On May 26, the first end-of-term presentation in 2023 was held at the Lao Restaurant in Dublin. It was a great honour to invite two Irish Senators, Gerry Horkan and Barry Ward, as the distinguished guests.
The director of TCMLI, Evan Furlong, cracked two jokes to explain the importance of learning the cultural element of language. Understanding the cultural element in language learning is essential. It enhances communication, provides contextual understanding, and helps build relationships. That’s the reason why we embrace culture as part of our classes and provide meaningful interactions.
This end-of-term presentation was honoured to have Irish Senators, Gerry Horkan, present the graduation certificates to the attending students. “It is an honour to stand before you once again today as we gather to celebrate your commitment to learning this beautiful language.” Gerry said. “I was there at the grand opening of the Centre for Mandarin Learning in Ireland back in February 2022. It is a credit to Evan and her board of management team for the growth of this centre.” Gerry expressed, “I was briefed that among you, there are engineers, Civil servant, sales representatives, doctors, dentists, teachers, musicians, artist, and students, which is amazing to see that you are learning Mandarin for work purposes. I am glad that the Taiwan Centre for Mandarin Learning in Ireland can be of assistance. I encourage you to continue pursuing your journey with passion and dedication. Embrace every opportunity to practice, whether through language exchanges, immersion experiences, or cultural activities.”
Due to the diverse backgrounds of the students and varying levels of Mandarin proficiency, TCML in Ireland provided a 3-hour weekly course. This included 2 hours of in-person classes, with 1 hour dedicated to immersive cultural lessons, and an additional 1 hour of online classes. In addition to the mentioned courses, this term introduced personalized one-on-one online tutoring, where each student can schedule customized lessons tailored to their individual learning needs and goals. Furthermore, for students with a higher level of Mandarin proficiency, the teachers have specially designed graded reading materials, discussion sessions, and conversational activities. This ensures that even the more advanced students can find challenges and make progress in each class they attended. To enhance the attendance rate, which this term stands at an average of 50%, TCML Ireland has taken proactive measures by recognising and rewarding three exceptional students as a token of appreciation.
Several students expressed, " I had a great time attending TCMLI’s class in Dublin. Every week we did different cultural classes which also helped me learn new words that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I’m so grateful to be able to attend this class and I learned a lot of Chinese!"” I was delighted to attend the TCML this term. It is an excellent opportunity to meet new people and learn Mandarin. If you are beginner, you feel very comfortable with the level. If you already have some mandarin, the tutors provide ample opportunity for extra conversation practice. The course has good online options for the lesson content but if you can make in person once a week, I highly recommend it for their engaging culture classes!”” I really enjoyed this Mandarin course, I like the fact that we are a small group, the teachers are very helpful. The cultural activities were diverse and fun. Finally, I am happy to apply what I learn to my work to communicate with Chinese speaking visitors. I will continue studying to improve!” "I signed up for TCML’s classes because I participated in the Dragon Boat Festival event organized by TCML in Ireland last year. Both Teacher Evan and Teacher Syueping were very patient in teaching me Mandarin. I will continue my journey of learning Mandarin."
Lastly, students showcased their achievements in Mandarin language learning during the end-of-term presentation, reflecting their backgrounds and life experiences. Some introduced famous cathedrals, while others shared information about Irish food, sports, national celebrations, and the Irish language. Some discussed the similarities and differences between Mandarin and Cantonese and their experiences learning Mandarin. Others presented on dentistry, their travels to China and other Asian countries, and their experiences living in Ireland and Taiwan. There were also travel quizzes and enthusiastic performances of Mandarin songs, making the event diverse and vibrant. The end-of-term presentation concluded amidst a delightful feast of Chinese cuisine and the continuous laughter and joyful singing of everyone present, leaving a sense of unfulfilled enjoyment.