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Taiwan Delegation Attends 2015 ACTFL Conference and Taiwan-USA Mandarin Education Forum in San Diego

A Taiwan delegation of representatives of Chinese language Centers at ten universities and two Chinese language-education related organizations attended the 2015 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Conference in San Diego from November 20 to 22, subsidized by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan.

ACTFL is an organization of individuals. Its members include more than 12,500 language educators and administrators, working at all levels of education, from elementary to post-graduate, as well as people from government and industry. It was founded in 1967 to provide vision, leadership, and support for quality teaching and learning of languages. Chinese has become one of the main choices for American students wanting to learn a foreign language, and its importance and visibility has increased a lot in the last decade. The Taiwan delegation took part in the ACTFL annual meeting and set up a “Taiwan, Your Choice for Chinese Learning” display booth, providing information about Chinese learning programs, materials, and activities. Dr. Wang Wei-Yung, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at National Cheng Kung University demonstrated calligraphy and chanted traditional Chinese poems there, which attracted many people’s attention and sparked their interest in studying Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan.

The delegation was led by Lily Chen, CEO of the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) and included a representative of the Steering Committee for the Test of Proficiency-Huayu, as well as people from the Chinese Language Centers at Chinese Culture University, Feng Chia University, Fu Jen Catholic University, National Cheng Kung University, National Chengchi University, National Taiwan Normal University, National Taiwan University, Soochow University, Tamkang University, and Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages. The Taiwanese participants promoted the Chinese learning resources, teaching and learning environment in Taiwan, and Taiwan’s TOCFL Chinese proficiency test.

The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles organized a welcome dinner for the delegation and a Taiwan-USA Mandarin Education Exchange forum on November 21. Many representatives of local organizations such as ACTFL, the College Board, the San Diego County Office of Education, Amity Institute, the Chinese Language Association of Secondary Elementary Schools, the Chinese Language Teacher Association in South California, the National Council of the Association of Chinese Language Schools, and people from local mainstream colleges, universities and schools were all invited to participate in the forum. The welcome dinner and exchange forum provided everyone with a good opportunity to network and exchange information and ideas about Mandarin education foreign students’ achievement and testimony.