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TCSL as a Service Industry with Knowledge and Skill as Core Elements of Its Product: A Paradigm Shift



Parallel abstracts

In recent years, higher education has been reconceptualized as an industry by the Taiwan Government, with a strategic plan to export it as a way of furthering the nation's economy and its international influence. Teaching Chinese as a Second Language (TCSL), by being part of higher education along with the increasing demand of learning Chinese by foreigners due to the booming economy of China, has also made to the export list. Despite the policy effort, the mission of exporting TCSL has met with doubts, hesitations, and indifferences. This is because the concept of TCSL as an industry still escapes many people, scholars and government officials alike. In this article, we reconceptualize TCSL under the theoretical context of service sciences, discussing what the traditional conceptual elements like teacher, students, courses, learning, examinations, etc. mean in this new context. The new concepts redefine TCSL as a field of the service industry. In order for this industry to spread, grow and prosper, the concepts need to be introduced, contested, actualized, and popularized. The new TCSL also requires that it be promoted by the Ministry of Economy and National Development Council, instead of the Ministry of Education, owing to its new identity as an industry rather than mere education. Finally, the Ministry of Science and Technology can join the effort of making the new TCSL a reality by funding research to build a strong theoretical foundation for the enterprise.


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