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SCOLAR promotes learning English through skipping
30 April 2005


The Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) held a competition today (30 April) combining rope skipping and rhyme singing to promote the learning and use of English.

Skipping Rhymes Jumping Jive, one of the many activities featured in the first-ever English Festival organised by SCOLAR, is coordinated by the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).  Forty-one teams of students at Primary 3 to 5, totaling over 200 and coming from 17 different schools, competed for the championship after months of practice.

Mr Stephen Chan, SCOLAR Member and English Festival Organising Committee Chairman, commended the activity.  "SCOLAR supports learning English in a pleasurable way," he said.  "The competition, in which students skip with English rhymes, not only trains their coordination in speaking while moving their hands and feet, but also helps enhance their vocabulary building and pronunciation in a fun-filled manner."

"The beauty of the activity is that we do not need sophisticated equipment for training.  A simple skipping rope will do and the effect outweighs the cost.  It is worthwhile to consider further promoting the activity among schools and parents," he added.

The Activity Organiser, SCBWI, was also proud of the participants' performance at the competition.  Their Regional Advisor, Mrs Susan Sprengeler, spoke at the Awards Presentation Ceremony, "When some of the participants started skipping in January at the first workshop, they were not sure how to do it. But in the second workshop held in March, some of them were able to skip with rhymes for a long time without missing, which was a huge improvement to them."

"Now, we all see that the participants managed to meet the competition requirements and created innovative rhymes by themselves.  This proves the effectiveness of the activity in boosting their interest in learning and using English," she said.

The participants were required to skip with at least one original English rhyme created by themselves, as well as some others selected from a list provided by SCBWI.  A panel of adjudicators comprising representatives of SCOLAR, SCBWI and the Hong Kong Rope Skipping Association then judged on their pronunciation and enthusiasm when reciting the rhymes, the creativity in their original rhymes and their skipping skills.

Funded by the Language Fund, the English Festival 2005 features a wave of activities during April and May, ranging from drama performances and workshops, skipping with rhyme competitions, debating, poetry writing, spelling competitions, newspaper editing seminars to television programmes.

Established in 1996, SCOLAR advises the Government on language education issues and the use of the Language Fund.