Delegation of High School Principals Visit Taiwan for Mandarin Classes in Advanced Placement Programs
A delegation of high school principals from around the United States recommended by the Ministry of Education's overseas Cultural Divisions visited Taiwan from July 8 to July 15, 2007. The delegation's purpose was to gain an understanding of the current situation of Mandarin teaching training in Taiwan and to explore the possibility of joint efforts in Mandarin teaching.
Tu Cheng-sheng, Minister of Education, met with the delegation at 4pm on July 13 to welcome them. This meeting was aimed at establishing an understanding of current Mandarin curriculums and ascertaining the demand for Mandarin teachers in different schools. This was done so that in future, both parties can sel-ect Mandarin teachers to teach in the United States and so that American high school students can come to Taiwan to study Mandarin during summer vacations. Other potential cooperation projects include Mandarin teacher training, joint compilation of Mandarin teaching materials and collaboration in Mandarin curriculum planning.
The delegation was made up of 23 representatives from 19 schools (districts). National Taiwan Normal University's Mandarin Training Center was responsible for entertaining the delegation. During their stay, members of the delegation visited Mandarin teaching institutions, including National Chengchi University, Tzu Chi University and Taipei Fuhsing Private School (elementary and high school). They also did some sightseeing at Tienhsiang, Taroko National Park and the old streets at Yingge and Sansia which gave them the opportunity to experience the culture and customs of Taiwan firsthand. The Mandarin Training Center also provided onsite demonstrations of Advance Placement (AP) Mandarin curriculums and gave introductions on a variety of Mandarin teaching materials. All members of the delegation were pleased with the itinerary and felt that they gained a lot during their visit.
All of the schools or the school districts where the delegation members work offer Mandarin classes, AP or Pre-AP Mandarin classes. Many of the delegates visited China prior to this trip and they were a lot more impressed with the professionalism of Mandarin teaching in Taiwan. The lively teaching techniques used here and Taiwan's advantages in terms of digital technology convinced them that Taiwan leads the way in Mandarin teaching with its higher quality of teaching.
Superintendent Dr. Dennis Bruno from the Glendale School District in Pennsylvania announced a program for selecting Mandarin teachers to teach in the United States. This announcement was made with the support of the Ministry of Education and applicants for the program will be interviewed individually. It is expected that more American schools will go through this channel for the recruitment of outstanding Mandarin teachers recommended by the Ministry of Education.