Sunday, October 11, 2015

Too many English departments

In all colleges and universities in Taiwan, there are 221 foreign language departments, of which over ninety percent are English ones. Problems are thus created. Graduates have hard time finding jobs they want because supply exceeds demands, and schools find it difficult to recruit enough students to sustain the department and the faculty.

Critics point out that this is a disastrous effect of a national language policy going wrong. Others say that thirty English departments are enough for this country to train the language specialists it needs. But more constructive ideas come from those who suggest that these foreign language departments be transformed from English ones into Southeastern Asian languages departments.

Though English has been required course of all freshmen and sophomores, not every one of them is enthusiastic about learning this Germanic language. If they must learn, why do not let them pick the language they like to learn? The students would be better off given a chance to learn another language of their own choice than sit idly in the classroom learning English as told to.

In addition to English, other European languages like German, French, and Spanish may well be offered. Other than that, geographically and economically speaking, offering Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, and Tagalog of the Philippines would seem more practical. 

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