Taiwan’s international ranking on English language capability has dropped, results from last year’s Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exams showed.
Taiwan placed last among the four Asian tigers in overall performance as well as reading and listening comprehension and essay writing, it said.
Taiwan also placed No. 16 among 20 Asian countries in last year’s International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results.
Another red flag was raised by the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) results among English teachers in Taiwan, who ranked 95 points behind teachers from all other countries in last year’s TOEIC.
Many academics and cram school operators have expressed worries that the poor showing of English teachers in Taiwan could have a negative impact on students’ language abilities.
Attendants at a forum on Friday on national foreign-language policies expressed concern at the deteriorating knowledge of English in Taiwan.
The forum was hosted by National Chengchi University’s Center for Public and Business Administration Education and the Global Education Association.
Participants called on the government to establish a comprehensive English language education policy and extend the number of weekly English lessons in elementary school from one per week to four, five or six lessons per week.
Benjamin Wang (王星威), president of Chun Shin Limited and an English Testing System representative in Taiwan, said a TOEIC score of 750 was required to be able to teach English using only the English language and text books in English.
He said that this was much higher than the teacher’s average of 539 in Taiwan.