Sat, Oct 14, 2017 - Page 3 News List

MOE to promote English as official language: Lai

By Chen Yu-fu, Lee Hsin-fang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said he would instruct the Ministry of Education (MOE) to establish a promotional committee on making English the nation’s second official language.

Lai made the remarks in response to a question by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) during the Legislative Yuan’s plenary session.

Wu asked Lai whether he intended to follow his own example while serving as Tainan mayor and make English the nation’s second official language.

Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said that while there has been some qualitative increase in English-language education in the nation, it was still lacking, adding that the Ministry of Education would continue to promote English-language education.

The ministry would continue to examine whether to establish a task force on the matter, Pan said.

The importance of English in an increasingly globalized world needs no further emphasis, Lai said, adding that he made English an official language of the Tainan City Government precisely because it would increase the competitive edge of the city’s children.

The original plan was for the city’s businesses and universities, as well as the Tainan Bureau of Education, to make English the established second official language of the city within 10 years, he said.

Promoting an official language in a city is different from promoting it nationwide, Lai said, adding that the ministry might consider establishing a promotional committee to conduct preliminary research.

At a separate event yesterday, Jamie Lin (林之晨), a nominee for the Taiwan Junior Chamber’s list of 10 most distinguished youths, told Pan and Lai that the nation’s English-language education has failed, which would affect the government’s promotion of the New Southbound Policy and its economic transition plans.

Pan said the ministry would begin assembling a promotional committee comprised of academics and experts.

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