Chinese has already become one of the biggest languages of the 21st Century, and it continues to grow. Valerie Pellatt of the Interpreting & Translating program at the University of Bath said that Chinese has now become the language with the most speakers in the world. David Graddol, an authority on the English language, spoke of the future of the English language in Science Monthly, saying that Hindi, Chinese, and Arabic were set to become the next world-wide languages by 2050.
Studying Chinese is now a huge trend the world over, and in such places as Japan and Korea it has already become a public movement. In places like the United States, Chinese has already been included in AP courses and high school students are already beginning to choose AP Chinese as a foreign language course, for which they can test and receive college credit. It is estimated that nearly 2500 high schools have set up courses for Chinese instruction. It is further estimated that nearly 80 countries and 30 million people are currently studying Chinese. However, what is most lacking in this new trend are Chinese instructors. We can see that the world is already looking at Chinese as an important trend in education, but the lack of instructors shows the necessity and urgency of Chinese language instruction as well. Therefore the Ministry of Education expanded the scope of training for instructors in Chinese to reflect the need of foreign students for professional Chinese educators. Currently they have established an accreditation system for teaching Chinese as a second language and have encouraged universities to establish their own Chinese language institutions and curriculums. Our program cooperated with the MOE’s policies to set up an MA Program in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, which was approved in the 2007 academic year, and at that time it began recruiting students. Previously, on August 1, 2005, when the name of Taipei Municipal Teacher’s College was changed to Taipei Municipal University of Education, the Department of Language Education and the Graduate Institute of Applied Languages and Literatures were combined into the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, which offered degrees at the undergraduate, master’s, and PhD levels. The MA Program in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language takes advantage of the resources already existing at the university and uses them to achieve an even higher efficacy. The program also works to promote Chinese education by combining resources (foreign languages, Chinese, computers and information technology, Chinese culture and society, and education) from many of the university’s other programs, such as English Instruction, Sociological Education, Mathematics and Information Education, and Education. With such resources at hand, the program is equipped with the vision and ability to develop and improve the education and international exchange of Chinese as a second language.