With decades of efforts, our predecessors have gradually spread the Tao to many places in the world. Especially ever since 1996 when the World I-Kuan-Tao's Headquarters was established in Los Angeles, I-Kuan-Tao has become one of the most important religions in the world. Thus Tao members have interacted with other religions more and more frequently. To meet the needs of Tao propagation and to train the foreign language personnel, Master Wen-Chin Liu and Master Chui-Tong Wong started to organize a "Tao Personnel English Training Class" under Senior Master Pei-Cheng Chang's directions. In June 1998, a test was given to sort out three levels of classes. Classes began in August. Later, these classes were condensed into one. Tao members of this class meet every Saturday afternoon from 3-5pm in Tien-Ding temple. The class has been known as "The English Class."
At the beginning, "The English Class" focuses primarily on improving the members' language proficiency and on studying the truth of Tao. In the first two years, they worked on how to explain the Three Treasures and to perform rituals in English. In August 2000, this class went on a trip to the U.S., visiting American Tao members as well as the temples there. The trip not only enhanced the class members' language ability but also deepened their understanding of cultural differences. They realized that they had to read more authentic English books; otherwise, they couldn't comprehend foreign thinking patterns, nor could their Chinese-English be understood. After coming back from the States, they took turns leading the class to read and discuss English essays. They also invited native speakers of English to teach them. So far, they have been under three foreign teachers' instructions: Suzzette, Lan and Hervie. They have read: Mutant Message down Under (by Marlo Morgan), The Prophet (by Kahill Gibran), Siddhartha (by Hermann Hesse), and many other authentic English articles. These books and articles broaden their horizons, upgrade their language ability, and inspire their minds.
In the summer of 2001, the class held a three-day English Camp in Hualien and Taidong. During the trip, Master Liu not only required that everybody in the group speak English all the way but invited two foreign teachers to interact with the group. At the end of this year, the class started to help organize the itinerary and schedule for the visiting group from I-Kuan Tao Foundation of America in the following year. Under the united efforts of Zhong Shu Educational Institute, the Youth Learning Circle, and the English Class, the project was successfully completed.
Currently, the instructor Hervie comes to the class once two weeks, leading the class to read one or two chapters of Tao Te Ching (English version.) Then the class members discuss the content themselves in the following week. Sometimes, under Jessie Chien's instruction, they will practice translation skills in small groups. And they also enjoy sharing some good articles with their classmates. Furthermore, they cooperate with the oversea Tao members to translate Tao materials into English. The projects they've been working on recently are: translations of some important speeches, an English collection of Tao terminology, and the English introduction of the Zhong Shu Temple. Since the job requires great amount of long-term efforts, we pray that more and more Tao members with necessary expertise or interests will come to join us to help propagate Tao to every corner of the world.