The Senior High Bilingual Program began in 2002 under Principal Albert Yao’s leadership. From the beginning it was a completely new and innovative take on the standard Taiwanese education. Teachers engaged the students in an entirely different way than they were accustomed to. Classes focused less on rote memorization and more on independent learning through discovery and critical thinking. At the time the students only received a few hours of N.E.S.T. taught classes, but as the success of the program became more noticeable, the number of hours increased as well.
At one point the students were receiving in upwards of 12 hrs per week of English instruction by Native English Speaking Teachers. This was unprecedented and completely revolutionized not only the English Program at TamKang, but helped to inspire other programs in the area as well.
Unlike the other programs in the high school, students join our Bilingual Program from their 1st year and remain in the program until their 3rd year.* Since they are older and have a more advanced understanding of English, we engage the students in more “controversial” topics in order to teach them how to structure a debate and gain an understanding of the importance of differences and personal opinions. We create a safe place within the classroom where opinions are respected and perspectives are supported with facts and evidence.
The goal of Bilingual 1 is to create students who are motivated, have a positive work ethic, can meet and exceed the expectations of their teachers. We encourage students to voice their opinions confidently while also respecting the opinions of others they may disagree with.
*Students may opt out of the Bilingual Program in order to join another program of distinction, or in some cases, the student may be removed if they do not uphold a certain criteria.
Bilingual 2 is perhaps the most crucial year for our Bilingual students. As second year students, they are accustomed to the demands of senior high and are looking to be molded into young adults ready to take on more serious challenges. Their second year is dedicated to building confidence, developing leadership abilities and understanding their role in the world.
One of the key highlights of our Bilingual Program is the full-length, all English, student led drama production that takes place during their second year. The students spend their year learning to act, building props, designing sets, translating their script, promoting, communicating with administrators, and finally performing their play. During this time they learn valuable leadership skills and bond as a class.
During their second year the Bilingual Students are encouraged to devote themselves to a community service project. As a class they may choose an issue that effects their local community and they design a campaign to raise awareness, and in some cases, generate donations. Previous community service projects include: sustainable farming initiatives and domestic violence awareness.
The greater goal of the Bilingual Program has always been to create global citizens ready to tackle the problems of the world. Bilingual 3 is the fulfillment of that goal.
Bilingual 3 students dedicate a large portion of their year to studying for their college entrance exams, but are still actively engaged in their classes. Bilingual 3 is devoted to helping the students refine the skills that they need to not only get into college, but to be successful in daily life and work. Some of the bigger tasks that the students take on are learning to write resumés, completing their autobiographies, and learning how to do close analytical readings of texts.
By the school year’s end, our graduating students are able to reflect on their time as Bilingual students and marvel at all that they’ve accomplished. Our Bilingual 3 students are confident speakers, skilled writers and researchers, and more importantly, independent, motivated, and passionate learners.
In our previous News In English course, we connected our Domestic Violence discussion with Ray Rice and the controversies in U.S. sports to talk about Social Media Revolutions in the media (Ferguson, Palestine, Egypt).
We eventually got onto the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and discussed how it helped to raise awareness for a global issues.
The 11th grade students at that time asked what they could do to make a difference in their own community so they came up with the idea to tie all three of these ideas together to help the 婦女救援基金會 *Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation #TWRF (The TWRF is an organization dedicated to helping women and children involved in domestic violence cases) through a viral internet challenge.
Their idea was to complete the #BL2WasabiChallenge and donate $3 (100nt) to the organization. Within the first hour we were able to raise $500!
Please support this amazing cause and help show these young people that they can help make a difference!
To support the cause or for more information, please visit http://www.twrf.org.tw/eng/p5-subscribe.asp