HSINCHU, TAIWAN, October 1 – NTHU has recently received a grant from the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) Chinese Proficiency Program, and is preparing to send specially trained teachers to teach Chinese at top universities in the United States, including the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The Program will also bring students at US universities to Taiwan to study Chinese, engage in cultural activities, and assist in bilingual education at primary and secondary schools.
In addition to deepening exchanges between Taiwan and the United States, the Program will also help raise awareness of Taiwan at American universities. NTHU has already signed memorandums of cooperation with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Duke University, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has been sending Chinese teachers to the United States since the end of 2021.
Duke University and the University of Hawaii have already sent six students to study Chinese at NTHU with support from the Chinese Proficiency Scholarship. President for global affairs Yen Ta-jen (嚴大任) said that in addition to having extensive teaching experience, the Chinese teachers selected to go to the United States are also adept in such traditional Chinese pastimes as paper-cutting, mahjong, and chess, and some are also skilled in playing the erhu, landscape painting, and Peking Opera makeup, all of which are highly effective forms of cultural diplomacy.
Chen Jingjia (陳敬佳), who has been teaching Chinese overseas for many years, is preparing to begin teaching at Duke University. Chiu Yuting (邱于庭) is currently a student in the Chinese language education group of the Interdisciplinary and International Master’s Program. The Duke University students studying Chinese come from a variety of departments, with clear learning goals and a positive attitude. Chiu is going to add a module on Taiwanese culture in the upcoming semester.
Li Yu-an (李玉安), also a student in the Chinese language education group of the Interdisciplinary and International Master’s Program, is going to teach Chinese at the University of Hawaii, where many of the students are the children of Chinese immigrants, so even though they can hardly speak Chinese, they have a strong interest in Chinese culture. Two of the American exchange students from Duke University are Cole Walker and Andrew Yue Qin, both of whom are already able to converse in Chinese.
In addition to their Chinese classes at NTHU, they also have classes on Taiwanese history and culture, and have made field trips to Taipei, Tainan, and Hualien. NTHU has also signed agreements with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to set up Chinese language centers, arrange for exchange students, and to jointly develop course materials. Yen Ta-jen hopes that similar programs will be implemented with European universities in the near future.