Sunday, May 8, 2016

"Read The World And The World Reads You" Presentation in Taiwan

Power Point 

The Preparation 

Hi, David:

 It's so nice to invite you to give a lecture at my school. As a remote school in Changhua county , we don't have the same English learning resources as the students in city. Many students don't have chances to visit Taipei let alone go oversea.Your coming inspires students' interests in English. English is  a practical tool to reach the world. Thank you so much for spending some time with us. .

    Students in our school are afraid of speaking English in public and they are also a little shy to interact with foreign teacher. However, they are very excited about the special opportunity to meet a foreign teacher in person.  It means a lot to our students

 As for the topic, students are very interested int foreign culture or festival. They also like to know more about foreign countries or your hometown. They will be also curious about your travel experience or your impression in Taiwan. Anything about the world ,cities or culture will be interesting to them. The purpose of the lecture is to widen the horizon to our students, so there is no restriction about the speech. You can design your own lecture. 

   If it's ok to you, after you make sure your speech ,can you tell me about the topic of the lecture and basic content. Because we'd like to have a poster to make a basic introduction about it. There will be a projector and laptop for your lecture. 

 I will accompany you during the course and do some translatinn for students. But I know nothing about you or your hometown. So Maybe you can provide me some basic information about yourself. It will be easier to introduce you to the students. 

 There will be about 115 students in the class and the the duration is from 8:30 ~ 10:05. There is a 10-minute break at 9:10 by school routine. However, you can keep on your speech if you want. They may want to ask some questions and some students might want to talk to you in person after the course. Is it ok? Although they are shy, with proper encouragement they would gather the courage to talk to you. 

If there is anything you want to know, please don't hesitate to tell me.

We are looking forward to your visit.  

Best regards,


Hi, David:
   it's our honor to invite such a good experienced teacher like you to our school. I've already discussed your idea with other English teachers. We like your plan.It will also be a big challenge to our students because many of them  aren't good at English speaking. However, They  regard the workshop as a good opportunity to practice their English and learn something more.

   It's no problem to proceed the plan of  workshop. There are several  things we may discuss in advance.

1. There are around 115 students from various classes to join the lesson, and the number may be plus or minus 1-5  
    students. They are  mixed graders. The seventh graders are about 35 students. The eighth graders are about 37 students. The ninth graders are about 46 graders. I just estimated the numbers from all the other English teachers about the willing students to participate at the workshop. However it might not be the specific number but close to it.

 2.How would you like to group the students and how many groups will be ? Will you group them during the course or we group our students in advance?  These groups are divided by mixed graders or the same grade?

3. What should students have to prepare for the workshop in advance?  Is there  anything that you want the students read or prepare before the workshop? Many teachers also want to know more detail about your course and the three fold you mentented. They would like to assistant these students to be more well-prepared before the course. 
However, please understand  although the students are interested in English, many of them can only speak limit English. That's why we like to invite foreign teacher to inspire them.
4.We have a big classroom for the workshop. How do you like about the group seat arrangement? We can deal with it in advance. Besides, should I do some translation during the workshop or it's a whole-English speaking work shop?  

If it's not too much trouble, can you mail your lesseon plan or something that the teachers or students should know or prepare to me. I know the time is rushing with only two weeks ahead. We really appreciate your effort on the workshop for our school. 

  If there is anything you need or want to know, feel free to contact me. You wife is so welcome to join us. It's another pleasure to know someone from Taiwan.  Thank you.

Best regards,

Hi, David:

    After reading your plan, I think we might need to straighten up something about our students more precisely.

  I really appreciate what you have done for the course, however, I have to speak honestly. The detail plans of the workshop are too difficult to proceed for our students. Many English teachers are also concerned these subjects are beyond their abilities.

     We are sorry that we can't meet your expectation.  As I've mentioned previously, many of our students have never been to cities before and one third students are raised by grandparents or single parents. Our school is located in a small town which many people suffer their financial problems.  Our students only have very limit English speaking abilities and they don't have as the same resorces or support from parents as the children in cities. That's why we want them to see more about the world, to creat some chances for our students and have some passion to dream big. We hope they can have the courage to speak out their English even a little. Let alone have the ability to make a reported speech. It's really too hard for them.

   Therefore, here is our suggestion:

  We like the second fold of sub-topic as " places of interests to English-speaking foreigners in Taiwan" . Our interpretation for it is " to introduce the places of Taiwan which are appealing to English-speaking foreigners in Taiwan "
It will be a very interesting topic for our students and they can also practice their oral speaking in English. It also connects to your idea " the world reads you".

   There might be several  parts about it. Students can talk something related to the culture, festival,night market snacks, attractions in Taiwan, ...etc. We may divide these students to some groups and each group prepared one topic of it in advance. Because over one hundred students join in the workshop , maybe it will be easier if the members of group is 10 around. We could arrange their seats at the workshop if you want.   

   They also might be interested in your life in New York city and impression in Taiwan.  For example, what do you like about Taiwan and what makes you want to spend the rest life in Taiwan? What's the difference between Taiwan and the US?.... If your wife or you could share these experiences with us, it will be very wonderful. 

  Sorry again, if our students have better English speakings and knowledge abilities ,the lesson plan might be ok. However, this lesson plan is beyond their English level. We didn't want to upset your plan.  Just want to make sure we are on the same pace about the workshop and the students' background. 

 I am looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

Best regards,


Hi Verona: 
Thank you for replying. You have met my expectations for motivating the children's interest in learning English, and I thank you. I  knew that the workshop plan I sent you, full blown,  would be beyond the average Taiwan middle-school English ability, but they are legitimate points of departure for your students. A translation of what the topics I will touch on is appropriate. Having the children think of what the event will be about is desirable; they will be better prepared to hear what I have to say. 
Prior to the event, the children can be grouped to brainstorm their chosen topic, bilingually.  Ask them, for example, "What do you think Teacher David will talk about when he says "Methods for communication in English (ex. reported speech.") Tell them what you think I will talk about. On the day of the event, the students, and your staff, can match their understanding with what I actually say.

The day of the event, have the children sit together in clusters according to the topic they have brainstormed, with notepads, so they can funnel additional questions to their chosen representative(s). They may direct questions to me in English, or your staff could assist them to translate if need be. 

The interests you suggested ("Your lives in New York city and impressions of Taiwan.  For example, what do you like about Taiwan and what makes you want to spend the rest life in Taiwan? What's the difference between Taiwan and the US, and "something related to the culture, festival,night market snacks, attractions in Taiwan) would come in the second-fold topic, "What in the world there is to explore, in English." 

 It is my pleasure to meet your students and I will motivate them, but I will not lie to them with fairy tales about English in their future. The journey to fluency is more important than the destination. I hope I can help you by encouraging your students to practice English usage more.

Let me know if this is acceptable. 

Thank you again.


Hi, David:

  We have announced your lesson plan to the students who participate the event that day. The event will be in a big classroom which can hold around 90 students and a few staff. There will be 3 or 4 English teachers including me there on that day. My other colleagues might not attend the workshop because of their class schedule. I will give a brief introduction at the beginning of the event, so there will be more time spared to your presentation.

 As for the lesson topics, I've mentioned previously that it's hard for our students to make a good outline preparation and comprehension about each sub-topic as you want due to their below English level and limit knowledge background. However, we will encourage them to try their best, but please don't have too much expectation about the outcome. We are afraid that you will be super upset after the event.

  Thanks for providing your teaching resources. Your learning materials have a great diversity of subjects and they are related to a worldwide theme. Your teaching ideas and skills are impressive.However, I'm really concerned that our students don't know how to relate to your sub-topics even with your providing materials. First ,these papers in English are hard to understand for them, and the extended concept might not be familiar to the children. Even for our English teachers, we couldn't figure out clearly about your whole ideas of these sub-divisions.

   Moreover, they really have very little time to prepare it or brainstrom the topic because of the short notice of the event  ,their busy class schedule and a coming mock exam on Mar8 & 9 just prior to the event. But according to the e-mail last time ,you mentioned on Mar. 11  "In my presentation, I will only discuss the sub-topics brainstormed." We are worried if our students can't make or present their brainstroming outcome, how will the workshop porceed ?!  Besides, English teachers at our school are not English native speakers, we might not interpret perfectly.

   We really want to try it and learn different methods in strengthening English and teaching skills as well. Our students expect to the coimg event.  I won't lie to you. Your pre-event assignment is really tough. I just worry that our students performance can't meet your standard. On the other hand, your lesson plans also provide them a different view not only to read the world  but also in English learning. We can try it together. Just let you know the ground our students stand now. This workshop will be a very special experience for all the students and the teachers,too.

 We are looking forward to your coming.

Thank you.
Best regards,

The Day of the Event Arrives 

8:40 Program begins  
1.       What in the world there is to explore, in English?
8:40 - I will introduce myself and answer the questions "My life in New York City and my connection to Taiwan, my impressions of Taiwan, what I like about Taiwan and what makes me want to spend the rest life in Taiwan. At the end of my introduction, I will field any questions that the children have about my introduction. The children only need to write their question (or comment) on a piece of paper and pass it to their brainstorm group's spokesperson or perhaps to a teacher to help them in translation. I will only field questions from the children.
a. places of interest to English-speaking foreigners in Taiwan
b. how to travel to places of interest in Taiwan
c. how to travel to places of interest outside of Taiwan 
9:10-9:20 Break
 2. What they will need to explore the world, in English
I will do a roll call of the three fold program and it's sub-divisions. The children in each group will raise their hands when I announce them. I will check off the sub-topics that were brainstormed (and add any new sub-topics) on my work sheet. In my presentation, I will only discuss the sub-topics brainstormed.
a. methods for communication in English (ex. reported speech)
b. how they will earn their living (ex. living wage)
c. requirements for degrees in English at Taiwan universities
d. how to get a passport, visa. Requirements of foreign countries
e. interface with English-speaking private schools in Taiwan
f. use of the internet
g. creating a Facebook page and blog
3.       How they can use English to improve the world
      I have completed twelve slides of a power point presentation I will give at a ninety minute presentation at a middle school in Chang-Hwa on March 11th. The project is writing itself from my capabilities using photos and text I mostly have on the computer already, but I will upload more to fill in the details of what I think I will talk about. I have been in regular contact with a teacher named Verona Lee about the event.

a. interface with international organizations in Taiwan (ex. 350)
b. dealing with pollution
c. parks and recreation
d. arts, crafts, indigenous 
e. protecting wildlife
f. caring for pets
10:05 Program ends

      The power point I have completed (12 slides) covers half of Part 1 of the program. It will end up being about 25 slides. Parts 2-3 will probably require another 40 slides combined; I want to have a visual besides myself on a podium. If I have a laser pointer, that would be good.

I have finished adding 21 slides to the Power Point presentation I will use during the event on March 11 I was asked to host at a middle school in Chang-Hwa for 115 students most of whom can't understand English very well; it's also directed at the teachers. At least the power point will entertain them, and they can read the Mandarin captions I have added.  Perhaps I can use the power point again if the offer comes up. I would like to give seminars on teaching ESL and how to start a teachers' union. In any case, the on-line power point is fun to do and I am motivated.


Hi, David:

   Today we have another pre-event team discussion for tomorrow. Although our students aren't good at oral speaking, they did try hard to work these topics and some even could manage to make their outline. They also take the event seriously.Here is some outline attached to the e-mail. They have some bright ideas as well.

   We'll have our students sit in groups and there will be a sub-topic tag of their group on  each table, so you will know their topic clearly. If you prepare power point presetation or slide show, maybe you might come 10 minutes earlier to set up your files. I hope this event will work out smoothly. See you tomorrow.

Best regards,


      It seems like every time I woke up the PC this week I was editing the power point presentation for Shengang Middle School; I haven’t made a journal entry in six days! The power point presentation, which is on-line, ended up being 47 slides long and comprised of hundreds of components including dozens of photos. I prepared it carefully, like I would be using it again. For the ninety minute event with a hundred students in Chang-Hua County, it worked like a charm.
      When the publisher set up the event for Sheng-kang J.H.S., I was put in touch with an EFL teacher there; Verona. We coordinated the event through e-mail. The suggestions I made that the students be divided into groups to brainstorm an outline of topics I wished to address was carried through; all the students had printouts from the lesson plans I had sent links for from the Bread & Roses and Community Curriculum. Each group had prepared questions and comments on their topic and shared them with the group when the corresponding slide came up in the presentation. The timing went well, a little overtime, and the children were all on task.
      The audio was broadcast to every classroom in the school so I used a microphone to speak. I felt like a VIP when after the event, dozens of children came up front wanting my autograph. The school took numerous group photos. Verona promised to collect the student work and send it to me so I may review what the children had written. 


      Last evening I was delivered the student work from the presentation I gave two weeks ago. I wrote to Verona and suggested I start a blog on the students and school’s behalf. If she gets the agreement of her colleagues I will make a blog of the sub-topics from the presentation, edit and scan the students’ work, and post it there for comment adding to it as Verona mails attachments to me. I will administer the blog but not be its moderator. If Verona says they don’t want a blog, I will write hand-written notes on the paperwork the students did and return it to them. Of course I hope the presentation was the start of a trend in their school and spread out to other schools they share with and influence. 

Power Point 


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