About 160 junior secondary school students at an English-speaking jamboree today (12 May) told their teachers and other educators what they thought about Hong Kong.
These students who participated in the Speak Up, Speak Out: Public-Speaking Training Programme organised by the English-Speaking Union (Hong Kong) (ESU) for the English Festival 2007 had received training to deliver a speech publicly.
They were taught how to capture the audience's attention with a good beginning of the speech, have a strong conclusion and use transitional techniques to develop a speech. At the jamboree, they were required to deliver a two-minute speech under the title "Our Hong Kong".
Member of Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) and Organising Committee of English Festival 2007 Mr Stephen S. K. Chan, said the judging panel of the jamboree was highly impressed by the students' creativity, delivery skills and use of the English language.
"Despite the fact that some of them are only Secondary 1 students, they have demonstrated their mastery of the language already," Mr Chan said.
"It shows that they have geared up for the English language curriculum under the new senior secondary academic structure."
English Language as a core subject in the new senior secondary curriculum aims to broaden and deepen the language competencies the secondary school students have developed through basic education, so that they are able to use English with increasing proficiency for personal and intellectual development and effective social interaction, and to further develop the students' interest and confidence in using English as their understanding and mastery of the language grow.
SCOLAR believes that public speaking, which requires the speakers to have competency in the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, is one of the ways to achieve these aims.
Therefore, SCOLAR has included the public speaking training programme in its English Festival 2007 to introduce students to public speaking yet in a relaxing atmosphere.
Students and teachers from 39 schools had taken part in the training. Selected students from each school then joined in the four regional experience-sharing jamborees today.
The English Festival 2007 is organised by SCOLAR to raise public interest in the learning and use of English. Eight school-based activities were launched this year. Details are available on the SCOLAR website at: http://www.language-education.com.
Established in 1996, SCOLAR advises the Government on language education issues and the use of the Language Fund.