Tue, Jan 17, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Teacher helps students overcome fears

By Huang Wen-huang  /  STAFF REPORTER IN TAINAN

When Tainan's Tucheng Junior High School acquired a foreign English teacher in Kim Whidden, most students tried to keep out of her way to avoid being picked to speak English. One year on, many say they have learned a lot, and will now even initiate English conversations with Whidden.

Tucheng Junior High is located in Tainan's Annan District on the outskirts of the city. Here, the environment for studying English is not as good as the city center, but with Whidden's arrival students at the school had the chance to interact with a native speaker of English.

First grader Kuo Ming-chieh (郭明杰) said that as Whidden did not speak Chinese, when students couldn't understand her, she would find simpler ways of expressing herself to help them understand. Another first-grader, Weng Yi-chin (翁義欽), said that Whidden would use games and exaggerated movements in her teaching, making it more fun and making the teaching more effective.

After Whidden was asked to introduce herself at the local primary school, there was a rush of applications to Tucheng Junior High School from parents, because of the presence of a native English speaker at the school.

Kuo Yi-ting (郭易廷), a first grader, said that having interacted with Whidden for one year, she dared to ask questions and start conversations in English. She felt that Whidden's presence at the school had helped her a lot.

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