Under the new administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has worked out its plan for teaching pretty much everything … except for Hoklo (the language better known in these parts as “Taiwanese”). There have been a lot of arguments. How early to start teaching the language? How much should be taught? Use romanization? Use zhuyin? May teachers use any kind of soap or only special kinds when washing out the mouths of students speaking the language? (OK, they don’t do that last one anymore.)
So the ministry has decided to appoint a new committee to review such questions. Decisions on these issues are expected in six months or so.
My guess would be that the ministry is going to pack the new committee with conservatives who will see to it that romanization is avoided or at least belittled, that little of the language will actually be taught, and that students will not be tested seriously on the subject. But I’ll be happy if I’m wrong.
- Jiǔ nián yīguàn kè gāng wēitiáo — dúquē Mǐnnányǔ kè gāng bùfen (九年一貫課綱微調 獨缺閩南語課綱部分), CNA, August 27, 2008
- Jiǔ nián yīguàn kè gāng wēitiáo — dú lòu Mǐnnányǔ (九年一貫課綱微調 獨漏閩南語), Liberty Times, August 28, 2008