July 3, 2018
AIT Press Release #: PR-1819
The American Institute in Taiwan congratulates Taiwan Fulbright alumni on the completion of their year-long Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) project “Reviving Low Achievers’ Learning by PASSION-FB,” which addressed the urban/rural English achievement gap in Taiwan.
A Fulbright alumni team led by Dr. Sung Yao Ting, the vice president of National Taiwan Normal University, was one of the winners of the 2017 U.S. Department of State Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund. Only 68 alumni projects were selected out of 1,014 project submissions worldwide.
The goal of the “Project of Adaptive Screening, Streaming, and Instruction for Omni-Directional Nurturing (PASSION)-Fulbright Program (FB)” was to improve English learning among low achieving students in rural areas.
Dr. Sung and his team used the “Diagnosis and Certification of English Competence” (DCEC) diagnostic tool to identify “level-zero” (low English competencies) seventh grade students and provide them with weekly remedial English lessons taught by instructors trained by the AEIF alumni team. Three public middle schools in rural areas of Hualien (San Min Junior High School, Yu Dong Junior High School, and Mei Lun Junior High School) joined the program.
After receiving remedial English lessons designed by PASSION-FB, students’ post-DCEC test results showed that their vocabulary, listening, and grammar scores improved by 71%, 65%, and 53%, respectively. In addition, 90% of students reported a sense of achievement in English learning, and 85% of students said they were more motivated to learn English.
To expand the influence of PASSION-FB and broaden the scope of remedial English teaching in Taiwan, the 2017 Taiwan AEIF alumni team will cooperate with the Ministry of Education under the University Social Responsibility grant scheme.
“We are pleased to see the Taiwan alumni network growing stronger each year, and congratulate the PASSION-FB team on the successful completion of their project. It’s exciting to learn that this innovative program will continue with the support of the Ministry of Education,” said Eric Aldrich, AIT’s acting public diplomacy section chief.