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Can English save Taiwan?

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Will Taiwanese education be ready for her to learn English?

Taiwan is hoping to save its economy and raise its global rankings by making English a second official language in the country.

That’s the theory at least and a number of academics and officials have put forward the idea to help Taiwan in the international market.

The plan is that within 10 years everyone in Taiwan will have a decent knowledge of English. But how this will happen is still open to debate with education funds lacking and the current situation far from perfect.

Although the proposals were put forward at a major language conference held in Tainan, the chance they will be adopted, and the chance they will succeed, is open to debate.

Editorial

Making English an official language does not immediately mean everyone will speak English and exports will boom.

First Taiwan needs to get its house in order when it comes to English teaching in the schools. More resources and a better overall system are needed and of course this means bringing in more qualified teachers to help out.

Several ICAL trained teachers working in Taiwan have reported a frightening lack of English from their colleagues and this needs to be addressed and ICAL indeed are working with several schools in Taiwan training teachers to teach English in a modern and effective way.

Only once the education system in Taiwan is working well and students are learning English from effective teachers can the idea of English as a second language be discussed.

Useful Links

Teaching English in Taiwan – an overview of working there

Train to Teach English – a course to make sure English is taught properly and effectively to students

More on this story – from the Taipei Times

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