Foreign language departments at universities in Taiwan are considered by a majority of the students as institutions in which language learning is the main priority of the program, with teachers functioning predominantly as language instructors, providing other aspects of the subject as complementary items. The genuine academic aspects of such a study remain rather in the background if compared to foreign language departments in the West (in this case: Europe). The reasons are manifold; they are cultural (abstract thinking is not really practiced in Asian education), historical (English learning is ‘in’ in Taiwan), and home-grown: There is a growing number of teachers at those departments with an academic background and expertise in English teaching. Such a situation and its further development are subject to criticism. An academic subject focusing on techniques and strategies regarding how to best learn and teach a foreign language is narrowing down the intellectual scope of what teaching and learning at universities could and should be (the difference between colleges and graduate schools is played down here). Students studying language at universities need intellectual challenges which could only be delivered if they are to explore the vast fields of knowledge surrounding the language they wish to master at a high level. Such fields include old and new subjects of the humanities and liberal arts which should have a more prominent position within the foreign language curricula in Taiwan than they have now. They might also help students to rely less on rote learning and focus more on understanding.