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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This study explores whether a Truku Seediq kindergarten immersion program in Taiwan has contributed to stemming indigenous language erosion. The preliminary results suggest areas for improvement in the ongoing project, and may serve as a starting point for future preschool indigenous language immersion programs. The project centers on five activities: (1) weekly culture-based language classes, (2) bimonthly teachers’ empowerment workshops, (3) online documentation of teaching processes and activities, (4) advisory visits and evaluations, and (5) development of pedagogical materials. Data were collected through focus group interviews, observations, advisory visits, and proficiency tests. The results show both that the immersion program improves the children’s proficiency and that it faces obstacles: lack of qualified teachers proficient in the language and culture-based teaching, insufficient hours of immersion and co-teaching with elders, imperfect communication in the administrative system, obstacles to collaboration with families and communities, and lack of effective pedagogical materials and proficiency tests.

Keywords: preschool, indigenous language, culture-based teaching, immersion program, language revitalization

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