Teacher Tess Carey heading to Taiwan for English teaching over Winter Break

Teacher Tess Carey heading to Taiwan for English teaching over Winter Break
Posted on 12/07/2017

Every week Lynden High School English teacher Tess Carey teaches English to more than just freshman and sophomores at LHS. As part of a program run through Western Washington University, Carey partners with two different middle school-age classes in Taiwan to teach English lessons via videoconferencing for the native Mandarin speakers.

Carey, a TESL-certified teacher, is working on a master’s degree through the TESL department at WWU and a professor recommended her for the separate program that partners WWU with a Taiwan university. Once accepted, Carey met with Taiwanese teachers who visited Whatcom County this past summer to train and create lessons together. Since the start of school, she has worked via video to run a lesson each week in one of the two classes.

On Dec. 11 she heads to Taiwan for some face-to-face time with the classes.

“It was a great summer,” she says about working with the teachers. “We had a lot of fun and the classes we did together were great. Working with them, creating lesson plans and unit plans, was pretty exciting.”

Once a week she Skypes to connect with the classes, one on an island off Taiwan in Penghu and the other in New Taipei. “The program is mostly for remote areas in Taiwan,” she says. “It would be just like if a teacher from Spain was videoconferencing in with one of our Spanish teachers.”

The 11-day December trip will give her three days with each of the two classes and a weekend conference at the university.

As an added bonus, Carey’s son and daughter-in-law currently live in Taipei, teaching English, so she will spend a couple of days with them.

Not only has the program been a hefty amount of work and a great way to connect in a multicultural sense, but Carey has enjoyed the process. “I love it,” she says, “it is so fun.”