The Tainan City Government is sparing no effort to promote English with the aim of creating an environment conducive to the study of English for all residents. In addition to offering 1,500 free TOEIC Bridge test slots exclusively sponsored by Chun Shin Limited, it also organized free seminars on English learning at Minjhih Civic Center and Yonghua Civic Center today (April 28). The city government invited “ETS-certified TOEIC preparation teachers” to give presentations on “How to Effortlessly Learn English in Everyday Life.” The teachers also shared their techniques on how to prepare for the TOEIC Bridge test. The seminars proved to be extremely popular, and both sessions reached capacity less than one week after registration opened! The Tainan City Government’s Office of English as the Second Official Language (OEASOL) therefore specially provided livestreams of the seminars to allow those unable to attend in person to view them at home.
The OEASOL said the TOEIC Bridge test allows people to gauge their English proficiency and thereby assess and adjust learning methods. The test is only a “means,” as the underlying objective is to encourage the public to use spare time to study English. By doing so, people will be able to communicate with foreign visitors, allowing them to feel the warmth of Tainan residents. The OEASOL therefore teamed up with Chun Shun Limited to invite TOEIC-certified preparation teacher Li Hai-shuo to speak about easy ways to learn English and “communicate in simple English” in work and life. This seminar attracted over 300 people from various professions. Ordinary residents, public functionaries, and students were all in attendance, showing that an English-friendly environment is already taking shape.
Li said many people have “learned” English, but that doesn’t mean they know how to “use” English. The TOEIC Bridge test is designed for beginning to intermediate English learners, and its content focuses on real-life situations. Everyone can easily learn the simple English needed for everyday life by preparing for the test. Li also shared three free and easy-to-use digital resources: reading materials of different levels; VoiceTube, an excellent app for practicing English listening and speaking skills; and Duolingo, a free language-learning platform. These content-rich resources allow those seeking to learn English well to study the language for free anytime and anywhere through their mobile phones, and then immediately put what they learn into practice.
Li also analyzed the necessity of designating English as the second official language from three perspectives. First, the number of global English users is over 100 million, and English is the most widely used language in the world. Second, many of the highest income earning countries in the world are English-speaking countries. Third, the amount of information available in English on Wikipedia is five times that of Chinese. Therefore, “from the three perspectives of population, capital income, and opportunity distribution, promoting English as the second official language is absolutely reasonable and legitimate.”
A city resident surnamed Wu said it’s not everyday that the city government invites certified TOEIC preparation teachers to share English study techniques, and she therefore made time to travel from Liuying District to attend the seminar. She described herself as an avid, self-taught English learner. During the seminar, she learned many study techniques. She is now looking forward to being able to “use” English freely in the future. A resident surnamed Liao said he learned a lot because the speaker was humorous and witty and provided many examples, and the study methods that were introduced were also very practical.
The OEASOL said the TOEIC Bridge test project, including the testing services and seminars, has been extremely well received by the public. This shows that city residents are very interested in learning English. In the future, it will launch additional projects or activities as well as supplement learning materials to meet the expectations of residents. The OEASOL reminded residents that its website offers free TOEIC Bridge sample tests and everyday English study manuals, and those interested in learning English can download them. People wishing to view the livestreams of the seminars can go to the OEASOL’s website → Latest News → TOEIC Test Seminars and News, or visit the OEASOL’s YouTube channel.