Taiwan to Become a Bilingual Country by 2030

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From the National Development Council website:

After Premier Lai listened to the Ministry of Education’s reporting on “Promoting English as an official language of Taiwan policy report” on September 19, 2018, the Premier instructed the administration to develop Taiwan into a Bilingual Nation by 2030, and the NDC was designated to serve as the coordinating agency and to put forward a blueprint for implementation of the policy.

With the instruction by Premier, the NDC has held several meetings with central government agencies, local governments, and domestic and foreign chambers of commerce. Taking into consideration the opinions from various chambers of commerce and the general public, the NDC has formulated the “Blueprint for Developing Taiwan into a Bilingual Nation by 2030”.

The major two objectives of the Blueprint are to “enhance Taiwan’s international competitiveness” and “improve Taiwan citizens’ English proficiency”. There are several individual strategies proposed by relevant competent ministries, including promoting a bilingual education system, establishing a full English TV channel, encouraging the Taiwan Broadcasting System to produce and broadcast English programs, increasing English programs in radio stations, creating a friendly bilingual tourism environment, bilingualizing government procurement documents, providing English digest of indictments involving foreigners and foreign enterprises, suggesting the Judicial Yuan to provide English digest of important judgments, creating a bilingual friendly investment environment for science parks and industrial parks, encouraging enterprises to enhance their English capabilities, enhancing English proficiency of labor force, and etc. And there are also common strategies, including bilingualizing the official website of each government agencies, bilingualizing foreigner-related official documents and laws/regulations, bilingualizing the front line public service, bilingualizing open public information, enhancing the bilingual service of cultural and educational institutions such as museums, cultivating English communication skills of government officials, conducting tests for technical personnel in English and bilingualizing the certificate, etc. We hope to trigger supply with demand, capitalize on private resources, and create maximum benefit with minimum cost in order to realize the vision of a bilingual nation by 2030.

This blueprint is distinct from previous bilingual policies in several respects. For one, it is designed to enhance the nation’s overall competitiveness rather than simply the ability to pass examinations. It also focuses on enhancing people’s English proficiency as opposed to only building the infrastructure for a bilingual environment. The blueprint is intended to forge a culture of English learning for not only students, but the entire nation. Finally, the blueprint’s measures will be driven from the demand side rather than the supply side.

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