Taiwan to send Mandarin teachers to ally nations

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan is scheduled to send a total of 14 certified professionals to its diplomatic allies in Latin America to teach Mandarin Chinese, according to the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF).

The certified Mandarin teachers will visit Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Haiti to teach local students Mandarin Chinese, Weber Shih, secretary general of ICDF, said at a Foreign Ministry news briefing yesterday.

This marks the second consecutive year that the initiative is being held, Shih said.

The project was first launched in 2014. A total of 11 Mandarin teachers visited Nicaragua, El Salvador, Paraguay, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, Palau and Jordan.

The project was launched to promote Mandarin and the traditional Chinese characters used in Taiwan to foreign countries.

The project is also aimed at promoting cultural exchanges and understanding between the R.O.C. and its diplomatic allies and other friendly nations, he said.

Shih noted that the ICDF previously sent volunteers instead of professional Mandarin teachers to allies and friendly nations to teach Chinese language.

However, with the rising demands on allies and other countries to learn Mandarin, many of these countries have hoped that Taiwan can send professional teachers instead, he said.

Shih said many of the countries are now offering Mandarin courses in high schools and colleges as a second language option, so they are in need for more qualified Mandarin teachers from Taiwan.

He added that the ICDF could continue to expand the scope of the project to other countries in the future as it is warmly welcomed by many countries around the world.

The ICDF is a semi-official Foreign Ministry-funded nongovernmental organisation responsible for international aid.