•Source： Taiwan Today
•By June Tsai
The first branches of Taiwan Academy will open in the U.S. cities of Houston, Los Angeles and New York in October, Council for Cultural Affairs Minister Emile Chih-jen Sheng said Aug. 4.
The academy’s worldwide mission is to promote Taiwanese culture and study, the learning of Mandarin Chinese with traditional characters, and cross-cultural exchange, Sheng said.
It will be well placed for this task given Taiwan’s leading role among the world’s Chinese-speaking areas in Sinology, traditional culture and arts, and the preservation and development of the standard forms of Chinese characters, Sheng added.
“Taiwan Academy will work with local Mandarin-teaching institutions by providing assistance in curriculum design or commissioning courses,” Sheng noted.
An important part of Taiwan Academy, however, is online, the minister said. An e-learning portal for Chinese learning will be launched, providing numerous learning tools and abundant content for learners ranging from those with zero knowledge of Mandarin to language teachers.
Taiwan Academy will also make use of the country’s strength in technology to create a digital platform incorporating a research database on Taiwan studies and Sinology created over the past years by local institutions such as Academia Sinica and National Taiwan University.
According to the ministry, the sharing of knowledge through the digital platform will distinguish Taiwan Academy from mainland China’s Confucius Academy.
The ministry added that more branches will be opened in Asia and Europe as contact points for exporting Taiwanese culture. (THN)