Ma encourages new immigrants to teach children their language
CNATAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou on Saturday encouraged Taiwan's new immigrants to teach their children to speak in their mother tongue, touting language ability as a type of resource and asset.
October 27, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
“You must teach children the mother tongue, leaving the job of teaching Mandarin to school teachers,” Ma said at a national ceremony to honor role models of new immigrant families and women in the country.
Ma said in this way, children of new immigrants will learn two languages and will be able to engage in exchanges with the society of their foreign mother or father.
“This will become a very important resource and asset for them,” Ma said.
The more languages they learn, the more windows they will open to the future, he said.
Currently, Ma said, one out of every 10 middle and elementary school students in Taiwan is from a new immigrant family. And after the year 2030, 13 percent of Taiwanese young people aged 25 would be from new immigrant families.
“The languages of Indonesia, Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian they speak will be their assets in the future. Don't take this as troublesome,” Ma said, referring to the matter of learning to speak in a mother tongue.
Having people in Taiwan who can speak those languages is also expected to help Taiwan.
Noting that he thinks Southeast Asian countries are endowed with immense development potential, Ma said Taiwan should attach importance to its relations with Southeast Asia and cultivate talents who know that region well.