|“Language is the music of the soul sung loud to the world”|
ACCESSIBLE ENGLISH FOR ALL
All students have a right to learn languages – in this case English -other than their own native one and so be able to access the global community with fluent confidence– FOR LIFE.
With this mandate in mind, English teaching at Law Ting Pong has undergone a radical change over the last year. Recognising that language in its most expressive form is conveyed through literature, the staff have written and embraced a totally new S1-3 curriculum that encompasses the study of language arts:
novels , plays , poetry , short stories , myths
as well as the study of the language as a tool of communication, governed by rules and grammar. Early in their school career, students will learn how to read novels and explore character traits and techniques of language; they will read and write poetry to give expression to emotion; they will read and write scripts, short stories and myths to give vent to imagination.
Students are encouraged to read books in English borrowed from the school library for their own enjoyment and in order to promote this, students are taken to the library for private reading for half a lesson each week.
Such a foundation in S1 -3 will reap tremendous benefit when it comes to exams at the senior level, as well as ensure a more secure and confident grasp of English that will stand all the students in good stead for life beyond school.
THE ENGLISH CLASSROOM
Additionally, there has been a change in English teaching philosophy, in that students are encouraged to think more critically and to express their thoughts and opinions in an environment that positively embraces students’ involvement in their own language learning.
All English classes are student-centred and positively encourage students to actively participate in their learning of English. All students in the English class are expected to speak English at all times and so build up their own language proficiency as self-learners.
English studies are practised through a wealth of speaking, reading, writing and listening, using a wide variety of teaching techniques to widen the learning experience of the students and to expose them to a breadth of language hitherto unexplored.
ENGLISH THROUGH DRAMA
Aware as we are that students will greatly benefit if they gain English experience outside the confines of the English classroom, we have also introduced drama into the English curriculum where students can practise English in a totally new environment, as well as discover their own inner dramatic persona.
To this end, each of the classes in S1- 3 will have one lesson of drama every six days (S1 & 2) and every two weeks (S3) so that they learn and practise the specialist knowledge involved in the staging of a drama production and thus augment the language received in the classroom.
They will learn first-hand about script-writing, drama performance, backstage work, lighting and sound, skills. It is hoped they will be able to use these skills at a whole-school level in drama productions and later in life at large.
Drama is a practical expression of skill and language under the auspices of an experienced, trained drama teacher.
OTHER ENGLISH LEARNING EXPERIENCES
To enhance the mastery of language and to provide additional chances for students to use English, the department organises:
- story-telling platforms
- impromptu speech competitions
- speech festival practice
- formal speech competitions
- drama festivals
All students are encouraged to take advantage of these extra-learning activities.
Our goal for the future is to introduce the international General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in English as a Second Language and then English as a First Language so that students can measure their English capability on the international stage rather than just the local, Hong Kong stage. Such examinations are recognised by universities all over the world and in many they are recognised as the standard by which students are considered capable of studying courses in English.
In cooperation with the students, the English Department is committed to the goal of English fluency for all by the time students reach S6 and to make Law Ting Pong a beacon school for English Studies.
Julian Harniess Sept. ‘011