Taiwan's schools to offer courses in Southeast Asian languages

Starting next year, elementary and junior high schools will provide courses in languages such as Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, Burmese, Khmer, Malay, and Tagalog.

Ministry of Education introduced courses on Southeast Asian languages at elementary and junior high schools. (Photo courtesy of the MOE)

Ministry of Education introduced courses on Southeast Asian languages at elementary and junior high schools. (Photo courtesy of the MOE)

Ministry of Education introduced courses on Southeast Asian languages at elementary and junior high schools. (Photo courtesy of the MOE)

Ministry of Education introduced courses on Southeast Asian languages at elementary and junior high schools. (Photo courtesy of the MOE)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has planned to officially launch courses in Southeast Asian languages at elementary and junior high schools in 2018, but trial courses were first introduced in the autumn semester this year during which new textbooks were to be put to test.

With the goal of encouraging multifaceted development and promoting cultural diversity, the MOE has listed several Southeast Asian languages as part of the language courses in the elementary and junior high school curricula, said the MOE in a statement.

Starting from next year, schools will be providing courses in languages such as Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, Burmese, Khmer, Malay, and Tagalog.

The Central News Agency reported that at the elementary school level, pupils have to choose one course in either a local language or a Southeast Asian language for each semester as part of the compulsory language courses. As for the junior high school level, Southeast Asian language courses will be optional.

Even though the preparation of the textbooks has not been completed yet, the MOE already started trial courses in late August to test the quality of some of the completed textbooks with the hope of making modifications and improvements to all the teaching materials before the courses officially kick off next year, said the MOE.

The trial courses were introduced at 44 schools across the country, with 44 Vietnamese courses, eight Indonesian courses, two Thai courses, and one course for the each of the other languages, said the MOE.