Pictured are some students in the advanced writing class. They are working in groups discussing their second essay of the school year: a persuasive essay. In this class, they are discussing ideas they feel a passion for. Other students then deliberately object to those ideas. They play Devil’s Advocate. This is an efficient way to allow the students to explore their beliefs and opinions and then cultivate a framework to defend those opinions. This is a life lesson as well because the students need to evaluate, analyze, and then apply their thoughts in a discussion. Being able to defend their positions makes the students reevaluate and either confirm or adapt their arguments.
This is what the teachers at CIA are encouraged to do: have open discussions about important matters. The students are not allowed to raise their voices, they must remain calm and use rhetoric or persuasive devises to convince their peers that their ideas are merit worthy and their peers should therefore change their minds. Topics of discussion ranged from ideas about the environment, recycling, same-sex marriage, nuclear proliferation, the death penalty,
We wish to nurture these young adults and encourage them to see merit in all discussions. We don’t want our students to be too sensitive or ideological. We want them to be open-minded individuals who know how to think logically and clearly and, most importantly, acknowledge when they make mistakes and admit if their ideas are incorrect or short-sighted.
The students here at CIA are given research-based homework. All their ideas need to be backed up by hard evidence. Quotations and facts and figures need to be cited and sourced. We believe these are skills that our students can utilize in different aspects of their lives, not only in the classroom or at school.
Halloween is fast approaching. Last weekend, we announced to the students that we would be holding a Halloween party, a trick-or-treat fest. There will be 5 stations across the campus where the students can get candy or chocolate. Our students were instructed to prepare their costumes – no costume means the student cannot participate. The response was overwhelmingly positive and all the students will be participating. To some of the English teachers here, it seems strange that a pagan western tradition is so popular in Taiwan, but it is simply a great excuse to make merry and have a bit of fun.
The next event will be American Thanksgiving when we’ll be introducing them to tag American football.
CIA students in the advanced writing class
CIA student is working on research-based homework