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【CLTSC】2019 National Taitung University warmly greets Mandarin teachers from the USA on the first day of workshop!

Writer: Cia-Jing Huang / Translator: Pei-Yu Chiang


Picture 1 The third one from the right in the front row is the Vice President for Academics Zhang Yong Ming, the second one from the right is Prof. Fu Zhi Gong from the Chinese Teaching and Study Center, the third one from the left is the Dean of College of Humanities Lin Yong Fa, the second one from the left is Prof. Shu Zhao Ming from the Department of Chinese.

The workshop for Chinese teachers in the USA hosted by the Chinese Teaching and Study Center finally started! This program was subsidized by the Ministry of Education. Zhang Yong Ming, the Vice President for Academics, delivered a speech during the opening ceremony (June 10) . He also greeted the participants who came all the way from the USA to Taitung along with the Dean of College of Humanities (Lin Yong Fa), the Chairperson (Fu Zhi Gong) and Assistant Professor Shu Zhao Ming from the Chinese Teaching and Study Center at National Taitung University. Those participants are all current Chinese teachers from all over the USA. They teach students with diverse cultural backgrounds and their ages range from kindergarten to university. A lot of teachers admitted that they are still new to this field and are desperate to learn more about teaching Mandarin. Thus, they were very pleased to have this opportunity to improve themselves. The Vice President mentioned that as a foreign language, Mandarin has replaced Spanish in the Philippines and that Taiwan is a special country which embraces the Taiwanese, Hakka and indigenous cultures. Prof. Fu stated that this workshop focused on information about indigenous culture in Taiwan which is hard to find in the USA, Chinese culture and various specialized fields related to teaching Mandarin. Prof. Shu was the chief coordinator for this workshop. As soon as the program was approved by the Ministry of Education in April, Prof. Shu contacted the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Huston Texas and there were 18 Mandarin teachers from the USA that signed up for the workshop.


Picture 2 Dean Lin introduced various tools for calligraphy.


Picture 3 Dean Lin demonstrated how to write in petit sigillaire.


Picture 4 Dean Lin stated that you can be imaginative while creating your own calligraphy. Visualization of the text can help students appreciate the beauty of Chinese characters from a different aspect.


Picture 5 Participants created their own calligraphy with mixed media

The first class of the workshop was taught by Lin Yong Fa, the Dean of the College of Humanities. Dean Lin excels in calligraphy and is also a professor in the Department of Art Industry. Dean Lin started with an introduction to calligraphy tools and mentioned that even without using a traditional writing brush, we can still create beautiful calligraphy works with simple rags and ink. While teaching calligraphy overseas, teachers can try to find materials that are available to them instead of using traditional tools. Beginners don’t have to insist on getting the strokes right because what’s even more important for them is to appreciate the beauty of Chinese characters. To motivate students to learn about Chinese calligraphy and Chinese characters, teachers can start off with oracles, bone inscriptions and petit sigillaire instead of regular script.


Picture 6 Prof. Chien asked participants “What is Taiwan?” before the class started.


Picture7 Prof. Chien introduced some relationships between Taiwanese folkloreand traditional Chinese mythology.


Picture 8 Prof. Chien gave a complete lecture about culture through tea.

In the afternoon, Prof. Chien Qi Ru gave a lecture on folk literature. The topic was about Taiwanese culture. Before the class started, Prof. Chien let the students think about what Taiwan is. She also shared that while teaching in university, she often begins with foreign and overseas students’ perspectives of Taiwan then leads them to further discuss Taiwan’s characteristics and its unique culture from the aspects of nature, humanities, food and spirituality. Prof. Chien chose tea as the entry point to food culture. She described the history of the tea trade t and how it has influenced the development of tea and local food culture. Besides, she also introduced the development of Formosan literature through indigenous mythology. By comparing the indigenous and Chinese mythology, students got to explore the similarities and differences between the two subjects and their uniqueness. For the festivals, Prof. Chien discussed how festivals vary from place to place and how Taiwanese culture is effected by local products. In addition to Han Chinese culture, Taiwan also has rich ethnic and linguistic diversisty which complement each other in making Taiwan the extraordinary island that it is.


Picture 9 Prof. Fu invited Ruan Yu Shui, the Executive Secretary from the Service Center for New Immigrant Women to share about Southeast Asian cuisine with the participants.

In the end, Prof. Fu from the Chinese Teaching and Study Center invited Ruan Yu Shui, the Executive Secretary from the Service Center for New Immigrant Women to the workshop in the evening. She brought a lot of delicious Vietnamese food and shared aspects of Southeast Asian cuisine with the participants, demonstrating cultural and food fusions locally in Taitung.


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