Taiwan to make English official second Language


#21

I don’t think taiwanese people want that.


#22

will they change the kindergarten rule?


#23

Are you new here? We need to poopoo everything.


#24

Geesh…newbies eh? :roll:


#25

This is pretty funny.


#26

Pretty true.

“成立委員會多半沒有用,只會浪費公帑”


#27

“More than half of committees established serve no purpose except to waste the public purse”

Guys, we’re an English language forum. :turkey::turkey::turkey:


#28

What they need to do is start letting kids go abroad so they can see they really need to learn English if they ever want to compete. I think in Italy they allow kids to go abroad for a semester without hurting their credits. Taiwanese people have shit English the same reason Japanese have shit English. They never leave the island or have enough contact with the rest of the world to see they need it.


#29

^^I thought it’s because their English classes focus on reading and writing, with very little speaking, and usually feature a Taiwanese teacher speaking in Chinese the whole time. English is treated like a math course; “Just take this grammar point, and then add that grammar point and it equals this…bam! English!”

If they go abroad in groups they also tend to hang out with their Taiwanese friends and just speak in Chinese most of the time, too. If they do meet a foreigner, they’re even likely to be afraid.


#30

Yes that’s definitely a mai contributing factor as well. I still think kids need a environment where they can see that it’s not even an advantage to know English anymore, it’s basic.


#31

I don’t think everyone in the world should speak English. How long English ability can be an advantage. Google translator already does good work.


#32

I think a lot of young people now realize knowing English is basic, especially since so many of them want to travel abroad for fun.

They just don’t want their classmates to hear them pronounce things badly and then get made fun of. To us the mentality is: “If you don’t stick your neck out then you’ll never get anywhere.” To a lot of young Taiwanese people it seems to be: “Play it safe.”

Teachers need to deal with bullying or making fun of classmates, IMO. And tell them that if they don’t practice speaking then they won’t be any good at it and won’t gain the confidence they need. I’m sure some teachers say this but it needs to be universal. And I’m no teacher!


#33

:ponder:

@discobot quote


#34

:left_speech_bubble: Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others. — Jacob Braude


#35

So does this mean immigrants can take an English version of the naturalization language exam? Can kids in school select English for their “mother tongue” instruction (which is normally limited to the choice of Taiwanese, Hakka, and local aboriginal languages)?


#36

You think too much. It means absolutely nothing. It means some do-nothing politician had a little brain spasm.


#37

Interesting that they say they will take a “top down approach.” It needs to be the other way around. I worked in public schools here for over 3 threes between different programs. There are some really great English teachers here but also some really awful ones. From what I have seen, the foreign teachers in these public school programs are severely underutilized and just get put in front of as many children as possible. I used to teach literally hundreds of students in the course of a school year, sometimes probably into the thousands if you count the kids that came in for “field trips” to the God-awful English village/Wonderland programs. You never get to know the kids or have any type of relationship with them. It’s like a petting zoo and you’re the feature attraction!

Like most things in Taiwan, these programs are incompetently run and there is no real vision or purpose to them, basically they saw the Koreans doing this and said, “hey, let’s do it too!” If foreign teachers were put to good use, they would be designing curriculum and also training local teachers, but I really don’t think they would have that, having to listen to some foreigner tell them how to do their job. And those who would design the curriculum would have to have some level of experience teaching here already and/or knowledge of Chinese.

One of the things that absolutely kills me with the English language learning here is that people apply the speech patterns of Chinese to English, which doesn’t fucking work. Kids need to be taught early on that this is unacceptable for learning English, but too many local teachers still do wack shit like for example pronouncing the letter “X” as “e-kuh-suh!” turning a one syllable letter into a three syllable fucking nightmare. Kids hear this and consider it to be acceptable or even correct. What if we went around dropping our tones or not giving a fuck about them or turning diphthong vowels into two syllables? We’d be incomprehensible to Chinese speakers. For example if we said “Hua-li-en” instead of “Hua-lien” we would get confused blank looks. My point is that this is how far off the schools are from being able to teach kids how to properly speak English. There needs to be education about the funadmental differences in the structures of English and Chinese in particular with the concept of phonics and a strong focus on consonant blends and syllables that end with consonants. Chinese speakers of English far too often either add a superfulous vowel sound to the end of these or drop the sound entirely. To me these are among the fundamental building blocks of learning a language, mastering the phonology is key in the beginning and if you can’t even do that, then you essentially have little to no hope of becoming proficient in the language.

Anyway to conclude, if they want this to get anywhere, first native English speakers should be training and creating curriculum instead of being shoved in front of as many kids as possible. Also there must be an emphasis on how English and Chinese are different and that in order to be a successful English speaker, one must adapt the phonological language patterns of English and this must be emphaized in the language learning here. Additionally, I think it would be worthwhile to study how teachers in the Philippines manage to teach kids in English who mostly speak another language at home until they get to school, with considerably larger class sizes and considerably fewer resources. Someone also mentioned dealing with bullying and teasing among students due to mispronunciation, this issue must be addressed as well and there must be a fundamental shift in the classroom culture.

Taiwan will have a long way to go toward making English an official language but they could at least start with this.


#38

It’s top down with no regulatory changes. We’re looking at the regular ‘Taiwan goes international’ thing.

On the plus side there may be some money pumped in. Stuff like CLIL. The British Council will be licking their lips.


#39

Your example reminds me of my own experience with Math. In elementary school, we used US textbooks in English and everything was peachy. When I got to high school, the government had decided that international schools should “integrate” with local curriculum and that the context taught in the foreign language should not exceed X percent. So they started teaching us Math in Spanish with some Cuban textbooks that still plague my nightmares. I went from A student to C and D and worse. And I was not the only one.


#40

Teachers themselves are bullied by supervisors and the system. One of teh worse experiences at work was meeting these famouse “instructors” in Shida, the ones that monopolize the teaching of teachers. Just to say I found out wher ethey got the copy/paste plagiarism. And in their cases, it was shameless plagiarism as even when confronted with evidence they would be like so what, I say so.

And again, msot teachers cannot teach. They play teh roles of parents because parenst are working 18 hours daily. the famous schools have the kids´parents do the homework and special assignments. It is generalized cheating and self delusion. Why do you give assignments above their ability to a kid? Like a 6 year old would have that kind of say fine motor skills? And you delude yourself when the kid comes back with something obviously made by parents or/and uncles. Is the point to humilliate teh one sthat do not have the money to pay for someone to do their homework/give them the test answers? Seriously, the whole education system itself is rotten.


English as an Official Language in Taiwan