About Yami Language

  The e-learning environment in this project is designed to function as a virtual classroom. Students can select the Yami language learning materials based on their interest and capability. If a student asks for clues or explanation of a specific Yami word or expression, a suitable image or video clip is retrieved from the multimedia database. If a student is not familiar with a specific Yami sound, a similar phonetic symbol is provided to him/her. The learning materials are arranged in three different settings: scenario setting, easy-to-difficult condition setting, and learner's choice setting. The scenario setting uses related scenes in Yami society such as the flying fish festival as a main theme of the learning materials. The easy-to-difficult condition setting allows the learner to select different levels of the Yami language materials. The levels are based on word frequencies and complexity of grammar. The learner can arrange the learning materials in the chosen setting.

  We followed three principles in preparing the multimedia materials: (1) selecting interesting topics covering a wide range of genres and structures, (2) adopting a communicative task-based approach closely tied with standards and assessment, and (3) using ICT (information and communication technology) to enrich the contents and modes of presentation. The topics and sequence of grammatical structures followed the MOE standards closely. The first two volumes comprise constructed dialogues based on a story line of a Chinese student touring Orchid Island. The main character flies back to Taiwan at the end of Volume Two. The third volume includes many dialogues constructed based on the folklore and narratives we collected previously (Rau and Dong, 2006). Volume four is a collection of short stories and descriptions of cultural activities ranging from traditional to contemporary events.

  The four volumes can also be designed as a four-semester "Yami as a second language" course for college level students, meeting four hours per week. The language instructor is foregrounded, leading classroom activities, whereas the linguist is invisible because she has provided all explanations in writing. If you need any online grammar help, please e-mail Dr. Victoria Rau (dhrau@pu.edu.tw). The students are required to listen to the sound files and preview the lesson (including the dialogues, vocabulary and grammar) before they attend the class. During the first two hours of each lesson, the native speaker can use the classroom activities and assign exercise as homework. When they meet in the third hour, the students may present the results of their assigned homework. In the fourth hour, the instructor can choose to provide feedback on the students¡¦ homework or entertain questions.