The University of Macau’s (UM) Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FAH) recently organised a six-day English summer camp for secondary school students in Macao. The event attracted many local students as well as teachers and students from other countries. There were many interactive activities designed to boost participants’ confidence in speaking English. Participating students were encouraged to use everyday English phrases and expressions to communicate with each other.
Earlier, faculty members from the FAH visited local secondary schools and talked to teachers from those schools to learn more about how English classes were conducted, the students’ level of English, and the teaching materials they used. Apart from two professional English instructors, there were also 43 young Programme Assistants (PA), including teachers from English-speaking countries, such as Singapore, Sweden, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, as well as 20 postgraduate students from UM. The PAs spoke to the students in English not only in class, but also during ‘English Language Table’ and other extracurricular activities. These face-to-face interactions created more opportunities for students to learn English in a relaxed atmosphere by talking with native English speakers. To create an immersive learning environment, all participants stayed in UM’s residential colleges with the PAs during the camp.
At the closing ceremony, students showcased what they had learned from the camp through public speaking, drama performance, and singing. FAH Dean Hong Gang Jin is pleased to see the improvement the students have made through the camp, saying that they have enhanced their English proficiency, become more confident, and made new friends, three goals set at the beginning of the camp. Kao Yip Middle School Principal He Cheng thanked the FAH for providing the opportunity to improve the English proficiency of students from his school.
The UM English summer camp was tailor-made for secondary school schools. It aims to help students improve their English language skills, creative thinking skills, and communication skills through interactive activities and assignments in an immersive learning environment. Students who participated in this year’s camp came from Kao Yip Middle School, Chan Sui Ki Perpetual Help College, as well as schools in Malaysia and other non-English speaking countries.