Summary, “Federal Reserve English”: Developing an

  • 2017-11-01 16:51
  • 更新: 2017-11-17 06:15
  • 聯準會, Fed

Summary, “Federal Reserve English”:  Developing an

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“Federal Reserve English”:

Developing an Economics & Finance ESP Course in Taiwan


Wenchao LIAO

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Shih Chien University, Finance Department

Taipei, Taiwan


November 2, 2017




Line ID: wenzhaoliao

WeChat ID: wenchaoliao

Mobile: 0975718250 (Taipei, Taiwan)




*This conference paper is intended for Taiwan's Chinese-speaking language and economics & finance teachers, so I write in Chinese. Below is the English version of abstract and summary I prepare, for non-Chinese speakers to read the main ideas. Pardon the inconvenience.


Poster Presentation: (under the category of Curriculum Design)

2017 International Conference on English for Specific Purposes, November 3-4, 2017, Soochow University (Waishuangsi Campus), Taipei, Taiwan


發展專業內容為主的英文教學 (聯準會英文)


廖汶釗 兼任助理教授

實踐大學財務金融學系 (台北)


November 2, 2017


壁報發表: (Curriculum Design類別)

2017專業英語文國際學術研討會, November 3-4, 2017, 東吳大學(外雙溪校區),台北,台灣


* 感謝實踐大學應用外語學系(台北)『教師教學社群』於 2017/10/17中午提供討論平台。

* 本論文已放置於我的部落格上,您可輕易點選文中參考資料的連結;請見:


I try to persuade Taiwan's economics & finance teachers (“professional/subject teachers”) to design English language-learning courses based on “content”, alongside the usual practice of English-taught economics & finance subject courses; here the focus is on English language-learning in a subject-content context. I try to glean insights from “language teachers” who have been developing the CLIL framework and practice. I describe my deviation from the usual financial English teaching design, and instead use the U.S. central bank (the Federal Reserve) as subject-content (as the social setting and knowledge base), for Taiwanese economics & finance students to learn English. I delineate my curriculum design ideas and their origins, adding some (preliminary) reflections and course experience. I try to look at my design with the help of CLIL development in recent years; I raise the idea of “analytical as interesting”, for ESP teaching to be effective. I feel professional/subject language is like the “air” (oxygen), whereas thin air would limit the growth of lives at the land; in my case, the understanding of the important topic of Federal Reserve, by Taiwanese professionals and students alike, is constrained and skewed by the lack of subject language (in English); here, my strategy is “return to English”.



Keyword: adult learning, curriculum design, content and language integrated learning (CLIL), English for specific purposes (ESP), financial English


Author's Note: “Professional/subject teachers” and “language teachers” are so defined from the angle of students' learning in class; I do not intend to mean that language teachers only can (or only) teach language learning. I understand that linguistics, say, is the “profession” of teachers at foreign language departments, but that context is outside my discussion here.





1. A rare perspective from a professional/subject teacher (on college teaching and finance professional training); as Dalton-Puffer (2017) says in the CLIL special issue:


“While we have made some headway in honing more complex conceptualisations of what we mean by ‘integration’ of language and content (Nikula et al. 2016), we have seen little work which has incorporated the expert perspectives of subject education researchers. To my knowledge, virtually all CLIL research accessible in the international arena (such as this special issue) stems from what could be informally referred to as ‘language people’. This may not necessarily be true of more locally circulated publications [Author's note: Dalton-Puffer is in Vienna; German as local language], frequently in languages other than English, but it certainly is an element that should be reinforced in CLIL/immersion research in general and might well be one of the next developmental steps the field takes.” Dalton-Puffer (2017), Postscriptum, p.3, Special Issue on CLIL, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group)


2. In Taiwan, economics & finance teachers still need to solve the choice of medium (language) problem in possible bilingual teaching settings (i.e.“WHY teach in English?”), a problem be it presented as teaching philosophy, social acceptance, business logic, or internal/external politics. As a contrast, language teachers has solved the “why” question, and instead focus on the technical issues of what and how.


3. My teaching practice (preliminary) has resulted in an emphasis on intonation (speaking; accent not care) and doing “sight translation” (reading and understanding subject English texts, and students express ideas in Chinese to me).


4. My teaching idea: “Fight with an ORIGINAL (meaning English) professional text” 『和一本原文(英文)書搏鬥』, an experience very few of my intended students would have. The professional text I mean, is not a financial textbook in English they have used, if any, in college; textbooks writings are simplified and ideas introductory. The professional text I use is: Conti-Brown (2016), The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve. I also provide a weekly podcast (streamed on Facebook fanpage, in Chinese) on the Federal Reserve and major central banks, a (small) financial broadcast business I'm developing and for students to listen; this serves as the professional context (Federal Reserve & monetary policy) I'm building, for student as well.

Conti-Brown (2016).

My podcast:



5. Why “Federal Reserve” as my topic? First, it's developed in an English (the U.S.) context, and analytical, more “lively” materials are only available in English; Chinese articles on Federal Reserve are either too shallow news articles or too “peripheral” selections (skewed understanding of the topic, say the Fed chairs' anecdote stories only). Second, the interest rate decisions made by Federal Reserve are relevant to (have great impact on!) the banking and financial conditions here in Taiwan, so finance professionals and students feel and care; among so many international issues (that are developed in English context and should be learned, I think, in English) that no Taiwanese here really care.


6. On teaching material in “Financial English”. A myth/misconception of “language teachers” who develop Financial English textbooks: select materials that are categoried as “financial” (a blanket term, I would argue, with no use)—perhaps based on a corpus— that give only unrelated topics and show surface information. This frustrates a professional/subject teacher expecially, as s/he knows only a couple of financial topics (claims expertise of them) but is forced to teach other unfamiliar financial topics (professionally speaking), for the purpose of language learning; s/he feels sorry for oneslef, to teach financial topics in such a low-level sophistication. The cancellation of the Cambridge English: Financial exam in December 2016 (last year) examplifies this syndrom. While I think the official textbook should be commended by its great efforts, I think (from a professional/subject teacher perspective) the efforts were misplaced. (This myth may be present in Technical/Technology English teaching in Taiwan, as well.)

Cambridge English: Financial

MacKenzie (2008), English for the Financial Sector, Cambridge University Press



7. I raise the idea of “analytical as interesting” (具分析思考而有趣), for economics & finance ESP teaching to be effective. In terms of material selection, as least; from a professional/subject teachers perspective.


8. Language teachers should think from their niche (I think, a. language teaching skills and practices, b. linguistics, say), and can help professional/subject teachers in: a. teacher training in teaching language to students, b. theory/ideas building in teaching practice. Also, what can be the opportunities for language teachers when, say, college freshman economics courses (required in most business schools, in almost all departments) are stipulated to be taught in English, in Taiwan's many colleges? (Perhaps providing a “language-learning” component in a subject course?) Professional/subject teachers, on the other hand, should put (English) language-learning components in their subject courses (which contain economics & financial themes/issues developed in English-language context, be it developed in places such as the U.S., England, or Europe as well as parts of world), for college students (third-, forth-year and graduate) and finance professionals.




廖汶釗 wen

撰文者廖汶釗 wen

Anything Fed: Taipei 聯準會台北敘事 廖汶釗 wen 現階段發展『聯準會英文』課程,臉書請搜尋: Finami 歡迎按讚! MarketWatch相關聯準會新聞文章(幾乎每日一篇、免費),請加入Line@: 動機: 開課 開課初衷: 我有感於專業語文就像空氣一樣,沒有空氣或空氣稀薄時、生物也很難在此成長(貧瘠)。相關的聯準會題材,在中文經過選材與翻譯後,常只能呈現表面與一般性新聞;原因在於聯準會題材是在英文(美國)的環境中產生,在台灣看到的(稀薄)中文非在其中成長。(相似的例子是台灣的服貿議題,是在中文環境中發展出來的,若讀英文資料,只可能是國際文宣或表面新聞、不具分析性 無聊。))聯準會議題是台灣金融環境關注的議題,其升降息決策影響台灣利率、匯率、景氣與資產配置,因而在眾多的國際議題中,這是"有感"的! 我因正巧在金融學業界,發現這是觀察美股債元(及與台灣相關)的必要議題,因而想要經由這個方式,來貢獻才能