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Seeding the Taiwanese spirit_ beginning with teaching Mandarin Chinese internationally

Samuel Chung

This paper discusses Taiwan’s cultural diplomacy, through teaching Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language; which approaches it implements; what the current situation is; how is Taiwan and the world influenced by this process and which challenges are encountered. Also, a few suggestions for teaching Mandarin Chinese to achieve a better efficiency will be discussed in the paper. Taiwan, Ilha Formosa (the beautiful island), has a diverse society in religions, cultures and ethnicities. Under the international pressure from the other land, Taiwan continues to promote itself for international visibility. The most moderate approach is to teach Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese culture to the world, because language and culture are inseparable.The paper has two parts. The first part discusses the domestic and foreign approaches Taiwan promotes. Afterwards the influences among the foreign countries and different education fields will be analysed. Then the difficulties of the cultural diplomacy will be listed for further debate. In the second part, the suggestions will be discussed. The majority of teaching competition is coming from the Hanban or Confucius institute of China, so Taiwan should find more strength to make itself visible. Well known and appreciated characteristics of its strength are, having student-centred, flexible customised teaching methods, and integrated adapted content etc.The aforementioned suggestions come from the teaching experience and academic knowledge of the researcher, supported by an analysis of an environmentally focused Taiwanese novel: “The man with compound eyes”(Wu,2003). Firstly, the learners should practice Mandarin Chinese with an Intercultural communicative competence framework. As a benefit the students not only will increase the foreign language knowledge, helping them to communicate better, but also, they can learn core concepts of Taiwanese culture. Secondly, they start to value the ecological concepts from the Mandarin Chinese and the philosophy of daily practices in order to reach the urgent issue of the Anthropocene.

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften
ÖFOS 2012
605004 Kulturwissenschaft
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