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OneEye

National Taiwan Normal University 國立台灣師範大學

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OneEye

By the way, if you're an American coming here to study, make SURE you find out which is the right TECO office in the US to send your documents for authentication. I sent everything to Miami because I'm a Florida resident and they've always handled everything for me. I emailed them and told them what I needed to get authenticated, and they replied with detailed instructions. After I sent everything in (undergrad diploma and transcripts) and had already returned to Taiwan, they told me they can't authenticate any of it because my college was out of state. So they sent it all to the Boston office (where my college is). Now the Boston office says they can't do it because my money order was made out to the Miami office (of course), and all the documents were notarized in Florida so they wouldn't be able to do it anyway. It looks like I'm going to have to pay a second time, but I don't know how to get around the notarization issue. I'm hoping they'll let me resubmit un-notarized copies of everything and just get them notarized in Taiwan, but we'll see.

I can't be the only person to ever go to college out of state and then move to Taiwan, so I'm sure this has happened before. If the Miami office had gotten their stuff together in the first place and told me they couldn't do it (I told them up front which college it was and where it was located), I wouldn't be in this situation. The whole process was supposed to take five days. It's now been well over a month, with no end in sight. It's amazing that this close to the beginning of the semester, I'm still not even sure if I'll be able to start or not.

Of course, this is all TECO's fault and has nothing to do with NTNU. Fortunately as I said earlier, the people in the office at NTNU have been very accommodating so far, but I'm just afraid their patience won't last much longer. I've signed a slip of paper that says I have to turn everything in by September 10 or I can't enroll. My impression is that the date is flexible despite the wording on the document (most things are flexible here), but who knows.

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Meng Lelan

Does NTNU still have a Special Ed Department with Deaf Education and Vision Impaired Education? When I was doing my master's in Illinois decades ago, I took class with a professor from Taiwan who graduated from NTNU.

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OneEye

Yes, they do. I believe they're located in the same building as the MTC, or at least they do a lot of their blind awareness training outside that building.

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Meng Lelan

You mean Orientation and Mobility training with the canes? That's the stuff I'm training on here now.

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OneEye

Yeah, lots of people walking around with white canes and blind folds. It must be a popular program, there always seems to be a good number of participants when they do that.

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Meng Lelan

Awesome. Someday I will be teaching blind rehab at NTNU and you will be teaching Chinese in Texas.

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Meng Lelan

漢字形體學研究 is using what textbook? And how can the tuition be that low? Is a master's from NTNU widely accepted if one applies to do a doctorate in Chinese Language and Literature in the States?

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OneEye

Tuition is just low in Taiwan. It's about the same at 台大, which is ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world. Tuition in the US is just insane.

I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be accepted. It's a rigorous program and some of the top scholars in the field teach/have taught in my department. I'll pretty much only be in class with native speakers, and I'll get training that's hard to come by otherwise (for instance, training in palaeography, which is severely lacking in the US). It will prove to admissions committees that my Chinese is good enough to handle PhD-level research, which I've been told is a major problem among PhD students even at the best universities. Why wouldn't it be accepted?

The 漢字形體學研究 class doesn't have one main textbook, but I know some of the main books we'll be using are 劉釗《古文字構形學》,杜忠誥《說文篆文訛形釋例》,王筠《說文釋例》,何琳儀《戰國文字通論》, along with all the standard reference books for pre-Qin script like 《金文編》,《甲骨文編》,《戰國文字編》, etc. And of course,《說文解字注》. I've got several other books on the subject that I'm sure I'll use as well.

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Meng Lelan

Thanks for your immensely helpful responses. Yes, I was looking at the Valparaiso masters program but wasn't feeling fun about a program conducted mostly in English, and if there is any Chinese to read it's always in simplified which is not fun for me to read at all. So I was looking into schools in Taiwan but had no idea the tuition was that low. I assume NTNU also has doctoral programs in Chinese Language and Literature as well. I might get my masters here in the US then later on go to Taiwan for a PhD but this is just dreaming for now I guess. What may be a real coincidence is a well known professor of blind orientation and mobility is at NTNU teaching and may be coming to a world conference here in San Antonio July 2014 and the host conference may ask me to host her in my house. We'll see if she does come. I hope so.

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OneEye

Yes, they have a PhD program too. Pretty intense, from what I've been told. There's actually a lot of assigned reading in simplified, believe it or not. Sometimes you can find 繁體 versions of the mainland books (and some mainland books are printed in 繁體 anyway), but not always.

As an update, the Boston TECO office has authenticated everything and sent it back to me. Should be here early next week. One of the representatives called me here in Taiwan to work everything out, and was even nice enough to scan everything and email it to me so I could send it to the Office of International Affairs before the originals get here. The OIA staff have been great throughout this entire process.

I had orientation and registration on Monday. That is, checking in, tuition payment, etc., not course registration, which I had already done. It was a fairly painless process. They had lots of student workers there and everything seemed pretty efficient. Most of them spoke at least some English for those who needed it (some programs here are mostly in English and thus require only minimal ability in Chinese), though some of them were a little too eager to show off their remedial English to a white face, which was generally more irritating than helpful. The scholarship people sent me to the Chinese department to get some documents stamped, and while I was there, they gave me a big packet of information about coursework and graduation requirements. They also invited me to an optional departmental orientation, which I just remembered is happening right now and I'm on the other side of town. Oh well.

So at this point everything is taken care of. I start Monday. There's a two-week add/drop period, so I'll try out several classes and then finalize my course selections. Right now I'm looking at 2 undergrad classes and two graduate classes, for a total of 10 hours. Bring on the pain.

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OneEye

OK, so I'm now more or less settled into the swing of things. I found out that I never actually selected which field to focus on (see above), so I ended up choosing 語言文字 after all. Also, the department is requiring me to take some undergrad courses, so I chose a 文字學 class this semester. It conflicted with the 經學史 class I had chosen, so I dropped that one. Instead, I'm taking 出土文獻思想專題研究. I'm still taking 漢字形體學研究, and I ended up being able to take the interpretation class for credit rather than auditing, so that's three grad classes (only two in my department) and one undergrad.

For the two undergrad classes in my department, the grade is mostly based on my term paper. There will be two tests in the 漢字形體學研究 class (one on ability to recognize 簡體字, one on theory and methodology), but they don't count for much. The undergrad 文字學 class is just the opposite, and the grade rests almost entirely on exams. We're also required to be able to read and write Small Seal script (小篆) and copy a fairly significant portion of the 說文解字 by hand into our workbooks. There's a lot of memorization involved, but it looks like I'll learn some very useful skills in this class. For the interpretation class, as long as I show up and do the homework, I'll get an A, so I'm not too worried about it.

I'm finally all squared away as far as paperwork, and the add-drop period ended today, so now I can settle into my rhythm for the semester. I have several books that I plan on reading cover-to-cover and a few which I'll be reading parts of, as well as several dozen papers that I may be using for the two papers I'll be writing. I've selected fairly ambitious topics that ought to stretch me quite a bit, so I should learn a lot from doing these papers. We have a 4 day weekend due to 中秋節, and Monday I'll really be starting the semester in earnest.

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Meng Lelan

>>>We're also required to be able to read and write Small Seal script (小篆)

So how will you all learn that...?

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OneEye

By copying the 540 部首 (in both 小篆 and 楷書) over and over into our workbooks. Interestingly, the guy who teaches the 漢字形體學研究 course also encouraged us to start copying the 說文 seal forms, and I think a few of the students in that class have taken him up on it.

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Meng Lelan

That's awesome. I don't think there is a class like that anywhere in the US. And workbooks??? You make your own workbook or is that bought at the school bookstore?

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Meng Lelan

The workbook is awesome. I wish the professor would sell a copy to me. As far as I know there would not be any kind of class or workbook like that in the US probably not even at UT Austin. The teaching and resources at NTNU seems stellar judging by your posts but I assume they have classes only in the fall and spring.

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xh207hi

I wonder, is there anybody who studies/-ed M.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at NTNU here? Any opinions?

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jobm

You could visit hackingchinese.com. The author of the site finished his MA on teaching Chinese at NTNU. :D 

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