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Taiwan’s “Bilingual by 2030” too ambitious

The governments’ “Bilingual by 2030” plan, which aims to have the island speaking English within a decade (see www.elgazette. com/global-perspective-taiwan/) has drawn criticism from teachers for being too ambitious.

President Tsai Ing-wen announced the Bilingual by 2030 initiative in 2018, and the Ministry of Education recently announced it was tripling the number of foreign native English speaker teachers it recruits for state schools. But the Straits Times reported Eric Chao Yang, an education consultant and English teacher in Taiwan’s schools, as saying that while he agreed with the aims of the plan, it can’t be achieved in anything like a decade. The government, says Yang, “is saying 2030 because [the slogan] is catchy and draws attention, but these things usually take a few decades to take shape.” Retired English teacher Lee Tsian-lin

called for greater clarity on how subjects such as chemistry would be taught in English under the plan. She added that, “if teachers really feel strongly about this, they need to make their voices heard.”

Image courtesy of OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, GOVERNMENT OF TAIWAN
Matt Salusbury
Matt Salusbury
MATT SALUSBURY, news editor and journalist, has worked for EL Gazette since 2007. He is also joint Chair of the London Freelance Branch of the National Union of Journalists and co-edits its newsletter, the Freelance. He taught English language for 15 years in the Netherlands, in Turkey, in a North London further education college and now as an English for Academic Purposes tutor, most recently at the London School of Economics. He is a native English speaker and is also fluent in Dutch.
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