Megan Jefferies came to Taiwan to teach English about two years ago. Instead of staying in the big cities, however, she went all the way to Kinmen County and did voluntary teaching at Chong-cheng Elementary School. The amazing interactions with children and friendly people, she said, have made it very hard for her to leave the school.
Enjoying the teaching experience in Taiwan very much, Jefferies, as well as 11 other English teachers from the US and Canada, decided to stay for another year to voluntarily help children in rural areas learn English.
Wearing cheongsams and traditional mandarin jackets, a total of 25 foreign English teachers came together yesterday to share their experience and bid farewell to their colleagues who are leaving for home.
Organized by the King Car Foundation, the Schweitzer English Teaching Program, which was initiated three years ago, brought people from the US and Canada to Hualien, Nantou and Kinmen County, where they volunteered as English teachers in elementary schools.
According to Morgan Sun (
Yesterday, at the end of the semester, the teachers called the experience of teaching English in rural public schools an amazing privilege.
"It's been a wonderful year for all of us not only to teach English in public schools, but also to have the chance to experience a whole different culture," said Benjamin Jacob, a 23-year-old Virginian and the leader of this year's volunteer team.
As one of six teachers in Hualien County, Jacob had through the years travelled to Taiwan four times to teach English. He said that developing a love for this country and the enthusiasm to teach are important for anyone who wants to become a successful English teacher in Taiwan.
Dedicated to continuing her teaching in Kinmen, Jefferies said that her biggest satisfaction is to see the progress students have been making every day.
"When I first went to Kinmen, kids were shy when they saw us foreigners at school. A year later, they would say hello to me, and I am happy to see how kids are becoming more confident in speaking English," she told the Taipei Times.
Sun said that thanks to these voluntary teachers, who not only teach English in the classroom but also spend time with students and community members after their classes, children in the rural communities are able to learn English in a more vivid and natural way.
Encouraged by the program's success, the foundation is planning to bring more foreigners into the program to benefit more children in rural areas. In addition, the foundation also plans to call on young people in Taiwan to join in the efforts of foreign teachers and teach in rural communities, according to Sun.
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
Taiwanese who have recently traveled to China for tourism, to visit friends or relatives or for business reasons have been interrogated, detained and faced other forms of unreasonable treatment from Chinese officials, a source said on Sunday. Among them was a Taiwanese who was detained for eight hours at an airport in China due to their research, which is related to religion, while others have had their travel documents for China canceled for a number of reasons, the source said. In July, China expanded the scope of its counterespionage law, and recently announced a draft amendment to the law on the protection