Mandarin Teacher from NTNU Went to Russia to Teach Traditional Characters
The Ministry of Education start “The 8-year project of construction and application of Mandarin” in 2009 with an aim that Mandarin teachers can be the pusher of Taiwanese culture. So far, 607 people went to United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Paraguay, Mexico and Malawi to teach Mandarin, expanding the world map of Taiwanese Mandarin teaching. This year, 130 people are selected to 15 countries. On September 7th, a press conference was held, inviting teachers that went teaching overseas to share their experience.
Associate Professor Chen Ya Fang was the first Mandarin teacher to Russia in 2010. She studied Russian in her MS and BS and she went on learning Mandarin Teaching at NTNU. She has been to Russia as an exchange student, so she choose to teach at Moscow State University. Because the long term bilateral project between Russia and China, teachers in Russia often teach simplified Chinese. However, the authority thinks that simplified Chinese is not good enough. With the help of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, teachers from Taiwan went to Russia to “defeat” teachers from China.
Local students have learned simplified Chinese before, but Chen insisted on teaching traditional Chinese. She prepared her own teaching material, broadcast role playing, giving the students an enjoyable experience different than strict Chinese teachers. Chen also keep on promoting the difference between Taiwan and China, giving speech at Moscow State Linguistic University and the next year, the Russians decided to invite more Taiwanese teachers to come and teach Mandarin.
She often told her students that you can know the whole Chinese society by learning both simplified and traditional characters. Chen said that the salary from the university was really bad, thanks to the subsidy from the Ministry of Education, she continued teaching in Russia. Because of her excellent performance, Russian universities are confident in Taiwanese Mandarin teaching. Now there’s already 10 universities that are willing to hire Taiwanese Mandarin teacher with triple salary. Three of her students even came to Taiwan because of her profound teaching.
Now there’s at least 30 million people teaching Mandarin, many universities set up East Asian Language courses so need for Mandarin teachers is on the rise. The Ministry of Education said that being a Mandarin teacher is a challenging job that bring Taiwanese style education abroad. It’s hoped that more and more students will be interested in teaching Mandarin.