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July 1, 2011

Taiwanese cohort gains teaching experience and degrees to share back home

The first cohort of 11 Taiwanese teachers and professionals at the University of Louisiana at Monroe have earned their Masters Degree in English as a Second Language, and will soon return to their schools in Taiwan to apply what they've learned.

The ULM College of Education and Human Development celebrated the accomplishment with a reception on June 29.

These globe trekkers accomplished a milestone recently when each taught elementary age children in a classroom setting at the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home in Monroe.

"I have seen these students quickly grow over the course of this class and I was as excited as they were at having their first teaching experience in a U.S. Classroom," said Dr. Ava Pugh, professor for the Research-Based Methods course.

The cohort entered the ESL program a year ago and has visited multiple classrooms prior to their experience of actually teaching.

At the request of the Baptist Children's Home, the lessons were focused upon age-appropriate topics of measurements and the metric system.

The lessons included measuring length of arms, legs and shoes, measuring distance with an airplane race, measuring weights of fruits and vegetables, and measuring time by using clocks with second hands.

The Taiwanese cohort also incorporated instructional sing-a-long songs found on YouTube and other websites.

But teaching in Louisiana is not the final step.

The new graduates will be returning to Taiwan, ready to assess their teaching interventions and to implement what they've learned at ULM to improve upon their lessons and activities.

When they leave, they will be taking with them their newly acquired understanding of the impact of culture on the teaching/learning process.

During their year at ULM, the Taiwanese students have shared insights that were as valuable in the classrooms they are now leaving behind as they will be in the classrooms to which they return.

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