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語文中心2014年推出全新課程【義大利文】、【國際菁英論壇】、【國際高峰談判】、【TED當代議題】
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本期內容:
 


【義大利文】若遙老師專訪

【國際菁英論壇】施堂模教授專訪

 

【義大利文】若遙老師專訪

若遙(Francesca)老師來自羅馬,英國倫敦大學亞非學院碩士,任教於臺大外文系。今年開始,在臺大語文中心教授義大利文。
     













Q: 你的家鄉在哪裡? 是個什麼樣的地方?

我的名字是Francesca, 我在羅馬出生。對我來說,在羅馬長大是個很特別的經驗,我的小學就在競技場旁邊,市中心的面貌和氛圍就如同一個小鎮,有小店家、家庭經營的小餐館和比薩店,還有許多小孩,非常活躍、熱鬧、有趣。我很珍惜那段時光。

Q: 提到義大利,不少人會聯想到一個充滿時尚奢華的世界 (足球隊、跑車、精品等)。對你來說,義大利文化有哪些特別的元素?

你提到的這些比較偏向一般外國人對義大利的印象。但是對我一個義大利人來說,我想到的是不同的東西,像是藝術、建築、風景,和一種融合了這些元素的生活風情。每當我回義大利去看家人朋友的時候,我都覺得能夠和這些古蹟生活在一起,真是一種幸福。那些義大利人會視為再稀鬆平常不過的美好事物,對我來說卻依舊感到驚艷。

Q: 當初是什麼緣故會來到台灣? 喜歡這裡嗎?

我在英國讀碩士的時候,我就決定要一邊學中文,一邊進修博士。亞非學院 (註: Francesca於倫敦大學修讀東方語言) 有不少教授推薦我可以到台灣實現這個夢想。當我得到小額的獎學金來台,就決定搬到台北。台灣給了我許多:有趣的工作、美好的求學經驗,以及不論在專業或個人層面的成長機會。同時,也讓我四年前在台北認識了我的先生Philippe。

Q: 可以談談你在台灣的教學經驗嗎?

到目前為止,能有機會在私人機構和台大外文系任教,讓我學到了許多。學生讓我了解學習義大利文困難的地方,而我現在也更能體會學生所付出的努力。這讓我能成為更好、更有耐心和同理心的老師。我很尊重學生,因為他們年紀雖然小,但對於學習義大利文有極大的熱忱。我在課堂上盡可能帶他們認識義大利文化的種種面貌,希望能激發學生的興趣,說不定有一天他們會上到進階課程,甚至到義大利去繼續進修。

Q: 你認為學習語言有什麼祕訣?

對我來說,學習新語言沒有什麼秘訣,重點是要持之以恆,每天複習 (20分鐘也好!) 而不是一次讀很多。必須要有心理準備,這可能是個緩慢的過程,當然,有時候也免不了會有挫折感,但是如果學生與老師都能認真對待,就可以獲得很好的成果。我以前的學生現在有不少人都在義大利的著名城市進修,如佛羅倫斯(Firenze)、威尼斯(Venezia)、米蘭(Milano)、波隆納(Bologna)、烏爾比諾 (Urbino,一個鮮為人知的城市,那裏有美麗的建築和著名的大學,坐落平靜的山丘中,而且是文藝復興藝術家拉菲爾的家鄉)。

Q: 你在工作之餘都做些什麼?

雖然我沒有太多閒暇的時間,但是我喜歡做瑜珈、閱讀、和我的家人朋友們skype,還有…洗溫泉。台灣真是泡湯的天堂!

Q: 最後有沒有什麼話想對學生說?

我想對學生說,如果要嘗試上我的課,一點都不必害怕。我不會不耐煩或臨時逼人上陣。我了解要學習新的語言有多麼困難,我的使命是幫助學生、讓學生有自信、並激發學生的興趣。教學是我非常熱衷的事情,只要學生肯學,我們一定能夠一起進步。

 

【國際菁英論壇】施堂模教授專訪

施堂模(Tom)教授來自紐約,英國里茲大學文學博士,美國維吉尼亞大學學士、創作碩士,現任教於政大英語系。在臺灣已有二十餘年英語、文學教學經驗。

Q: Where are you originally from?

I'm from Lindenhurst, New York, a small village on Long Island, about an hour away from New York City.

Q: What first brought you to Taiwan?

I originally came to Taiwan to study Chinese and Tai Chi for a year (which has now run over twenty!) between my MFA and PhD degrees.

Q: Could you tell us about your teaching experience in Taiwan?

For my first five years in Taiwan, I taught at Merica Institute, a test-preparation school. That was a great experience. Students were paying a lot of money for those courses, and they would complain if even one hour was not valuable and satisfying to them. It was a high-pressure classroom experience, and I think it made me a better teacher. After that, I worked at the China External Trade Development Council for a year, and then joined the English Department at NCCU, where I have been teaching ever since.

I've also taught poetry writing at the Univeristy of Virginia, as well as Shakespeare at the University of Leeds. Finally, I've taught many, many different kinds of short courses, including courses in English pronunciation, business writing, newspaper reading, literature, academic writing, and creative writing.

Q: Could you talk about your new courses at the NTU Language Center?

I'm very interested in teaching the Global Elite Forum course. The level of the course is going to be very high, and for me it's a treat to meet students who can interact at that advanced level in English. I'm really looking forward to it.

Q: What do you think is the secret to improving one's English beyond a basic proficiency level?

Hard work, every day. There's no secret -- if I had a secret that allowed students to avoid hard work, I'd be a very rich man. Most students have trouble with advanced English because they have not really mastered the basics. Basic vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and sentence patterns must be repeated until they require no mental effort at all. Most students don't want to practice so much -- it's boring. And most teachers don't want to work so hard to correct students. Nevertheless, it's only on such a strong base that more advanced skills can be built. I've recently begun learning Thai from the very beginning, so I'm constantly reminded of this simple, but all-too-often ignored, key to learning a language. The question is actually not how students can advance beyond basic English, but how they can master basic English. In fact, most students haven't really done that. The truth of the matter is, if they haven't really mastered the basics, their difficulties are only going to increase as they proceed.

Q: Could you give a few words of advice to our students?

No matter what you're doing, if it's worth doing, it's worth spending the time to do it well. If it's not worth doing, then stop doing it. A student once asked me for advice: she said she'd been studying English for twenty years, and still couldn't speak it well; what should she do? The conversation went like this:

"Study every day," I said.
"I don't have the time."
"Then give up."
She got very upset, and said, "You're my teacher. How could you say that to me?"
I replied, "You haven't been studying English for twenty years. You've NOT been studying for twenty years. Either decide to take the time to succeed, or admit you don't really want to learn."

One of my martial arts teachers once told me that old masters insisted that their students be honest, but this insistence is usually misunderstood. It was not because they were afraid of their art falling into the hands of bad people, but because people who are not honest will not learn very well in any case. Just be honest about your goals and commitment you’re willing to make.