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Taiwan’s bilingual policy under scrutiny

Reporter Jamie Lin Pinzon
Release time:2023/06/08 18:37
Last update time:2023/06/08 18:37
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Taiwan has set an ambitious goal to become a bilingual nation by 2030. However, experts and local groups question its feasibility and raise concerns about potential drawbacks.

One of the major concerns is the unequal distribution of educational resources between rural and urban areas. Parents also worry that if teachers and students lack proficiency in English, it could further complicate the learning process and place additional stress on students.

 

Specific performance indicators have been established to gauge the progress of Taiwan's 2030 bilingual policy. These include having 60% of English classes in middle and elementary schools taught entirely in English by next year, with the plan to be fully implemented in all schools by 2030. 

Additionally, the policy aims for 50% of college students to achieve a B2 level of English proficiency based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The government has also set a goal to train 10,000 bilingual teachers.

While some may draw parallels with Singapore's successful implementation of a bilingual policy, experts caution against making direct comparisons. They assert that Taiwan's circumstances significantly differ from Singapore's and other multilingual countries, invalidating such comparisons.
 

Experts stress the importance of engaging in public discussions regarding the bilingual policy to address these concerns and potential challenges. The discussions could help adequately address the issues before they become a national concern.

In other words, achieving Taiwan's bilingual status requires a concerted effort from the government, the Taiwanese people, and society. The challenges and concerns raised by experts and local groups must be addressed through public discussions and formulating of a comprehensive long-term plan.

Taiwan can successfully navigate its journey toward becoming a bilingual nation through collaboration and a balanced approach.

The Taiwan Briefing

#bilingual nation#bilingual#educational resources#Taiwan#education

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