Wednesday, May 13, 2009

English villages to improve English proficiency

Over the next three years, Taiwan’s government will spend US$18 million to improve English language proficiency on the island. The plan set out by the cabinet hopes to concentrate on six areas: improving bilingual road signs, providing an international living environment, strengthening local services for expatriates, boosting the English language environment for study and work, upgrading international competitiveness in major cities, and hosting more international exhibitions. Along with strengthening the six areas, the plan will also set up English villages where students can immerse themselves in an all-English environment.

The Taiwan News reported that the English villages would not be like a theme park in South Korea nor like real villages, but places where students unable to afford private tutoring or to study abroad can go to learn. It is expected that the English village project will enroll 3000 students, or 1000 per year, that will have the opportunity to obtain certificates demonstrating their English proficiency.

The Taipei Times also reported that private groups would be able to apply for permission to construct an English village in line with existing statutes encouraging private investors to fund public infrastructure projects.

Due to the large number of English speaking employees at the Hsinchu Science-based Park, the park will be the first choice for such an English village, with a second location to be decided later. Companies willing to participate can register with the village authorities and receive stars for the quality of their English service like star-rated hotels.

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About Me

The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.