by Weedy Tan
June 20, 2017
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Yes, you can learn English for free at the Model Learning Center for Active Senior Citizens of Taipei City (台北市樂齡學習示範中心 ) located at the 11th Floor of the Taipei Public Library – Main Library (台北市立圖書館總館). However, to qualify, you have to be at least 55 years old.
The Model Learning Center for Active Senior Citizens of Taipei City) is a project of the Taipei Public Library and its main objective is to build up the habit of life-long learning, post-retirement learning motives, and to maintain healthy body and mind of senior citizens in line with the program of the Ministry of Education’s vision of having the elderly pursue a healthy, independent, and happy learning life.
Considering the fast aging population of Taiwan, it is a worthwhile project to keep its senior citizens active and learning. As of February 2017, the aging index of Taiwan was already 100.18, an increase of 6.68 from the same period of last year. An aging index above 100 means that a country has more elderly than young people, according to the Taiwan Ministry of the Interior.
The Model Learning Center offers free Chinese calligraphy, Chinese painting, board games, Tai Chi Chuan (太極拳), and English learning classes. All of these classes are on the basis of voluntary self-help for the students and volunteerism on the part of the teachers.
For the English lessons, there are two (2) on-going classes every week. The first one, concentrating on reading and grammar, is from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. every Tuesday while the other one, more on conversational English, is from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., also on Tuesdays.
There are about 25 to 30 students per class and their age ranges from 55 to 80 years old. All of these senior citizens are physically healthy and their minds are very active as well. As is the situation in Taiwan, all of them have the basic English language knowledge from their school days and it is the lack of everyday opportunity of using the English language that is the problem.
Many of the students formed the habit of going to the English class to socialize, to take the opportunity of being out of the house, as well as to practice their English.
Published in the online newspaper Taiwan News:
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