Oleh: hendradp | Juni 29, 2008

Kaohsiung County opens first ‘English village’ program

Kaohsiung County opened its first “English village” yesterday, with facilities allowing students to practice “real life” English in the immersion style of teaching.

Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) said at the opening ceremony he hoped students and teachers would make good use of the village to learn and teach English effectively.

The village provides various simulated English-language scenarios, including a hospital, a bank, a hotel, an airport, a library and classrooms.

Students and instructors are obliged to speak English in the village, which purports to offer an “overseas experience” for students.

Students can learn how to use English to order food in restaurants, speak to a doctor in a hospital, mail a letter at the post office and shop for groceries in a supermarket, Yang said, adding that the village’s facilities and learning materials will continue to grow.

The “English village,” built in unused classrooms at the Tsaiwen Elementary School in Luchu Township (路竹), took a year to complete and cost NT$6 million (US$198,000), Yang said.

Kaohsiung County Government officials visited South Korea in August to observe operations at language learning villages there, which served as a reference for the facility in Kaohsiung, Yang said.

A series of one-day learning tours for elementary and junior high students will be held from September and several other “English villages” will be built, he said.
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