Although newly naturalized under the government’s dual citizenship program for senior expat specialists, Vietnamese language teacher Tran Thi Hoang Phuong (陳 凰 鳳).
Chen was one of seven people approved by the Ministry of the Interior last month to obtain Taiwanese citizenship without giving up his original citizenship, as part of the government’s effort to attract and retain talented people. Top from all over the world.
Since Taiwan revised the Citizenship Act in 2016, a total of 164 foreign nationals in multiple occupational fields have been naturalized under the program.
In a recent interview, Tran, now a lecturer at the National Chengchi University’s (NCCU) Foreign Language Center, explained her own experience in Taiwan that motivated her to use language teaching. as a tool to promote cultural awareness and ethnic cohesion.
Tran’s path to Taiwan began in the early 1990s, when she met her husband, a Taiwanese working in Vietnam, during her studies at the National University of Ho Chi Minh City.
Finally, the couple spent 8 years in Vietnam, where they got married and have two children, before moving to Taipei in 2001.
One of her earliest memories of Taiwan, Tran said, was seeing an advertisement for arranged marriages with Vietnamese brides.
“That made a big impact on me,” she said. “The saddest thing is to think that these families are not based on love. What is the environment for a child to grow up? “
Tran also recalls seeing negative media stories about foreign spouses, many of which involve problems that seem to have stemmed from cultural or linguistic misunderstandings.
With her husband’s encouragement, she began volunteering with new immigrant community service groups, conducting a family welfare check over the phone and working as a Vietnamese interpreter in hospitals.
According to Tran, these experiences further convince her that language is the biggest obstacle to new immigrants trying to integrate into Taiwanese society.
Tran said, to facilitate that process, she decided to start a course at the Zhongshan Community College, Taipei, teaching Chinese to foreign couples from Vietnam.
After sitting in her lecture, however, some family members asked if she could give them Vietnamese courses.
Based on the success of these courses, in 2006, Tran was recruited by NCCU Foreign Language Center, where she still works as a lecturer to this day.
When asked what it feels like to become a citizen after all this time, Tran replied that the only real difference is that she currently has a national identity card and voting rights.
Besides, “I have considered myself Taiwanese for 20 years,” she said.
In an effort to help other new Taiwan residents, Chen has also been involved in politics, serving as chairman of the Democratic Progress Party’s governing committee on new immigrants since 2017.
“Immigrants come to Taiwan with their dreams,” Chen said, and like seeds, they need to be planted properly.
“If you oppress them, it will limit their development, and ultimately have consequences for society as a whole. But if you support them and let them thrive, they will help Taiwan become an even better place, ”she said.