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Taiwan’s Bilingual 2030 English learning policy challenges cram schools to stay ahead

Cram schools use technology to meet the learning needs of students in a hybrid format

Schoolchildren. (Reuters photo) 

Schoolchildren. (Reuters photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Bilingual 2030 policy is pushing cram schools (補習班) to stay ahead of the curve in English learning.

The Bilingual 2030 policy (2030雙語政策) aims to boost Taiwan’s international competitiveness and connectedness with the world by intensifying English education. However, the policy's implementation is controversial, with some in academia saying it is being rolled out too fast.

The focus of Taiwan’s English education has traditionally revolved around tests, the main reason students attend cram schools after their regular school lessons each day. Its “exam-oriented” structure pushes students to memorize vocabulary and grammar to pass exams, while listening and speaking often get neglected.

Taiwan may lack an immersive environment where English can be absorbed but Wayne Gao, CEO of Elite International Education Group, believes progress lies in the individual.

After the pandemic, electronics have become more than just entertainment but rather essential learning tools. Several cram schools such as Elite have begun utilizing technology to better cater to the learning needs of students through a hybrid environment.

Gao said their course structure includes both “receptive” and “expressive” elements. He described the success of one student, a busy software engineer in Hsinchu, who used “receptive” learning modules on weekdays, memorizing vocabulary during the morning commute, while on weekends, partaking in conversation, speaking, and writing classes, the “expressive” component.

Watch the full interview with Elite International Education Group on Youtube.