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About the Author

David L. Chen is a Taiwanese American whose family immigrated to United States in the mid-1970’s when he was almost two years old. He was exposed to both Taiwanese and Mandarin languages growing up. Growing up in a Taiwanese American community reinforced the importance of cultural identity and language. His first foreign language was Mandarin during the elementary and junior high school years through Saturday Mandarin “Chinese” schools, which became popular in the 1980’s and are now mainstream. These classes introduced him to basic Chinese language grammar structure and the importance of written traditional Chinese characters, phonetics, and tones.

Learning Standard Mandarin and written Chinese characters provided him language tools that he applied when visiting relatives in Taiwan. He took Japanese language in high school for his foreign language requirement and also applied the tools he learned from the previous Mandarin courses. He obtained a Bachelors of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering from University of Washington (UW) and later obtained his Masters of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering from University of California, Irvine (UCI) where he also took some Mandarin courses. He always recognized Taiwanese language as the mother tongue of Taiwanese people, especially communities overseas, and is currently applying his language experiences from learning Mandarin and Japanese to developing Taiwanese language materials for overseas Taiwanese youth. He currently resides in Southern California.