Analysis of the Contributions of In-school Language Clubs in Taiwan
Keywords: communication skills development, students’ leadership skills development, co-curricular activities, cooperative learning, student involvement, language proficiency
Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Tsu-Chia Hsu (Ed.D.) is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Foreign Languages at Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, Taiwan. She was awarded the First IASCE Elizabeth G. Cohen Award for an outstanding dissertation in cooperative learning in Italy. Her research interest includes cooperative learning, task-based learning, speech anxiety, and intercultural competencies.
Scholars mentioned that in order for students’ growth to take place, students need to actively engage in their environment. In countries like Taiwan, the trend of using English as a medium of instruction has become an increasingly important element in higher education. Therefore, great importance is placed on finding effective ways in teaching English to EFL students. On the other hand, it is also observed that there is an increasing number of in-school Toastmasters club in Taiwan. Their goal is to help their student members gain personal growth through the training of communication and leadership skills in a positive and cooperative environment. In light of the rapid growth and perceived contributions of the campus Toastmasters club, this study shall seek to provide an empirical analysis of the various underlying factors behind the contributions and impact of the in-school language clubs in Taiwan. Results indicate that students are helped by means of bridging-the-gap between their acquired knowledge and actual application of communication skills. Lastly, the adaptation of the in-school language clubs has also brought forth new non-threatening ideas in the language teaching pedagogy.