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Welcome Party in Thailand for Taiwanese Teachers & Teaching Assistants

In 2011 the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand (TECO in Thailand) began a project to enhance mutual understanding between Taiwan and Thailand. The project brings Taiwanese teachers and teaching assistants to teach Huayu (another name for Mandarin Chinese) in Thai schools. This project is now in its fifth year and five teachers and eight teaching assistants, selected from universities in Taiwan, are teaching Huayu in 11 Thai elementary schools and secondary schools in Thailand.

The Huayu teachers from Taiwan have graduated from a university or graduate school after majoring in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. Most of the teachers arrived at their Thai school on May 16. They will teach there for a year, with a possible extension to two years. The Huayu teaching assistants are still students at a university in Taiwan and their work in a Thai school represents their internship as a Chinese teacher. The teaching assistants arrived in their Thai school at the end of June and they will each serve there for eight months.

The excellent teaching of the Taiwanese teachers and teaching assistants has resulted in more and more schools in Thailand wanting to join in this project, and they are offering better salaries to attract Taiwanese to teach Huayu in their schools. Four provinces of Thailand—Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khuri Khan, Samutsakhon, and Samutprakarn—now have Taiwanese Huayu teachers and teaching assistants in their schools, so many more Thai students now have access to learning Huayu and learning about Taiwanese culture.

TECO in Thailand hosted a welcome party in Bangpieepattana suksalai school to express its gratitude to teachers, teaching assistants, and Thai schools taking part in the project. It is very glad to see the success the program has achieved so far and to see it continuing to grow in a healthy way. Having more language teachers from Taiwan go to Thailand will benefit the people of both countries: by learning from each other, and infusing new thoughts and dynamics into their existing culture.