Wed, Dec 01, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Survey finds much room for English improvement

POOR MARKS Although this year's ratings were better than last, the nation received low marks in many areas including legal explanations, according to a recent survey

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Although the approval rating of the nation's English-language environment has improved this year, it still received failing grades in most areas, according to an official survey released yesterday.

The poll, conducted by the Cabinet's Research, Development and Evaluation Commission between Aug. 18 and Oct. 25, found that foreign visitors and residents were most satisfied with the English language environment at ports of entry and departure. This year's approval rate, 66.5 percent, represented a 4.6 percent increase from last year's 61.9 percent.

The English language environment at police departments was rated as the least satisfactory, with approval standing at an embarrassing 28 percent. Still, that figure was a 5.5 percent increase over last year.

Foreign visitors and residents gave the English at shopping centers the lowest mark last year, while they were most satisfied with the English at ports of entry and departure.

The survey questioned respondents about their satisfaction with the English in 12 different areas, including traffic, port of entries, tourism and leisure, shopping and consuming, hotels and restaurants, mass media, educational and cultural institutions, medical services, police departments, financial institutions, social welfare agencies and the business investment environment.

In addition to the overall satisfaction survey, the poll also questioned foreign visitors' satisfaction with the English at government agencies.

While respondents said they were most satisfied with governments' English-language Web sites (55.5 percent), they found the English versions of laws and regulations least satisfactory (36.9 percent).

Respondents of last year's survey also rated the government English-language Web sites as the most satisfactory (50.5 percent) and the English-language laws and regulations least satisfactory (27.8 percent).

This poll surveyed respondents about their satisfaction with government agencies' efforts in creating an English-language environment in five major areas: government agencies' services, civil servants ability, English-language government publications, government Web sites and laws and regulations.

In related news, the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission is scheduled to hold an English-language environment expo from Friday to Sunday at Shinkong Mitsukoshi Department Store in Taipei City's Xinyi District.

Performances, cocktails, music and prize drawings are part of the three-day event, which promises fun and entertainment.

To coincide with the expo, the commission is scheduled to honor 64 government agencies for their efforts in promoting English environment on the first day of the expo.

While 29 government agencies will receive the "best performance" award, 35 will receive the "good performance" award.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Division of Foreign Affairs under the National Police Administration are not on this year's winning list because they were awarded the "best performance" award last year.

Winners of the "best performance" award are not allowed to enter the same competition for three years after receiving the award.

Four central government agencies will be honored for the "best performance" award this year. They are the Government Information Office, Industrial Development Bureau, Institute of Nuclear Energy Research and National Police Administration.

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