And, I R-E-S-T, my C-A-S-E, “your honor”, on the HALF-ASSED proposal of turning the country into, dual-language, from a parent of a high school student, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…
2021 was Year One of Bilingual Education here in Taiwan, because the experimental dual-language classes set up from the elementary school level, all the way into the universities. The Department of Education selected N.T.U., National University of Education, Chenggong University, and Zhongshan University as the primary universities, with forty-one other schools, fifty high schools setting up their dual-language experimental courses, hiring over hundreds of foreign speaking instructors to teach on the elementary and middle school levels, and training the dual-language fluency instructors at the same time. This determination, is quite rare in history, but, to meet the goal of the country becoming a dual-language fluency country by 2030, this is, next to, impossible, and the reason being that the system is too superstitious in the elitist methods of education, with too many, blind spots.
Blind Spot 1: only sighting the beginning, without the affirmative, end results. The government is too used to setting up the schools that are already doing well from before, to make itself look better in the implementing of the policies. At the start, this plan is quite convincing, but the progressions of how to achieve the end goal, it’s, an obstacle. Because the “standardized schools” are mostly well-performing at the very start, but lacking as the plans carry forth, not given enough resources, with not enough understanding, which makes the implementing of the policies, quite impossible, and in the end, the schools can only use the means of “political statistics” to turn in a “pretty result”. And, the result of this is the government using the same standards, and, push forth, another plan like the one that failed from before.
This has precedence, in the reforms of community colleges into top-notch universities, of how all the two-year and four-year colleges became universities, and it’s not, effective at all
Blindspot #2: making the already excellent even better, but does NOTHING for those who had a slower start on the starting lines. There are two benefits of the outcomes of the dual-language education, first, having English into an extra language of instruction aside from Chinese, with the language being used for other subjects (biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics), to add to the fluency of English, secondly through the English language, getting the extra energies in learning needed for the other subjects in school. But to get this bonus of dual-language education, you needed to have good enough knowledge in the subject already, and, the fundamentals in English too. And so, the setting up of the high school experimental dual-language education courses, to filter out the better students, to ensure this result, it’s, understandable.
But, from the past experiences of experimental education, experimental education, ultimately, is only, an experiment, hard to generalize, and losing its colors right now; the experimental classes, like the gifted-and-talented and special education, focusing all the resources on students who have the abilities, and, neglecting those students who are in need of more help in the subjects, and raising the levels of understanding for the classes as a whole. It would be hard for dual-language instruction to be effective, focusing on making the fluent learners better, and not helping the students who are, having a hard time.
Blindspot #3: emphasis on foreign-born instructors, and treating the country’s own instructors as secondary. The success in dual-language education lies in the instructors, although the Department of Education started getting the foreign-born instructors to teach in the elementary and middle schools, to date, with a total of more than 1,500 members of the teaching staff, it’d not made the dual-language learning environment more beneficial to children. While the training of the dual-language instructions for teachers who are born here is still in the internship or recruitment stages, it won’t fulfill the pressing needs. The curtains are now, raised up, and the government can only, place the foreign-born instructors in the slots, and, it’s quiet, pessimistic, when the country’s own trained English instructors can take over.
I’m glad, to see the implementing of dual-language instructions, but, this should not only be available to the students in the more achieved statuses, with the elitists, it will not be possible, for this country in becoming a dual-language fluency nation. Only through flipping over the logic of the policies, and the implementing of the policies of foreign language instruction, to use the “Grassroot method”, to replace “English classroom” teaching method, to help those who are lesser, that, is the making, of a true, dual-language, country.
So, based off of the current ideals of foreign language instructions, the children who have the resources will have a better chance at succeeding, while children from the lesser socioeconomic statuses, they’d be, SCREWED, because they are not allotted as much resources they need, to succeed in their learning English. And, this is still, a HALF-ASSED proposal by the government, turning this country into dual-language by 2030.