test. In 2014, 5,010 children registered for the test, and 4,570 passed the test. In 2015, 5,548 children registered for the test, and 5,007 passed the test.

Moreover, the Hakka Affairs Council has launched digital basic Hakka language proficiency tests to continue its language preservation efforts, allowing for more test-takers, shorter examination time, and reduction in resource waste and exam cost. Those interested in the Hakka language can search for tests online anytime. In May 2013, the online certification “100 Hakka Sentences” was released for people to learn 100 basic Hakka sentences online anytime, anywhere — providing online certification for even those living abroad.

 

Barrier-free Hakka Language Environment 


In order to establish an environment suitable for the growth of the Hakka language and bring it into mainstream usage, the program aims to encourage villages, towns and cities to work with communities, civic groups, stores, and businesses in an effort to promote growth and effectively preserve the Hakka language. The objective is for the Hakka language to become more popular, used in the public domain, and accessible in everyday life. With over 90 villages and towns that have a Hakka population of at least 10%, villages, towns and cities are urged to promote the program depending on their own characteristics and needs. Meanwhile, the program returns the Hakka language to the public domain, promotes Hakka language barrier-free environments, and urges large hospitals such as NTU Hospital, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Veterans General Hospital, and Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital to set up Hakka language service counters to serve more Hakka people