In September, ELG had the privilege of playing host to Professor Tsai Meng-Ju and his students from the Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, from the prestigious Chung Shan Medical University, Taiwan. Over this eventful 3-day visit, the group experienced ELG’s full-time program, visited the reputable Luwan Special Needs School, participated in interactive workshops, and engaged with ELG Specialists. Here are some highlights of this visit! 

The students joined ELG’s full-time program for a full day on Monday 3rd September and Wednesday 5th September. The students quickly assimilated into the day’s activities of our early intervention, young learners and life skills programs and bonded well with both children and program staff. As third year speech-language pathology students, it was a rich time for learning as they observed our bilingual speech-language pathologist, Tiffany Chen, during her 1:1 speech and language therapy sessions.  Our program children were excited to welcome these visitors from Chung Shan Medical University. Upon seeing these new faces, one student greeted the group politely, saying  “Welcome to the meeting 欢迎你们来开会!”

After the program day, the students participated in a practical basic counseling skills workshop, led by Tiffany Chen. Tiffany challenged students with difficult questions that speech therapists might be asked, and provided useful tips on communicating with parents and clients. Together, students brainstormed attributes of a good therapist and practised empathy as they role-played a parent or therapist.  

On Wednesday 4th September, the whole group paid a special visit to the highly regarded Luwan Special Needs School, a local Special Needs school affiliated with East China Normal University.  The group was hosted with much hospitality and respect, with the Head of their Rehabilitation Group, Teacher Zhang, leading the tour and giving an introduction to the school. The group also had the chance to engage with the school’s speech-language pathologists and teachers over a Q&A session. ELG would like to make special mention and thanks to Luwan Special Needs School for their thoughtful arrangements.

After the external visit, our Taiwanese visitors arrived back at ELG where they were given a full introduction to ELG and our sister NGO, Xiersen. The final item of Day 2’s agenda was a lively panel discussion with our Taiwanese specialists. It was a fun time of open sharing! Questions varied from the perks of living and working in Shanghai, differences in therapy services in China and Taiwan, to what they enjoyed most about ELG. They also shared insider tips on navigating the city better – talking about the price of rent, food and differences in their spoken language (e.g. potato in China 土豆 = peanut in Taiwan 花生!! ). At its heart, our Taiwanese staff agreed that it was the work that they do at ELG, the supportive team we have, the sense of adventure and greater understanding of different cultures and backgrounds that draws them to this city and keeps them grounded. 

Overall, it was a meaningful exchange for both ELG and our guests from Taiwan. The students finished the visit by offering delightful souvenirs to ELG staff from Taiwan. The little cloth bags to place drinks in will be a lasting memory of the wonderful exchange between the two learning centers. Not forgetting the delicious Taiwanese specialty treats – pineapple cakes!

We look forward to continuing this partnership and working together in the future. 

To find out more about ELG and partnership opportunities please contact Eva Cheung: [email protected]