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Philippine office to open courses to train language teachers

2017/08/11 19:01:55

(Photo courtesy of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office)

Taipei, Aug. 11 (CNA) The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), the Philippines' representative office in Taiwan, has decided to open basic training courses for Philippine spouses in the country to serve as teachers of the Philippine national language, Tagalog.

The language lecturer training program was inspired by the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration's New Southbound Policy and Taiwan's new educational policy, the office said in a statement released Friday.

Starting the academic year of 2018 that begins in September next year, elementary school students around Taiwan will be allowed to learn one of seven Southeast Asian languages, while junior and senior high school students will be able to pick one as a selective subject, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE).

The seven foreign languages on offer are the official languages of Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

MECO said that its training program was designed as the preliminary training for the New Residents Language Education Resource Center, which is run by Taiwan's MOE.

Once they pass the training, the program participants will be allowed to receive official training at the center to become certified teachers, the office said. This year, 50 Philippine spouses will finish the preliminary training, it added.

The program will not just promote Tagalog in Taiwan but will also offer an additional work opportunity for Philippines living in the country, the MECO said.

According to Taiwan's National Immigration Agency data, as of June this year, there were 8,919 Philippine spouses in Taiwan, not including those holding Republic of China ID cards.

Since Tsai took office as president in May 2016, her administration has been promoting its New Southbound Policy, which seeks to advance ties with Southeast and South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.

The policy also seeks to enhance cultural and talent exchanges with the targeted countries, Tsai has said.

(By Scarlett Chai and Elizabeth Hsu)