MOE to launch bilingual education center in Kaohsiung

03/29/2021 09:43 PM
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From left to right: Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai, AIT Director Brent Christensen, Education Minister Pan Wen-chung and NSYSU President Cheng Ying-yao. Photo courtesy of NSYSU
From left to right: Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai, AIT Director Brent Christensen, Education Minister Pan Wen-chung and NSYSU President Cheng Ying-yao. Photo courtesy of NSYSU

Kaohsiung, March 29 (CNA) A bilingual education center will be established in National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) in Kaohsiung, as part of the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative launched in December 2020, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced Monday.

The university will partner with Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Kaohsiung's Education Bureau in rolling out the plan, Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said at the opening of a bilingual education symposium at NSYSU.

The move is part of a series of efforts to be made under the U.S.-Taiwan initiative against the backdrop of the government's goal of making the nation bilingual by 2030, as well as the U.S. policy objective of limiting Chinese influence in the U.S. on national security grounds.

According to the MOE, the center will be tasked with providing English-language training for university professors and teaching assistants to foster their ability to teach in English.

The center will also help boost the English proficiency of elementary and high school teachers through language courses, and collaborate with them on developing bilingual teaching materials.

In addition, it will be responsible for formulating digital resources for Chinese-language learners and building a teaching platform for Chinese-language teachers.

The exact date as to when the center will come to fruition is yet to be announced, said the MOE, adding that more details will be released soon.

Taiwan and the U.S. have long benefited from high-level cooperation on education, said American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen at the opening of the symposium.

"The moment is now ripe for deepening that cooperation, especially in teaching and studying Chinese and English," he added.

NSYSU President Cheng Ying-yao (鄭英耀) said the university decided in 2020 that it would have all its post-graduate programs taught in English and would provide English-language courses in every department by 2030.

Cheng pledged to promote bilingual education at the university and support elementary and high schools in their efforts to foster more bilingual talent.

More than 250 people took part in Monday's symposium, the MOE said, noting that educators, including teaching assistants from the U.S.-sponsored Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program, were invited to share their experience on bilingual education.

(By Wang Shwu-fen and Teng Pei-ju)

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