The First Taiwan Education Center in India Established in PunjabThe first Taiwan Education Center in India of the Punjab Province was officially established at the Chitkara University, in the hope to increase the number of Indian students to learn traditional Chinese and promote the mutual communication between Taiwan and India. The first Taiwan Education Center was opened on the 12th this month at Punjab’s Chitkara University. The Deputy Representative Chen Chi-Hao and Head of Education Division Chen Li-Ying of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in India were invited to attend the opening and ribbon-cutting ceremonies.The Ministry of Education (MOE) established the Taiwan Education Center to offer Indian students the opportunities to study the Chinese language, by which they could have a further understanding of Taiwanese culture; therefore, it may promote cooperation and communication between Taiwan and India. To select and dispatch Chinese as a Second Language teacher to India, the MOE has fully subsidized the National Tsing Hua University since 2011 to support its collaboration with Indian schools and the establishment of the eighth Taiwan Education Center. With the endeavoring of the Education Division of TECC, there are currently 18 Education Centers in India.Ashok Chitkara, the founder of Chitkara University who is fluent in Chinese, said in the opening speech that he was delighted to see students were learning Chinese with teachers of excellence at the Center, which was also the platform to provide bilateral exchange and communication.Chen Chi-Hao then pointed out in his speech, that this was the first time that MOE has dispatched teachers of Chinese as a Second language to teach Mandarin Chinese at Chitkara University in Punjab. The Taiwan Education Center would also provide firsthand information of higher institutes in Taiwan, including information on study programs and scholarships, in the hope, there would be more students of Chitkara University or from the province of Punjab choose to study abroad in Taiwan.According to the MOE statistics, the number of Indian students studied in Taiwan had reached 2,390 in 2018, the mainstream media of India, the Times of India also reported that Taiwan had provided one of the best environments for the choice of higher education for Indian students. Chen Li-Ying remarked, Taiwan Education Center served as the education platform between India and Taiwan, education has become the most significant affair in Taiwan-India mutual exchange and collaboration. The Center would be the starting point for Indian students to get to know Taiwan and further made the place to become one of the best choices to study abroad.In the opening ceremony, Chitkara University had arranged Indian students to read poetries by famous poets such as that by Li Po of the Tang Dynasty, and Yang Shen of the Ming Dynasty, which filled the opening ceremony of the Taiwan Education Center with the aura of Chinese culture.(origin from:CNA)
AIT Kaohsiung chief lauds benefits of learning TaiwaneseEven among polyglot foreign diplomats, Matthew O'Connor, chief of the American Institute in Taiwan's (AIT) Kaohsiung branch office, may be one of the few able to greet an interviewer in fluent Taiwanese.A 47-year-old Maryland native and alumnus of Georgetown University's Graduate School of Foreign Service, O'Connor has spent a total of eight years in Taiwan since arriving in 1994 to study Chinese at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU).In addition to his two years at NTNU, O'Connor worked in the Economic Section of AIT Taipei from 2006 to 2010, and assumed his current position in Kaohsiung in August 2017.During a recent interview with CNA, O'Connor described the changes he has witnessed in Taiwan over the past quarter century, which he said included impressive strides in everything from public transport to air quality.However, he said, his tenure in Kaohsiung has been special, for having introduced him to a totally new side of Taiwan -- something aided in no small measure by his knowledge of the Taiwanese language, which is widely spoken in the south.O'Connor said he began learning the language back in 2006, simply because "many people's mother tongue is Taiwanese."After learning the basics at the AIT language school on Yangmingshan, O'Connor said he made up for the relative lack of Taiwanese-language learning materials by developing study habits which he has continued up to the present, such as listening to Taiwanese-language news broadcasts, making conversation with taxi drivers and bus passengers, and working with a tutor.More recently, O'Connor has marshaled these skills for AIT's Kaohsiung branch office by releasing Taiwanese-language holiday greetings, including videos for Lunar New Year and American Thanksgiving.Studying Taiwanese, O'Connor said, has allowed him to "overcome the linguistic and cultural gaps" he might otherwise face in his work, and experience the "warmth" and "hospitality" of Kaohsiung residents, which he described as one of the highlights of a two-decade career that has taken him from Australia to Japan and Iraq.Asked about his enthusiasm for southern Taiwan, O'Connor recalled accompanying Taiwanese Major League Baseball star Lin Tzu-wei (林子偉) on a visit to his elementary school in Namasia District, a mountain indigenous district located in rural Kaohsiung."The natural scenery and cultural sites there felt a world away from urban Taiwan, and made a really deep impression on me," he said.As he approaches the end of his term next summer, and with his wife and five children waiting for him in Michigan, O'Connor said there are still several things he would like to do before leaving Taiwan, including visiting Meinong District, a famous center of Hakka culture in Kaohsiung, and climbing Yushan, Taiwan's highest mountain peak.That, and continuing to improve his Taiwanese. So if you see O'Connor on the streets of Kaohsiung, don't be afraid to say "Li ho!" (origin from:CNA)
A great annual event of the Chinese education - ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) has been held on November 22nd to 24th at Washington, DCA great annual event of the Chinese education - ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) has been held on November 22nd to 24th at Washington, DC Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Office of Global Mandarin Education established by the Ministry of Education organized the exhibition space for the Taiwan pavilion. The pavilion was joined by 8 Mandarin educational institutes and units including Steering Committee for the Test Of Proficiency-Huayu, International Chinese Language Program of National Taiwan University, Mandarin Training Center of National Taiwan Normal University, Chinese Language Center of National Cheng Kung University, Chinese Language Center of Tamkang University,Mandarin Learning Center of Chinese Culture University, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Tamkang University Chinese Language Center, Center of Chinese Language and Culture Fu Jen Catholic University. We took the learning experience of “Mandarin in Taiwan” to the global spotlight. The exhibition promoted culture in a lively way by arranging Chinese staff who wore traditional Chinese costumes to invite foreigners of non-Chinese origin to learn about the special characteristics in Mandarin. Activities like Happy Hour were introduced to attract more Mandarin educators understanding Taiwanese Mandarin. Application policies were also being explained at the exhibition. Many interactions focused on Taiwanese and American way of Mandarin education, bringing up a lot of intriguing discussions that show the uniqueness of Taiwanese Mandarin. The exhibition arranged many activities such as Taiwan pavilion policy introduction and Q&A with prizes, Chinese calligraphy writing and reading, mini sky lantern origami, and ink-blow painting. These activities offered opportunities for the Mandarin educational institutes to share their experience in Mandarin teaching to visitors, show the excellent courses available in Taiwan for Mandarin education, qualified teachers, resources, etc. These discussions might have triggered related cooperation opportunities. In order to establish a communication and relationship between Taiwanese Mandarin educational institute and overseas educational institute, a business lunch has been joined by the representatives of Chinese Flagship Programs, held by Yuri Chih, Deputy of Education Division, TECRO in the U.S. They established a successful communication between researchers in Mandarin educational organizations of Taiwan and the United States, and improved the knowledge of the global market in understanding the current market and resources available in Taiwanese Mandarin education. Taiwan has joined ACTFL for many years. With the rich experience we have, we found that every year the mainstream schools and language institutes in the United States contact us through this platform to establish a cooperative relationship with Taiwan educational institutes. The theme for 2019 was “Mandarin in Taiwan”. Taiwan representatives took this opportunity to promote the excellence in Taiwanese Mandarin education along with over 8,000 educators, over 800 types of educational courses, over 250 language related product manufacturers. The exhibition was heated up by the lively sales activities that highlighted Taiwan. The reputation of Taiwanese Mandarin education has been improved and expected to further develop, being promoted to the rest of the world and create more cooperative opportunities.
Kiwi student wins Mandarin public speaking contest in TaipeiA language program student from New Zealand on Thursday won the top prize in a Mandarin public speaking contest in Taipei where foreign nationals described their experiences in Taiwan or shared other personal viewpoints in Mandarin Chinese. Samuel Chetwin George, one of the 64 contestants and a Mandarin Chinese language student enrolled in National Taiwan University's International Chinese Language Program, won the first prize with a speech about using humor to resolve an embarrassing situation. George took the audience through a scenario where he resorted to making fun of himself during an embarrassing moment to create laughter and defuse an awkward situation. George, who started learning Mandarin in September last year, told CNA that he was born in Hong Kong and grew up in New Zealand where there is a large Chinese immigrant population. "I'm from New Zealand, and there is a big population of Chinese -- mainland -- Taiwanese, Hong Kong families there, so I have always been really curious (about the language)," he said. "Beyond just the interest of learning a really fascinating language, I think it will be really useful." Moving forward, he will continue his post-graduate studies in East Asian studies at Stanford University in the United States in September 2020 said the 30-year-old, who received NT$10,000 (US$330) in prize money for his win on Thursday. The contest, which is now in its 47th edition, was organized by National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall to promote Chinese-language learning and Taiwan's culture, according to Liang Yung-fei (梁永斐), the memorial hall's director-general. The contestants, from 12 countries, combined fluent Mandarin public speaking, lively body language, props, and a sense of humor in their speeches. Some sang and one contestant even waved around Sansing green onions from Yilan to add color to her speech. American medical student Samuel Woodward Noble, who praised Taiwan for its freedom and democracy in his speech, finished second and won NT$8,000 in prize money. The 36-year-old American medical student from Indiana, who is currently in his final semester at Kaohsiung Medical University said he spent most of the past three weeks preparing for his speech. "I have a midterm on Monday, but I have pretty much been spending all my time on this," Noble said. Noble said he began learning Mandarin Chinese in 2002 when he first came to Taiwan as a Mormon missionary, when he stayed in the country for two years. "When I went back after my mission to the U.S., in college I took Chinese classes," he said, adding that he continued to improve his Chinese proficiency when he returned to Taiwan about five years ago, initially studying at National Taiwan Normal University's (NTNU) Mandarin Training Center before moving to Kaohsiung. Nguyen Thi Nga, 21-year-old Vietnamese sophomore university student from NTNU's Department of Chinese as a Second Language, received NT$6,000 for her third-place finish. Meanwhile, Jana Nudelman, 23-year-old American language program student at NTNU's Mandarin Training Center, won NT$4,000 for finishing in fourth place and 12 other contestants received merit awards for their speeches. Li Chen-ching (李振清), a professor at Shih Hsin University in Taipei and one of the judges, called this year's presentations "the most exiting and inspiring" because the jury saw some of the best public speaking at the contest in many years. "We don't often see such excellent display of content, use of words, meaning and intonation," he said. (origin from:CNA)
Norway Conducts the First Chinese Proficiency Test for Students Planning to Study Chinese in TaiwanThe University of Oslo (UiO) Norway has recently conducted the Test of Chinese as Second/Foreign Language (TOCFL) with the Ministry of Education (MOE), of which 19 people have applied to take the test. It was the first Chinese Proficiency test held in Norway; students of the school will also plan to learn Chinese at the National Taiwan University (NTU).The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages of UiO has hosted on October 21, the TOCFL test, of which 19 people have applied for basic and advanced levels of the test. It is of great significance for Norway to hold the test for the first time, as within the North European nations, only Sweden has ever conduct Chinese proficiency tests in the past.Born in Chiayi and has been teaching at UiO for years, Lin Chieh-Ting said there are not many people learning Chinese in Norway; people could only take Chinese proficiency test held in Bergen. Thus, it is excellent to see a Taiwan developed test for evaluating Chinese language ability is held here in Norway.The Test for Chinese as Second/ Foreign Language (TOCFL) also offers a simplified Chinese version. Still, some of the applicants have chosen to take traditional Chinese version questions. Eivind, a servant of the public agency, is one of them.Eivind is fluent in Chinese and loves Taiwanese culture, who thinks only traditional Chinese characters could demonstrate the aesthetics of the traditional culture. He has taken the TOCFL test first held in Norway to express his support, and also for evaluating and a better understanding of his language ability. Starting from this year, the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages is carrying out several collaborated projects with Taiwan. Besides the agreement signed with the NTU earlier this year, to send students to learn Chinese at NTU, the school also cooperated with the MOE in August, to introduce in Mandarin Chinese Teaching Assistants from Taiwan. Yu Chia-Yu, who has studied a master’s degree at National Taiwan Normal University, has, therefore, become the only Chinese teaching assistant from Taiwan within North European universities.Yu has been an exchange student to Finland and is used to the severe cold weather in northern Europe. She was responsible for oral practice courses and for organizing cultural nights each month, to introduce tea ceremony, calligraphy, traditional handicraft and the culture of Mazu belief, and so on, which were highly appreciated by students.Rune Svarverud, professor of the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at UiO used to be worried for the instructor from Taiwan might not be able to adapt to the UiO, but was surprised to receive positive feedback from students, and was impressed with the excellence presented by Taiwan trained Chinese teaching professionals. As students have shown noticeable improvement in oral and tests, the department will continue to recruit the Chinese teaching assistants from Taiwan next semester. (origin from:CNA)
US-funded language program opens center at NTUThe Chinese Overseas Flagship (COF) in Taiwan center, part of the US government-sponsored Language Flagship program, officially opened yesterday at National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei. The Language Flagship is an undergraduate program that includes instruction in languages such as Arabic, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Turkish under the US’ National Security Education Program (NSEP). The NSEP was established in 1991 under the David L. Boren National Security Education Act that mandated the US secretary of defense to create such a program to provide scholarships for undergraduates, fellowships to graduate students and grants to US institutions to fund the study of countries and languages critical to the US’ national security. The COF in Taiwan center, which was established on June 3 and received its first batch of students last month, is one of two such centers in Asia; the other is at Nanjing University in China. There had been one at Beijing Union University for several years, but the COF headquarters in the US is no longer using it for the capstone portion of the program, in which students who have completed four years of Chinese-language undergraduate courses take classes and intern in professional environments. The Taipei center has 22 US students who have received scholarships of more than US$10,000 a year to study in Taiwan, center director Chao Der-lin (趙德麟) said at the opening ceremony. Chao is a professor and head of the Chinese division at Hunter College in New York City as well as the director of that school’s Chinese Flagship center. Hunter is one of the 12 universities that comprise the domestic Chinese Flagship in partnership with the US Department of Defense, and it has partnered with NTU to run the Taipei facility. Aside from studying language and subjects related to their field of interest at NTU, the students will be able to intern at Taiwanese businesses and organizations, NTU said. In a speech at the opening ceremony, American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen said that Taiwan is a good place to learn Chinese due to its safe environment, hospitable people and diverse culture. Christensen encouraged the students to make the most out of their 10-month stay in Taiwan, saying that what he learned in Taiwan on his first overseas diplomatic assignment has helped his career. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) said that the COF Taiwan Center is a milestone of US-Taiwan educational cooperation that symbolized strong Taiwan-US relations. NTU already has a storied reputation for running intensive Mandarin language-training programs. Stanford University established a Mandarin training center on NTU’s campus in 1961, which two years later became the Inter-University Program (IUP) and over the next three decades set the standard for instruction in modern and classical Chinese. In 1997, the US universities involved in the IUP moved the program to Tsinghua University in Beijing, while NTU assumed full administration for continuing the program on its campus, which it renamed the International Chinese Language Program. Data source：Taipei Times