Sunday, May 27, 2018

International Education Exchange at Daegu, Korea

On behalf of the Education Bureau of Taichung City, the English Advisory Team laid the foundation for a constructive cooperation for both cities' English education. With four school visits and the city tour, we had fruitful communication and interaction with not only the staff of the schools but some officials of the Daegu Metropolitan Office of Education.

Thanks to Youngshin High School's vice principal and three teachers' great hospitality, we've got fond memories of Daegu throughout our entire stay there. On top of that, I believed that an even greater bond of friendship had been forged with this exchange. All the members of the delegation would wholeheartedly hope that we can return the favor back when they visit us in Taichung.  

Youngshin High School
I felt welcomed and honored upon arrival with the big banner saying "Make friends with the world" and the official title of the Taiwan delegation, complete with two national flags of Taiwan and Korea. The chairman of the Board received us and exchanged gifts with the chief principal, Sarah Hung, who then gave a brief speech in English expressing Taichung City Government' s sincere willingness for future exchange possibilities.

Accompanied by the DMOE officials, we observed an English class featuring how to use tablet computers to make English speaking videos of the activity, Team Time Table. The teacher gave a simple instruction in English, and then the students working in groups of four proceeded to complete their posters collaboratively. They had to put down a piece of information for each of the categories, including time, class name, where, and what, to describe a daily school schedule. Those Korean students were tech-savvy and knew what to do to produce the end result, which was recording a presentation about their posters and uploading it to YouTube. After the teaching demonstration, we then adjourned to the conference room for the class discussion.

Each member of the Taiwan Delegation gave positive feedback based on our class participation. For example, with this task in a meaningful context, students are using technology to enhance their English speaking skills. Some of the students really did a good job making the oral report in English even though a bunch of strangers were watching them closely. They were engaged in taking on different tasks of filling in the blanks, coloring their posters, and rehearsing for the oral presentation. In conclusion, I would say this was a successful English class.

Waryong Middle School
The principal of Waryong gave an opening speech in English to introduce the school's vision of cultivating future global citizens with various programs. The Taiwan Delegation also proudly presented a video boasting beautiful landscapes in Taichung and what the English Advisory Team has done for promoting innovative English teaching strategies at last year's Edu-Buffet workshops.

We then participated in a co-teaching English class by a native English-speaking teacher and a Korean English teacher. The class started off with an intriguing discussion about some fake news, with visually attractive slides and video clips to get students talking. Following that, the teacher explained how the sentence structure, "Have you heard about .....? Yes, I heard that ....", was properly used in real-life situations. Finally, with the help of the worksheets, students worked in groups to create their own interesting fake news and shared their works with the class. 

I enjoyed this class a lot because the tasks were well-structured and connected, scaffolding students to master the use of the pattern and create their own funny fake news. During the class. the two teachers worked closely towards the learning objectives, and students were engaged with many interesting examples related to their real life. Group members took turns coming up with words to fill in the blanks, and each of them had opportunities to practice reading out loud the completed worksheet.

I myself have done so many teaching demonstrations in and outside my school. I would use at least five tasks, sometimes even six, to keep my students extremely busy doing something with the language. However, my class would tend to be so packed that students were left not much time to discuss and prepare for the final oral presentations. This class got me thinking that these Korean students could actually not only master the pattern but produce the end result with just only three tasks.

Global Station
The Daegu City Government fully funded this English-teaching institution that is located in a underground shopping mall of a train station. Parents can book the classes of their choice online for their children free of charge. There are a variety of scenario simulation classrooms, such as the Japanese cooking class, the post office, the Australian themed animal class, to name just a few. 

There's a native English-speaking teacher conducting a specialized course in every scenario classroom. Students get to be immersed in an authentic environment while picking up some English expressions as well. I was quite impressed that the Korean government would invest in English education this way and benefit whoever wants to improve their listening and speaking skills.

The Overseas Chinese School
The school is Taiwanese government-funded and aim to educate young Taiwanese nationals. The principal kindly gave us a campus tour and introduced the long history of the school. One of the Taiwanese teachers there told us that they use exactly the same textbooks in line with the national curriculum guidelines back in Taiwan.

An Excellent Daegu Experience
The vice principal and three teachers of Youngshin High School, Jenny, David, and Alex were so thoughtful and generous that I truly felt their enthusiasm to present the best of not only the English education but the renowned tourist attractions of Daegu. We paid a visit to many tourist spots, such as the Museum of Medical Missionary, the Independence Movement Road, the Palgongsan Cable Car, Donghwasa Temple, Suseong Lake, and so on.

How can our very first Daegu experience be complete without some Korean cuisine? The DMOE officials and Youngshin staff treated us to two dinner parties. We had a good time using English to get to know each other and exchanging ideas about English teaching while enjoying all kinds of good food. The bibimbap and haemul-pajeon I had is by far the best ever.

Though we just brushed up against the city during a very short period of time, I made a mental note that I'm gonna come back one day as a family trip to really savor the spectacular scenery and cultural significance.

No comments:

Post a Comment