During this month, we have been able to move forwards on recruitment and planning the details of the Summer Camp.
Applicants submitted a detailed letter of application outlining their relevant experience and skills, and their understanding of English teaching in the context of the Hong Kong culture. Nineteen applicants were interviewed by two pairs of interviewers, 14 from BA Primary and 5 from the BA SENI programme.
A new interview sheet was devised for this year to give us a clearer picture of the students’ relevant experiences and the types of challenges and benefits they anticipate. Questions focused on their motivation, their understanding of the role and the skills they bring to it, ideas for teaching approaches and behaviour management, their experience of teamwork and their perceptions of the cultural challenges.
A scoring system was used to rank the responses, which resulted in a team of 14 strong candidates and 5 reserves. The reserves will be invited to take part in the induction programme and develop their skills in English language teaching using Activity Theory and Active Blended Learning approaches. All students can opt to apply for a Changemaker certificate.
Summer Camp Programme
We have had confirmation about the costs to be covered by WSE Cosmopolitan Youth for the Hong Kong summer camp. These are in line with previous years and cover the students’ travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses:
- Flight allowance GBP £650 per person
- HK$140 meal allowance shall be provided per participant per day for the duration of the Camp.
- An Octopus Card with HK$150 will be provided per participant for the duration of Camps.
- HK$2,000 subsidies for teaching materials will be provided for each team.
- A Hong Kong sim card will be provided to the team leader.
- School day transportation will be provided.
- Accommodation will be provided for the duration of the Camp (the location is to be confirmed).
- Wifi in the accommodation will be provided.
- Two to three Camp T-shirts will be provided per participant.
- Visa / Entry Permit Application
This is the planned schedule for the Summer camp:
- 1stJul Arrival Day (Is a public holiday in Hong Kong)
- 3rdJul-7th Jul Preparation Week
- 9thJul-3nd Aug Actual Camp
- 5thAug Leave Hong Kong.
- Total 36 Days
Following on from the interviews and successful recruitment, we aim to give the students a planned induction and an opportunity to gain a Changemaker award. This will include:
- An introductory session, which will include students from previous years, some of whom will be able to act as ‘virtual buddies’. This will include in introduction to the HKSK website and resource bank.
- Abi Wicks from Changemaker will run a session for this year’s cohort and for the previous cohort, as an expectation is for students to develop a plan and to work towards the CM award.
- Students are also expected to attend at least two activity-based sessions so that they are equipped with activities and strategies to engage HK students, and with a view to start building up a supportive team (4 twilight sessions or webinars will be offered).
- Students are expected to produce at least one activity plan to a bank of resources that they can then tap into whilst at the summer camp.
The aim is to have UoN students well prepared and equipped for the HK experience. The dates and times for activity sessions will be arranged in liaison with the students.
Next steps in the project are to create and evaluate a bank of relevant teaching resources, using templates and tags to identify them as conforming to Activity Theory and/or Active Blended Learning principles.
ABL = experiential, hand-on learning, collaborative.
AT = specific: tools, rules, roles, community aspect, outcome
Whilst we have been busy at our end, a visit to the Cosmopolitan Youth website (http://cyec.com.hk) shows that they are actively recruiting volunteer teaching assistants and schools for the 15th year of the programme:
“WSE Cosmopolitan Youth English Summer Camps aims to provide our local primary and secondary students a fun-to-join English learning experience, cultivating their confidence in speaking English, improving their English speaking and listening skills, and encouraging their independent creative thoughts through an interactive and fun-packed activity-based curriculum.
Native-speaking undergraduates have been carefully selected from partner universities in UK as our camp teachers, with the volunteers from Hong Kong’s tertiary institutions as teaching assistants. A better understanding and appreciation of the cultures of the east and west among the local and overseas youngsters will be cultivated during collaboration and interaction.”