AIT and NTNU Team up to Bridge the Achievement Gap
Members of AIT and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) held a press conference today to commend the great progress made by a group of Hualien students learning English. This project, led by Fulbright alumni at National Taiwan Normal University, was one of 68 projects selected out of 1,014 project submissions from around the world and the only one from Taiwan. About 20 junior high school students who barely knew the English alphabets had made a tremendous progress and could order in English, sing English songs and become more confident using them.
On July 4th and 5th, a group of junior high school student from Hualian came to Taipei to practice what they've learned. In addition to going to the Taipei Astronomical museum and practice English conversation, they also ordered some food in English in a MacDonald.
To bridge the achievement gap and fulfill social justice, the team of NTNU has been promoting PASSION Teaching Materials and Methods since 2016, sponsored by K-12 Administration, Ministry of Education. In 2017, the team was granted by AEIF with the project "Reviving English Low Achievers’ Learning by PASSION-FB". The Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) provides small grants to teams of past and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to carry out public service projects using the skills and knowledge they gained during their exchange experiences.
Vice President Sung Yao Ting is the leader and Dr. Hu Tsui Chun is the organizer of the project. They work with three junior high schools in Hualian for PASSION Teaching Materials. On September 2017, the students took a pre-test of the Diagnosis and Certification of English Competence(DCED) at the Research Center for Psychological and Educational Testing (RCPET). The results showed that the students' English level is beyond that of 4th graders.
From 2017 October to 2018 June, the students attended PASSION English course for about seven months. After the course, their vocabulary has improved by 71%, listening has improved by 65% and the grammar also shown improvement by 53%. From the feedback, we can tell that students are more interested in English. 90.48% students think that "English course is interesting". and "I like to learn English through games". 71.43% students think that "I don't want to give up English".