Thu, Aug 06, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Special classes for children of foreign spouses planned

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Education yesterday approved a project to improve the quality of education for children of foreign spouses.

Lu Hung-lin (呂虹霖), a section chief at the ministry’s Department of Elementary Education, told reporters that the ministry would provide primary and junior high schools with subsidies to be used for Mandarin classes for children with low Mandarin proficiency.

There would be a maximum of 20 sessions during the winter vacation and 80 sessions during the summer vacation, the ministry said.

The children would also have up to 72 classes during each semester. Schools would be obliged to have either the children’s foreign parents or interpreters present during the classes to help teachers and students communicate, the ministry said.

Schools should also provide classes to help children of foreign spouses learn the mother tongue of their foreign parents so that the children could identify with and be willing to speak the parent’s mother tongue, Lu said.

The children will spend up to four sessions during the winter vacation and eight sessions during the summer vacation learning their parent’s mother tongue, the ministry said.

“The ministry is to grant stipends to local governments for printing or purchasing teaching materials, brochures and clothing to help teachers teach different cultures to students,” Lu said.

The ministry is also encouraging schools to work with civic groups and arrange for the groups to visit the children’s families for counseling, Lu said.

The project is meant to help children adapt to life in Taiwan and at school, given the rising number of children of foreign spouses, the ministry said.

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