The view from Taiwan: Students from National University of Tainan Affiliated Primary School returned late in the evening to Skype.
Teacher Chen Jin-Ting is on the left.
It opened with simple hellos before the conversation turned to favorite foods and hobbies.
Peering into webcams, the strangers made small talk across oceans through the power of Skype. This was only Day One, though; the real conversation would come 48 hours later.
And when that began – at 7 a.m. Wednesday, March 22, inside an eighth-grade science classroom at Downers Grove’s O’Neill Middle School – hour-long scientific argumentation between U.S. students and their Taiwanese counterparts proved lively and educational.
For the next hour, they argued this question: If funding were limited, which form of alternative energy would you select as the best to promote and advance? Read more...
So, how’s this for an amazing deal?
- Four, or maybe six, weeks teaching English to children and youth in Taiwan or China while mastering the curriculum and methodology for teaching English as a Foreign Language.
- Exposure to different cultures.
- Immersion in teaching to diverse populations and an NIU faculty member on site to coach that process.
- A differentiating accomplishment on a resume.
- Round-trip airfare, housing and meals covered.
For up to 30 students in the NIU College of Education, that opportunity is coming soon through the Educate Global program.
Thanks to agreements with the Miaoli County Government Education Department in Taiwan and the Beijing Royal School in China, an application-and-interview process will begin this month to send 20 students to Taiwan and 10 to China.
NIU’s Asian partners are willing to underwrite student-teachers from the United States because they regard English as “the world’s language,” says Terry Borg, director of the college’s Office of External & Global Programs. Read more...
Laurie Elish-Piper and David Walker
A delegation of scholars from the NIU College of Education will travel in November to Taiwan for APERA-TERA 2016, a biannual conference of the Asia-Pacific and Taiwan educational research associations.
NIU and the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (MWERA) are co-sponsors of the conference, which draws thousands of scholars eager for academic discussions and opportunities for collaboration.
Dean Laurie Elish-Piper and Associate Dean David Walker, who will deliver keynote addresses Friday, Nov. 11, lead the NIU contingent that also includes Wei-Chen Hung, chair of the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment, and ETRA professors Laura Ruth Johnson, Isti Sanga and Tom Smith.
Scheduled from Wednesday, Nov. 9, through Saturday, Nov. 12, the conference takes place at National Sun Yat-sen University in Koahsiung.
Walker, a former president of MWERA, called for that organization to expand its international partnerships during his 2014 speech to the annual conference. In attendance that year were academic colleagues from China and Taiwan. Read more...
Open Imagination participants
In early September, Northern Illinois University and DeKalb High School, as well as high schools in St. Charles and the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) in Aurora, welcomed nine high school students from western Taiwan, who spent three weeks immersed in American-style education and culture.
The 11th- and 12th-graders lived with DeKalb High School families during their stay. They are the second group of students from Taiwan’s Miaoli County to visit NIU and DeKalb in the past two years as part of a program called Open Imagination.
“Open Imagination was really a team effort,” said Terry Borg, director of the College of Education’s Office of External and Global Programs, which helped plan the visit. “The Education Bureau of Miaoli came to us with this grand idea about opening their students’ minds to a different way of learning.” Read more...