The University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FAH) recently organised a four-week Summer English Immersion Programme for incoming first-year students. Participants exchanged ideas with programme assistants from around the world and experienced living in the residential colleges. The programme aimed to help students adapt to the English-speaking environment at UM. Participants say the programme significantly increased their confidence when speaking English and improved their listening and speaking skills in English.
The summer programme included a series of intensive courses with interactive learning activities, including games designed to encourage students to communicate with each other in English. In addition, a weekly presentation class provided a platform for students to build up their confidence in public speaking. After class, students joined a variety of extracurricular classes, including drama, singing, and yoga, to integrate English learning into their daily lives.
Nick Yang, a freshman from the Faculty of Business Administration, says the programme created a relaxed learning atmosphere and he enjoyed sharing his interests and discoveries outside the university with his classmates in English. He also learned how to express an idea in alternative ways. After completing the intensive programme, Yang made significant progress in listening, reading, and writing, and became more confident in communication.
Mike Liang, a freshman from the Faculty of Social Sciences, says the interactive teaching method was very effective in guiding the students to immerse themselves in an English-speaking environment. In the process, he realised the huge differences between learning English from books and using English in real life, so he treasured the opportunity to communicate with foreign teachers. At the closing ceremony, Liang, who joined the singing class, gave a performance and shared what he had learned in the programme.
This year, 43 programme assistants from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, USA, UK, New Zealand, Canada, Sweden and Singapore with rich experience in teaching English, were invited to assist in the programme. Participants and instructors were arranged to stay in UM’s residential colleges to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds.