Why are you learning Chinese? How long have you been studying? So your Chinese must be very good! Oh… very cool! If you are learning a foreign language or have learned one (congrats btw!), you will often encounter these types of questions. Likewise, if you ask someone these questions, you will almost always hear a different response.
With TISLP being online this summer, it was hard not to lament the lost chance to meet my American and Taiwanese peers in person, but we’ve still been making good memories and learning a lot with three hours of online class every day!
On June 25, dragons awoke around the world. Many Asian countries celebrated the "Dragon Boat Festival (端午节)," a festival typically held around the summer solstice on the fifth day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar. As such, the festival is also known as the "Double Fifth Festival."
've been pleasantly surprised by my motivation to learn Chinese online. Since we're meeting face to face every day, I find I still feel the pressure of accountability that keeps me studying. I've also found that, despite not being truly immersed in the culture, I'm still learning a lot about culture through conversation.
When I expressed aloud that I wanted to go to Taiwan this summer to learn Chinese, the universe must have heard my longing along with the longing of the fourteen other students attending this program and laughed, sending out a pandemic to ruin those plans. In spite of this, thanks to the wonders of technology, I can learn Chinese through virtual learning.
Initially hesitant about intensive language learning online, I was pleasantly surprised by the pace of the class and various modes of learning TISLP offered to improve my Chinese speaking ability. Group classes are small and great for group learning and instruction. Although my classmates and I are states apart and we don’t have the opportunity to bond in person and outside of the classroom as we would during scheduled programming, I feel like we are friends as we speak and see each other almost every day on BlueJeans.
My concerns about not getting to know Taiwan were quickly expelled. Through not only the textbooks but also my language partner, I have gotten to learn about Taiwan and Taiwanese culture I would not have otherwise known. Through the class, I have learned things like garbage trucks are yellow and play music or that at weddings the newlyweds give out sweets.
Firstly, I am so grateful and thankful to be a recipient of American Councils scholarships: the AC Study Abroad Need-Based and Diversity Scholarships. By receiving these scholarships, I was able to obtain the opportunity to study the language that I really desired to learn.
I applied to study abroad with TISLP because I believed that living in Taiwan over the summer would be the ideal language immersion environment for me to advance my Chinese language skills and learn more about Taiwanese culture and diplomacy.
I participated in American Councils Taiwan Intensive Summer Language Program (TISLP) in 2019. During my summer in Taiwan, I noticed how green it is. It appears the nature has been infused with the country’s architecture willingly or unwillingly. Every time I went outside, I always felt this Zen-like peaceful atmosphere. There was some balance between …