Teaching the local language

Since 2021, I have been taking part in series of courses organized by Okinawa’s Shimakutuba Fukyu Center, an institution that aims to promote the endangered local heritage languages of the Ryukyu islands. The series is being rolled out in different regions/islands of Okinawa and I was able to join the courses for Yaeyama. The course’ aim is to give native speakers of the dialect/language, and those interested, tools and guidance to teach the language, especially to children. There was a small awarding ceremony on October 28 for the graduates of the advanced level. This was followed by six classes taught by participants in the program. Participants in the classes were mainly Ishigaki residents, including some kids. I did the introduction lesson ‘Languages of the world, the language of Ishigaki’, including a simple greeting and self-introduction. Looking forward to further promote the language and to encourage people to speak it more.