Taipei, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) hosted the first consultation meeting to discuss Taiwan’s “2030 Bilingual Country” policy on Monday, during which she hoped the English proficiency of Taiwanese could improve over the next decade.
In a speech at the closed-door meeting, released afterwards by the Presidential Office, Tsai said mastering English is important for Taiwanese to talk about Taiwan and its values in the international community.
People should be more connected to the world, now that the international community has noticed the presence of Taiwan and the values it represents because of its success in stopping the spread of COVID-19, Tsai said.
Making Taiwan bilingual by 2030 is a policy initiated by Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) in 2018 when he served as premier. In June that year, Lai specified the “2030 Bilingual Country” plan as a major national policy.
In Tsai’s inaugural address on May 20, she briefly mentioned that in her second four-year term, she plans to cultivate more bilingual talent to make Taiwan “a bilingual country” so that its people can further connect with the international community.
Under the Blueprint for Developing Taiwan into a Bilingual Nation by 2030, laid out by the Cabinet-level National Development Council (NDC), raising people’s English proficiency will be achieved through several strategies.
They include promoting a bilingual education system, boosting the establishment of all-English TV channels, cultivating a friendly bilingual tourism environment, and making the services at public venues bilingual.
In a statement on Monday’s meeting, NDC chief Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said the policy is still in the research and planning stage, and that four consultation meetings will be held for the government to collect opinions from a wide spectrum of different sectors.
Those attending Monday’s meeting included Doris M. Brougham, the founder of English teaching program Studio Classroom, TV news anchor Catherine Chang (張雅琴), and Janet Hsieh (謝怡芬), a travel host for Discovery, TLC’s Fun Taiwan, and Fun Asia.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel