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Last updated::2016-06-29    

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2016-03-18

Mandarin Fever Around the Globe: NCU Students Bring the Beauty of Mandarin to France

Théa Lin (as seen on the lift) guided French students to experience ca.. Théa Lin (as seen on the lift) guided French students to experience calligraphy and learn about Chinese culture. Photo provided by Théa Lin.

The “Exchange Program for the Internship of Taiwanese and French Language Teaching” held by the Ministry of Education and the French Office in Taipei, recruits Taiwanese students from the Department of French every year to help for teaching Mandarin in France with sponsorship containing plane tickets and allowance. Alumni of the Department of French Language and Literature at NCU exercise their expertise and strive for an internship in France. Just when the world is in a Mandarin fever, they take the opportunity to share the beauty of Taiwanese culture by promoting Mandarin.

Professor Hsin Yih-ching from the Department of French Language and Literature at NCU explained that teaching assistants selected for the program are assigned to work in the cooperating high schools in France. Each of the assistants face different teaching situations and obstacles. French high school students are also quite unlike Taiwanese students. They are very active. Assistants have to be flexible and be able to improvise in their teaching.

Théa Lin, alumna from the Department of French Language and Literature who participated in this program, said that the program provides a great chance to learn about yourself and discover future career directions. Another participant Yang Tzyy-shiuan thought that French students are much more direct; they would challenge a teacher’s authority. It is very challenging for those who just started teaching.

Since French students study simplified Chinese, assistants from Taiwan have to use the Pinyin system and start with simplified characters. When discussing cultural differences between Taiwan and China, French students may question the assistants. An assistant has to show confidence and face them with an open mind. Yang Tzyy-shiuan suggested to introduce Taiwan from personal experiences, like the vertical writing and traditional characters used in Taiwan, or presenting own favorite Taiwanese painters or writers. All of these are precious cultural assets to present to students that start to learn the beauty of Mandarin.

Yang Tzyy-shiuan, the alumna of the Graduate Program of French Languag.. Yang Tzyy-shiuan, the alumna of the Graduate Program of French Language and Literature, shows the French students’ calligraphy work. Photo provided by Yang Tzyy-shiuan.
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