2015年5月1日 星期五

Late Sharing

After three weeks of tutorial, it’s time to share some of my experiences.

Major Weakness from Students’ Point of View

In the first lesson, I asked student for reasons of joining this tutorial. Weak vocabulary accounts for most of their answers, both in ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ classes.

So I never strived to finish the whole material as I believe it is not realistic. I just focused on vocabulary and sentence structure within the material, which students shall be able to handle and use easily in their essay.

How about Music?

In the second lesson of Class A, I asked students if they want to learn more English through listening to English songs. They were a little bit hesitated. (I guess they have no confidence in their listening skills.)

I encouraged them to have a try, giving them a lyrics printed which just requires them to play simple fill-in the blanks. After they saw the lyrics, they felt relaxed apparently.

Before playing the song, I explained all the words which they did not know.

Just playing the song through my mobile phone was proved to be feasible as over 90% of my students gave me the correct answers for all blanks.

But, the overall response was so-so and I believe it was due to the song chosen.

Response was more encouraging in Class D. I asked students if they want music and this time, they responded quickly and positively. Also, a fast song was being requested. (This time, I guess it is due to their energetic character, not their confidence in listening skill.)

Different from the song selected in Class A, which just provided them a limited number of new words, the song selected comes with two interesting idioms, “as safe as houses” and “who’s wearing the trousers”. Students were so enthusiastic when they learnt what these mean.

An Unexpected Gift from Students

So now here comes the third lesson for Class D. Just like all lessons before, it overran. As it was already 19:15, I did not plan to conduct the music session this time (I also decided so for Class A). Yet, except one girl, all students were unwilling to leave and asked for the music session.

What surprised me was that one student said he now could sing the whole song which I played in the last lesson. Another student also expressed that he felt superior when he shared the idioms learnt with his classmates. He even discussed with an English (I guess may be an English tutor/teacher in his school) about what ‘as safe as houses’ means.

Lessons Learnt about Song Selection

I intentionally choose songs which are not too ‘old’ for the sake of generation gap minimization.

To filter out songs with f-words, of course, takes some times as most modern songs have some………

Response of the song played in Class A is so-so as only about a few words are found to be new to students.

The songs played in Class D are more popular among students as interesting idioms or words are learnt. In particular, they will remember such idioms or words easily if they can use them in daily conversation, though in Chinglish I believe.

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
Never Let Me down Again
The Girl from Yesterday

Link of Lyrics Prepared (I may adjust the selection later due to response of the students):

Credit to Mr. Wong and Janice

No diplomatic words. Really heartedly thanks to Mr. Wong and Janice’s briefing, various techniques taught are used (U-shape seating plan, encouragement etc.) and they work quite well.


Class A & D

2015年4月26日 星期日

3rd Class K & L

The 3rd week Class K & L is extraordinary. 

I would like to share these moments from my classes.

One boy arrived 5 minutes before class, while I was writing the heading “Stationery”.

“Will you kindly write the following eight items on the blackboard please?”

He grasped the blue pen and wrote swiftly.

These words caught the students’ attentions. They started to guess the meaning, and tried to pounce each items.

"Correction fluid, pencil sharpener, hole punch…"

I asked them to take out their pencil case and checked whether they got these items. Then I explained in Chinese, said it in English and invited the class to join me.

Next class L is a small group with fours students. We sit in half circle and started with the stationery vocabulary. Then I read through the passage with them, so they get the meaning, pronunciation and usage. I invited them to read loudly too. After thorough understanding, they can answer the questions confidently.

I believe these series of classes boost their confident in learning, combined with the 'hard skills" learnt in day school plus their hard work, they can tackle exam and keeping learning. I long for such guidance when I was their age too. Let’s motivate! 

Jack LEE Hoi Leong 

2015年4月18日 星期六

A great start - Class H&J

Dear all

    I have started my 2 classes (H&J) last Friday. Here's my feelings on teaching that I would like to share with you.

   Before starting the lessons, I did the the reading practice once and tried to anticipate the difficulties that students might encounter. I used the question-answering skills that Mr. Wong taught us and marked down some personal ideas.

  In order to let my students familiarize with each other, both of my classes started with a 10 mins warm-up greeting session. Firstly, I introduced myself and wrote my name on the white board. Then I asked their name and wrote them on the white board as well. After that, I randomly assigned a name to a student and told him/her to use at least one word out of 5W+1H (Who, What, When, Why, Where, How) to make a question with the name. For example, if the name assigned is "Mary", the student could ask "Mary, how are you? Who is your favourite idol?" Of course, Mary had to answer the question. Students found the session quite interesting and it raised their motivation to the lesson more or less.

   After the warm-up activity, I began to teach the practice. Since I have done the practice earlier, so I understand that it would be important to identify the type of questions. I taught them the question-answering skills by identifying the questions into 4 types- Right there, Think and search, Author and you, On my own. Besides, I gave them some tips about how to read the passage and answer the questions efficiently. For instance, reading the questions first instead of the passage.

   In general, my lessons went well and all my students performed quite active. So to speak, it was a great start and I hope all of you had a great start too.


It was a pleasure teaching classes G and I last evening.  Most of the students arrived in time.  Thrusting to acquire new knowledge, the students were aspirational, attentive, responsive to questions and active in discussion.  That being said, about one-third of the students was less competent and hence required more encouragement or attention.  The teaching materials were suitable for class I students who were more competent.  However, the teaching materials for class G students were a bit too advance.  I was not able to finish all the teaching materials for both classes due to the time constraint but the main theme of the article was discussed and certain key vocabularies were explained.  Real life examples of English usage were particularly appealing to the students because they understood English is an important tool for them to communicate, pursue higher education and work.  I ran out of time and was not able to sing a song with them.  Instead, I told them I would try to sing Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” with them next time as a takeaway.

Wilson OR 

2015年4月15日 星期三

There is no Wifi available at Pui Shing, as confirmed by Ah Sze. However, the matter was resolved as Mr. Wong had allowed me to use the desktop computer mounted on the teacher's desk, which is connected to the electronic white-board and also provides access to the Internet. In other words, if you can remember the Youtube links for individual songs, you can play them for sharing with students in class. Yesterday, as I was running out of time for both classes (B&E), I didn't have the chance to play any songs. I will, in the coming lessons, try to use the last 10 mins or so to play a song which is considered of some relevance to and hopefully could facilitate my personal coaching/self-esteem building work. One of my selections is Frank Sinatra's "My Way" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELpRwoRb1fA ). It is hoped that even if the students would forget all of the vocabulary or grammar we've taught them with the lapse of time, they might still remember some of the melodies/lyrics and thus the experiences/values we've shared with them.  

I welcome suggestions of other selections being added to this blog for sharing among tutors.

Henry Tong    

2015年4月14日 星期二

A tutor has asked me if wifi is available in the classroom at Pui Shing so that he can play a song from Youtube to sing with the kids. Yes, it is available but you have to get the password from the TA onsite first.

2015年4月13日 星期一

Many thanks for the sharing by Jack. I hope other tutors can also share their approach, reaction and feedback of students so that we can learn from other's experience to enrich and improve our teaching and handling of kids skills.