二十五年的實驗7
有志者事竟成

陳碧華 執筆

不知不覺中,爾康爾嘉慢慢長大,雖然唸的是住家旁的普通國小,國中,在沒有參與任何學科升學補習下,也順利分別進入台中一中、台大和清華就讀,在這期間分別得到交換學生獎學金赴日本研習,短短一年中聽說讀寫流利,也順利考過日文鑑定考試最高級,驗證了書本上的理論:學習外國語言有加乘作用,學會一種要再學習其他種語言,速度可以加快。爾康台大畢業後申請到哈佛、耶魯等長春藤學校研究所,甚至也取得與宋楚瑜同一個學校George Town全額獎學金。最後選擇進入哈佛就讀,當時教授及同學都還以為他是ABC,很驚訝他從幼稚園後就回到台灣。爾康畢業後立即在華爾街工作,金融風暴中他不但安穩無恙,而且成績亮麗。爾嘉去年清華畢業,初試啼聲申請世界名校研究所,連中三元。

從爾康爾嘉的求學過程中,我發現英文扮演非常重要的角色,因為他們有機會接觸到各種國際場合,參與各種國際競試,他們比其他同學就更能掌握住各種機會,這當中甚至包含兄弟兩人在毫無背景關係下參加甄選,成為台灣18名學生代表成員,與美國柯林頓總統座談。爾康除了在教育部主辦的英語演講比賽中奪得全國冠軍殊榮,也在各種全國性中、英文語言競試中拔得頭籌。有別於哥哥的中、英文成績,爾嘉則利用他英語的優勢,在多種國際科學競試中成績亮麗,而且也在教育部舉辦的全國大專生日語演講比賽中獲得殿軍。除了爾康爾嘉外,康乃爾孩子表現也不俗,許多進了台灣四大名校,甚至讀了美國長春藤盟校,最令人欣慰的是他們除了英語能力令人刮目相看,而且多才多藝,是全方位自信快樂的學生。

我很高興從爾康爾嘉以及康乃爾學生身上,我二十五年前大膽的假設和小心的求證如今終於得到結論,台灣學生絕對有能力將英文學好。很遺憾的因為譁眾取寵者眾,認真做事的人少,政府始終也拿不出具體辦法,台灣學生英語能力落後大多數亞洲國家是不爭的事實。我希望這二十五年的實驗,能與從事英語教育的學者專家,和有心栽培孩子成為雙語人才的家長分享,幫助我們下一代輕鬆快樂的學習,長大具有國際競爭力,台灣再小,但如果擁有雙語能力,未來的世界還是可以任他們發揮。

二十五年在人生中是不算短的時光,這個實驗靠一個人獨自執行,也是一個艱鉅的工作。我很高興我有兩個優秀的孩子,他們無時無刻不在盡他們最大的力量,讓父母以他們為傲。我也很感激有個體貼支持的先生,當我身陷麻煩時,他永遠是我身旁最大支持者。我知道如果沒有全家人的支持,我永遠無法獨立完成這項實驗。

六年前當爾康獲得哈佛研究所的入學許可,爾嘉告訴我有一天他也要拿到麻省理工研究所的入學許可,如此我就可以宣稱我的實驗大功告成,很高興今天爾嘉的確辦到了。回想過去這些年來爾康爾嘉是如此努力的爭取各項佳績,來驗證康乃爾是最棒的學校,因為他們知道媽媽要獨立在這競爭的市場中,與財大勢大的地產商或投資客經營的學校競爭是如何艱辛。這些年來孩子和我好比攀爬懸崖峭壁,我拉著他們努力往上,達到學業的頂點。他們則拉著我努力往上,達到事業的巔峰!聯繫我們在一起的繩索,就是我們對彼此濃濃的愛!幾年來建商蓋的豪華學校開了又關,只有康乃爾屹立不搖,在歲月的洗禮下我們不但沒有被淘汰,而且我們更茁壯!現在我終於可以說:那美好的仗我已經打過了,當跑的路我已經跑盡了,所信的道我已經守住了。身為一個基督徒,我知道因為大能的上帝,保守我平安度過各種艱難,讓我

有志者事竟成!


 

A Twenty-Five Year Experiment-7
Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way

By Bih-Hua Chen

Before I realized it, Kang and Chia had grown up.  Not like most Taiwanese students who preferred to study in private schools or take extra lessons in cram schools in order to get into prestigious universities, Kang and Chia studied in public schools but passed all the competitive entrance exams to enter the best high schools and universities in Taiwan.  They had lots of opportunities to represent for their schools to participate in many academic competitions and always had good results.  They also received scholarships to study in Japan and became proficient in Japanese within a year.  Through this experience, they proved that learning a third language became much easier after learning a second one.  In 2005 Kang got admitted to Harvard graduate school and his professors and classmates couldn’t tell that he was a foreign student because he still sounded like a New Yorker.  Kang found a job on Wall Street, New York right after he graduated and has thrived during the current world economic crisis.  Chia graduated with honors from Ching Hua University last year which is considered the MIT in Taiwan, and now he has received offers from three world renowned universities.

Through their school years, I noticed that English played a very important role in their outstanding performances.  Since they could use English naturally, they never missed the opportunities to show their potential.  Their outstanding performances had built up their self esteem and confidence through out their school years.  We were proud that a few years ago they were chosen as two of the 18 students to meet President Clinton in Taiwan.  One of the highlights Kang had was that he won the first prize at a national English speech contest which was held by the Ministry of Education.  Compared with Kang, Chia is more reserved but his scientific mind helped him to be a star in many international science competitions.  The other achievement Chia made is that he won the National Japanese Speech Contest held by Ministry of Education after he came back from Japan.  I am also very happy to find out that most Cornel graduates were very outstanding throughout their school years as well.  Many of them got into the best universities in Taiwan and some of them even had opportunities to go to the Ivy League Schools in the States.  They are not just academically high achievers but they are well-rounded youngsters.

I am very happy that my hypothesis has proved right through this 25-year experiment.  It has shown that Taiwanese students can do as well as the students who live in America.  I feel disappointed about the government’s policy and I am worried that our young generation is losing out to the students from China.  It is my hope that my findings can help the government change its policy.  Taiwan is a small island, but I believe that there are still plenty of opportunities for people to thrive if they are well prepared.  In the global village, English is a MUST.

Twenty-five years is not a short time in one’s life and this experiment was such a tough task to carry out by myself.  However, I am very lucky to have two wonderful sons who tried their best to honor their parents.  They understood how difficult it was for their mother to run a school in a man’s world and they showed people how well they could do in everything they were involved with.  I am also very lucky to have a very loving and caring husband who stood firmly behind me whenever I was in trouble.  I know this experiment could never have been completed without all the support from my family.  Six years ago when we were thrilled to hear that Kang had been admitted to Harvard to study at Kennedy School which was a dream school for students, Chia told me that he would like to work toward admission to MIT so I can claim that my experiment is a breakthrough in English education and Cornel is a miracle.  He has MADE it!  All those years, Kang and Chia tried their best to help me prove what I was doing is exactly right.  They knew how tough the competition was among all the schools and they knew how scary for a mother to compete with all the enterprise owners who copied Cornel to build their own business.  My boys and I are like pulling each other to climb up a steep cliff.  The rope which connects us is the love from our hearts.  Now I have pulled Kang and Chia up to where I longed badly for them to be for twenty five years, and Kang and Chia have pulled me up to the top of my career.  Through all those years, the splendid schools established by the land developers and investors opened and closed, I am very proud that Cornel is the only one that has stayed on its feet.  In fact, it does not only survive but thrives.  Now I can say that I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept my faith.  As a Christian, I have to thank the Lord for His mighty power which took me through all the challenges. 

Yes, where there is a will, there is a way.

 

兒童雙語幼稚園:
康乃爾&康爾嘉英語【官方網站】http://www.ecornel.com.tw
康乃爾&康爾嘉英語【facebook粉絲團】http://www.facebook.com.tw/cornelfans
康乃爾&康爾嘉英語【Youtube影音網】http://www.youtube.com/user/corneltai

英文有聲書雜誌:
彩虹時間兒童英語故事有聲月刊【部落格】http://www.wretch.cc/blog/CRainbowTime
彩虹時間兒童英語故事有聲月刊【facebook粉絲團】http://www.facebook.com.tw/rtfans

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