The Center for the Development of Language Teaching and Research (CDLTR) and the College of Management at Asia University hosted the 2022 International Online Conference on “Bilingual Education: Teaching Practices and Challenges” on June 24. Mr. James C. F. Huang, the Chairman of Taiwan External Trade Development Council, and Mr. Ben Beaumont, the Senior Trainer and Consultant of Oxford EMI Center, were invited to deliver two keynote lectures, sharing their insights and expertise in this aspect. The conference, focusing on the EMI course designs and teaching practices, attracted 174 participants, both local and international, to gather online and discuss the current challenges and future development of bi-lingual education from elementary schools to higher education.
Professor Jeffrey Tsai, President of Asia University, addressed the participants from the USA, the UK, Indonesia, India and Taiwan in his opening remarks, observing that EMI is now a global trend for higher education and that AU offers 33 EMI degree programs for domestic and international students. AU is the university in this field which offers the most EMI courses among Taiwan’s 160 universities.
Chairman James C. F. Huang in his speech emphasized the importance of the bi-lingual policy for Taiwan’s future development since the ability to compete with others in international trade arena will be a key to survival for all Taiwanese. English competence in communicating with people from other parts of the world will be the basic requirement for us in this global village. “EMI courses can facilitate the learning of English as a practical tool in international communication,” he thus stated.
In his keynote speech, Mr. Ben Beaumont spoke of the common challenges faced by most non-English natives who try to master better English language skills. He mentioned that we need to bridge the gap between teachers’ recognition of practices in micro-teaching and the intended goal of the bi-lingual education delineated by the government. Therefore, he suggested that some pedagogical innovations, such as student-centered interactive teaching modes and clear goal-oriented course designs according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, be implemented in order to create a win-win situation for both teachers and students.
Professor Yinghuei Chen, Dean of International College and the core organizer of this conference, concluded the conference by reiterating the necessity of EMI teaching today. As he optimistically anticipates, we will definitely face various challenges in the future; however, we surely can also create many new educational opportunities to improve our English competence. AU will continue to make significant contributions to this new education reform.