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2030 bilingual policy to help Taiwan connect with the world: NDC head

2021-12-03
Focus Taiwan
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National Development Council Minster Kung Ming-hsin.
National Development Council Minster Kung Ming-hsin.

Taipei, Dec. 1 (CNA) The government's "Bilingual Nation 2030" policy will help boost the competitiveness of young people in Taiwan in the global job market and help them connect with the world, National Development Council (NDC) Minster Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said Wednesday.

Kung was invited to a forum to discuss the initiative, which was initially proposed by the NDC in 2018 to "improve the English proficiency of the general public" in order to make Taiwan a bilingual nation by 2030.

He said he had observed that more and more multinational corporations had invested in Taiwan in recent years, with demand for local professionals with English proficiency also increasing as a consequence.

At the same time, Taiwanese enterprises with businesses operations overseas continue to look for talent in the country who know about Taiwan and have a good command of English, he added.

Hence, the government's plan would help Taiwanese "connect with the world," Kung said, adding he hoped that "people under the age of 30 in 2030 will not lose any opportunities because of language barriers."

Meanwhile, Anting Liu (劉安婷), founder of Teach for Taiwan, an organization promoting rural education, talked about other benefits of learning English or other foreign languages in addition to making people more competitive.

The government's plan to promote English-language education in Taiwan will help foster a more inclusive society, as those who speak different languages are usually more open-minded and embrace cultural diversity, she said.

She also suggested the government put more effort into promoting digital learning of English, as it would allow people in rural areas to gain access to an English-learning environment.

Under the government's plan, schools in Taiwan at all levels are expected to expand English-language courses and programs. In addition, the government has also pledged to introduce English services in public facilities, as well as create an "English-friendly environment" in Taiwan, the NDC says on its website.

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