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AIT trains English guides at Taipei's Songshan Cultural and Creative Park

Elementary school students are being coached as English tour guides by AIT diplomats

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An AIT diplomat teaches students how to be tourist guides in Taipei. (Songshan Cultural and Creative Park photo)

An AIT diplomat teaches students how to be tourist guides in Taipei. (Songshan Cultural and Creative Park photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) teamed up with Taipei Songshan Cultural and Creative Park to host a workshop Wednesday (Sept. 15) for selected students to experience being an English tour guide at the historic venue.

Nine students from Taipei Municipal Kuangfu Elementary School were picked to participate in the workshop, which featured three AIT diplomats as coaches, namely Kyle Morgan, Brian Chen, and Lynn Ruggles.

Director of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Chen Yu-Show (陳玉秀) said it is not only stylish buildings that make a city great, but the stories behind them. Therefore, she said she expected the program to not only teach the students to have a better command of English, but also to learn more about the former tobacco factory, which was built 84 years ago.

Morgan, one of the AIT diplomats, noted that English is a useful tool for people who live in international cities such as Taipei to exchange ideas and make new friends. He added that good tour guides need to develop their storytelling skills. He also encouraged the students to keep on learning, after being impressed by their fluent English.

The nine students were divided into three groups and each was led by one diplomat, who introduced a specific area of the park, such as the offices, warehouse area, tobacco factory, and ecology pond. The English workshop presentation is slated to take place at the end of October. For more information, visit the website.