English teachers of Quanzhou Shi Yan Xiao Xue were all very excited about the exchange programme as this was the very first time for them to have formal English exchange activities with Hong Kong teachers. Before the programme, Ms Cathy Xu (the English panel) and I had already discussed a lot about the details of the exchange programme. Ms Xu shared with me some background information about English teaching and learning in their school. She also showed me some of the English teaching materials used in their school. With the help of this information, Angel and I prepared materials that were suitable for their teachers and students.
During the exchange programme, we had a meeting with the principal and the teachers took us on a school tour, introducing different facilities and programmes organized in their school. We were also invited to join a welcoming ceremony and New Year celebration. We watched a variety of performances, including singing, dancing, orchestra, and so on.
Focusing on the academic exchange, we observed a P.5 English lesson conducted by Ms Xu and I had a lesson demonstration, teaching another P.5 class. We had post-lesson observation discussions with all the English teachers in their school. We demonstrated how teaching materials could be used flexibly in lesson planning and how additional resources could be added in various stages of teaching and learning. We also shared with them the importance of scaffolding learning tasks to facilitate students in using the targeted language structures to express their personal ideas. Teachers were very impressed and we discussed a lot more on how different topics could be taught.
Besides lesson observations and discussions, Angel and I also organized an English activity for around 100 students from P.3-6. As Chinese New Year is coming, we introduced how traditional Chinese New Year blessings could be expressed in English. We played a matching game with students and we guided them to write their own blessings. Students enjoyed the activities so much and they were so proud of their work. Some teachers of Quanzhou Shi Yan Xiao Xue were very eager to join and they wrote their own blessings too!
In addition to the academic exchange, we had a lot of cultural exchange. Teachers of Quanzhou Shi Yan Xiao Xue welcomed us with warmth and great hospitality. They organized visits to various traditional attractions such as Qingyuan Mountain, Laojun Rock, China Museum of Fujian-Taiwan Kinship, The West Lake Park, and so on. We also tried many local snacks, including Kaizai Jian (fried oyster), Mianxian Hu (noodles in soup), Rouzong (dumplings) and Nenbing cake.
This was a really fruitful exchange experience. I believe it would be beneficial for teachers to have more experience and exposure like this. I hope more English teachers can join!
Ms Jenny Ho