Shih-Jen Lin 林世仁 Taiwanese Visiting Author at TAS

By Katrina F. ‘24 Spring 2023 Communications Intern

In February, TAS had the pleasure of hosting a special Taiwanese visiting author, 林世仁 (Shih-Jen Lin). He hosted workshops for Lower School students from Grades KA to 5 who were gathered in the Lower School Library. Students from both the Heritage and Learner track Mandarin classes participated in these fun and engaging activities!

Shih Lin Jen at Taipei American School

On the first day, 林世仁 led the students in a series of drawing exercises that helped them understand how Chinese characters were created. He asked the students to draw the outlines of animals such as fish, turtles, and birds, and then showed them how those outlines could be transformed into Chinese characters. For example, the outline of a fish could become the character for "fish," and the outline of a turtle could become the character for "turtle."

PTA Taiwanese Visiting Author Event

林世仁 has written 60 books and aimed to teach the students about the history of Chinese characters and how they came to be. His visit was made possible thanks to a grant from the PTA, and in addition to the two days in the Lower School library conducting workshops, he also spoke at  an evening event for families.

Students enjoying the visiting author

During his visit, 林世仁 encouraged students not to forget the importance of Chinese, one of the world’s oldest languages, and vastly different from English. While English is written using the alphabet, Chinese is a visual language. By becoming proficient in both languages, students at TAS will have knowledge of an ancient language and the most widely-used modern language.

林世仁 ‘s visit was a great opportunity for students to learn about the rich history of Chinese characters. The students learned that Chinese characters are not just symbols that represent sounds, but they are also visual representations of objects, ideas, and concepts. This makes Chinese a unique language that can convey meaning in a way that is different from any other language in the world. Through the various activities that 林世仁 organized, the students were able to see firsthand how Chinese characters were created and how they evolved over time.

Students working on their drawings

The students thoroughly enjoyed their time with 林世仁, and many of them were inspired to learn more about Chinese characters and the Chinese language. The opportunity to meet a successful author and learn from him directly, and to have fun while doing it, doesn’t come around every day! The visiting author left a lasting impression on the students, and many of them will undoubtedly continue to explore Chinese language and culture in the future.

Taiwanese Visiting Author presentations

We are grateful to the PTA for making it possible to host such a talented and inspiring guest, and we would like to express our sincere appreciation to 林世仁 for taking the time to visit our school. His visit has not only enriched our students' learning experiences but has also strengthened our commitment to promoting literacy and cultural diversity in our school community.