OMG! We did it. Of all the candidates, only six received the award and won a one hundred thousand TWD grant from the British Council Taiwan and Education Bureau of Taichung City Government. All the sweat and tears going into this Skype Exchange Project finally paid off.
Under the framework of Identity and Belonging, we developed an action plan in the hope to create an authentic environment for the students not only to use the language but experience cultural differences. I cannot thank Akiko Kubo enough for her determination and dedication to this project.
Most important of all, I believe we offered our students something that no textbooks or cram schools could ever provide. For my students' feedback like: "This is by far the most successful cultural exchange I've experienced from this class. I didn't read my script at all. Furthermore, I added more detail to my presentation.", I'm really proud of ourselves.
With this project, my students got to experience what it was like to talk about school life, music, Taiwanese celebrities, the beauty of Taichung with their counterparts in Tokyo via Skype. On top of that, student volunteers from Malaysia, Australia, and Holland came to my class and had some cultural exchange with my students' presentations in English.
A lot of things can go wrong when carrying out a project like this. Careful planning and taking risks is an integral part of making it happen. Thanks to the full support of the principal and staff of KMJH, I got to fulfill this dream of mine, making English a key to the world.