The East-West Center community was saddened to learn of the Nov. 4 passing of former EWC Board of Governors member Tai Yu-Lin (also known as Wu Yu-Lin), a pioneer in bilingual education. Serving from 1978 – 1984, she was the first Asian woman elected to the EWC Board.
Born in Northeast China in the 1920s, she was educated in Shanghai, as well as at the University of Malaya, Columbia University and later at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, where she began her language career.
Relocating to Singapore in 1955, Tai Yu-Lin helped launch reforms to update language learning practices and language teacher education. She went on to found the Regional Language Centre, established under the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization. Through it, she championed programs for national and foreign languages and research opportunities on bilingualism and bilingual education. She received recognition for her work from the French government and the Philippines' De La Salle University and was awarded the Public Administration Medal in 1973 and the Long Service Medal in 1982. In 1989, she was made a Justice of the Peace by the President of Singapore.