WSC Professors, Students Visit Taiwan
Mike Marek, associate professor of mass communications at Wayne State College, has been collaborating for the past two years with a doctoral classmate, Dr. Vivian Wu, who is back in her home in Taiwan teaching English at Chienkuo Technology University (CTU). When Wu came to the WSC campus to visit Marek last year, she developed a collaborative effort with Deb Whitt, professor of communications and chair of the Department of Communication Arts and Speech Communication.
Chienkuo Technology University invited Whitt and Marek and two students to come visit for two weeks to talk to English classes and interact informally with CTU students in the spring 2008 semester.
Students Tony Miller and Lucas Christensen accompanied Marek and Whitt to meet the students they have been interacting with over the Internet and to help motivate them to be active learners and to be interested enough to keep studying English beyond the basic need to get a good enough grade to pass the class.
Tony and Lucas spoke to 13 classes while in Taiwan in March. Whitt and Marek made formal presentations at a conference on teaching English as a Foreign Language in Taiwan. The four spent many hours at the CTU “English Cafe,” where Taiwanese students get a free coffee if they order in English.
“For our WSC students I think it was a wonderful opportunity to meet people from a completely different cultural background,” Marek said. “They will remember this trip for the rest of their lives.”