TAIPEI (The China Post) — Dr. Doris M. Brougham is an American educator and founder of Studio Classroom in Taiwan who has been one of the most influential figures in education over the past 70 years.
The 94-year-old educator traveled to Taiwan in 1951 as a missionary and used it as an opportunity to learn Taiwanese and even the indigenous language.
“Whenever you live with people in a different area, it’s always good to learn their language because then you can really communicate with them,” she said.
With English as the language of the world, Brougham used her knowledge of different languages to help teach the Taiwanese people English, by founding Studio Classroom in 1962.
Her aim for the program was to help the Taiwanese government and students “compete in the modern world”.
Initially, Studio Classroom was only a two-page black and white handout and a radio program, but Brougham’s project quickly began to grow.
Now, people are able to learn English from magazines and even videos online.
The radio programs and magazines won numerous awards and eventually became Taiwan’s most popular way of learning English.
In the interview with The China Post, Brougham shared her early experiences in Taiwan, the change Taiwan has gone through, advice for learning new languages, the beginning, and growth of Studio Classroom, as well as her feelings toward the island.