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Taiwan to Start Teaching Vietnamese in Grades 3-12 in 2018

Starting in 2018, Taiwanese students will have the option to learn Vietnamese, among other Southeast Asian languages, from grades 3-12.

As part of a revised core curriculum, Ou Chi Shi, secretary of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office’s education division in Ho Chi Minh City, told Tuoi Tre that research centers and departments of Vietnamese Studies across Taiwan are finishing new Vietnamese textbooks for students.

Ou also shared with the news outlet that universities in Taiwan have exchanged resources with their partners in Vietnam to train and prepare teachers for the academic year in 2018.

The effort to bring Vietnamese, as well as other Southeast Asian languages, to elementary and secondary schools is part of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy, which aims to foster bilateral business partnerships and eventually create a new regional economic community, according to the Taipei Times.

Development Council Deputy Minister Kao Shien-quey told the Times: “A ‘national team’ will be established to help Taiwanese businesses reach out to foreign markets and find their niche.”

Kao added that skilled foreign workers will soon be able to apply for long-term residency and professional certification programs. With a growing number of Southeast Asian immigrant workers, Taiwan seeks to utilize their language skills to attract more Southeast Asian tourists, in addition to teaching their native languages to Taiwanese.

Last September, Vietnam’s national broadcaster VTV reported that roughly 100,000 Vietnamese brides live in Taiwan, and 70% of them have obtained citizenship in the country, according to Tuoi Tre.

In addition, Ou told Tuoi Tre that about 80,000 children have been born to Vietnamese-Taiwanese couples. These children make up 40.7% of Taiwan’s dual citizenship children.

[Original photo via Today Online]

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