A British Voice in Taiwan 

I should begin by introducing myself a little, which were it in person would begin with a traditional handshake, a smile, perhaps a polite 'good to meet you' or maybe even an informal 'alright', which would immediately give away my country of origin to another native English speaker. 

If these were not clues enough for you, my homeland is famous for Shakespeare, the Queen, Tea drinking, Pub culture, areas of scenic beauty, bustling cities and living history. Four nations form the whole, and their cities are some of the most culturally diverse in the world. Musicians & artists from the island continue to be driving forces on the world stage, with Beatlemania, Punk and New wave/rave culture all originating here. The nation's favourite sports are not the usual American/Taiwanese fare of Basketball and Baseball. Instead we'd much rather play football, tennis, rugby or cricket depending on the season and weather, the discussion of which is another famous trait. Although our culinary skills are considered poor in comparison to our other fellow European nations, some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world are to found here, but at the end of the day I can't deny that fish and chips is what we're best known for! At their best, my country's people are known for their sense of humour and charm, although in Hollywood films we are more often than not cast as the cunning or quirky, loveable or dastardly bad guys! 

Whether or not the generalisations are true, I hope you will have guessed by now that I am British, English if we're being exact. In this coming semester I will be joining the Foreign Languages Division of NTU as an IELTS instructor of spoken and aural English, and do hope I may have chance to see you in my class!   

As a previous MA graduate of Edinburgh University in Chinese studies, and therefore a second language learner myself, I am well aware of the obstacles that face English language learners in Taiwan. Besides helping my students to develop their comprehension and conversational abilities, I look forward to sharing further the culture of my country, and of course helping them develop fine spoken English.

It cannot be ignored, that many people here in Taiwan mistakenly believe that American English is somehow 'better' or more highly regarded than British English internationally. To those of you who may wonder what differentiates the two, well the truth is essentially very little; some spellings and pronunciation of certain words are the most notable examples. In Britain, we are well versed in American culture and vocabulary through constant exposure, but ask an American what a 'jumper' is, what it means to be 'poorly' or if they would like to go for 'a pint' and you'd probably be met with a blank look of incomprehension!

There is no competition here; both forms of English well mastered will take you far, expanding your cultural horizons and opening many doors of opportunity for both now and in the future.

But for those wishing to prepare for time abroad in the UK, gain a 'heads up' on the culture and vocabulary of Britain, are inquisitive to learn through exploration and discussion, or perhaps wish simply wish to give their spoken English a more 'English' flair, well I look forward to seeing you in the coming semester!

筆者為任教於台大語文中心外籍教師 Alex Ives

 

轉眼就是新的一年!新年新希望是什麼呢?如果想在今年好好增強自己的語文能力的話,台大語文中心所開設的一系列課程是您絕對不能錯過的喔!

英語進修班一直以來是學員們打穩英文底子的班別,提供一系列增進英語聽、說、讀、寫能力的課程。許多人常提到如何加強英文寫作,其實正確的文法觀念是很重要的,如此才能檢查自己的文章,避免最基本的寫作錯誤;另外,大量的閱讀好文章,學習別人的寫作風格,也是提升寫作能力的方法唷!報名英語進修班須參加分級測驗,一步步跟著老師的進度,有系統地增強英文能力。

廣受學員們歡迎週末外語班,除了歷久彌新的觀光英語、看影集學英文、讀小說學英文等課程外,本期另增開法語綜合班和IELTS聽力口述班法語綜合班適合已稍具法文基礎的同學參加,著重聽說讀寫的全方位練習,小班教學,名額有限,請把握機會。IELTS聽力口述班由英國籍老師教授,透過道地之英國口音,熟悉英國文化、生活及學術英語。韓語進階班應同學熱烈要求,籌備已接近尾聲,請隨時留意本中心網頁之最新招生公告。

您的日文還老是停留在50音嗎?最新一期的日語進修班也來囉!由台大日文系安排陣容堅強的師資,18人小班制教學,配合緊湊的課程內容,讓您在短時間內提升日語會話能力!由於舊生們續讀踴躍,本期新增J5課程,讓您的日語能力更上一層樓。

心動了嗎?詳細的課程時間與內容,請至中心網站查詢,也歡迎來電詢問及報名喔!

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網站:Wired for Books

http://www.wiredforbooks.org/amytan/

能自然而然地聽懂外國人在說什麼,是每個英語學習者所希望達到的目標。如果覺得聽一般制式的考試聽力實在很無趣,不妨聽聽網路上的廣播,尤其具有訪談性質的節目。這個網站有英美重要的作家、藝術家、文化工作者與主持人的訪談,朗誦自己的作品,也娓娓道來個人的生活體驗與社會觀察。這個網站的好處是可以將訪問錄音下載到個人電腦裡,便於反覆聆聽。同學可以尋找自己熟悉或是好奇的人物,分享他(她)們的人生歷練。這邊所選擇的人物是知名的華裔小說家譚恩美,談她所出版的半自傳體小說《喜福會》(The Joy Luck Club),同學們也可以連結到該網站的首頁,看看站主推薦了哪些作家和文學作品。 

 

國立台灣大學文學院語文中心外國語文組
電話:(02) 2363-0550
傳真:(02) 2363-0701
http://www.ntulc.ntu.edu.tw
電子郵件:ntulc@ntu.edu.tw
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