TAIPEI (Taiwan New)—More teachers of Vietnamese and Indonesian languages will be needed than teachers of other Southeast Asian languages in Taiwan, accounting for 67% and 18% of the total demand, respectively, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education (MOE) estimated on Sunday.
The 12-year compulsory education curriculum, which is slated to be adopted in Taiwan in 2019, requires elementary pupils to choose between a native language or a new immigrants’ language to study, and the course will be a once a week class.
Taiwan’s government is hoping Southeast Asian languages can gradually become a second language choice among Taiwan’s youths, especially among the second generation of the country’s new immigrants. The government is counting on them to work for Taiwanese businesspeople in their parents’ original countries.
Tsai Chih-ming (蔡志明), an official at the MOE’s K-12 Education Administration, said that demand for teachers of Vietnamese (67%) and Indonesian (18%) languages will be greater in Taiwan than that for teachers of other Southeast Asian languages according to the population of the second-generation new immigrants in the country.
The other 15% of the demand will come from Myanmar, Cambodian, Philippine, Malaysian and Thai languages, and many schools will have to share a teacher of any of these languages, Tsai said.
Teaching materials for Vietnamese and Indonesian languages have been prepared for many years and are therefore more ready than those for the other languages, Tsai added.
“As long as there is demand, classes will be opened,” he said, adding that Southeast Asia’s economy is booming and therefore it’s better to learn the languages earlier than later.
At this stage, teaching staff of new immigrants’ languages are mainly made up of “teaching support personnel,” who include new immigrant mothers in the community or existing teachers who have studied the languages and past certification examinations, Chang Ming-wen (張明文), director of Department of Teacher and Art Education, said.
However, the Language Training & Testing Center (LTTC) said that Japanese and Korean languages are the first second language choice of Taiwanese people, followed by European languages, such as French, German and Spanish. The market for Southeast Asian languages in Taiwan needs to be further explored, the LTTC added.