Source: Ching-Yang Siang, Office of International Affairs
Edited by Yu-Ying Chen, Office of International Affairs

►Michael Davies-Hughes (Superintendent of Schools for Humboldt County) joyfully high-fives with the children.
►US delegations’ calligraphy experience at Du-Xing Elementary School.


"How are you?" 
"I'm in Taiwan, and I'm doing well!" 
Strolling through the Chinese Language Center (CLC) at National Chung Hsing University (NCHU), foreign students can be seen participating in lively conversations with their language teachers. The classroom resonates with cheerful laughter and voices, encapsulating the spirit of language acquisition. It's worth noting that this scene now also appears in universities in the United States, all thanks to Taiwan's Ministry of Education's "Taiwan Huayu BEST Program".

►Student’s in-class final oral presentation (picture provided by Ms. Wan-Ling Wei)

The Ministry of Education (MOE) initiated the "Taiwan Huayu BEST Program" to advance Mandarin Chinese language education and strengthen partnerships between universities in Taiwan and institutions in the United States and Europe. Within the framework of this program, Mandarin instructors are dispatched to teach at universities abroad, and scholarships are provided to students from partner institutions to come to Taiwan for language learning. In 2023, NCHU participated in this program by sending two dedicated educators to the United States. Mr. Chang-Ching Lin is stationed at Brigham Young University, while Ms. Wan-Ling Wei teaches at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY). For them, the Taiwan Huayu BEST Program extends beyond the transmission of knowledge; it also acquaints students with the cultural facets of Taiwan—a country known for its delectable cuisine, breathtaking scenery, and heartfelt hospitality.

►End-of-semester group photo (picture provided by Ms. Wan-Ling Wei)

Integrating Taiwan's Culinary Heritage into Teaching for Engaging Learning Experiences
 “At the Brooklyn College, CUNY, many non-Chinese students are getting their first introduction to Taiwan. So, I often start with tapioca milk tea, and many students are surprised to learn that this delicious drink was invented in Taiwan!" Ms. Wan-Ling Wei shared with enthusiasm. Her specialty in teaching Chinese as a second language led her to be chosen by NCHU for a teaching assignment at the Brooklyn College, CUNY. Using elements of popular culture such as memes and bubble tea, she successfully kindles students' passion for learning Mandarin.

Considering that the "Taiwan Huayu BEST Program" will offer scholarships for students to learn Mandarin in Taiwan, Ms. Wei has incorporated Taiwanese culture into her teaching. For instance, when teaching numbers, she creates scenarios related to Taiwanese currency and shopping, allowing students to gain a deeper understanding of life in Taiwan. She also recommends watching Taiwanese YouTube videos and TV shows to get accustomed to the colloquial language used in daily life. Additionally, improving reading skills in Chinese characters can effectively support to language while living in Taiwan.

►The Chinese Flagship Center's calligraphy experience activity during the Mid-Autumn Festival event (picture provided by Mr. Chang-Ching Lin)

Customized Mandarin Course Exemplifies Taiwan's Educational Soft Power
Meanwhile, Mr. Chang-Ching Lin, who teaches at Brigham Young University, is committed to providing students with customized and highly effective instructions. He believes that “teaching is not just a one-way transmission but a two-way communication. Mandarin teachers abroad must possess the crucial skill of using students' native language to help them understand the appropriate usage contexts.” Mr. Lin is known for his meticulous and thoughtful teaching style, and he often tutors students in his free time. His dedication has earned praise at Brigham Young University, encouraging many students to actively pursue studies in Taiwan. Taiwan's educational soft power shines brightly on American campuses thanks to teachers like Mr. Lin.

►Students’ in-class presentation on the “U.S.-China Trade War” (picture provided by Mr. Chang-Ching Lin) 

NCHU: The Top Choice for Learning Mandarin 
National Chung Hsing University (NCHU), located in Taichung, offers excellent Mandarin teaching faculty, a beautiful campus, and abundant learning resources, making it the best place for foreign students to learn Mandarin in Taiwan. Mr. Lin mentioned that Taichung has a pleasant climate, lower living costs, and is centrally located in Taiwan, allowing students to easily explore both the north and south on weekends. Therefore, NCHU provides foreign students with the best quality of teaching and living within a reasonable budget.

The collaborative efforts of the Chinese Language Center (CLC), which provides immediate support to Mandarin teachers both on campus and abroad, and the Office of International Affairs (OIA), responsible for the well-being of international students on campus, have successfully drawn students from various institutions such as Brigham Young University, Brooklyn College, CUNY, and the University of Texas at Dallas, to learn Mandarin at NCHU in 2024. Beyond higher education, the collaboration in Mandarin language education has extended to K-12 education. For instance, the International Leadership of Texas (ILTEXAS) plans to send high school students to NCHU for a Mandarin summer camp in the summer of 2024.

►Indonesian student Aditya Gautama’s handwriting

Using Mandarin Chinese to Showcase Taiwan to the World
In June 2023, NCHU hosted an educational forum for U.S. administrative executives in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE). The forum aimed to connect local primary and secondary schools in central Taiwan and promote cultural exchange between foreign and local students. This initiative encourages the practical use of Mandarin to build friendships among students from both countries.

The Chinese proverb "言文行遠" beautifully captures the essence of Mandarin education in Taiwan: With Mandarin as their wings, those eager to explore can embark on journeys to distant worlds. This language opens the door to the magnificent island of Taiwan, creating splendid adventures in learners’ lives.


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