Representatives of the Secretariat of the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of Germany Visit NTNU to Share Experience with Mandarin Teaching
With rising interest in Mandarin learning around the world, Mandarin teaching has received great attention in recent years. On the afternoon of October 16th, representatives of the Secretariat of the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of Germany visited National Taiwan Normal University, accompanied by members of the Department of International and Cross-Strait Education of the Ministry of Education. The German representatives shared experiences with Mandarin teaching. NTNU Vice President Chih-fu Cheng stated that NTNU offers first-rate Mandarin training and attracts exchange students from all over the world every year. Vice President Cheng offered a warm welcome to the representatives.
The director of the Department of International and Cross-Strait Education, Julie Chiu, pointed out that Taiwan is a great place to study Mandarin and expressed hopes for further exchange and study in the future. She also described the status of education in Taiwan, pointing to the examples of the 12 year compulsory education policy and the 'First-rate Mandarin Center Plan' to demonstrate the advantages of learning Mandarin in Taiwan. She also expressed her desire to broaden Taiwan's international reputation this area.
NTNU drafted a series of plans related to Mandarin teacher training in 2001 and hopes to offer mandarin training to learners all around the world through an online teaching platform. Yung-Cheng Shen, the Deputy Dean of Office of International Affairs, mentioned that NTNU has an outstanding Mandarin training system and has been steadily developing innovative teaching methods in recent years. In addition to researching the best Mandarin teaching curriculum and methods, NTNU has also revised its language assessment criteria. The Mandarin Training Center was established in 1956. Since then, it has attracted students from all around the world by offering seasonal Mandarin learning courses and organizing students in small classes, with emphasis on listening, speaking, reading and writing.
During the meeting, the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL), which is now offered in 24 countries including England, the USA, France and Germany, was also discussed. This test can be used to apply to schools in Taiwan and also contributes to employment opportunity.