Monday, November 23, 2015

A Close Bond of Friendship between Taiwan and Japan




I just found myself getting even more addicted to using English as a tool for expressing myself, getting to know each other and appreciating different cultures after Team Takashima’s visit. In these two days, I exchanged my ideas of the Skype exchange project, sought more opportunities of including more teachers and got helpful advice from those Japanese professors and English teachers. On top of that, on behalf of Junior High English Advisory Group of Taichung City, I explained how teacher training and professional development were cultivated at an official meeting between both parties at the Education Bureau. I seized every opportunity to use English, and for that I really felt great about myself.


Takaaki and I sat together on the bus during our expedition to Yunlin so that we could have a long conversation mainly about English teaching on both sides. It was a pleasant surprise that I received a souvenir from him before he left for the airport. Naoyuki teaches at a junior college only for girls, which I jokingly referred him as the luckiest man I’ve known. However, he also kindly gave me his suggestion of incorporating content area from  the given learning materials. After my briefing on the project that I’m working on with Akiko, Hide proposed that we should try to implement our future plan in regular classes, not just gifted students or after school session. I told him that would be our goal for next semester and we had learned a lot from these pilot sessions. Last but not least, Naoyuki and I also shared a lot in terms of Task Based Learning and how to motivate students with a variety of tasks which students have to use their language skills in a more meaningful context than that of textbooks. Also, if she comes to Taiwan again, I’ll be willing to do a teaching demonstration for her.


I would say that a bond of friendship has been enhanced with Team Takashima’s brief visit. Both countries share the same test-driven setting of English teaching; therefore, we also share this passion of creating an authentic environment for both Taiwanese and Japanese students to communicate with each other in English with the help of technology. Just like what I’ve been experiencing these years, my goal is that I want my students to experience what it’s really like to make friends outside of Taiwan with this Skype exchange project. Of course, I also definitely hope those who have the authority to make important decisions can soon fulfill their promise and make Taichung Delegate’s visit to Japan real in the near future. 

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