The Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) today (6 October) launched the English in the Air 2003/04 project to promote the learning and teaching of English through television programmes among secondary school students and teachers.
The project is a continuation of the pilot project conducted by SCOLAR in partnership with TVB Pearl in the 2002/03 school year.
Speaking at today's press conference, SCOLAR Chairman Mr Michael Tien said that television was still the most popular mass medium among students according to a survey conducted by SCOLAR in its Language Education Review.
Mr Tien said, "Based on the feedback we collected from the pilot project, the idea of using quality commercial English language television programmes to learn and teach English is appealing to both students and teachers. Many students who wrote to the online forum said they found the television programmes interesting and helpful to their English learning.
"English in the Air aims at promoting the active use of television as a learning tool. We would like to demonstrate to students and teachers that English can be learned in a light-hearted way through television programmes," he said.
Based on four teenage English television programmes titled "Road Scholars" and "Lizzie McGuire" to be broadcast on TVB Pearl and "Smallville (season 1)" and "Sail Away" to be aired on ATV World from October 2003 to June 2004, the project involves the provision of English subtitles for these programmes, development of learning and teaching materials and activities, and organisation of competitions for both students and schools.
"Through the project, we hope to motivate students to watch more English television programmes and get exposed to more authentic English outside their classroom," Mr Tien said.
SCOLAR has commissioned the Hong Kong Education City (HKEdCity) to develop learning and teaching materials and activities, including pre-viewing and post-viewing resources, to help students, teachers and parents to capitalise on the language and cultural contents of the programmes.
HKEdCity will also offer workshops to teachers and parents, and organise several large-scale creative activities for students during the school year. Competitions will be run based on the themes of individual programmes. Attractive prizes, including overseas study trips and English language resources, will be offered to students and schools.
Project materials and specific instructions for the competitions will be made available on the project website (http://www.hkedcity.net/english/tv). Students, teachers and parents can make use of the project materials and get information on a variety of activities wherever and whenever they find most convenient.
The first programme "Road Scholars" will be broadcast every Wednesday at 6:50 p.m. – 7:20 p.m. on TVB Pearl starting from 8 October while the second programme "Smallville (season 1)" will follow on ATV World every Saturday at 2:10 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. from 18 October.
SCOLAR was established in 1996. It advises the Government on language education issues in general and the use of the Language Fund.