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Quality Mandarin Teaching Strengthens Cooperative Ties between Taiwan and West Virginia

Dr. David Stewart (4th left), Yuri Chih (5th left), and administrative coordinators at West Virginia University

The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States visited Morgantown in West Virginia between November 16 and 19, to facilitate collaboration between Taiwan and the State of West Virginia. During their visit they met with local officials and principals of county schools, administrators in charge of international educational exchanges, and Taiwanese teachers and students in the state.

There are currently nine Mandarin teachers and teaching assistants from Taiwan teaching in West Virginia, and National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan and West Virginia University engage in educational collaborations.

Yuri Chih, director of the Education Division and Robert Lee, the Education Division Secretary met with Dr. Eddie Campbell, the Superintendent of Monongalia County Schools and other officials to expressed their gratitude for the County’s support. During a meeting with principals of local elementary and middle schools, the principals expressed their appreciation of the Taiwanese teachers working in their schools, describing the teachers’ performance as “beyond expectation”. The county school officials also spoke highly of the Taiwanese teachers and teaching assistants and expressed strong support for having more come to Monongalia County in the future.

The two universities have set up a pioneering collaboration under the new Taiwan Huayu BEST - Bilingual Exchanges of Selected Talent Program. This comprehensive educational collaborative project followed the signing of the U.S.–Taiwan Education Initiative in December last year, the American students who travel to Taiwan on exchanges to improve their Mandarin will also have opportunities to assist local elementary and secondary school students in learning English.

Director Chih met with Dr. David Stewart, the Associate Provost for International Relations at West Virginia University and administrative coordinators on November 19. They had a detailed discussion of multiple collaborative programs with the university and other matters, including the Taiwan Huayu BEST Program, bilateral student exchange programs, and arranging to sign a memorandum of understanding for further cooperation. Director Chih also met with Taiwanese students and the nine Mandarin teachers and assistants from Taiwan that day. Learning Mandarin from Taiwanese teachers has become a popular choice for American community and Taiwan’s lively teaching methods are appreciated by their American students, and Director Chih expressed his appreciation of their contribution as bridges between Taiwan and the U.S.