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Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages

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03/09/2018.Reform of Common English Courses at Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages: Incorporating Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Issues into Teaching

發布日期 2018-03-09 11:42:00

 


 

Photo of the faculty and students of Wenzao at the common English course achievement presentation provided by the Center for English Language Teaching

 

 

March 09, 2018

【Press release provided by the Office of Public Relations】

 

  

  The reform of common English courses at Wenzao began in the fall semester of the 2017 academic year. Adjustments to nine levels of common English courses for first-year undergraduates were made. Wenzao’s teachers and industry professionals were invited to collaborate on teaching; they incorporated intercultural civic education into English courses. When studying English courses, students simultaneously develop their literacy skills in the field of liberal arts, such as aesthetics and art, philosophy and ethics, environmental protection and ecology, and intercultural and global perspectives. 

     

  The common English courses developed by Wenzao not only focus on equipping students with listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, but also on theme-based teaching; teachers teach such topics as world movement, the spirit of Christmas, international care, film photography, the spirit of St. Angela, and multicultural Hong Kong. Moreover, students write community reform plans in English, design architectural models, produce micro movies in English, and make movie posters. By making use of what they have learned from the common English courses, they demonstrate what they have achieved in intercultural and interdisciplinary learning.

    

  Wenzao’s reform plan for the common English courses for first-year undergraduates was coordinated by the Center for English Language Teaching. Under the guidance of Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor Jian-Shiung Shie, the “English language education and liberal arts disposition through intercultural oriented common English courses” project was submitted to the Ministry of Education for funding under its “innovative English learning programs in multicultural contexts,” and received a subsidy of NT$5.1 million. Only 10 universities (5 public and 5 private) in the nation were selected to receive subsidies for this type of university-wide reform of common English courses, and Wenzao was one of them. 

    

  Chairperson of the Center for English Language Teaching, Vivian Chiu-Hui Wu, and conveners of various levels of the common English courses for first-year undergraduates established 9 teachers’ groups to co-design an intercultural and interdisciplinary curriculum at the initial stage of implementing the project. These groups will hold 27 meetings each semester, where they will discuss teaching guidelines, learning status, and student achievement. Lecturers will be invited to give teaching demonstrations at these meetings to improve teachers’ capability and offer inspiration for intercultural curriculum. Moreover, 21 teaching assistants with excellent English proficiency were recruited and trained; they will collaborate on the project as well. 

   

  To encourage students to explore intercultural issues, Wenzao organized the 1st Nationwide English Micro Movie Competition; college and university students were attracted to the event. Among them, two Indonesian students of Wenzao, Bella Halim in the Department of English and Ovy Nugraheni Florentina in the Department of International Affairs, won first place in the competition with their English micro movie titled “Diversion Indonesia vs. Taiwan.” Students from National Cheng Kung University and Lunghwa University of Science and Technology won second and third place, respectively. With diversified issues ranging from intercultural communication to racial integration and gender equity, participating students’ works attempted to turn serious and abstract intercultural issues into interesting and entertaining movies that are eye-catching, whereby they also learn English more effectively. Please see the following link for the movies: http://p002.wzu.edu.tw/article/51.

    

  Wenzao places great emphasis on developing students’ English proficiency. Students of the 4-year college programs in the Day Division need to earn 24 credits from required English courses. The Center for English Language Teaching was established in 2013; it is responsible for coordinating, planning, and implementing the common English courses and the teacher training program of the 4-year college programs in the Day Division and the Division of Continuing Education. Ability grouping is adopted for the University’s English courses. Students are divided into different classes according to their English proficiency, in order to provide some with necessary remedial teaching. In the future, the Center will continue to plan courses and invite interdisciplinary talent to share their experiences. It will also organize external visits and team teaching to help students learn from professionals’ experiences while studying English. The “A project for innovative English learning programs in multicultural contexts” website has been established, which offers detailed information on the introduction to the project, team teaching, model teaching, external visits, and achievement presentation. You are welcome to visit the website at http://p002.wzu.edu.tw/.

    
      

 

The Chinese New Year Gathering began with the song “Believe in Jesus and you have peace in your heart” sung by Lecturer Zonder Chang and the faculty and staff. Participating students described their works at the achievement presentation.

 The faculty and staff completed matching Spring Festival couplets. Assistant Professor Chien-Yu Wu provided guidance to Level 9 students on how to create a shop reform plan.

Lecturer Muhua (Yolanda) Chi provided guidance to Level 9 students on how to create a house model and write a proposal.

Participating students described their works at the achievement presentation.

Assistant Professor Szu-An Chen in the Department Foreign Language Instruction was invited to collaborate on teaching common English courses.

Director Te-Fan Huang of Service Learning collaborated on teaching.

Director Cheng-Hsien Lin, an industry professional, collaborated on teaching.

Sr. Orna, a teacher on the team, interacted with students

A meeting held by Level 3 teachers’ group, where they shared teaching guidelines with each other.

Students actively asked questions in class.