A Yami language teacher’s journey in Taiwan

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Yami is spoken by 3000 speakers on Orchid Island, off the coast of Taiwan. Only one of the six villages on the island has children who still speak Yami. The rest have gradually shifted to Chinese, the medium of education. Even though the Taiwan government supports indigenous language revitalization by rewarding students doing well on examinations in their heritage language,and Yami is taught in elementary and middle schools on the island, this has not helped increase Yami language use and inter-generational transmission.This chapter describes language use and language attitudes on Orchid Island over the past ten years, followed by a case study of a Yami teacher’s journey teaching Yami at various levels of schools.


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