It is essential to teach the technological and vocational courses in English textbooks because the students can be used to reading the technological information before they work, but it is a great challenge to the teachers and students in non-NESN. In Taiwan, Mandarin is the native language. Most of the people talk in Mandarin and Taiwanese, and write in Chinese characters in daily life. They use English only to meet the needs of jobs. Moreover, most of parents prefer their children to go to general universities rather than vocational colleges. Compared with the general university education system, teaching the students in the technological and vocational education system using English textbooks is more difficult, although the students have learned 3-4 hours/month for 6-8 years. About 30% of college students’ English is evaluated on the beginning level . · It is important to improve the vocational and technical skills by reading English technological information, because most advanced computer software, equipment, and electronic systems have to be operated according to English manuals. It could be said that the technology is the basis of the ascendancy of Western civilization . Therefore, most of the non-NESN have some policies to upgrade the English level of their people. Most of the policies are teaching children English when they are very young, and it is a correct direction. It takes young people 10-20 years to master English. However, the modern industry has entered the Age of Knowledge-Based Economy [3-5]. It is important to improve the English level of the on-the-job workers and going to work persons in a short time to face the rapid changes. Is it possible to increase English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a short period? It is very difficult to answer the question. We should think in a goal-oriented way to meet the individual worker’s English needs to emphasize their English in the non-NESN.
A. On-the-job employees There are 77 employees need use English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in their routine tasks. They are basic level electronic/electrical/computer engineers in 70 companies in Taipei, working on the 2-year technological university/college program in the department of electronic engineering, Tung-Nan Institute of Technology (TNIT), Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. The questionnaire is shown in the Appendix I to understand their needs for English skills. Generally speaking, these part-time students can be regarded as the industrious workers, so they are willing to make time to study. The results of the investigation are shown in the Table I. The findings are shown that reading is the most important English ability for them, but most of the students want to improve English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills for their jobs at the same time.
B. Full-time students The 42 full-time students are the objects of the second investigation. In the beginning of this semester, we use the CD-ROM attached to the English textbook in class. This is their first experience to watch the technological and vocational English CD-ROM and an English textbook in class. Although this CD-ROM displays the contents in simple words and short sentences, some of the students still feel difficult to understand. We are explaining the common vocabulary and terminology to help the students read the CD-ROM and the textbook. After 2 months, we make a questionnaire.