Taiwan Set to Increase Number of Foreign English Teachers | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan plans to expand the recruitment of foreign English teachers from 80 to 300 a year as part of its bid to become a bilingual country.

Now in its sixth year, the bilingual program sees 20 to 22 class sessions per week in Taiwan’s public high schools conducted in English. The program was touted as helping to strengthen the country’s competitive advantage.

According to the Ministry of Education (MOE), the number of schools applying for grants to employ foreign English teachers has increased and been well received.

Pingtung High School, for example, encourages instructors to incorporate local culture into the curriculum. From tuna harvesting season to the King Boat fire and Kenting tourist attraction, classes introducing some of the most iconic traits of Taiwan’s southernmost municipality have struck a chord with students and helped better school results.

Students at Lan-Yang Girls’ High School in Yilan and Nantou High School in the central city of Nantou also expressed increased interest in acquiring English, with lively lessons featuring useful dialogues for travel and everyday life, said the MOE.

Education authorities are seeking to set aside a budget of NT$2 billion (US$68 million) next year out of the current NT$200 million for bilingual education, CNA reported. The master plan for the “Bilingual Country 2030” aims to boost national competitiveness and improve citizens’ English skills through educational reform, the creation of English channels, the increase of English programs, the creation an English-friendly environment for tourists and other approaches.