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A Christmas story from Taiwan

Christmas is traditionally a time of sharing and a time of giving. In this spirit, we would like to share a story from one of our former students from Taiwan. James, who is a 65 year old retired business man, studied Intensive General English at our Westcroft Square centre earlier in the year. When he retired, he decided to come to London for twelve weeks to learn English so that he could go home and volunteer as an English teacher in a poor area in the mountains where there is no funding for language teachers. While he was in London, James bought supplies to send home so that there was something to teach from.

James, on the right in the picture, recently contacted us to give us an update on his work to date, and we’d like to share his news here.  In his email he writes:

After I came back from London, I was invited to a remote school called the Fu-An Elementary School for my virgin volunteer teaching.  It's a small school with around 150 pupils, located at the foot of the Da-kan Mountain, about 52 km from Kaohsiung city centre. 17% of the students' mothers are foreign, coming from Indonesia, Vietnam, and The Philippines etc.  35% of the students are from single-parent families or live with their grandparents.  A large number of the families are too busy or too weak to support their children's education.

The London School of English donated some teaching materials to help him with his project.  James continues:

Thanks again to the London School for setting a concrete English basis for me.  I especially appreciate those graded readers you sent.  In the guided reading program, I used the Dolphin readers (On Safari & Super Sam) printed by Oxford University Press. I realized that they are the most suitable story books for the 6th Grade pupils in Taiwanese primary school.  I think the Dolphin Readers are the best choice because on the left page is the story, and on the right page is a Q & A section which can be used to immediately check whether the students understand or not. 

James recently received recognition for his work:

Time goes really fast and the autumn semester of my volunteer will finish on January 9th 2013.  The project has run well up to now.  The Principal gave me a certificate of merit to say thank you to me.  The new spring semester starts from January 15th 2013.  I would like to wish you a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

We would like to congratulate James in all his hard work and we wish him, his students and the Fu-An Elementary School the very best for the future.

Merry Christmas everyone.

By Andy


volunteer – (v.) to work without payment in order to help other people; (n.) the person who does this kind of work

funding – (n.) money

update – (n.) the latest news or information

donate – (v.) to give something without asking for payment in return

graded readers – (adj.+n.) a special kind of book where the language is simplified for learner of English

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