Turning now to Taiwan’s push to become bilingual in English and Chinese. National Sun Yat-sen University is a designated beacon school for the Ministry of Education’s bilingual education program. Prior to becoming a benchmark institution, it already had nine graduate programs taught fully in English. Now it’s also opened all-English undergraduate classes in three departments: electrical engineering, mechanical and electro-mechanical engineering, and chemistry. The school also offers opportunities for students to use their English, through activities like its English Table program. Year after year, the school will work toward creating a more immersive English-learning environment, to cultivate a generation of globalized talent for the international stage.
Launched by National Sun Yat-sen University’s Si Wan College, the English Table program focuses on oral language practice. Participating students are divided into groups that are led by international students. A different theme is set each week to guide the Taiwanese students in conversation practice.
The table leader and I have only English as a common language. Because of that, you force yourself to think in English and to speak in English.
You can chat about things. It’s good fun. And at the same time, you’re practicing your English speaking skills.
National Sun Yat-sen University launched English Table in the 2020 academic year to a positive student reception. In the 2021 academic year, it was formally incorporated into the Ministry of Education’s Program on Bilingual Education for Students in College. Through systematic planning, the school aims to provide a rich, all-English teaching environment.
NSYSU vice president for academic affairs
We’re letting students engage on the basis of their expertise and knowledge. On top of that, they are interacting with their classmates – their peers – to improve their English abilities one step at a time.
As a participant in the Program on Bilingual Education for Students in College, National Sun Yat-sen University has established all-English classes in three departments: electrical engineering; mechanical and electro-mechanical engineering; and chemistry. This school year, it’s held knowledge-building workshops for teachers who use English as a medium of instruction, to enhance their ability to teach in English and to strengthen the groundwork of a bilingual campus.
It’s not just National Sun Yat-sen University. We are hoping to integrate the efforts of universities in this area in promoting this "Bilingual Nation by 2030" policy.
Besides striving to create the bilingual campus, National Sun Yat-sen University is also a resource for other schools. It plays host to the Ministry of Education’s Southern Regional Resource Center for Bilingual Education. This center helps domestic institutions of higher education train faculty who teach using English, in order to enhance students’ English proficiency and their global competitiveness.