Taiwan Introduction Night at Melrose High School in Canberra
In April, Shannon Carnovale, deputy principal of Canberra’s Melrose High School, led fifteen Australian students and two other staff members to Min-De Junior High School in Tainan to enjoy a ten-day visit. This was a reciprocal visit following an overseas excursion to Australia by a group of Min-De students in July 2017.
Before the students’ departure, Melrose invited Julie Tsai, a language teacher at the TACA Mandarin Language School - a newly established community school by Taiwanese Association of Canberra in Australia - to present an introduction night about Taiwan. Chen Jiachi, Administrative Officer of the Education Division at TECO–Australia, also attended and gave the participants helpful pointers about how to take good advantage of this opportunity to explore Taiwan through the rich historical heritage of the city of Tainan.
Established in 2010, Melrose High School has a long standing sister school partnership with Min-De Junior High School in Tainan. Min-De and Melrose both understand that learning another language is an enriching and educational experience, that helps students develop skills in an academically rigorous subject area, and at the same time fosters their intercultural understanding and appreciation of other cultures. Their strong focus on language learning is enhanced by the biennial exchange programs that offer students opportunities to travel overseas and experience part of the related culture in its authentic setting.
Mandarin is one of the three languages that the school offers for students in Years 7–10. The Mandarin teachers are assisted by language teaching assistants from Taiwan, through a collaborative program between Taiwan’s Ministry of Education and the ACT Education Directorate. The teaching assistants provide students with one-on-one support and give them additional opportunities to enhance their language skills.
Photo:Julie Tsai, from TACA Mandarin Language School in Canberra, engaging with participants at the Taiwan Introduction night at Melrose High School.