Integrating Hakka Language into the 12-Year National Education Curriculum -- Nanhu Elementary School, Dahu Township, Miaoli County

Policy Goals:
To incentivize schools at the time of School-decided Curriculum to use interactive and real-life study methods to integrate Hakka culture into modern life and use the education syllabus to deepen Hakka language learning so that the teaching of Hakka language and culture can have more complete curriculum focus and content, and in keeping with the 12-Year National Education’s general curriculum concepts of “spontaneity, interaction and the common good.” Also to develop holistic education so that students can advance their ability in Hakka language and culture and further cultivate the core literacy that a modern citizen should have, to achieve the education concept and objective of promoting talent cultivation and lifelong learning to help every child achieve their goals.

Implementation Outline:
The Hakka Affairs Council from the 2018 academic year implemented the “Integrating Hakka Language into the 12-Year National Education Curriculum Implementation Plan,” implementing a “flexible study course” model for junior high and elementary schools and required the school-decided curriculum, elective courses, group activity time or flexible study time for senior high school level. With the subsidies, the training of teachers, and the development of integrated courses that focus on the revival of language, [the goal is to] make Hakka a teaching language, combine it with other disciplines, or mix it into other topics or areas, or in other courses incorporate relevant Hakka language and cultural content, to have an integrated model instead of teaching subjects individually and separately. The concept and implementation of interdisciplinary integration allows students to learn, gain, and apply comprehensive knowledge, so that the core literacy of autonomous action, communication, and social participation can be developed gradually.

Example of Results:
The “Medicinal Plants -- Hakka Treasure (植藥健康 客家寶)” course at Nanhu Elementary School (南湖國民小學), Dahu Township, Miaoli County is an interdisciplinary “integrated theme/topic/issue inquiry course” implemented with age groups grade one through six. To promote the students’ knowledge, identification, application, innovation and promotion of Hakka language and culture, the course content is divided into the segments including “Hakka language applications, stories from history, culture and living, local industries, cultural and creative design, and promotion and marketing.” For each grade, the curriculum is designed according to the standard from the basic to advanced level, adopting the spiral approach to conform to the principles of course sequence, continuity, and integration.

Based on students’ physical and mental development and school-based student performance indicators, the teaching focus lets students use their five senses to explore plants, and apply Hakka language sentence forms to sort out learning strategies and express discoveries and thoughts. The second grade curriculum includes common medicinal plants that can also be used for tea, such as mint, lemongrass, chameleon plant and Bidens alba, along with developing students’ knowledge also guiding them into the roles of the observer and explorer to differentiate and record the names, appearance, culture and lifestyle applications of medicinal plants. In the classroom teachers naturally use Hakka to teach or converse with students, allowing the students to get used to hearing and speaking Hakka, and learning the knowledge of their Hakka forebears and how they used the medicinal plants around them, further passing on the Hakka cultural spirit.