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Chiayi City creates learning materials for local languages – launch event for Taiwanese picture book

  • PostDate:2022-02-14

Chiayi City creates learning materials for local languages – launch event for Taiwanese picture book Let’s Go to East Market


February 9, 2022

Education Department / Tourism and Information Department


        In order to preserve local languages, Chiayi City Government allows children to learn about their hometown through stories about the history economic activities of the city in their native languages. The launch event of the picture book Let’s Go to East Market, which is edited by Chiayi City Consulting Team of Local Languages with the resources provided by Chiayi City Association of Native Languages and Cultures, took place at the event center of Min Tzu Elementary School this morning. Ming-hui Huang the mayor in person made the announcement of the new book release. The picture books will be distributed to local junior high and elementary schools as a material for Taiwanese class.

        The Taiwanese picture book Let’s Go to East Market is written by the Taiwanese literature expert Man Han, and the pictures are designed by the WalkerLand illustrator Pandora. The book is Chiayi City Government’s first published Taiwanese picture book for children which tells true stories and life of children based on Chiayi City East Public Retail Market (shortened as the East Market) that is over a hundred years old. The story is heartwarming and very close to real life. It teaches children the correct way to use Taiwanese and helps them learn the language through real-life scenario. Children can even bring the book with them to visit the East Market and temples in the story.

        Huang appreciates Han for writing Chiayi City’s first Taiwanese picture book for children in the most beautiful language and Pandora for designing the pictures. Huang also thanks Principal Hsian-liang Cha and Principal Wen-yu Chen for their hard work. The book guides children to learn their native language by providing the real-life scenarios in the East Market. Books like this will become a material for the future local language learning that allows children to learn about life in their hometown. Children who read the book would be moved for it is close to our daily life. Only if we embrace and value different native languages as well as using them can they be passed down. Huang indicated that she is moved by the book and that she wants to promote it.

        “One has to speak Taiwanese frequently, otherwise they will lose it,” Man Han says. “Let’s Go to East Market includes historic buildings, history and life stories. Children who have read the book would recognize many Taiwanese words and pronunciations. I believe that children will speak fluent Taiwanese if parents read the book and practice the language with them.”

        After seeing the CRSO (Covered Ridge with Sidewalls Openings) structure of the East Market built with wood in Let’s Go to East Market, Li-sheng Lin the director of Education Department said that Chiayi City is a city of treasure and that the book well presents the beauty of the East Market. Children can learn about the beauty of their hometown through every brush stroke of the illustrator. Not only is the book a learning material for Taiwanese, but it’s also an example of cross-field teaching.

        Wen-yu Chen, the Principal of Min Tzu Elementary school and the head of Chiayi City Consulting Team of Local Languages, said: “The book is written in Taiwanese with characters and Tailo phonetic system used for the language, and some readers have to get used to it first before reading it.” In order to make it easier for children to read the book, Hsuan-de Wu, an expert in play for children, was invited as the director of the subtitled show adapted from the book starring students from Min Tzu Elementary School. The show will be uploaded online where people can learn on their mobiles or tablets. Tailo phonetic system can be a tool for students and parents to learn Taiwanese. People will find out that characters used for Taiwanese aren’t hard and they are fun to learn.

        Han, the author of the picture book, was a student from Min Tzu Elementary herself and used to live near the East Market. Apart from her experience, she interviewed well known restaurants in person to make the story true to real life. The story based on her childhood shows pure experiences and thoughts of children, which makes the book more intriguing.

        Following the success of Taiwan Design Expo in Chiayi City, limited card sleeves and key chains are released for the launch event to extend the value of the book to cultural and creative merchandize on education and to create higher value.