Premier William Lai (賴清德) will next year present clear-cut goals for the government’s plan to make English a second official language, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said yesterday.
The Ministry of Education will present an official report to Lai in the next few weeks on its recommendations for adopting English as an official language alongside Mandarin, Kolas said, after Lai discussed the issue in an interview with the Chinese-language Economic Daily News published yesterday.
“I will set a policy goal next year to make Taiwan a bilingual country, with English and Chinese being its official languages,” Lai said in the interview.
Photo: Lee Hsin-fang, Taipei Times
Lai late last year directed the ministry to form a “Committee to Promote English as an Official Language,” which was tasked with studying the issue, carrying out public surveys and drafting a plan on how to achieve the goal.
The ministry submitted the committee’s first report to Lai in June and is expected to present the second and final one by the end of this week or early next month, Kolas said.
The second report is to focus on ways and means of improving English teaching in schools, including establishing bilingual schools or classes and emphasizing spoken English, she said.
It will also deal with legislative issues such as the feasibility of deregulation to help promote a broad bilingual environment, Kolas said.
Earlier this year, then-minister of education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) told the Central News Agency in an interview that English competence did not equate to competitiveness, but it lays a foundation on which people can collect accurate information in a timely way, showcase professional expertise or express ideas without language barriers in the international arena, giving them a competitive edge.
“English proficiency opens up opportunities for young people,” Pan said. “We must do this for the next generation.”
Lai, who initiated a similar program in Tainan when he was mayor, has spearheaded the push to make English an official national language.
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm is committed to local investment: a third in the north, a third in the center, a third in the south Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that, based on its strategy of balancing capacity, it plans to make northern Taiwan its manufacturing hub for advanced technologies that go beyond 2 nanometers. “As the company is committed to investing in Taiwan, we try to deploy one-third [of our total production capacity] in the north and have one-third each in the center and south” of the nation, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters on the sidelines of Semicon Taiwan’s Master Forum in Taipei. TSMC last year reached its goal of deploying capacity equally across those parts