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Chinese teaching assistants from Taiwan offered teaching positions in Utah

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  • Date: 04/29/2016

The Utah State Office of Education has offered its young citizens a Dual Language Immersion program since 2008, and Chinese is one of the languages offered to young learners. A Chinese immersion program was offered at 38 elementary schools in Utah in the 2015 school year. Beginning in kindergarten, students spend 50 percent of their daily class time learning subjects in English, and the remainder in Chinese. The number of Chinese immersion programs has been growing steadily and they are popular with parents.

To meet a persistent demand for Chinese language teachers for the Chinese immersion programs, the Davis School District has been working with Taiwan's Ministry of Education and it has recently offered full-time teaching positions to three Chinese teaching assistants from Taiwan who have been working there since 2015. Their impressive performance earned them high commendation and the opportunity to become full-fledged members of the teaching staff at their school in the coming 2016 school year, and two of them decided to accept the offer.

The teaching assistants are either graduate or senior university students whose undergraduate courses included Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. The internships in elementary schools in Utah provided them with a wonderful opportunity to get on-the-job experience in a supporting role abroad. The teaching assistants all found the experience very rewarding. The intensive daily work and the guidance of the regular teachers helped them to rapidly become adept at applying the pedagogical, class management, and curriculum design principles they had been taught. They also enjoyed an immersion in the local American culture and honed their English language skills.

Ms. Hsu Huei-wen, Director of the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco recently visited the Davis School District in Utah, which this year decided to engage another 10 teaching assistants from Taiwan. Ms. Hsu expressed her deep appreciation for the school district’s strong support, and she congratulated the teaching assistants for their excellent performance. As more and more Chinese immersion programs continue being offered in other states as well, more job offers for Chinese teaching assistants and teachers from Taiwan can certainly be expected.