【所史專欄】對於「美國各大學中國語文聯合研習所」(IUP)轉型為 「臺大國際華語研習所」(ICLP)之我見

My Personal View of the IUP-to-ICLP Transition


Vivian Ling / ICLP前所長


撰文:淩志韞 (Vivian Ling) 
翻譯:謝雯伃 (英譯中)  



The transition of IUP to ICLP in 1994-97 occurred during my watch as Field Director, so perhaps what the audience would be most interested in hearing from me is my version of “what happened.” There must be many versions of that story, each one valid from the perspective of the story-teller. Over the last 20 years, my own perspective has changed. Today, my interpretation of the IUP-to-ICLP transition is quite different from what it was in 1997. My current interpretation was brought about by two factors.

第一個原因是過去年中,本人通過編纂一可望明年(2018)出版的回憶錄,而開啟觀察該事件的歷史鏡頭。該回憶錄聚焦美國的漢語教育領域。除了我本人以外,另有29名作者參與本書的編寫。該書中有3個章節與康乃爾中心(1956-63)以及史丹佛中心(1962-63--IUP兩個前身,以及臺北IUP(又名史丹佛中心)和ICLP有關[1]。在書寫這3章的過程中,我對於如何重新評估該中心於1997的轉型有了更清楚的後見之明。就在週前,我在一場研討會上發表演說,演說名稱為「八十年回顧:地緣政治對中文教學界的影響(Impact of Geopolitical Shifts on Chinese Language Education: an Eight-Decade Retrospective)」。當我為這個主題進行研究時,我突然醒悟,在該領域的整段歷史中,其實深受地緣政治所影響,然而我們這個領域的學者大多不具有政治敏銳度,也對政治不特別感興趣;我們只專注於做好我們教授華語的工作。然而,我們的職業及個人生活一直深受地緣政治氣候所影響,甚至可以說為之所「主宰」。所以我開始用一個更具政治敏感度的角度來觀看IUP的發展。

The first factor is the historical lens through which I have been seeing that event in the past two years. I’ve been involved in a retrospective book project on the field of Chinese language education in the U.S., which is expected to be published in spring of next year. Aside from myself, 29 other authors have contributed to this book. The book has 3 chapters pertaining to the two predecessors of IUP – the Cornell Center (1956-63) and the Stanford Center (1962-63), IUP (aka “Stanford Center”), and ICLP.[1] In the process of writing these three chapters, I gained a clearer hindsight to re-assess the transition in 1997. Then just two weeks ago, I gave a conference talk entitled “Impact of Geopolitical Shifts on Chinese Language Education: an Eight-Decade Retrospective八十年回顾:地缘政治对中文教学界的影响.” As I studied this topic, it dawned on me that throughout the entire history of the field, it has been greatly influenced by geopolitical shifts, and yet most of us academics in the field are not politically savvy, and not particularly interested in politics; we just focus on doing our job of teaching Chinese. And yet, our professional and personal lives have been greatly influenced by the geopolitical climate, one might even say “determined” by it. So I began to have a more politically savvy perspective on the development of IUP.



The Stanford Center that preceded IUP at National Taiwan University (NTU) could have been located in Hong Kong, but it ended up at NTU because ROC enticed Stanford administrators with highly favorable terms. A year later, IUP, a much larger program than the original Stanford Center, rode on the coattail of the Stanford Center and took up residence at NTU, receiving the same favorable terms without any negotiation. Then, around 1981, the Ministry of Education began subsidizing IUP’s annual scholarship fund, thus making IUP financially sustainable. Meanwhile, for over 30 years, up through 1994, there was no written agreement between IUP and NTU, which is most surprising from today’s perspective. During those 30-plus years, as geopolitical climate changed, there was no occasion, no impetus, for either side to examine the relationship between NTU and IUP, to see if the undocumented relationship was still appropriate, and if not, to make appropriate adjustments. So in 1993, when an occasion finally arose to examine the relationship, that relationship had gone very far in being outdated, and the situation had reached a state of emergency. We couldn’t see a way to continue the relationship at NTU. In retrospect, I think perhaps we threw out the baby with the bath water. So what was the occasion that put a spotlight on the relationship between IUP and NTU? My understanding is that in 1993, there was a campus-wide movement to reclaim all the space occupied by units that were not internal to NTU, including mostly domestic ones. IUP was not singled out for ousting; it's just that NTU saw no reason to make an exception for IUP.

讓我對1997年所發生的事產生新觀點的第二個理由是,ICLP在過去20年內的成熟發展,或是說ICLP既有的潛力的最終實現。它的成熟以3個方式表露:1 2009年開始的雙週電子刊物,這讓IUP的畢業生以及舊友得以接觸ICLP,並讓華語教學界得以一窺ICLP的當前狀態;2)以重建IUP/ICLP歷史為目標,201511月開始的檔案整理與修復計畫。若沒有這個計畫,這段歷史最終會消失殆盡。這個計畫絕佳地顯示了ICLP認為自己是IUP的繼承者;坦白說,身為前所長,我很驕傲能有這樣的繼承者。這並不是說ICLP就是那名繼承者,或是說唯一的繼承者。就我看來,北京IUP也是一名繼承者,兩者都因當年臺北的IUP而枝繁葉茂。3201512月,ICLP在臺大的地位被提升為第二級單位,相等於系級單位。ICLP所長與副所長,分別是院長級及熟稔的教務暨行政人員,他們的角色不僅是協助性的,更參與ICLP的事務核心。此舉顯示臺大正式地承認ICLP不只是個普通的語言訓練中心,也是一個透過語言訓練媒介傳遞學術本質的單位。

The second factor that led to my new perspective on what happened in 1997 is the maturation of ICLP in the last 20 years, or actually the fulfillment of ICLP’s potential. This maturation is manifested in three ways: 1) the bi-weekly newsletter that was launched in 2009, which brought alums and old friends of IUP in touch with ICLP, and gave the field a window to see ICLP in its current state; 2) the archival project which began in Nov. 2015, to recover the history of IUP/ICLP. Without it, that history would eventually be lost. This project is the best indication that ICLP sees itself as an heir to IUP, and frankly, as a former Field Director, I am proud to have such an heir. That’s not to say that ICLP is THE heir, or the only heir. As I see it, the IUP in Beijing is also an heir. 3) In December 2015, the status of ICLP was elevated to a Level 2 unit within NTU, equivalent to that of an academic department. The Director and Deputy Director – a Dean and a full-fledged faculty member respectively – are not only supportive, but also very much involved with ICLP. This move indicates that NTU formally recognized that ICLP is not an ordinary language-training center, but one that delivers academic substance through the medium of language training.


None of these three events would have happened if IUP had remained under the auspices of a consortium of American institutions. It was absolutely necessary for IUP-ICLP to become independent in order to evolve into something more attuned with the changing times in Taiwan and changing geopolitical climate. IUP did not leave NTU voluntarily or by its own initiative. The departure of IUP from NTU was a low point in my career. But today I congratulate myself for having done the right thing: In 1994-97, I was confident that the existing staff was capable of carrying on the pedagogical and administrative functions of the Center, I advocated the continuation of the Center under NTU auspices, and I succeeded in persuading both the IUP board and the relevant administrators at NTU that transitioning IUP to NTU auspices would be beneficial to the field of Chinese studies, and NTU had nothing to lose but potentially a great deal to gain by adopting IUP. Now 20 years later, what ICLP has become has far exceeded my hopes and dreams.



ICLP traces its roots back to the 1956 Cornell Center and the 1962-63 Stanford Center. Without these two programs, there would not have been IUP, and then of course there would not have been ICLP. But finally and most importantly, if IUP had not transitioned to the independent institution of ICLP, there would not be the ICLP of today. In other words, the birth of ICLP was the result of the departure of IUP, and today, I focus on the birth of ICLP.


我一直是ICLP電子半月刊的忠實讀者。當我在最近一期電子報中讀到范美媛寫到ICLP的老師從學生身上學到了什麼(「華語世界藏寶圖一隅:校友教我們的一些事 Our Treasure Map – What ICLP Alumni Have Taught Us」)時,我理解到ICLP一直堅持著原本康乃爾中心和史丹佛中心的使命[2]。一言以蔽之,該中心學生大多為知識份子,具備一定的文化廣度及深度;該中心的教師被要求在智識及文化層面與學生並駕齊驅,因此其語言教學內容需相稱於該水準的廣度及深度。這需要終身的自我進修,這可說是學術生涯的標誌!這也是ICLP超越於臺灣及中國大陸其他華語項目的特色,也因此讓該中心足以匹配稱為臺大的二級單位。

I have become an avid follower of the bi-weekly ICLP newsletter. When I read the article by Fann Meei-Yuan Laoshi in a recent issue about what ICLP teachers have learned from their students (华语世界藏宝图一隅:校友教我们的一些事 Our Treasure Map – What ICLP Alumni Have Taught Us),[2] I realized that ICLP is continuing to uphold the mission of the original Cornell Program and the Stanford Center. In a nutshell, the students at the center are of considerable intellectual and cultural depth and breadth; the teaching staff are challenged to be their intellectual and cultural peers, and to teach the level of language that’s commensurate with that level of depth of breadth. This requires never-ending self-education, the hallmark of academic life! This is what distinguishes ICLP from all the other in-situ Chinese language programs in Taiwan and mainland China, and this is what makes it worthy of being a Level 2 unit within NTU.


In closing, I would like to thank ICLP for hosting the IUP/ICLP historical exhibition as well as today’s forum. There is no better way to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Stanford Center at NTU, to which ICLP traces its roots.



Delivered in ICLP’s 55th Anniversary and the Forum (10/27/2017)


1. 該書書名:二十世紀美國中文教學界的回顧(The Field of Chinese Language Education in the U.S.: A Retrospective of the 20th Century)。這三個章節為:6.1. 1956-63年的康乃爾項目以及IUP的創辦;6.2. 美國各大學中國語文聯合研習所(IUP):在臺北的34年;6.3. 我在IUP6年:從臺北到北京的轉換期。

2. ICLP電子報:20171011日。

[1] The title of the book: The Field of Chinese Language Education in the U.S.: A Retrospective of the 20th Century 二十世纪美国中文教学界的回顾. The three chapters are: 6.1. The Cornell Program of 1956-63 and the founding of IUP; 6.2. The Inter-University Program (IUP): the 34 years in Taipei; 6.3. My six years with IUP: a time of transition from Taipei to Beijing.
[2] ICLP Newsletter, 11 October 2017.