The Ministry of Education on Wednesday unveiled guidelines for teaching English, aiming to have 60 percent of schools use English as a the sole medium of instruction for the language by 2024.
Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said the ministry has intensified its efforts to train Taiwanese teachers of English and recruit foreign teachers of English to attain the nation’s goal of becoming a Mandarin-English bilingual country.
With a growing pool of English teachers, Pan said the 2021-2022 school year would become an important beginning for teaching the language.
The aim is to have teachers in 60 percent of elementary, junior and senior-high schools use only English to teach the language by 2024, he said.
English would also be used to teach other courses to improve students’ proficiency, he said, adding that by 2024, teachers in one-seventh of schools would be asked to teach courses in English.
Afterward, teachers in all schools would be asked to use English only to teach English classes by 2030, he said.
He added that teachers in one-third of schools would be asked to teach part of their courses besides English classes in a bilingual manner, also by 2030.
Pan said that high schools are a critical link to higher education, so the ministry is planning to have 50 high schools offer bilingual classes on a trial basis starting this school year.
Schools should make good use of the budget provided to run their bilingual classes this year, he said, adding that the bilingual classes would eventually be expanded to other schools.
Also, starting this school year, the ministry would launch a large-scale campaign to recruit foreign English teachers, he said.
As part of the recruitment effort, the ministry would have National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) and National Chung Cheng University set up counseling centers to provide assistance to foreign teachers, he said.
To help persuade foreign teachers to stay in Taiwan, the ministry would provide subsidies for their living expenses, including lodging and transportation, he added.
Earlier this year, the ministry said it would make National Taiwan University, NTNU, National Cheng Kung University and National Sun Yat-sen University as priority schools for bilingual teaching.
Making Taiwan bilingual by 2030 is a policy initiated by Vice President William Lai (賴清德) in 2018 when he was premier. In June that year, Lai made the “2030 Bilingual Country” plan a major national policy.
On Thursday last week, the Executive Yuan approved a draft bill to establish a national development center to advance the plan to develop Taiwan into a bilingual Chinese and English-speaking nation by 2030.
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