活動/課程內容簡介：The purpose of an English Corner within the Department of Life Sciences at Tunghai University is to improve the spoken, written and comprehension abilities of academic English of graduate and highly-motivated undergraduate students through a friendly, social environment. Another goal of the English Corner will be to enhance student’s confidence when using English, particularly in verbal exchanges about their own research or to inquire about the work of others. Ultimately, English Corner will be used as a tool to equip students for success at oral seminars, research conferences and futures as academics and communicators.
Tunghai University Department of Life Sciences
Week 3 Course Proceedings:
The English Corner in the Department of Life Sciences at Tunghai University is instructed and led by native-English speaker and PhD candidate Dakota Piorkowski. Three videos were viewed as content for discussion points during the course. Each video was biological in its premise and allows students to connect and engage with each other in discussion. Each video was a TED (Technology, Engineering, Design) talk and they were titled: “Bring back the woolly mammoth!” by Hendrik Poinar, “Measuring the fastest animal on earth” by Sheila Patek, and “The magnificence of spider silk” by Cheryl Hayashi.
Each video was on average 10-15 minutes in duration and subtitles were used to better facilitate student comprehension of presented material. Discussion lasted 20-30 minutes after each video and centered around: questions about the content of the video, new thoughts about applications of the content of the videos, stories of a personal experience that was connected to the video.
A total of 8 students were in attendance for the first week of the course. Two primary rules are enforce throughout the duration of the two hours session: 1) students are to only speak English throughout the session and 2) each student must present one question, thought or remark about each video viewed. Food and drinks were provided for all in attendance, however, personal introductions were required to be given from each attendee before they were permitted to consume provided refreshments. Introductions included stating each attendees name, academic background, e.g. degree and field of study, as well as one hobby or interest.
Ultimately, English Corner will be used as a tool to equip students for success at oral seminars, research conferences and futures as academics and communicators. The diversity of student backgrounds, typically undergraduate, master’s and PhD students in attendance, along with a wide range of fields of study, for example plant science to behavioral ecology, generated informative and fruitful discourse with a variety of opinions presented. Further dissemination of information pertaining to this course will likely enable growth in attendance size and allow additional opportunity for students to practice and develop English skills. Long term student success is predicated upon attendance and effective catering to student needs and while five sessions per semester does provide opportunity for student development, funding for more sessions would be greatly beneficial to students.