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Schoolchildren in Taiwan and the UK Exchange Postcards as Part of Bilingual Interaction

The postcard from one of the students in the UK

With Taiwan working to become a bilingual nation by 2030, the importance of familiarizing Taiwanese students with the English language and encouraging them to interact with English speakers is being widely promoted. Schools in Taiwan are therefore seeking overseas partner schools for cultural, social and language exchanges, and the Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the United Kingdom has placed an increasing focus on matching elementary and secondary schools in Taiwan with suitable schools in the UK.

An example of such an international partnership is that between National Overseas Chinese Senior High School in New Taipei City which the Education Division matched with North Bridge House School in London. Collaborative language learning exchanges between the two schools are now thriving, with students at each school exchanging postcards in order to practice their language skills and improve their cross-cultural understanding. The students in Taiwan are sending postcards written in English, and the students in the UK reply in Mandarin.

In their postcards to each other, the school children have been using each other’s language to write about subjects such as their local landmarks and traditional foods. They have also discussed some of their favourite pastimes and given their opinions of popular culture. So as well as advancing Taiwan’s bilingual nation policy, partnerships like this are helping to promote Mandarin learning in the UK.