Arrival of Flagship in Taiwan significant for US-Taiwan relations: William StantonThe U.S. Language Flagship Program Has Come to Taiwan Relations between the United States and Taiwan have clearly never been better, but we tend to measure that progress only in terms of major events like higher-level U.S. visitors or a major arms sale. Meanwhile, quieter but in the long run equally important developments are often taking place which will also do much to strengthen ties between Taiwan and the United States. One that has largely gone unnoticed here in Taiwan is the U.S. decision to establish in Taiwan a Language Flagship program for improving the participating American students’ skills in Chinese. The program opened in early September with the arrival of 22 U.S. highly qualified undergraduate students on the National Taiwan University campus. The Language Flagship is a unique innovation of the National Security Education Program (NSEP) funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Flagship’s mandate is to develop advanced foreign language skills among young Americans who, according to NSEP, “will take their place among the next generation of global professionals, commanding a superior level of proficiency in one of ten languages critical to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness.” The overall goal is to “educate a citizenry prepared to address the nation’s well-being in the 21st century.” What is Flagship? The Language Flagship program began in 2002 as a small pilot project to encourage U.S. universities to build advanced language learning programs in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Russian. Flagship was initially designed to provide graduate students with professional proficiency in these hard languages. In 2006, Flagship expanded its reach to include undergraduates at all of its Flagship centers in U.S. universities. The Language Flagship program has now grown to include 31 Flagship centers at 21 institutions of higher education in the United States and has added the study of Persian, Portuguese, and Turkish. In the case of Mandarin Chinese, there are currently 12 U.S. universities participating in the program. For each Flagship language, there is one foreign university hosting a “Capstone Year” overseas program where all of the domestic Flagship centers for that language send those exceptional students who qualify. In the case of Chinese, the only Flagship centers abroad have been in the PRC, principally at Nanjing University. (There was previously another center which began in Tianjin in 2013, moved to Beijing in 2017, but was closed earlier this year.) The addition of Taipei means that Chinese is the only language for which two overseas Flagship centers are now available. This is because the Chinese language attracts the most Flagship students, and therefore can use another overseas center. The Flagship program at the university level is unique in several respects. The students selected for this highly competitive program all receive financial support from The Language Flagship. Those who are qualified arrive overseas for their Capstone Year having already studied their chosen foreign language for at least three or four years, while also pursuing a major in another subject of study. Another unique aspect of the Taiwan Center's program is that all of its advisors and language instructors are trained, supervised, and paid by Flagship, rather than the overseas university where they are based. Most important, the students during their stay overseas do not simply study the foreign language, but also enroll in a course related to their major area of study taught in the language they are working to improve. In the first semester Flagship students are also required to undertake a research project in their future professional area of concentration tied to whatever subject class the student is taking. In the second semester students must intern full-time for four months at a business, organization, or non-profit related to their majors, where the foreign language they are using is spoken. At the end of the Capstone Year, the students will have thereby also improved their foreign language proficiency in both academic and professional contexts. Why is the Arrival of Flagship in Taiwan Significant? There was a time when most Americans and nearly everyone else who wanted to learn or improve their Chinese came to Taiwan, including many well-known diplomats, academics, businesspeople, and politicians. It took some time after the establishment of official relations between the United States and China in 1972, the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, the aftermath of the Tiananmen massacre in 1989, and some years of “opening up” and development in China before Americans and others thought about studying Chinese in the PRC. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department never closed and to this day continues to maintain its Foreign Service Institute Chinese-language school in Taiwan, first in Taichung and later in Taipei. Until at least the 1990s therefore, an entire generation of U.S. and other nations’ China hands studied in Taiwan, principally first at the Mandarin Training Center (國語教學中心) established in 1956 at National Taiwan Normal University, or beginning later in 1963, a Mandarin language center established by Stanford University on the campus of National Taiwan University (NTU). It was then known as “The Stanford Center,” or after other U.S. universities helped finance and thereby became partners in the Center, also named the “Inter-University Program.” It was only in January 2006, that what had been formally called since 1997 the International Chinese Language Program, was finally incorporated into NTU as a university institute. In 1997 as well, in an indication of changing times, an offshoot of the Stanford Center was also established at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Over time more and more students have been studying Chinese in the PRC and fewer in Taiwan. This is consistent with the overall proportions of Americans studying all subjects in the two countries. According to the 2018 Open Doors Report of the Institute of International Education, in the 2016-17 academic year, there were 1,002 Americans studying in Taiwan (a 3.3% increase over the previous year), and 11,910 Americans studying in China (a 1.9 % increase over the previous year.) The arrival of Flagship in Taiwan promises to help start reversing this trend, at least in Chinese-language learning. Most important from a political perspective, the introduction of more young Americans to Taiwan can only strengthen relations between our countries. In my experience and that of most foreigners I know who live here, as well as surveys of favorite countries for expatriates in which Taiwan always ranks among the very top choices, to know Taiwan is to love Taiwan. Moreover, many of the bright, talented and Chinese-speaking Flagship students who come here will make personal and other contacts and perhaps find future employment opportunities that bring them back. Given its continuing demographic trends, Taiwan can certainly use smart American professionals who speak Chinese. Many people, like me, had previously wondered why there was no Flagship program in Taiwan, which embodies and exemplifies traditional Chinese culture and values far better than the PRC. It was, however, a Taiwanese-American professor, Dr. Chao Der-lin (趙德麟), Director of Chinese Studies at Hunter College in New York, who took the initiative to bring Flagship to Taiwan, and who now also serves as the Director of the Chinese Flagship at Hunter College and as the administrator of the Flagship Taiwan Center. She told me that as she approached retirement, establishing Flagship in Taiwan was a way of giving something back to her country of birth. Thanks to her unflagging dedication, persistence, and hard work, we now have a Flagship Center in Taiwan. More and More Flagship Students in Taiwan Likely I have met the 22 Flagship students currently in Taiwan and they are indeed impressive. The Taiwan Center expects ten more students to join the program in the spring semester. (This smaller number is understandable because the academic year usually runs from fall to spring.) Some 50 to 60 Flagship students, however, have gone to China every year, and more U.S. Flagships programs are expected to be established in the United States after the ongoing 2020-2024 round of competition for new grants. Each competing program aims to have 60 students and to send 10 or more of its best students each year to Capstone. They are planning to award 8 to14 programs, so the total annual Capstone enrollment would be 80 to 140. Flagship Taiwan Center therefore expects more Chinese-language students will be in the pipeline, and that the numbers here will continue to rise. Professor Chao has been advised to prepare for a program with a capacity for 100 students by the end of the third year. She expects between 40 and 50 students beginning in the Fall of 2020, and by Fall of 2021, the number could rise to between 70 and 80 students. The Nanjing Center has a limited capacity, so as more students enroll in the domestic Chinese Flagship programs, more Capstone students will come to Taiwan. Flagship’s Future in the PRC Could Be Limited Another factor affecting Flagship’s future in Taiwan is the increasing unwillingness of the U.S. Government to fund U.S. universities that support PRC programs like the Confucius Institutes that are seen as United Front efforts to influence U.S. perceptions of China and its policies. Moreover, unlike Confucius Institutes, but consistent with the PRC’s usual lack of reciprocity, U.S. American Centers in China are strictly limited. Section 1091 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 therefore prohibited U.S. Government funding to U.S. universities hosting Confucius Institutes. As a result, a growing number of U.S. universities have closed these centers. Although this U.S. legislation did not affect funding for Flagship Centers in China, it seems to be having a knock-on effect for U.S universities with Flagship programs. In explaining the closing of its Confucius Institute, the University of Oregon explained that the decision was “necessary in order to protect the funding [some US$343,000] for the Chinese Flagship program.” It is therefore possible that in the future Congress could focus attention on Flagship Nanjing. After all, the overseas Flagship program for Russian is notably not located in Russia, but instead at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Kazakhstan. The logic behind that decision could in the future also be applied to U.S. Government funding for studying Chinese in the PRC. Consistent with the overall improvement in U.S.-Taiwan relations, the prospects for the Flagship Taiwan Center are very bright indeed, and Flagship can only contribute to the further strengthening of our relations. National Yang Ming University appointed William A. Stanton as Vice President on August 16, 2019. He previously served from August 2017 to July 2019 as a Professor at the Center for General Education at National Taiwan University. Dr. Stanton earlier worked for four years as the George K.C. Yeh Distinguished Chair Professor and founding director of the Center for Asia Policy at National Tsing Hua University (NTHU). From October 2014 through January 2016, he was also NTHU’s Senior Vice President for Global Affairs. Dr. Stanton previously served for 34 years as a U.S. diplomat. His final posting was as director of the American Institute in Taiwan (2009-2012). Data source：Taiwan News Online
Officials from Malaysia’s Kedah State Came to Taiwan to Undertake a 10 Day Intensive Mandarin Chinese ProgramThe Ministry of Education has invited for the first time 19 education officials from Malaysia’s Kedah state and conducted a 10-day intensive Mandarin Chinese course. Malaysian officials will also visit Taiwan’s vocational education schools, for deepening the cooperation in education between both countries.The Ministry of Education said today in the news, the delegation of education from Kedah, Malaysia has started to take the course on the 19th at Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages. The Chinese program planned by the Wenzao Chinese Language Center included listening, speaking, reading, and writing Chinese, Chinese proficiency tests, and free Chinese outreach programs for study online. Participants also had the chance to visit the Pier-2 Art Center, the Ten Drum Culture Center, and the National Palace Museum.Cynthia Huang, the Deputy Education Consular of Department of International and Cross-strait Education, MOE said, Taiwan retained the traditional Chinese characters and has teachers and teaching materials of excellence. To learn Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan, you can experience not only Chinese traditional culture but also feel free and democratic living environment. Huang pointed out that in Taiwan, there are 62 Chinese language centers recruiting international students, and 18 universities are responsible for training professionals in teaching Chinese as second/foreign language. Taiwan has also developed the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language to evaluate non-native Chinese speaker’s proficiency in Chinese. These comprehensive services provided in Taiwan, would for sure meet the demand in Mandarin Chinese education by Malaysia.Based on the MOE’s statistics, the number of international students coming into Taiwan was in continued growth, from 40,000 in 2009 to 126,000 in 2018, more than triples of growth rate, of which the 16,000 students from Malaysia, have made up the largest student body among international students.(origin from:CNA)
The 2019 sponsorship guideline plan for improving TCSL education from Ministry of Education— Satit PIM Mandarin study tour passed off very well.Satit PIM Mandarin Study Tour at MCU Under the sponsorship of the 2019 Ministry of Education Plan for Improving TCSL Education, the recent Satit PIM Mandarin Study Tour at Ming Chuan University (MCU) proceeded very well. Through the efforts of Ming Chuan University Education and Culture Center in Thailand (MCU-ECCT), MCU hosted the study tour for Satit PIM [Panyapiwat Institute of Management Demonstration School], with a total of 30 students plus 2 teachers joining the two weeks of intensive Mandarin courses at MCU Jihe Complex from October 6th to 19th, 2019. The study tour program comprised engaging learning activities, which included plenty of in-person language courses and cultural activities. Also provided were two online-courses created by the Ministry of Education—“Start From Scratch” and “Who is speaking: Lovely Taiwan,” which are aimed at promoting study Mandarin online. All the Satit PIM students were highly interested in these courses. Furthermore, MCU Mandarin Studies and Culture Center held a simulation TOCFL test prior to the closing ceremony. MCU would like to promote this high quality Taiwan Mandarin test through the simulation TOCFL test. The test results clearly showed that the study tour students’ Mandarin proficiency was significantly improved over the course of the study tour. Officially founded in March 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, MCU-ECCT widely promotes the high quality of Taiwan’s TCSL education. This is conducted only through sending Mandarin teachers from Taiwan to Thailand for exchange service but also by holding several short-term study tours each year for Thai students to go to Taiwan for on-site study experiences. Features of this study tour include: Courses being Relevant to Life – Emphasis on daily conversation which can be used immediately in the target language environment. Interesting Courses - Sufficient classroom activities and cultural experience activities to achieve the goal of learning by doing. Meanwhile stimulating courses strengthen students’ motivation to keep learning Mandarin in the future. Promotion of Online Courses – Availability of online courses promote students’ willingness to learn Mandarin after returning to Thailand. Promotion of TOCFL Test – Introduction of the TOCFL test, and allowing students to experience this language assessment via simulation test, can increase students’ motivation to register for the official TOCFL Test. Combination of Taiwan and Mandarin – Aside from learning Mandarin, the study tour also promotes the high quality of Taiwan’s education and tourism. Through this activity, apart from the aspect of immediate strong learning outcomes, students have greater interest in learning Mandarin after going back to Thailand. Many of the students indicate that they will definitely come to Taiwan to join Mandarin-related activities in the future!
Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Fulbright Program, Chinese Teachers from Taiwan, FLTASince we are required by the Department of State in the U.S. to recruit more FLTAs to fit U.S. universities’ needs, we decide to extend the 2020-2021 FLTA application deadline. The related deadlines will be:1. Please submit the application by November 11, 2019.2. The scheduled interview date is December 9, 2019 (for applicants who submitted application by 8/15) and December 10, 2019.3. If you would provide your test appointment confirmation of TOEFL or IELTS to our application system, the test date must before November 30, 2019. § Description and Purpose The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and Taiwan Ministry of Education, and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The FLTA Program enables early-career educators from overseas to go to the U.S. They refine their teaching skills, increase their English language proficiency, and extend their knowledge of the cultures and customs of the United States, while engaging in non-degree studies at accredited post-secondary U.S. educational institutions. Along with their studies, FLTAs teach language courses, supervise language labs, and lead language table discussions. FLTAs may also act as resource persons in conversation groups, cultural representatives, attendants in language laboratories, coordinators of extra-curricular activities, guest speakers in civilization courses, head's of language clubs, houses, tables and much more. FLTAs: 1. Are for 9 months, the grant period cannot extend. 2. May assist in or teach up to 20 hours of language classes a week 3. Are required to enroll in at least 2 courses per semester, one of which must be in U.S. Studies; the remaining coursework should relate to their careers in original fields teaching. 4. Are expected to facilitate cultural events, language clubs, and language tables 5. Are required to attend a U.S.-based orientation sponsored by ECA during the summer, right before the FLTA grant. 6. Are required to attend a mid-year enrichment conference in the United States, hosted by ECA and coordinated by IIE § Benefits: 1. Room and Board (offered by host university) 2. Travel allowance: a direct, round-trip economy-class air ticket (for return ticket, please confirm with IIE) , and a baggage allowance of US$200 3. Monthly stipend (offered by host university) 4. Placement services by IIE. 5. Placement in a summer orientation in the U.S., with expenses paid for travel allowance by IIE. If selected FLTAs don’t have certificate of TCSL, FSE will support to have one basic TCSL program. § Eligibility Criteria: 1. Reside in Taiwan at the time of application, the year prior to the grant (2020) 2. Possess the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's degree with a good academic record (Master's degrees are highly desirable at many institutions) 3. Be teachers of the following fields (TESL and TCSL are preferred)Teaching English as Second LanguageTeaching Chinese as Second LanguageLanguage Teaching related fields 4. Be fluent in English, as demonstrated by a score of no less than 79 (iBT) or 6.0 (IELTS), taken since August, 2018. Or upload a test appointment confirmation to our application system (test date MUST before September 30, 2019). 5. Are required to secure visas in time for host institution reporting dates. Failure to do so may result in the loss of the assistantship. 6. Clearly demonstrate maturity, dependability, integrity and professionalism 7. Be outgoing and dynamic individuals with a great sense of humor 8. Meet the Grant Conditions and Provisions (http://www.fulbright.org.tw/tw/provisionsandconditions) 9. All other factors being equal, preference is given to applicants who has submitted all of the score report (including English score report and transcript). 10. During the grant period, grantee must submit a research/ reflections report to FSE Online Journal (http://journal.fulbright.org.tw/). § Application Procedure: Apply online no later than August 15, 2019. For application information, please go to the following website:http://www.fulbright.org.tw/application Submit the hard copy of following required documents to Fulbright Taiwan, postmarked no later than August 15, 2019.• Hard copies of your completed on-lined application form (filled in English, including application form, English CV, English transcripts for all degrees (university and post-graduate), degree certificate, certificate of enrollment or employment certificate, iBT/IELTS score report or appointment confirmation, and passport copy.)• Chinese CV (the translation version of your English CV with your cell phone number and mailing address. We’ll deliver the notification letter via post mail after the nomination list is confirmed.)• 3 English recommendation letters (if your referees do not want to complete recommendation letters on line and please do ask for the specific form from our foundation)• One copy of authorized transcripts for undergraduate studies and for graduate studies in sealed envelopes (including for exchange studies; MUST be in English for IIE); “sealed envelopes” means that you have to ask school to stamp on the flap of the envelope to prove that the transcripts are authorized by school.• Certificate of degree for all degrees earned (MUST be in English for IIE); foreign certificates of degree must be authenticated by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). For more information, please visit MOFA’s website (http://www.boca.gov.tw/). All certificates of degrees will be sent to IIE.• Certificate of enrollment. If school cannot issue the certificate by our deadline, please submit a copy of your student ID card (both sides). Applicants should submit the certificate of enrollment by September 30, 2019. The mailing address is:台北市10043延平南路45號 2樓 學術交流基金會 傅爾布萊特交換計畫 (FLTA) Application process has been completed! Wait for the interview! For updated information, please contact Ms. Lisa Lin,E-mail：email@example.comTel︰(02) 2388-2100 ext 112 / Fax：(02) 2388-2855 § Selection Procedure In the middleof September In the middle of September (tentatively scheduled on September 12, 2019), a Selection Committee (academics, Board members, and staff) reviews all documents, conducts oral interviews with applicants and recommends a slate for final selection by Fulbright Taiwan’s Board. Applicants who can’t physically present for an oral interview will be deemed to waive. At the end of September ● Applicants are notified by Fulbright Taiwan of nomination/non-nomination at the end of September after the Board meeting and their nomination is also sent to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) for final confirmation. IIE will provide services for applying host institutions simultaneously.● The grant is then subject to:a. Approval by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB)b. The candidate's admission to a U.S. institution approved by Fulbright Taiwan. April of the following year Final approval is then normally received by Fulbright Taiwan in April and conveyed to grantees as soon as received.*Please be noted that all Taiwan grantees travel to U.S. must hold a J-type visa for academic and cultural exchange programs. Please refer to the following link for more visa-related details:http://www.fulbright.org.tw/tw/provisionsandconditions。 Data source：Fulbright Taiwan
Taiwan and France Exchanged Interns for 12 Years Resulting in an Increased of Mandarin and French LearnersThe Ministry of Education (MOE) has been promoting the “France-Taiwan Foreign Language Internship Exchange Program” for 12 years, which as a result, the population of Mandarin learners in France increased from a rate of 20% to 30% each year. More and more high school students in Taiwan have taken French as the second foreign language, the number of classes offered is next to Japanese.The MOE, the French Office in Taipei, and the French Teachers Association have jointly held a Welcome and Farewell Party at the Tamkang University to welcome French language interns to Taiwan and to give a good send-off to Taiwanese interns going to France. The young attendees from both sides got to know each other through mutual communications and have left behind great memories.The MOE highlighted today in the news that the “France-Taiwan Foreign Language Internship Exchange Program” has been launched for 12 years. The two countries each offer round trip tickets for students of their own country and provide a living allowance for interns from each other's country, which has so far benefited 365 young students, including 187 Mandarin interns and 178 French interns. In the 2019 academic year, Taiwan and France each have sent 19 students to each other's country for interning as a language teaching assistant. The French interns have come to Taiwan one after another in September; they were assigned to 11 colleges including the National Chengchi University, Tamkang University, and so on. Some students were assigned to assist in the French language and culture programs in high schools. Interns sent from Taiwan were students from six different schools, including the Fu Jen Catholic University and National Central University.The MOE stated that French is now a popular “second foreign language” among high school students in Taiwan, the number of classes offered is next to Japanese and is more than German and Spanish. More than 200 high schools all over Taiwan have offered a total of 466 French classes, with 12,644 people taking them in the 2018 academic year. In France, where Mandarin learners have increased with a rate of 20% to 30% yearly over the past 10 years, which ranked the 5th among foreign languages (the top 4 are English, Spanish, German, and Italian).(origin from:CNA)
EU Officials Visiting Taiwan for Studying Political Economic, Cultural Affairs, and to Learn Mandarin ChineseThe Ministry of Education (MOE) invited 36 officials of the European Union (EU) to Taiwan for studying the political, economic, and cultural affairs of Taiwan. Also, several visiting officials arranged to undertake two-week Mandarin Chinese programs at the Fu Jen Catholic University so that they may have a better understanding of Taiwan’s rich culture through the learning of the language.Today the Department of International and Cross-strait Education and the MOE shared in a news release, the EU-Official Chinese Language and Taiwan Study Program was first held in 2007. This year it is divided into two divisions: political-economic study and Mandarin culture study.The 21 EU officials invited for research in the political-economic division have participated in a week of seminars held at the National Cheng-Chi University to share with Taiwanese scholars from various fields of expertise on the issues of economics, politic, education, culture, and society. Whereas the other 15 officials invited for Mandarin culture study were engaged in a two-week program that took place at the Fu Jen Catholic University.Besides the seminar and Mandarin program, the EU officials also visited the National Palace Museum, Da Dao Cheng, and Pingxi in New Taipei City, to experience the history and culture of Taiwan. The MOE expects to expand the bilateral dialogue in various aspects and to extend the official collaboration through mutual exchange and communication. Taiwan has currently participated in the EU programs for training and career development of fellows, such as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA), the Erasmus+, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees, and the Jean Monet Actions. Taiwanese research fellows may participate in vanguard science research projects by enrolling in top EU universities through the above channel.(origin from:CNA)