The English Language Centre (ELC) of the 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.
Before the start of the Camp, 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 from English Language Centre, there were also 23 young Programme Assistants (PA) from English-speaking countries, such as Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. Another 20 PAs are postgraduates from UM. The PAs communicated with the students in English not only in class, but also during ‘English Language Table’ and other extracurricular activities. These face-to-face interactions with native English speakers created more opportunities for students to learn English in a relaxing atmosphere. To create an immersive learning environment, all participants stayed in UM’s residential colleges with the PAs during the camp.
The closing ceremony was held on Friday, 28 June 2019, students showcased what they had learned from the camp through public speaking, drama performance, poetry reading and singing. Professor Katherine Chen, Director of English Language Centre, was pleased to see the improvement the students have made in their English proficiency and that they have become more confident, and made new friends through attending this Camp. Ms. Joan Leong, Programme Coordinator, gave her very inspiring and encouraging speech by sharing her learning experience from when she was young. She also encouraged students to grasp every opportunity to learn.
The 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 Hin Hua High School in Malaysia.