When the current Language Center was established six years ago it consisted merely of the old Chinese Language Center, which was established in 1975, and was staffed by one director and one administrative assistant. Right now, at the end of An-chi Liu's 9-year career as the inspiring president of Feng Chia University, the Language Center consists of two divisions, the Chinese and the Foreign Language Division and there are one director, two division heads and 9 assistants. This small example of the expansion of the Language Center is quite typical for the transformation that has typified the entirety of Feng Chia University during the last nine years. In both visible and invisible ways, Feng Chia University has gradually profiled itself as one of the most outstanding private universities in Taiwan.
As a fluent speaker of English himself, President Liu more than fully realizes the importance of English as the lingua franca of the 21st century. And his ideas are therefore reflected in the constant changes that have transformed the FCU Language Center into one of the leading in its kind in Taiwan. He has systematically worked hard to promote the significance of English language proficiency for students, faculty and staff. If we take a closer look at the changes that have taken place within the Language Center, we can only be grateful for all the support that we have gotten from him personally and from the other offices that were involved.
Every hour of the day from nine to five, Monday through Friday, the Center organizes its free Tutorial Hour, an informal conversation group for English and other foreign languages under the guidance of a language teacher. Probably his most successful brainchild as far as language learning and internationalization is concerned, must be the EZ Cafe, the unique multi-cultural environment where people from all walks of life can meet in a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. No wonder this place is a popular draw for all visitors to FCU and the amazement on their faces bears witness of the how impressed they are at the creation of this environment in a university. Another achievement of President Liu, though less visible, are the dramatic changes in the curriculum of Freshman English and the establishment of Sophomore English. With its two hours of in-class instruction and two hours of required self-study for Freshman English and the two-hour self-study Sophomore English course, the president has initiated an entirely new strand in language teaching, strongly relying on digital media such as software and the excellent Blackboard e-learning platform. By putting the responsibility of language learning on the learner himself, a very new approach has been initiated.
A complete list of all the language-related achievements and initiatives of President Liu would lead us too far; suffice it to briefly mention a few more: the establishment of the testing center for Central Taiwan for TOEIC, TOEFL PBT and IBT, the English News broadcast that will be the digital successor of the "Insider" magazine, the Hanhai scholarship that gives our students the chance to witness foreign culture firsthand, the financial incentives for Feng Chia students to improve their TOEFL scores, the English version of the FCU Newsletter, the free lunch and summer courses for Feng Chia staff and faculty, the free short-term English courses for all students, it is a very impressive list of initiatives that have made Feng Chia University a very different place.
On behalf of all the students who improved their language skills and of the staff of the Language Center, a warm and heartfelt "Thank you, Mr. President!"