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Special Issue: Six-Word Story

Thank you for your support for the six-word story competition!  Forty-two responses were received and the results are as follows.

 

2 Champions (both received 19 votes):

Search: winter hk. 404 not found.

By Chloe KWONG (ELED Year 4, 2016-2017)

 

CUSIS. select. enroll. proceed. internet error.

By Nick CHAN (ELED Year 3, 2016-2017)

 

1st runner-up (received 9 votes):

Doing right. Feeling wrong. Grown up.

By Trista Tang (ELED Year 3, 2016-2017)

 

2nd runner-up (received 6 votes):

Finding myself in the world. Lost.

By Helen LING (ELED Year 5, 2016-2017)

 

On 22nd August, Prof. Tang, the winners of the six-word story competition and NETTER editors gathered and shared views of creative writing. The book coupons have also been given to the winners of the competition! We’ve had a joyous dinner at The Harmony and we deepened our understanding between. Once again, congratulations to them and let’s keep our passion for writing! We would be very happy to see you for the next event!

Congratulations to Chloe (left)!

Congratulations to Nick (right)!

Congratulations to Trista (right)!

Congratulations to Helen (right)!

 

September 19, 2017   No Comments

Special Issue: Netter’s 10th Anniversary

By Netter’s editorial team 2016-2017

10 years is a decade. Established to promote intellectual exchange by Prof. Eunice Tang and Prof. Cecilia Chun, Netter has become a collective endeavor of all ELED members over the decade.

We felt honored to witness the 10th anniversary of Netter. Therefore, we threw a room party in the hope of gathering those who shared the same vision and showing appreciation to those who had contributed to its success.

With 17 guests, consisting of Eunice, Cecilia, and 15 former editors, it was successfully held on 26th May, 2017. Join us and look back at the event through Brian’s video.

*video credits go to Brian LEUNG, ELED Year 1

See what our former editors want to share with fellow Netters about Netter, writing, editing, and words in this video:

*video credits go to Irina CHONG, ELED graduate

Finally, we made this video to revisit the 10 years with Netter. As the background music suggests, we will always ‘stand by you’, Netter! Happy Birthday!

*video credits go to Renee CHAU, ELED Year 4

June 18, 2017   No Comments

Issue 21: Project of a Bookworm

By Panmong TAM (ELED Year 4, 2016-2017)

I love reading. Since I was in kindergarten, my mum took me to different libraries in Hong Kong. I have been to all the public libraries along the Tsuen Wan line, the Hong Kong Central Library, Kowloon Public Library, libraries in Ping Shan and Lei Yue Mun, also those on the outlying islands. Whenever I am in a library or bookstore, seeing, touching, smelling the books make me thrilled. My mind always spins fast when I am planning my reading schedule.

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June 12, 2017   No Comments

Issue 21: EduVlog

By Renee CHAU (ELED Year 4, 2016-2017)

Dear ELED friends,

I am very happy to be invited by Netter to share my EduVlog with you. This video is an assignment promoting the flipped classroom. It comprises vocabulary and phrases about places in the street and those of directions from a Primary 4 textbook. Instead of using my computer to teach, I believe that my interaction with the Little Prince would be more authentic and contextualized. I hope you would enjoy watching it and you may even share it with your P4 students!

June 12, 2017   No Comments

Issue 21: CALL and Ritchie

By Ritchie WONG (ELED Year 5, 2016-2017)

Session 1 / CALL and Ritchie

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Tech’s been always a big part of my life: having a Palm as my seven-year-old birthday gift, dreaming to be a Googler in my second year of university and recently getting my Google Certified Educator Level 1 badge.

Its beauty goes far beyond the power of consuming massive amount of information, inspiration and insights, with simply a few clicks (and now, a few scrolls on your phone). I love how Apple has defined IT in her vision statement, ‘…tools for the mind that advance humankind.’ Just look at Google, Tesla or Apple itself…they allow people not just to consume, but to create stuff– something that could have never been possible without technology: the websites, apps or software, you name it.

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June 12, 2017   No Comments

Issue 21: Comparing ‘The Prelude’ and ‘Ode to the West Wind’

By Kelly CHAN (ELED Year 5, 2016-2017)

Nature can be merely flowers, trees and animals; but it is more for two romantic poets, William Wordsworth and Percy Bysshe Shelley. This essay studies how nature is depicted and its significance in Wordsworth’s ‘The Prelude’ and Shelly’s ‘Ode to the West Wind’. Though distinct in features, both works include important elements of romanticism, for example, being emotional and spiritual, as well as showing love and respect for nature.

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June 12, 2017   No Comments

Special Issue (Daegu 2017): Ramblings

By Ingrid To (ELED graduate, 2009)

“Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. “(Oscar Wilde)

When Eunice first invited me to help our student teachers for the trip I was still in Japan. Little did I know at that time how the experience of accompanying my juniors to teach in Korea would actually benefit myself immensely in turn. In the 5-day experience I had with the group, we had earnest exchange during lesson planning and revised lesson materials together. Seeing how they strived for an excellent lesson delivery, my passion in teaching was reinvigorated. My heart pounded with joy in realising how much I like teaching, or simply working with fellow teachers to plan an effective lesson.

In Daegu, I felt deeply about the need to possess generic skills of teaching that should allow us to impart knowledge transcending borders and languages. When a lesson is effective and successfully carried out, students are willing to be engaged and their confidence is boosted through producing more language themselves. We all somehow learn from books about how to teach a new group of students with a vast difference in learning abilities, but the real learning only starts when we face the challenge in practice – you can only get equipped enough and learn from each experience; and each of these experiences becomes a badge that marks a certain achievement / landmark a teacher has made through hard work and humble learning. Our student teachers boldly took the challenge, and they have learned much about teaching that is not limited to their own local context; effortlessly making suitable adaptations whenever circumstances arise in class also takes time to master.

I must say it was not just the diligence and persistence of the group that impressed me. These are some of the unforgettable moments that stick even after the trip:

  • the serious faces shown when you all drooped your heads and ceaselessly wrote notes during lesson observation at the junior high school;
  • the nights we spent amending the lessons;
  • that dinner night we talked from 6pm to 9pm up on the 17th Floor over delicious Korean food;
  • the sparkles in your eyes shone when you reached an epiphany and decided on how to elaborate an instruction stage for your lesson;
  • when each of you came to ask about my tiny wound after my clumsy fall from the stairs;
  • when Eunice and I got the nicely washed and presented strawberries, and the rice rolls you bought for us for breakfast in the rain.

Thank you for taking good care of everyone in the trip. All of you have shown a paragon of virtues of teachers, and I am really proud to have worked with each of you.

Shortly after the trip, I soon reckoned how the experience could further open doors for me. I went for a job interview and my experience of providing assistance in this teaching trip was very helpful in positing myself as an eligible candidate. My sincere gratitude goes to Eunice, Professor Park and the Faculty of Education for making this rewarding trip possible.

June 6, 2017   No Comments

Special Issue (Daegu, 2017): Teaching in EFL classrooms

June 6, 2017   No Comments

Special Issue (Daegu 2017): Korea Teaching Trip Reflection

By Pang Sze Long, Julohn (Year 5, 2016-2017)

I love watching drama and I watched lots of Korean dramas. I am always curious about the real situation of teaching and learning in Korea schools. This is the reason why I joined this teaching trip. It was my first time to teach students from other countries. I did learn a lot in the trip.

The lesson preparation was definitely the hardest time we had in Korea. Before we departed to Korea, we had to prepare for the lessons. It was very difficult for us to decide what to teach in the lessons. Though we could take a look at the textbooks that the students are using, we did not know much about their learning progress and lesson routine. Yet, we still tried our best to plan a lesson for the students. For the two junior forms, our group was assigned to teach the reading passages in the chapter. Comparing to other learning areas, I am always not confident in teaching students reading. I always think that it is difficult to measure students’ learning outcomes in reading because reading is a receptive activity. Therefore, our group aimed to teach the students some useful reading skills such as predicting and summarizing. For the two forms of senior high students, we chose to teach the students speaking and grammar respectively. All of our group members thought of various learning tasks for students to use and practise the target language. Senior high seemed to be easier for us to prepare.

But the lesson preparation stage did not end until we taught. After we visited the junior high school and observed some English lessons. We spent a whole day (!) at the hotel revising our lesson plans and teaching materials. The students’ level was extremely different as what we expected. They were a lot more proficient in reading and their vocabulary bank was larger than we assumed. Thus, we had to scale up the learning activities. Some of the planned learning tasks seemed to be easy for the students. Since they had a wider vocabulary than we thought, we decided to shorten the input time and allow students to do more production. This was the first time for me to have an enormous change in the lesson plans and materials. Knowing our students is really important for lesson planning. Every lesson has to be planned according to students’ ability, interest and progress of learning. Because we did not know much about our students before we visited the school, we had to pay additional effort in lesson planning. Luckily, with the cooperation of my partners, we were able to finish the lesson preparation successfully. And one thing to praise about the hotel – there were free printing facilities in the lobby!!!! We could print our worksheets there!

I felt a bit nervous about delivering the lesson to the students as Korean students were not used to listen and speak English in lessons. Professor Tang and Ingrid reminded us that we should use simple language and body gestures to assist students’ understanding. Our first lesson was reading lesson with a group of form one students. It was quite hard for us to simplify the language as the students were not good at following English instructions. After we gave the instructions, students looked confused and they did not respond. We then tried to speak slower and add more body language to explain in that instructional stage. For instance, we replaced ‘discuss with your members’ with ‘talk to your classmates’. In this way, the students could finally understand and give us some responses. However, I think it is challenging to adjust the language that we were using in the class. Although the English ability of students, especially listening and speaking, was not high, they were mature. If we use too simple language and lots of body gestures, I am afraid that the lesson might turn into an elementary class in which students would feel uncomfortable with it. Thus, we have to be very careful when teaching students with lower speaking proficiency.

The lesson went quite well especially for time management. Prior to the lesson, I worried about students’ understanding on lesson content and instructions. I overspent time on teacher’s talk, causing students not having sufficient time to finish their individual tasks. This was one of the areas for improvement that I have to be careful about. I always make the same mistake in teaching. I should be aware that learning is an active process which requires students to use the language and participate in the production tasks.

After the two days of teaching, we had a chance to do academic exchange with the Korea university students. They were also studying English language education. One of the interesting facts that I learnt from the Korean students’ presentation was that Korean students only have to attend English reading and listening exams but not writing and speaking. This can explain why they do better in receptive tasks than in production tasks. They don’t really use English as a communication tool. Yet, language learning is all about using the language by the learners. Hong Kong students have more opportunities to practise using the language than Korean students. Therefore, we seem to be more proficient than they are. However, the learning culture in some of the current Hong Kong English classrooms still does not emphasize on using the language. Students just learn English for exams. As a teacher, we should provide more opportunities for students to communicate in English. We should also encourage students to use English inside and outside classroom.

This Korea Teaching Trip is a challenging yet fruitful trip. It enabled me to take a look at the English lessons in foreign countries. I also had the chance to apply what I have learnt into an English classroom of a different culture. I was able to reflect on my own performance and also English teaching during the trip. I believe this experience will become a remarkable memory to me.

June 4, 2017   No Comments

Special Issue (Daegu 2017): Reflection on Korea Teaching Trip

By Kwong Lok Yee, Chloe (Year 4, 2016-2017)

It’s my second time to join a teaching tour (I joined the Beijing teaching tour in 2015) and I still feel grateful for being able to go out of my comfort zone and learn more about English language teaching in a foreign country.

In this tour, we were able to learn more about the English language curriculum in Korea. It’s interesting to know that students’ writing and speaking skills are not tested in the university entrance examination; yet the curriculum has been revised to put more focus on communicative competence in the junior secondary curriculum. While in Hong Kong, all the four skills are tested in the examinations and it is hoped that students can use English for communicating with people around the world and understanding more about different cultures. However, as there is not a very motivating environment for speaking English in both Korea and Hong Kong, students do not have many opportunities to practise their spoken English in their daily life. In my lesson observation and the lessons I taught in Daegu, some students could actually write quite well but they were too shy to answer the teacher’s questions in the lessons. In Daegu, most teachers teach English in Korean and the weaker students tend to discuss in Korean when they are asked to discuss with their group mates. Therefore, this trip reminds me of the importance of providing a motivating atmosphere for students to have more spoken output in English. We should try our best to maximise the time for students’ production in the lessons so that they will be able to have more practice in using English to express their ideas. We should also encourage students, tell them not to be afraid of making mistakes, and give more feedback to them so that they will be more motivated to improve their spoken English.

Moreover, this tour has reminded me of the importance of having flexibility when planning for the lessons. As we were not familiar with the students and the classroom setting in Daegu, everything we planned had to be flexible and we had to modify our lesson plans after observing the lessons in the junior high school. However, I think that I wasn’t flexible enough when I implemented the plan in my lessons. I should have explained more about the form of double comparatives in junior 2nd year class and should have given more practices for the students before asking them to start a more difficult task (which is writing a slogan using double comparatives). When we found out that the students’ English level was lower than what we expected in senior high school, we should have also lowered the difficulty of the task immediately and given them more hints in order to help them finish the task more easily. Thus, I think catering to students’ needs and interests is always teachers’ first priority when delivering the lessons. To achieve that, flexibility is a crucial element that we should not neglect. In Hong Kong, we are more familiar with the curriculum and students’ needs and interests. Yet we still need to keep observing students’ reactions in order to find out whether we need to adjust our lessons in different ways such as slowing down our talking pace when giving instructions and modifying or even abandoning the tasks which are too easy or too difficult for the students. We should help students absorb the knowledge step-by-step and should not rush to the next step if the students are not ready.

Though I still have room for improvement in my teaching and lesson planning, I think we have tried our best to show our strengths in preparing teaching materials by making colourful and clear PowerPoint slides (though more careful proofreading should have been made to avoid showing the grammatical mistake) and using the song “Castle On The Hill” to test students’ knowledge of the simple present and simple past tense forms. I saw that students were motivated when trying to jot down the verbs in present or past tense forms when they read the lyrics on the screen. This has reinforced my interest in using songs to teach English in my lessons and I will definitely try to use this approach effectively in my next teaching practice.

All in all, this is a fruitful and memorable experience for me in discovering more about my strengths and weaknesses in teaching English. I’m thankful for the advice that Eunice and Ingrid gave me, and the opportunity to work with Bridget in lesson planning and teaching. I will keep working hard to make me become a more competent teacher-to-be!

June 4, 2017   No Comments

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