Taipei, A group of young students from Hualien County showed off their English language skills on Thursday after attending a program organized by National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) to help underachievers from rural schools.
Hsieh Ming-jen (???), a student from Mei Lun Junior High School who also plays for the school soccer team, said at a press event that he wants to learn English so that he can one day sharpen his football skills overseas.
His teammate, Huang Ming-hung (???), added that his dream is to play for Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, and so it is important for him to improve his English.
The boys were among 21 students who took part in a project called "Reviving Low Achievers' Learning" initiated by NTNU's PASSION FB (Project of Adaptive Screening, Streaming, and Instruction for Omni-directional Nurturing -- Fulbright Program), which seeks to improve English learning among low achievers and address the urban/rural English achievement gap in Taiwan.
The schools that took part in the program were Mei Lun, San Min Junior High School and Yu Dong Junior High School.
Meanwhile, the team of instructors was led by NTNU Vice President Sung Yao-ting (???), whose project was one of the winners of the 2017 U.S. Department of State Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF), with 68 alumni projects selected out of 1,014 submissions worldwide.
According to NTNU, the students attended a 90-minute English class once a week for seven-months, from October 2017 to June this year. The program started with basic courses and later focused on speaking and writing, including ordering food in English.
By the end of the seven-month program, the vocabulary, listening comprehension and grammar scores of students who took a proficiency test had improved by 71 percent, 65 percent, and 53 percent, respectively.
Speaking at the press event, Executive Director of the Taiwan Fulbright Foundation Dr. William C. Vocke said learning a new language enhances one's life in many significant ways, while also offering a world of opportunity for growth.
According to Vocke, 112 American university students will arrive in Taiwan to teach English next semester and nine will take up positions in Hualien.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel