Thanks to sponsorship from the US State Department, National Cheng Kung University is now offering a medical program in English to improve its medical students’ use of the language.
Tsai Mei-ling (蔡美玲), director of the Office of International Affairs at the university’s College of Medicine, said the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) had accepted her proposal for the US’ English Language Specialist Program — a project funded by the State Department that sends US academics specializing in teaching English as a second or foreign language abroad to help develop curriculum, textbooks, or hold training seminars for teachers.
Upon acceptance of the proposal, the Office of English Language Programs at the State Department dispatched Andrew Noonan, one of the fellows of the program, to offer a 10-month medical English program to the College of Medicine, she said.
Tsai said Taiwanese medical students need to develop a more “global vision” and “awareness as citizens of the global village” if they hoped to increase their participation in international medical missions.
In addition, Tsai said, medical majors should also be encouraged to help the nation develop medical tourism with Taiwanese characteristics.
“To reach this goal, encouraging students to participate in overseas training and international rescue is an important start,” Tsai said. “The improvement of the use of professional [medical] English is the only way to motivate this very first step.”
During a meeting with university president Michael Lai (賴明詔) in Tainan on Thursday, Scott Robinson, director of AIT’s American Culture Center, praised Taiwan’s medical system, adding that he expected the program to contribute to greater participation by Taiwanese medical students in developing medical tourism and in international medical or rescue services.
In a related development, Tony Lin (林文通), director of the Ministry of Education’s Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations, said the ministry planned to expand foreign intern exchanges between Taiwan and France.
The ministry and the French Institute in Taipei launched the exchange program three years ago to enhance mutual understanding, with Taiwan sending a number of teaching assistants to teach Mandarin in secondary schools in France, while France sent students to Taiwan to serve as teaching assistants in French classes.
Eleven Taiwanese students were sent to France this year, while 10 French students came to Taiwan.
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