Migrant workers offered free language classes

Migrant workers in Taipei can sign up for free online Mandarin and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) language courses, with online registration open until Friday, the Taipei Department of Labor said.

The online classes, which are free, are aimed at helping migrant workers in Taipei integrate into society by improving their language skills for everyday use, the department said in a statement this week.

The Mandarin course would be about four hours of classes per week for 12 weeks from Aug. 27 to Nov. 20, the department said.

The classes are from 8:30am to 12:20pm and 1:30pm to 5:20pm on Saturdays and Sundays, it said.

The Hoklo course is scheduled for Sept. 3 to Nov. 6, comprising four hours of classes per week over the nine weeks, it said, adding that the times were the same for both language classes.

Most migrant workers in Taipei are private caregivers who learn Mandarin or Hoklo on the job, but communication problems sometimes arise because of the language barrier, the department said.

The courses aim to improve workers’ language skills and help them adapt to Taiwan, it said.

Migrant workers in Taipei, who have been in Taiwan for at least three years, would be given priority, as there are a limited number of places in the programs, the department said.

Registration can be completed online or by calling the Taipei Language Institute on (02) 2366-0098 or (02) 2367-8228 extension 816, it said.

There were 38,659 migrant workers in Taipei as of the end of June, Ministry of Labor data showed.

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