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Encouraging School Partnerships with Taiwan at Pennsylvania Conference

The Pennsylvania Council for International Education (PaCIE) held its annual conference on October 11-12, 2013, at the Philadelphia Marriott. Dr. CJ Liu, TECO-NY’s Director of Education, was among the presenters this year.

Director Liu’s presentation introduced Taiwan and its efforts at international education, such as the MOE’s white paper on international education and the website Dr. Liu emphasized the quality of Taiwan’s schools and teachers and strongly encouraged schools to partner up with Taiwanese counterparts. In today’s electronic world, partnerships can be online; students and classrooms can connect via blogs or Skype without travel or cost. Dr. Liu presented one such case of virtual partnership between a public school in New Jersey and one in Tainan, Taiwan.

Dr. Ann Pang-White of the University of Scranton and Ms. Daphne Chu of the Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Charter School also shared their experiences of partnership. Dr. White, who heads the Mandarin Chinese language program at Scranton, has led multiple study tours to Taiwan with sponsorship from the Ministry of Education.

Ms. Daphne Chu is one success story regarding cooperation between the MOE and the Howard Gardner School; the MOE helps schools select outstanding Mandarin Chinese teachers to teach abroad every year and Ms. Chu was among those selected and employed by Howard Gardner two years ago. Ms. Chu shared some of her strategies of teaching Mandarin Chinese and culture at the Howard Gardner school and received high praise from her principal, Amy Kenton. Both Ms. Kenton and Dr. White emphasized the quality of Taiwan’s teachers and their ability to connect with American learners. Their experiences working with Taiwan has led them to strongly encourage others to explore partnering with Taiwan when seeking to develop or enrich their schools’ Mandarin Chinese language programs.