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Jun 28, 2021

Students in Benque Learning to Speak Mandarin

Since 2017, the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize has been hosting a Mandarin language program in Belize.  This year, they are taking the course to Benque Viejo del Carmen. It was officially launched on Friday evening. Here’s a look at how that went.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Taiwan Embassy in Belize launched its Mandarin program in Benque Viejo. According to Ambassador David Chien it seeks to teach a language but also strengthen the partnership between the two countries.


David KC Chien

David KC Chien, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize

“For the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize, our most important mission is to make Taiwan closer to Belize and Belize closer to Taiwan. We sincerely hope that the Belize-Taiwan Mandarin program could not only provide who are interested in learning Mandarin one more language in today’s competitive workplace. But also we can make more and more Belizean people to know more about Taiwan’s culture, tradition and arts.”


Ishmael Garbutt, a recipient of the Taiwan Scholarship, and Lynn Madrid, a teacher at Mopan Technical High Schoo,l are enrolled in the program.


Ishmael Garbutt

Ishmael Garbutt, Taiwan Scholarship Recipient

“I believe this course is something beneficial to me as I see it as a catalyst to where I could adapt easily in Taiwan to learning the language and the culture of my instructors. I believe it will help me and that is one of the main reasons I am here today.”


Lynn Madrid

Lynn Madrid, Teacher, Mopan Technical High School

“As an educator I see that it is very important to participate in this mandarin class. Knowing Mandarin empowers me with this language. We have students from Taiwan coming to Belize and so knowing mandarin will be an asset to assist them to obtain their education here in Belize that they deserve. Overall, diversity in language, in my view, will strengthen a teacher’s capability in a learning environment.”


Edward Yang will be teaching the course which will run for about three months. He explains how he will impart Mandarin to his students by having them experience Taiwanese culture.


Edward Yang

Edward Yang, Mandarin Professor

“This program will be focusing on developing the students’ basic life skills, for example, how to order a food. I think that here in Belize there are many Taiwanese people who live here and I think why don’t we use that resource. So, in the future, I will have them make a phone call to order a food from a Taiwanese restaurant and they could also try the Taiwanese food. In class, also not just the language but I will teach them about the culture. I will prepare music and videos and also to prepare Taiwanese foods and how they can experience the culture, like how do we use the chopstick and everything so they could experience this as well.  There is a saying that says language is the carrier of the culture and so you cannot separate language and culture; they always have to be together.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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