A group of Taiwanese elementary school teachers of English are leaving for Australia today, where they will complete a five-week English-teacher training program, the Ministry of Education said yesterday.
The 20 teachers were chosen by local governments and will participate in an English teacher's training course at the Centre for English Teaching at the University of Sydney in Australia.
An education ministry official in the Department of Secondary Education surnamed Lee said the ministry first chose qualified English teachers from remote areas, followed by those who had performed well in their respective schools.
Teachers from rural or mountainous areas were given priority in line with the ministry's goal to improve the quality of education and teaching in remote areas of the country.
Launched in 2003, the program aims to provide primary and junior high school English teachers in the country with the opportunity to pursue further education and hone their skills, Lee said.
Teachers chosen in the past were sent to either the US or Australia, she added.
The ministry hopes that the new teaching techniques learned abroad could be applied in the country and taught to other English teachers, she said.
Sandy Chen (陳思蕙), a representative from the education department at the Australian Commerce and Industry Office, said this was the second year that a group of teachers had traveled to Sydney. Last year 21 teachers made the trip.
The course content will focus on the theory and practice of Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL) and help teachers improve their English ability.
Chen said the teachers would also visit elementary schools in Sydney and be given the opportunity to teach.
"We are honored to once again be chosen by Taiwan's Ministry of Education to host their elementary school teachers," Centre for English Teaching director Janet Conroy was quoted as saying in a statement.
"We know that they will benefit from participating in this program at the University of Sydney, which offers expert instruction, new experiences and exposure to the multicultural lifestyle that Sydney is famous for," Conroy said.
Chen added that the English center had "tailor-made" the training program according to the education ministry's suggestions.
The textbooks used to teach elementary school students in Taiwan were sent to the center beforehand so they could have a better understanding of the content and methods, Chen said.