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U.S. Educators and NTNU Professors Exchange Bilingual Education Experiences During Visit to NTNU
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President Cheng-Chih Wu greets the US delegation on NTNU’s 101st school anniversary.
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Executive Vice President Frank Ying facilitating the exchange between US educators and NTNU professors
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Group photo of US delegates and NTNU representatives

To increase and strengthen educational cooperation and exchanges between the United States and Taiwan, education leaders from various U.S. State Departments of Education visited National Taiwan Normal University on 5 June, coinciding with NTNU’s 101st school anniversary. The US educators shared their experiences in language education and discussed with NTNU representatives on how to create immersive bilingual learning environments within the school system.

The six-person delegation of U.S. education administrators were from the states of Washington, Oklahoma, Utah, California, and Wyoming; these states have signed Memorandums of Understanding with Taiwan’s Ministry of Education over the years to expand Chinese language instruction exchanges and strengthen bilateral learning connections. Executive Vice President Frank Ying facilitated the exchange between the US delegates and NTNU professors.

The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Deputy Superintendent Dr. Michaela Miller mentioned the rising demand for dual language teachers in order for more students in the US to have access to Chinese instruction. This issue was echoed by Director Stacy Lyon of Chinese Dual Language Immersion for the Utah State Department of Education, who cited that Utah currently has 240 licensed teachers of Chinese with the need for additional teachers every year. Demand is also not simply for language instruction, Ms. Lyon elaborated, but also for Chinese instruction to become more fully integrated into the US school systems. Mr. Michael Davies-Hughes, California’s Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, raised the challenge of teacher recruitment and asked about how NTNU incentivizes candidates for teaching training.

Dr. Li-Yu Hung, Vice President for Teacher Education at NTNU, responded that, in terms of dual language teacher training, NTNU is strengthening its ability to teach English Mediated Instruction (EMI) courses in its areas of expertise. Recently, the University has been actively recruiting foreign teachers or teachers with EMI teaching skills to establish and improve the quality of bilingual immersion programs on campus. Dr. Posen Liao, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, added that NTNU’s Center for English Academic Literacy offers a variety of activities, such as English academic writing, international research matching and networking, and one-on-one English counseling appointments to help students develop their English skills.

The United States and Taiwan’s similarity in their teacher certification process increases the viability for cooperation, Dr. Hung said. NTNU’s School of Teacher Education consistently attracts quality teacher candidates due to its reputation as the best in the nation and the robust curriculum it offers, such as Taiwan’s first and foremost International Baccalaureate certification program. Its Division of International Education offers degrees for Chinese, math, bilingual education, etc. The School has also recently been approved by the Taiwan government for primary school teacher certification in addition to its well-established preschool-kindergarten and secondary school certifications. Dr. Hung encourages schools in the United States to offer semester-long work opportunities to NTNU pre-service teacher candidates to test their qualification.

This visit brought about better understanding for the U.S. community of educators on the achievements of bilingual education at NTNU as well as similar discourses taking place in both countries such as public attitudes towards cultural influences and effects of language learning. With hope, this exchange will open a new chapter in U.S.-Taiwan educational cooperation. NTNU will continue to establish greater ties with the international community to enhance the internationalization of its campuses.

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