Keelung Shen-Mei Elementary School special education teacher Wu Li-shing and Taoyuan Shang Tian Elementary School special education teacher Chiu Ya-tzu have designed an inter-school pen-pal teaching program that includes letter-writing combined with social networking apps. Their program has won them an award for excellence plus a cash prize of NT$50,000 in a special education teaching materials and implements design competition funded by the Ministry of Education.
Wu’s students have learning difficulties. She says she has found that, as well as needing help with their learning strategies and interpersonal communication, they often have difficulty identifying with their local culture and are not very good at negotiating social network communication, so they sometimes misuse Internet jargon, and this can lead to misunderstandings. These problems gave Wu the idea of cooperating with a special education teacher in Taoyuan to design an inter-school pen-pal teaching plan.
Wu says her pen-pal course has been running for two years, with a total of 16 special education students taking part. She says that students from the two schools use written letters, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to tell each other about the culture and tasty food of their local areas.
Photo: Yu Chao-fu, Liberty Times 照片：自由時報記者俞肇福
The Shen-Mei Elementary School students describe how they feel when they eat taro balls at Keelung’s Miaokou Night Market, while the Shang Tian Elementary School students write about how to eat Hakka-style mochi. They also share videos, post comments and reply to each other’s posts. All these activities help the students improve their communication and personal interaction skills.
Wu says that the students find writing intimidating, but it is possible for them to overcome their psychological barriers by writing letters. They study hard how to type using phonetic input, and they practice their spoken expression skills by using audio input. After completing one semester’s teaching in written composition, they are able to finish writing the sentence composition questions in their end-of-semester exams, and their parents say that their children do all their Chinese-language homework as soon as they get home. The parents say they are very pleased with the improvements they see in their children.
(Translated by Julian Clegg, Taipei Times)
Photo courtesy of Hsinchu City Government 照片：新竹市政府提供
Since its premiere on Oct. 2, US comedy series Emily in Paris has caused a sensation across the world. The Web TV series, starring actress Lily Collins, tells the story of Emily, a young woman who moves from Chicago to Paris for a job, as she struggles both at work and in love while experiencing culture shock. The show has topped streaming giant Netflix’s global chart and is the most-watched show in Taiwan. But the American perspective of the lead character has offended some French critics, who say that the “City of Lights” is not just about berets, croissants and cafes,
A: We can rest here. This is a good place to catch our breath, drink some water and enjoy the waterfall. B: It’s not the highest waterfall I’ve ever seen, but I like the way the water is cascading down those fallen boulders. A: Can you see that rock halfway up the waterfall? Is that two people sitting on it? B: I think you’re right. It’s a great vantage point to see the top of the waterfall. I wonder how they got up there. A: 我們可以在這裡休息一下。這地方很適合喘口氣、喝點水，還有欣賞瀑布。 B: 雖然不是我見過最高的瀑布，但是我喜歡瀑布落在這些倒下的大石塊的樣子。 A: 你看到瀑布往上中間的石頭嗎？那是兩個人坐在上面嗎？ B: 說的對，那是看瀑布頂端的絕佳位置。不知道他們是怎麼爬上去的？ （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文:
A: How are your legs? Not too tired? This is the final stretch. We’re almost at the top. B: So do we need to walk up that path? I think I’ll be fine: it looks like a gentle ascent, and there are steps all the way. A: Appearances can be deceptive. The path gets quite steep further on, and the steps become broken and irregular. We’re not out of the woods yet. B: What does that signpost say? If we take the right fork we will get to a temple in 25 minutes. A: Nice try. We’re going