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Name

Jonathan Benda

Title

Lecturer 

School

Tunghai University

Email

benda@mail.thu.edu.tw

Phone

(04)3590253 ext.24

Fax

(04)3594002

Mailing

Dept. Foreign Lang. And Lit Tunghai University Taichung Taiwan R.O.C.

Topic Area

Internet and Web-based Methods of Communication

Paper Title

Internet Research in English Problems and Solutions for EFL Students

Abstract

While many educators agree that the Internet has given students of English as a foreign language great opportunities for finding and using information from all over the world, EFL teachers need to recognize that more needs to be done to train students to find and evaluate information on the Internet. In this paper, I want to address some of the issues involved in teaching EFL students how to do efficient, productive research on the "English Internet". I will describe methods and concepts that teachers should be teaching to help students make determinations about the quality of information providedusing search engines and navigating hyperlinks, using what context is available on a Web site ( for example, URLs, language, and hyperlinks to and from the site in question), and using a kind of rhetorical analysis to evaluate the trustworthiness of the Web site's author. I argue that at the heart of teaching students to find information on the Internet is the task of helping them develop cultural and critical literacies which enable them to understand and critique the origins of both the information provided and the audiences invoked.

Bio Data

Jonathan Benda has been teaching courses in English composition and speaking library research and the Internet at Tunghai University since 1993. His current research is about teaching students to use the Internet and to make Web pages. He is married to Linda Chiu.

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Name

Edward Danison

Title

Lecturer

School

National Kaohsiung Hospitality College

Email

danison@ms21.hinet.net

Phone

(07)383-9151

Fax

Mailing

高雄縣鳥松鄉大華村嘉興街21號

Topic Area

Teaching of International Cultures Language Teaching

Paper Title

Teaching Culture in the Applied Foreign Languages Department

Abstract

The specific content of the culture component of the Applied Foreign Language Department AFLD curriculum in Taiwan is still being formed. At this point in the evolution of the AFLD curriculum cross-cultural communication is not a primary focus. Students fluent in foreign languages are not being specifically prepared for the inevitable conflicts and misunderstandings inherent in encounters with foreign cultures. Students need a foundation in cross-cultural communication. Hence the rationale for this paper. First this study analyzes four approaches to teaching culture urrently in use in Taiwans AFLD the literature approach the manners and customs approach the language focus approach and the cultural awareness though self-awareness approach. Strengths and weaknesses of each are discussed. Second actual needs in the area of intercultural competence of AFLD graduates are analyzed. Third goals based on the needs analysis are defined. Finally a syllabus is proposed which encompasses a comprehensive foundation in issues underlying cross-cultural encounters and an approach to values and beliefs in conflict. The overall goal of AFLD culture classes this paper proposes is to bring students to an awareness of culture its hidden yet all-pervasive influence in the students own lives and the lives of the people they encounter.

Bio Data

Edward Danison is a lecturer at Kaohsiung Hospitality College. He has a masters degree in TESOL and bachelors degree in Cross-cultural Studies. He is the author of a vocational high school text Restaurant English Volume an Min Publishers and a self-published text Cross-cultural Encounters foundations in cultivating cultural awareness currently in use at Kao Yuan and Shu-te Institutes of Technology.

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Name

Chris Murphy

Title

Instructor

School

Email

chrismur@ms2.hinet.net

Phone

(04) 726-1450

Fax

Mailing

P.O. Box 23-449, Changhua 500, TAIWAN, R.O.C.

Topic Area

LANGUAGE TEACHING

Paper Title

ADULT EFL IN THE BUXIBAN:

Report on an investigation into the appropriacy of Western language teaching methods in Taiwan private English language schools.

Abstract

There is a considerable body of literature on the question of the appropriacy and effectiveness of Western language teaching methods in Asian contexts and particularly in Chinese or Confucian-influenced societies. Generally discussion has focused on the contrast between contemporary language teaching methodologies such as the communicative approach and traditional Confucian-influenced classrooms. 

Much of this literature has been based on the extensive personal experiences of the writers although a number of structured classroom studies have been conducted. Structured studies have been completed in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. In Taiwan the studies have so far been confined to the formal tertiary education sector. This study, however, was conducted within the informal English language system in Taiwan the private English language schools, often called ram schools”or referred to by their Chinese name of buxiban”. 

The research involved an in-class investigation where a study group of 12 students rated 21 classroom activities over a two-month period. A questionnaire was completed by the members of the study group as well as a number of other adult buxiban”students and foreign teachers. The questionnaire sought to identify Taiwanese students’attitudes to learning English and the differences, if any, between their attitudes and those of their teachers. The classroom study sought to test the extent to which the attitudes and preferences expressed in questionnaire responses correlated with actual classroom practice.

The findings of this study suggest that generalizations about Taiwanese student's language learning preferences are fraught with difficulties and that the picture is considerably more complex than it may at first appear. Despite some differences between Taiwanese students' views and the views of their Western teachers, there are many similarities and the similarities are of greater interest than the differences. Furthermore, while discussion-based activities tended to be highly rated by the students in the study group, it seems probable that classroom activities of any kind (teacher-centered, student-centered, role-plays, text-based activities, game-oriented activities) will meet with general student approval as long as they are well-presented and of good quality. Adult 'Chinese" students of EFL are not a monolithic entity as they are sometimes depicted.

Bio Data

Chris Murphy is an Australian teacher who has worked in secondary schools for 15 years. He has taught secondary and adult ESL students in Australia and EFL students from kindergarten to adults in Taiwan. He has been living in Taiwan for four years. He works in the private English language school system in Taiwan and is currently nearing completion of a research Masters degree through distance education with Deakin University in Melbourne.

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Name

Shiao-Chuan Kung (龔筱娟), Ju-Ling Shih (施如齡)

Title

Instructor

School

文藻外國語文專科學校
Wen Tzao Ursuline Junior College of Foreign Languages

Email

sckung@mail.wtjc.edu.tw ,  juling@ms2.keynet.net.tw

Phone

(07) 342-6031 ext. 243 or 287 

Fax

(07) 342-7942

Mailing

高雄市三民區族路900號 英文科

Topic Area

Language Teaching

Paper Title

The web-based interactive course on mass media

Abstract

There have been many attempts at using interactive multimedia to teach foreign languages. The new medium has characteristics, aesthetic considerations and potential pitfalls. It is important that technology is not used just for the sake of technology. This paper presents a project which capitalizes on the medium by applying it to convey a learning experience that cannot be achieved in any other way. 

Bio Data

Wen Tzao is a five-year junior college that offers an advanced-level elective class in mass media. The objective of the class is to introduce students to the basic concepts in the fields of music, film, TV, radio, and the printing industry. Traditionally, the course has been taught with print materials and videos alone. However, we find that this is no longer appropriate because all these traditional mass media are moving towards digitalization; some of them already have. We also see a need to provide a way for students to access the most up-to-date materials presented in a non-linear fashion. We attempt to provide a learning environment in which students can learn at their own pace by using a core of basic concepts and examples and then to access the web to find more current examples and analyses.

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Name

Angelika Mayer Loo

Title

Ph.D., Associate Professor

School

National Taiwan University Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Email

anlo@ccms.ntu.edu.tw

Phone

(02) 2735-5837

Fax

(02) 2735-5837

Mailing

No 1, Sec 4, Rooseveldt Rd, Taipei 106

Topic Area

Language Teaching/ Preparing Students for the Global Economy

Paper Title

Language is not Enough – Foreign Language Instruction, Culture, and Doing Business With Europe

Abstract

Including culture in the foreign language curriculum is no longer a mere option but a must in preparing students for international interaction, especially in a professional and business context. This presents a veritable challenge when faced with muti-faceted Europe.

This paper addresses selected issues in business communication and approaches of including them in foreign language teaching. 

Bio Data

Angelika Mayer Loo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of German at National Taiwan University, is a teacher of English and German, and also worked in teacher training and public relations. She lived in several European countries before coming to Taiwan, where she initially taught Business German at the International Trade Institute in Hsinchu.

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Name

Chris Merkelbach

Title

Ph.D., Assistant Professor

School

Chinese Culture University
Department and Graduate Institute of German Language and Literature

Email

chrismtw@ms17.hinet.net

Phone

(02) 2861-3688

Fax

(02) 2861-3688

Mailing

Taipei 111, Yangmingshan Hwa Kang Rd. 55

Topic Area

Language Teaching/ Preparing Students for the Global Economy

Paper Title

Culture as a Part of Foreign Language Instruction – Problems and Possibilities 

Abstract

Culture instruction is considered to be an integral part of foreign language instruction and is influenced by the definition of each period as to what culture is. Recently, however, the term culture has been given a new definition based on research done in cross-cultural psychology. This definition calls for a more intensive education in cross-cultural competence, which has been largely neglected in culture instruction. This article describes the development of the culture definition as has been of relevance in culture instruction since World War II and shows ways of education in cross-cultural competence for modern culture teaching.

Bio Data

Chris Merkelbach, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of German at the Chinese Culture University is teacher of German and Instructing German as a Foreign Language (DaF). He formerly also held the position of instructor for Business German at the Language Training and Testing Center in Taipei. Prior to coming to Taiwan, he taught at the Tongji-University preparing students for further studies in Germany. He published several articles on Cross-Cultural Psychology and Methodology of Teaching German as a Foreign Language.

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Name

Beate Luo (羅珮瑄)

Title

Ph.D., Associate Professor

School

Department of Applied Foreign Languages, Chaoyang University of Technology

Email

luobeate@mail.cyut.edu.tw

Phone

(04) 332-3000 ext. 4365

Fax

(04) 374-2355.

Mailing

168 Gifeng E. Rd., Wufeng, Taichung County, Taiwan

Topic Area

Communication / Culture

Paper Title

Non-verbal communication in cross-cultural encounters

Abstract

Gestures play an important role in communication. We tend to use our hands to explain things, we spice up a story or punctuate an idea using gestures. But they are not only useful for others to better understand an explanation. They are as well important for the speaker himself as they act as a bridge between concepts and words, thus enabling the speaker to think of the correct phrase more quickly.

But in cross-cultural encounters misperceptions occur as identical gestures may have different meanings in different parts of the world. Here, it is therefore useful to have not only a knowledge of the other party's verbal language but also of the non-verbal messages that are sent to us. On the other hand we should be open minded when seeing people from other cultures using (for us) unappropriate gestures.

Bio Data

Beate Luo is an Associate Professor at Chaoyang University of Technology teaching German and English. Prior to coming to Taiwan she has been working in several other countries.

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Name

Jeffrey Denton

Title 

Instructor

School

Tung Fang Junior College of Technology and Commerce

Email

110 Tung Fang, Hu-nei Shang Kaohsiung County, Taiwan R.O.C.

Phone

(07) 693-2011 Ext.150

Fax

Mailing

Dept. of Applied Foreign Languages 110, Tung Fang Road, Hu-nei Shang Kaohsiung Taiwan, R.O.C. 

Topic Area

Paper Title

MANAGING INEQUALITY IN THE MULTICULTUREAL WORKPLACE:
A Management Issue

Abstract

Today, more than ever, a company may be made up of owners, managers, and workers from several different countries and cultures. Company properties located throughout the world not only grants such benefits as cheaper distribution, cheaper overhead, and easy access to markets but also brings diverse people and groups together for mutual benefit. This diversity has great advantages in an interdependent global economy, such as is developing, but it can also lead to gross inequality within the workplace, whether that inequality is actual or simply perceived.

As in any work environment, there are several potential pathways that this inequality can exist or be perceived. These pathways can be described, and indeed are sometimes precipitated by, job or status positions with the workplace hierarchy. Indirect pathways can develop; such as between owners and workers, where there is management level between the groups. The direct pathways can be described in seven general categories. 1.Worker to Worker. 2.Workers to Management. 3.Management to Worker. 4.Management to Management. 5.Management to Owner/Director.6.Owner/Director to Management. 7Owner/Director to Owner/Director.

There are several macro-factors that help to indicate whether there is a likelihood of inequalities or disputes arising in a certain workplace. The list is by no means exclusive. 1.Location. 2.Makeup or Origin. 3.Ommunication. 4.Compensation.

Cultural inequality can be prevented or minimized in most situations. The longer that those problems are allowed to exist, the more difficult to eradicate them or minimize them will be. Methods of managing problems due to cultural inequality can easily be integrated into the company’s existing problem solving policies. 1.Training. 2.Group input. 3.Mediation/Arbitration.

Our changing global workplace puts new emphasis and perspective on the management issue of inequalities brought on by cultural diversity. The Possibilities for internal disruption of business due to these problems and the pathways they take could become major concerns for businesses of all sizes in the century ahead.

Bio Data

Jeffrey Denton is a teacher in the Applied Foreign Language Department at Tung Fang Junior College of Commerce and Technology. He holds a law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A. He is licensed in the United States as an attorney at law at both the state and the federal levels and maintains a part-time practice there while residing here in Taiwan. 

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Name

Wen-Hua HSU

Title

Instructor

School

Wen Tzao Ursuline Junior College of Modern Language

Email

Whhanh@ms28.hinet.net

Phone

(07) 345-9659

Fax

Mailing

No.1 Alley 2 Lane 475 Freedom 3rd Road, Kaohsiung City

Topic Area

Paper Title

Differentiating Teaching According to Individual Learning Style:
A Justification of the Feasibility from Recent Empirical Research

Abstract

Quite a lot of research effort has been devoted to elucidating how learning style is related to success in language learning and to what extent they are related. However, there is no general agreement about what learning style consists of and no agreement how to measure it. As Ellis (1993) described, some researchers have made use of instruments borrowed from psychology, while others have developed definitions of learning style based on direct observations.

Given the uncertainty about how best to measure learning style, the findings provided by the approaches above seem to be exploratory in nature. In the first part of this essay, I shall present a selective review of early work about learning style, with no intention of suggestion that learners do best if teachers can identify and follow their preferred learning styles. I shall attempt to justify my argument that learners benefit if the instruction suits their learning styles in the light of recent empirical research (e.g., grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and composition). In the second part, the focus of this essay is narrowed to provide evidence for the feasibility of differentiating teaching according to individual learning style. At the same time, the essay is organised around the hidden theme, “differentiating teaching is not a point, but rather a continuum” (Altman, p.6). in conclusion, learning style information can be used to improve instruction and evaluate the suitability of different teaching approaches.

Bio Data

1997---- Full-time lecturer of English Department.

1997-1998 Completed required modules in ELT PH.D programme—University of
Essex, U.K.

1989-1991  Master of Business Administration—Kansas State University, U.S.A.

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Name

Chu Min-huai (朱敏懷)

Title

Instructor

School

南亞工商專科學校應用外語科
Nanya Juior College

Email

Chicco@nanya.edu.tw

Phone

03 4361070 ext. 565

Fax

03 4365226, 03 4566684

Mailing

中壢市中山東路三段四一四號

Topic Area

Internet and Wed-based Methods of Communication

Paper Title

The Strategies of Applied English Writing: Being Applied to Internet

Abstract

On account of the prevalence of internet, it shortens the distance among countries, and makes it convenient that those who use different languages communicate with one another. English is the most popular and current language on internet. Those who use internet are required to have the basic ability to utilize English. The communication on internet is supposed to be convenient, swift, and concise; therefore, there seems to be some differences between the language on internet and that on composition. How to reach the demand of the above mentions becomes an essential issue.

This paper aims to explore how to combine the curriculum and curriculum and training of the school with the writing on internet, taking an example of the writing courses of applied foreign language department. Since the students have less chances to use English on internet, the prerequisite is to request the students must contact you with internet or E-Mail in the writing class. By this, the teachers can figure out their shortcomings in applying English to internet, and further provide some strategies on the matter. The mistake that the students most often make on internet is the disturbance of their mother language. They are accustomed to translating Chinese into English directly, which makes the sentence not only illogical but also ungrammatical. Strategy on this—to strengthen the training of the basic sentence patterns that the students often employ. Besides, the students also make grammar mistakes on internet, and thus strategy 2—to fully practice the training of the basic grammar. The students are often due to their lack of vocabulary that they are not able to have a substantial communication with the talker. Strategy 3— to enhance the basic vocabulary the students often apply. In order to reach the purpose of communicating fully with others, the students are indeed required to sharpen their English reading and writing capabilities. Strategy 4—to make the students read an excellent article and imitate its structure and ideas. The outcome of the investigation can be expected to have an effective assistance on the students when they use English on internet.

Bio Data

My Chinese name is Chu Min-huai (朱敏懷). I graduated from English Institute of Taiwan Normal University. My major at English Institute was Anglo-American Literature. I am serving as a full-time lecturer at Applied Foreign Language Department in Nanya Junior College. The subjects I am teaching are English, English writing, English listening and speaking, and business English. At present, I am engaged in the investigation of English commercial correspondence and application of English writing to internet.

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Name

Clyde A. Warden, Hsiu-Ju Lin ( 林琇如 )

Title

Associate Professor, Instructor

School

CHAOYANG UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Email

Warden@mail.cyut.edu.tw

Phone

(04) 332-3000 ext.4364

Fax

(04) 255-0324

Mailing

Dept. of Applied Foreign Languages 168,Gifeng E. Rd. Wufeng, Taichung County, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Topic Area

ESL Instruction in Taiwan's Business Context

Paper Title

The Existence and Importance of Utility (Instrumental) in Non-English Students’Motivation in Studying English

Abstract

This study examines the perceptions of non-English majors, in Taiwan universities, in relation to the utility of their English studies. An assertion is made that ESL students in Taiwan function mainly from an instrumental outlook. Accordingly, students use a cognitive-based process to evaluate the utility value of English studies. To test this assertion, a survey was administered that attempted to measure the existence of:
an instrumental group based on the perception of future monetary benefits. 
an instrumental group based on the utility of English skills in meeting qualifications such as entrance exams.
an instrumental group based on satisfying present graduation requirements.
an integration group based on the expectation of integrating with English speakers (non-instrumental). 

Factor analysis is used on a large sample size to determine the dominance of and degree of coexistence of these instrumental and integrative outlooks. Regression analysis is also employed in estimating the relationship between students' self estimated success in English language learning and the different instrumental and integrative groups.

Implications of such findings are extremely important for teachers of ESL in Taiwan. A fundamental assumption of TESL, as it is taught in USA graduate institutions, is the central role of integration as the main motivating influence on students. While clearly an accurate assumption within the USA, its central role may be questioned in countries where English is rarely used in any social contexts, but mostly employed in an economic context. 

Bio Data

Clyde Warden lives in Taiwan where he is an associate professor of business communications and has written several books and software packages. He speaks Chinese and has taught for ten years in colleges and universities in the R.O.C. The CAELL Journal carries his regular column Programming for Teachers, which introduces practical CALL programming concepts and techniques.

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Name

Clyde A. Warden, 戴羽君(Dinah)

Title

Ph.D., Associate Professor , AFL Student

School

CHAOYANG UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY 

Email

Warden@mail.cyut.edu.tw

Phone

(04) 332-3000 ext.4364

Fax

(04) 255-0324

Mailing

Dept. of Applied Foreign Languages
168,Gifeng E. Rd. Wufeng, Taichung County, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Topic Area

Web-Based Communication & Instruction (Workshop)

Paper Title

Getting Your Class on the Web & Creating Interactive Online activities, assignments and quizzes

Abstract

This workshop is a practical guide to the requirements of getting your class on the Web. First the benefits of such an exercise are demonstrated, then the requirements are reviewed. The goal is to give teachers the exact information they need to get started with their own Web sites. This includes information especially tailored for our situation in Taiwan colleges and universities. 

Next, the methods and results of placing your class on the Web are presented. Rather than emphasize complex tools and the cutting edge, we will show how easy HTML documents are to create and place on your site. With this knowledge, we hope teachers feel confident in taking advantage of this new opportunity in education.

Recent years have brought a generation of students into our classrooms that sees the Web, and its HTML pages, not as a new development, but as if it were the archetype of what computers are all about. This raises the standard for teachers to get with the trend, but it also means that plain old static HTML Web pages may not be enough to satisfy the interest of today's students. Just as HTML was created to make it easy to create interesting pages on the Web, JavaScript makes it easy for us to add interactive elements and automation to our Web pages. 

This workshop will demonstrate how easy it is to place dynamic information on to your class Web page. This includes online quizzes, interactive reviews, and user customized information. Rather than simply presenting static information, your class Web site can actually play a role in extending the classroom.

No previous experience is needed. This workshop will emphasize practical projects that teachers can get started on right away. 

Bio Data

Clyde Warden lives in Taiwan where he is an associate professor of business communications and has written several books and software packages. He speaks Chinese and has taught for ten years in colleges and universities in the R.O.C. The CAELL Journal carries his regular column Programming for Teachers, which introduces practical CALL programming concepts and techniques.

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Name

Carolone C. Hwang, Ph. D. (黃希敏)

Title

Ph.D., Assistant Professor

School

私立大華技術學院

Email

afxhwang@et4.thit.edu.tw

Phone

(03) 592-7700 Ext. 3001

Fax

(03) 5927871

Mailing 

新竹縣芎林鄉大華路一號

Topic Area

Teaching of International Cultures

Paper Title

Enhancing Learners' (And Non-Native-Speaker Teachers') Cultural Competence Through Current Popular Authentic Materials

Abstract

Over the last few decades, materials for English instruction in Taiwan has advanced from grammar-based textbooks with pidgin English sentences to a whole array of function-based English as a Second Language (ESL) materials imported from the U.S. and other English-speaking countries. The new crop of ESL books are visually attractive in their layouts and they do help learners achieve linguistic competence to a certain degree; that is, learners can begin to converse in a variety of social situations. However students who have even spent many hours on these textbooks usually exit their classes with a paucity of schematic knowledge of the real English-speaking world, simply because ESL materials are written for "foreigners," namely, "outsiders." On the other hand, since Hollywood has dominated the film industry in Taiwan, students here naturally imbibe "knowledge" from flicks that teem with exaggerations, fantasies as well as profanities. Between the goody-two-shoes ESL books and Hollywood's myths, how can we expect students to arrive at sensitivity and sophistication in the pragmatics of English and the culture(s) from which it was generated?

Authentic reading and video materials1 with a wealth of genuine interests and experiences as well as "insiders' talks,1' are the best resources for immersing students in the culture(s) of the English-speaking world. Unfortunately, they are often shunned by non-native speaking teachers, who consist of 90% of the English teacher population in Taiwan, due to fear of unfamiliar spots that might cause face-losing. At best, realia such as menus, train schedules, patty invitations, etc. are incorporated into instruction by conscientious teachers. Lacking any depth, however, these realia are not instrumental in guiding students into the login and phraseologies of the English-speaking world. Only first-hand exposure to original thought-provoking materials can lead to an active engagement with the texts and gradually an understanding that cross-cultural training workshops try to get near by one-time shots. Native-speaking teachers, on the other hand, often tend to be polarized, when it comes to authentic materials Either they regard those as too difficult for their students and thus avoid the trouble or they jump into classical literature without taking into consideration that their students are devoid of heritage of the Western Civilization. Classical literature is in fact only valued by an elite group of students within the English Literature Department in the most prestigious universities. It is psychologically inaccessible to other learners ( unfortunately, the majority ). The result is that Taiwan remains one of the poorest in achieving competence in international cultures.

It is proposed that current popular authentic materials, with its superiority in relevancy to learners' own lives and presentation of realistic and ready-to-use language, be adopted in the English classroom in Taiwan. They could be best-selling essays and short stories, TV talk shows, etc. originally produced for native-speaking audiences. One caution to be made here is that the humor in these materials has to be universally appealing, because region-specific witty remarks could invite frustration. In the author's experience, though, the majority of popular U.S. writers and TV shows are well accepted by college students in Taiwan. When selecting materials, all it takes is empathy and discretion on the part of native-speaking teachers and courage and inquisitiveness on the part of non-native speaking teachers. The latter can actually learn considerably from current popular authentic materials themselves about what is transpiring in the societies and with the people whose language they are teaching. Eventually, it would be a win-win situation for both learners and their non-native-speaking teachers inthat they both become "near-insiders" of the English-speaking world. In other words, their competence in international cultures could be greatly enhanced and globalization of Taiwan's education would ensue as a result.

Examples of appropriate current popular authentic materials will be included during the presentation.

Bio Data

Caroline C. Hwang was born in Taiwan, Her first exposure to English during her childhood was overhearing her grandparents from Shanghai occasionally speak the language, Following the "baptism" of years of traditional English instruction in Taiwan and a B.A, in Western Literatures, she went to the U.S. and began her real acquisition of the English language. She obtained her M.A. in Comparative Literature and Ph.D, in Applied Linguistics. She taught in Universities in the U.5 and also worked in England. ~ twenty years of stay in English-speaking countries has proffered her enormous pleasure in tile language and culture. She is eager to share with learners of English the joy of living (or simulated Jiving) in the language.

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Name

Harry Chuang (莊吉宏)

Title

Engineer-Inspection Division 工程師-驗貨部

School

Private Firm

Email

Phone

(04) 202-8654

Fax

(04) 2010343

Mailing

Topic Area

Business Culture

Paper Title

A Practical Guide Handling International Customers’Complaints

Abstract

According to our analysis, there are some recurring sources of complaints. 

  1. Problems with the goods: Dealing with this problem often requires improvements in manufacturing processes and continued monitoring through record keeping to prevent any repetition of the problem. Example: furniture cannot be assembled by buyer, or other defects such as not following specifications of the buyer.
  2. Irrational decisions on buyer’s side: It is not unusual use our perspective from Taiwan and find a purchasing decision to be perfectly clear. However, we have often experienced that lower price, better quality and first contact do not always add up to a sale. Under the table relationships are common in international business, and we have seen sales lost that should have been won, simply because a competitor has an office in the buyer’s country and is available to supply other services that the buyer finds valuable. Such opportunity for satisficing behavior (which really is completely rational from the buyer’s perspective) can be overcome by establishing a relationship with buyers that goes beyond simple price competition. 
  3. Conflicts due to overlapping responsibilities on buyer’s side: A purchaser may have different departments with overlapping responsibilities. This often leads to the buyer’s side dropping the ball and leaving decisions up to the manufacturer in Taiwan, which may later prove to be unsatisfactory to the buyer. Additionally, it is not uncommon that a purchasing agent makes errors in specifications, but hesitates to inform the supplier in time for modifications to be made.
  4. Fashion changes don’t match buyer’s predictions: In this case it is rarely the buyer who admits the error in forecasting, but instead looks for any error in the production run, such as logo slightly out of place, in order to refuse delivery. 

By understanding these and other common problems of international business, it may be possible to see the importance of relationship building based on mutual understanding and trust. This means that Taiwan firms need to excel at cultural understanding of their buyers. Problems may not be completely avoided, but it is our own self interest to see problems solved in equitable ways and for customers’ business to be retained.

Bio Data

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