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Department of Chinese as a Second Language and the Singapore Center for Chinese Language Sign Cooperation Agreement

National Taiwan Normal University is sparing no effort to promote Chinese language learning, teaching and teacher training. NTNU continues to make significant contributions in the area of Chinese language education. To train professional Chinese language teachers in Singapore and enhance the cooperation between Taiwan and Singapore, NTNU held the '2014 Short-term Study Tour for Chinese Language Teachers from Singapore' from June 8th to 11th. A closing ceremony for this event was held at 5 p.m. on June 11th.

At the closing ceremony, representatives from NTNU and the Singapore Center for Chinese Language (SCCL) signed a letter of intent for future cooperation in the training of Chinese language teachers from Singapore. As part of the agreement, NTNU will hold regular study tours for Chinese language teachers and send faculty to Singapore to teach degree programs and courses for credit at SCCL.
The opening of the Singapore Center for Chinese Language at Nanyang Technological University was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on September 6th, 2008. The purpose of this center is to strengthen the learning of Chinese as a second language within Singapore's bilingual environment by improving Chinese language teaching and satisfying the needs of Chinese language learners who do not come from Chinese speaking families. The center offers outstanding teacher training curriculum to enhance the teaching skills and professionalism of Chinese language teachers, while also promoting the development of Chinese language culture in Singapore. In order to promote effective Chinese language teaching methods, research at SCCL focuses on innovative teaching and learning strategy. Since 2008, SCCL has held regular teacher training courses for primary and secondary Chinese language teachers from all over Singapore. Thus, SCCL has become the focal point for promoting Chinese as a second language and training Chinese language teachers.
SCCL director Zhi-quan Chen stated, 'As Chinese language teachers we must view our teaching within a broader scope. Chinese language teaching is not a regional matter, rather, it is a global trend. According to our understanding, within the next ten or fifteen years, Chinese will become another international language.'
In response to the needs of SCCL, this year's study tour included a variety of specialized courses, including 'Designing topics in Second Language Culture Learning,' 'Teaching and Assessment of Chinese Language Listening,' 'Effective Online Resource Design,' etc. These courses were designed to meet the specific needs of SCCL teachers. The study tour courses helped the teachers to improve the quality of their teaching by adopting a scientific approach to integrating theory and practice. Another aim of this study tour was to promote exchange and cooperation between scholars in Taiwan and Singapore. Such transnational exchange contributes to the internationalization of Chinese language learning and research in the two countries.
Most participants in the study tour pointed out that the courses were highly diverse and very informative. The study tour contributed to their understanding of Taiwanese culture, and, furthermore, participants' viewed the study tour as being very beneficial to their future careers as Chinese language teachers. Due to the success of the study tour which is in fact not the first time it is organized, more study tours for Chinese language teachers from Singapore are foreseeable in the future. This year's event also positively promoted the outstanding Chinese language teaching environment in Taiwan.