It was an immersion programme for the selected students in their school and YWPS was the only school they visited during their one-week stay in Hong Kong. The boys and girls were at P.5 level and thus they joined our P.5 classes to have lessons like what we do daily! It was truly a great cultural exchange opportunity for both sides particularly because these foreign students spoke English more than Putonghua!
In Ms Jackie Cheng's lesson, students learnt to write a poem. Ms Cheng reflected, "These two days were very special and unique. I was teaching six students from Fairfield Methodist School (2 girls and 4 boys) with my own 5E students. The lessons were on ‘Writing a Limerick’. Students were very creative during brainstorming and had all kinds of funny stories to share, since writing limericks is all about fun and humour.
"During the second lesson, they started to write on their own. After they finished their work, they eagerly and proudly presented their poems. Both Fairfield students and Ying Wa boys took turns to read aloud their poems in front of the class. It was a wonderful session of group as well as individual effort where everyone put their best foot forward. Some limericks were really hilarious, and had us laughing aloud. Our 5E boys were at their best and did not feel conscious about the fact that they were speaking in front of foreign students, especially girls!"
Teachers from Singapore had a brilliant sharing session with our English teachers on their method of teaching writing to young learners. Mr Richard had this reflection afterwards, "I spent a couple of lessons with the teachers from Singapore. They demonstrated to us how they engage their students (in Singapore) in the task of writing short compositions. One noticeable feature was the time spent in pre-writing tasks. It was clear to them that the pre-writing engagement process is fundamental in helping students produce good quality writing. As they said, “You only get out of students what you put it to students!”
"On reflection, it was useful to see a different approach to teaching writing. And it was clear from the sample of students’ work that they showed us that their students took ownership of the task out of enjoyment rather than necessity."
In return, I did my sharing with the visiting Singapore teachers (they taught both English and Maths)! I talked about what the English Department does in general and introduced specifically our reading schemes and our speech and drama approach. It was a real exchange as we discussed our similarities and differences very openly.
I was delighted that My audience was interested knowing how our boys learn English and was amazed particularly by our video productions!
I strongly recommended that they visit our English Department website to view our updates! I felt relaxed delivering my speech as these teachers were very friendly and helpful. I wish to have more chances to speak to them and learn more from them especially since they were one of the top schools in their country. We teachers treasured this exchange as much as our boys did.
That is all for now. More updates soon!
Dr H C Lee