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Taiwan-US Mandarin Language Education Exchange Impresses US Guests with Educational Soft Power

2023-06-13
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The Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Education Division of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco organized a visit for education administrators from the US contracting states to facilitate educational exchanges between Taiwan and the United States and to enhance understanding of Mandarin education in Taiwan. National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) was entrusted with the responsibility of being the host institution and planning the itinerary. The visiting delegation arrived in Taiwan on the morning of 3 June 2023 and immediately embarked on a 7-day visit. On 9 June 2023, the guests departed with fruitful results, marking a perfect conclusion to their visit to Taiwan. The visit was coordinated by Ms. Hui-Yi (Sophie) Chou, Director of the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco, with assistance from Ms. Shu-Ya (Andrea) Yang, Director of the Education Division of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston.

They invited high-level delegations from the signatory states, including Dr. Michaela West Miller, Deputy Superintendent of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI); Dr. Cathleen Louise Skinner, Director of World Languages Other than English, Oklahoma State Department of Education; Ms. Stacy Lyon, Director of Utah Chinese Dual Language Immersion, Utah State Department of Education; Mr. Michael Davies-Hughes Superintendent Humboldt County Office of Education; Ms. Antoinette Hallam, English Learner/Foreign Language Consultant of Wyoming Department of Education Standards & Assessment Division and Mr. Brett Thielbar, Principal of Dual Language Immersion Program of Paradise Valley Elementary, Wyoming Natrona County Schools. National Chung Hsing University's Office of International Affairs (OIA) was responsible for planning the itinerary and providing full support throughout the 7-day visit to Taiwan. The main focus of the visit was to gain an understanding of the country's educational landscape, including Mandarin language teaching and teacher training. Official cooperation initiatives and the promotion of primary and secondary education exchanges to strengthen bilingual education were discussed.

The guests were received by Dr. Mon-Chi Lio, Political Deputy Minister f MOE and during the meeting, both parties engaged in fruitful discussions on educational policies and cooperation initiatives. Afterward, the visitors were hosted a warm dinner feast by Dr. Yen-Yi (Nicole) Lee, Director-General of the Department of International and Cross-Strait Education of MOE. In addition, the guests also visited the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) to learn about Taiwan's policies and advantages in promoting Mandarin language education. They showed keen interest in the development of Mandarin language proficiency tests and various language assessment mechanisms. To provide the guests with insights into the current situation of Mandarin language teacher training and teaching practices, they also visited the Language Center at the National Taiwan University and the Department of Chinese as a Second Language at National Taiwan Normal University. Moreover, they also had the opportunity to observe classroom teaching at the Chinese Language Center (CLC) at National Chung Hsing University. On the same day, the "Taiwan-US Education Administrative Directors International Exchange Forum" took place and they engaged in discussions with representatives from the K-12 Education Administration, Taichung City Education Bureau, school principals, and administrative executives. The Forum proved to be an enthusiastic platform for discussing various ways to collaborate.

In addition, Du-Xing Elementary School warmly welcomed the guests and invited them to enjoy dance performances, art exhibitions and calligraphy experiences. The visitors responded enthusiastically by dancing and participating in the art creation. They were deeply impressed by Du-Xing Primary School's rich and diverse arts education and English language promotion. The cultural visit also included visits to the renowned National Palace Museum, which houses a vast collection of artifacts; the Ping-Lin Tea Museum, which showcases Taiwan's unique tea culture; the iconic landmarks of Taipei 101 and Liberty Square; and the vibrant streets of Dadaocheng and Ning-Xia Night Market, which represent Taiwan's local spirit. These diverse experiences allowed guests to immerse themselves in Taiwan's beauty in a short time.

Dr Chia-Lin Chang, Vice President for International Affairs at NCHU, said that the event served several purposes. First of all, it aims to strengthen and establish official ties between the respective state governments and the Ministry of Education through the signing of the memorandum of understanding. This will allow these education experts from the United States to witness Taiwan's strength and achievements in the education and development of the Mandarin language. The visit also aims to showcase Taiwan's efforts to broaden international perspectives and deepen cultural exchanges through teaching Mandarin. It underscores Taiwan's commitment to promoting bilateral primary and secondary school exchanges, establishing reciprocal links between partnering schools, and supporting the growth of Mandarin education in the United States. These efforts are in line with Taiwan's national policy on bilingual education and will bring significant benefits to the achievement of its goals.
Taiwan-US Mandarin Language Education Exchange Impresses US Guests with Educational Soft Power

Taiwan-US Mandarin Language Education Exchange Impresses US Guests with Educational Soft Power

Taiwan-US Mandarin Language Education Exchange Impresses US Guests with Educational Soft Power

Taiwan-US Mandarin Language Education Exchange Impresses US Guests with Educational Soft Power

Taiwan-US Mandarin Language Education Exchange Impresses US Guests with Educational Soft Power

Taiwan-US Mandarin Language Education Exchange Impresses US Guests with Educational Soft Power

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