The 2016 Summer English Immersion Programme (SEIP), organised by the University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Arts and Humanities, has ended. The programme aimed to help incoming students improve their English language skills to support their studies at the university where English is the main medium of instruction. Participating students went through intensive training that lasted between three and four weeks, with many saying that the programme boosted their confidence to speak English.
The closing ceremony attracted 350 students, parents, and faculty members. Prof Lionel Ni, UM’s vice rector for academic affairs, delivered a speech at the ceremony, in which he expressed his hope that the summer programme had prepared the students for their studies at UM, adding that the students should strive to achieve bilingual proficiency during their four years at UM. Prof Yilin Sun, director of the English Language Centre at UM, also gave a speech at the ceremony. She hoped the students had fun improving English through the programme and that the programme had opened the first door to success on the students’ journey.
A student surnamed Pun from the Faculty of Business Administration (FBA) said she could only speak English in English classes in high school, but UM’s English Summer Immersion Programme required participants to speak English in all the activities, from group discussions to games, and the constant practice helped increase her confidence to speak English. Another student surnamed Lei, who is also from FBA and who graduated from a Chinese-medium high school, said that previously she had worried about her ability to catch up at a university where English is the main medium of instruction, but the programme provided a good foundation to prepare her for her studies at UM. Annika, a student from Finland studying in the United Kingdom, was one of the SEIP programme assistants. She found the English language skills of the participating students to be better than she had imagined, adding that UM students are more hard-working than students in the UK.
This year’s SEIP enrolled more than 300 students. New features included co-curricular activities that supplemented academic classes in the morning and evening extra-curricular activities that provided variety in the manners in which students were exposed to English. Specifically, the morning sessions were focused on theme-based learning with experienced instructors. Activities for the afternoon and evening sessions included interactions with the 28 programme assistants from the United States, Canada, the UK, Finland, Australia, and Macao. These assistants lived in the residential college with the students and helped them practice English and review what the students had learned during the day. In addition to providing an immersive learning experience, the programme also provided an opportunity for participants to make new friends while improving English.
The Summer English Immersion Programme used small-class teaching to increase teacher-student interactions
A group photo at the closing ceremony
Students showcase what they learned in the programme at the closing ceremony