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Artiste Kelly Chen joins fun show to boost workplace English
1 December 2002


Since the Workplace English Campaign (WEC) embarked on a new round of publicity in late April with artiste Kelly Chen as the Campaign's ambassador, the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) has been receiving about 4 000 telephone enquiries, 2 000 requests for application forms, and over 1 200 applications for the campaign's Funding Scheme per month.

The numbers of telephone enquiries and applications have increased by four-fold and three-fold respectively, compared to the figures before the publicity programme.

Up to the end of October 2002, the Funding Scheme has received over 34 000 applications for funding subsidy.  Of these, over 20 000 applications have been approved, involving a commitment of over $34 million.

"With Kelly's full support to WEC, we hope more working adults will become aware of the importance of raising their standards of English," Chairman of SCOLAR Mr Michael Tien said.

In a promotional event called "Workplace English Kelly Chen Fun Show" today (1 December), Miss Chen joined members of the public in games related to English in different workplace situations.

Two participants of the Funding Scheme also shared their experience on how their English had been improved at the Show.

"My level of English has been raised.  I feel more confident at work now and I feel more at ease in handling telephone calls from expatriates now," Miss Ivy Yu, a secretary, said.

Mr Kenny Mak, an assistant manager, told the audience that many employers and employees had benefitted from WEC and that his confidence in using English had been greatly boosted.

WEC was launched by the Government in 2000 with the main objectives of heightening public awareness of the importance of workplace English and raising the standards of English among the workforce in Hong Kong.

The Campaign has two core features:

(a) the establishment of the Hong Kong Workplace English Benchmarks for six broad job types, namely, clerks, executives/associate professionals, frontline service personnel, low proficiency job types, receptionist/telephone operators, and secretaries; and
(b) the operation of the Funding Scheme for Workplace English Training to provide subsidies to meet the costs of training courses and specified international tests for individual applicants.