Taiwan to teach Vietnamese as foreign language for grades 3-12

From 2018, Taiwanese students from third grade will be offered Vietnamese as a foreign language

A child reads a Vietnamese textbook in this photo illustration.

Beginning next year, Vietnamese will officially be listed as a foreign language available to Taiwanese students in grades 3-12, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Ho Chi Minh City has announced.

From 2018, Vietnamese will be offered as a foreign language to Taiwanese students from third grade as part of their official curriculum, Ou Chi Shi, secretary of the office’s education division, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday.

Ou said the task of composing textbooks to teach Vietnamese is almost complete, thanks to efforts from Vietnamese research centers and the Vietnamese department of universities on the island.

The secretary added that Taiwan’s education universities are speeding up exchanges with their Vietnamese counterparts to train Vietnamese teachers in preparation for the 2018 academic year.

Taiwan is arguably home to the highest number of migrant Vietnamese brides, with Vietnam's national broadcaster VTV reporting in September that approximately 100,000 Vietnamese brides live on the island, about 70 percent of whom have obtained Taiwanese citizenship.

The number of children from Vietnamese-Taiwanese relationships, topping 80,000 kids, currently accounts for 40.7 percent of dual citizenship children on the island, according to Ou.

The official said the planned Vietnamese curriculum is intended to help Vietnamese children of these couples form a connection to their motherland.

The new curriculum is also expected to help those children adapt better to the Taiwanese education environment, she added.

Most of the Vietnamese brides on the island now reside in Kaohsiung and New Taipei, so the education departments of the two cities are offering programs to train them to be Vietnamese teachers in secondary and high schools.

Ou asserted that even if only one student enrolls in Vietnamese courses at a certain school, their needs will be met.

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