First Hakka-English Experimental Elementary School in Taiwan Partners with Sister School: Chiao Yu Experimental Elementary School Signs MOU with Plascrug School

The Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) arranged the partnership between Miaoli Chiao Yu Multiple Intelligence Experimental Elementary School and Ysgol Gymunedol Plascrug Community School as sister schools on February 19, in order to learn from the successful language revitalization in Wales and mirror their experience. Chiao Yu Experimental Elementary School Principal Lee Wen-chi and Plascrug School Head Teacher Berian Lewis formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with HAC Deputy Minister Fan Tso-ming and Miaoli Deputy Magistrate Teng Kuei-chu acting as witnesses.

Deputy Minister Fan stated that Chiao Yu Experimental Elementary School began teaching in Hakka and English two years ago with assistance from HAC, showing splendid achievements in Hakka language promotion. It is a pleasure to behold the tightening of bonds between Chiao Yu and Plascrug. The goal is to create more international connections, conduct more exchanges on mother language promotion, and enable the Hakka language to live on.

Chiao Yu Experimental Elementary School is the first in Taiwan to teach in Hakka and English, with the educational mission of helping students develop multiple intelligences. The learning environment is designed to provide an immersive experience entirely in Hakka. Starting in 2022, HAC has assisted in its transition to an experimental school. Chiao Yu Experimental Elementary School shares the same ideals with HAC’s exchange partner Plascrug School: to revitalize their mother tongue. HAC served as intermediary between both institutions in the hopes that they share about their experiences in minority language bilingual education in the future, mutually helping revitalize their mother tongues.

Wales is a country in the United Kingdom with a rich history and a unique language and culture. To learn from their mother tongue revitalization and promotion efforts, HAC sent a delegation to visit several schools in Wales in 2023. On the occasion of the International Mother Language Day, HAC organized the Hakka Language Education Forum on February 21 and 22, 2024. Plascrug School Head Teacher Berian Lewis and Prifysgol Aberystwyth University Professor Dr. Hanna Binks were invited to talk about their experience promoting their mother language, making a great contribution to the Forum and motivating attendants to continue their mother tongue-related work by expanding their global outlook and offering opportunities for collaboration.