On January 28, 2021, the Education Division of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York (TECO-NY), the Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLC), and Asian Studies Center co-hosed the Chinese Language Promotion Online Seminar “Why Learn Chinese?” for the Chinese language program students at the Scranton University.
In session one, the three parts were as follows: (1) introduction of the Chinese program, (2) benefits of Chinese learning, and (3) students’ perspectives on taking Chinese courses. As a Visiting lecturer of Chinese, Hsiang-Ling, provided in-depth information about the Chinese program at the University. The WLC comes up with Chinese courses across three levels, Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced in both Fall and Spring semesters. In her classes, she adopts a cognitive-functional approach to language education and instructs spoken skills and literacy.
Why is learning Chinese beneficial? It is commonly said that “Learning Chinese opens doors to economic opportunities.” This is undoubtedly true for the value of gaining Chinese-language proficiency yields profound benefits in career development, linguistic diverse, etc. Being a CFL speaker opens the gateway to a comprehension of over centuries worth of one of the world’s oldest and richest history and culture.
At the core of the Chinese-language world, Taiwan has a rich and historic heritage of Chinese culture. The Ministry of Education offers a prestigious Chinese-language teaching program through a partnership with the University. There are a great number of scholarships and internships programs provided for students. In session two, Dr. Ming Ling Yang, the Director of Education Division from TECO-NY, presented detailed information about study abroad in Taiwan ranging from Education in Taiwan to Scholarships.
Following the event, students noted that this “Why Learn Chinese?” was especially meaningful. This event not only brings huge inspiration on the various benefits to learning Mandarin but also to the joys of studying in Taiwan. Specifically, “Dr. Yang was very informative about the Taiwanese scholarships. Maybe in the future I will definitely think about applying for the scholarship,” student Destiny from Advanced class said. Another student, Kelly from Intermediate class, noted “The event was very educational and reminded me that though the world is currently on pause, there are still so many opportunities to advance my learning and connect with other cultures.”
Furthermore, the university invited the previous Huayu Scholarship awardee, Mr. Grant, who gave details based on personal experiences regarding life, education, and the environment of Taiwan. “Oh! I miss the food, traditional characters, culture, and people,” he said as he highlighted how incredible the learning environment is in Taiwan. After finishing the two-month Huayu program in summer 2019, Mr. Grant made another trip with his American friend to visit Taiwan again within three months. He emphasized that revisiting Taiwan is enough to show how much he loves and appreciates all the memorable times there.