We’re coming at you full throttle with these summer features. How many of you have thought about teaching English in a foreign country? I know I definitely have. Well Annie Fung, head of WIC’s Web department, is actually in Hong Kong right now teaching English. Read all about her experience in this WIC summer feature!
Name: Annie Fung
Major: Media, Culture and Communications
Minor: Business & Film Producing
Year: Junior, 2012
Hello guys! Hope you’ve been having a good summer and are ready to be back in school! I had a fun and crazy spring semester abroad in Florence. Now I’m back home in Hong Kong. This summer, I am working at two education centers teaching English. The two centers are completely different in company size and lesson structure.
The smaller of the two education centers is a new start-up company and has only been opened for two months. I teach two small summer classes in oral English, one for 8 year olds and the other for 11 year olds. Each lesson is one hour long and one lesson per week. This education center gives me a lot of freedom in the way I want to teach the class, which I like because I can prepare each class in a way that I think is suitable for the students. These students also take other English classes in the center (grammar, writing etc), so my main focus is to get them to speak English and be confident in using the language. I try to make my classes fun and interactive, so usually at the beginning I would chat with my students for 10-15 minutes or so just to get them to speak up and to form a more personal relationship with them. After that, I come up with a different activity for the lesson so that they are doing something new and are exposed to different vocabulary each time. The activities range from game boards to role-play to arts and crafts. And of course, I join in with the activities, so it’s all good fun for me too!
The other education center is more established and have many locations around Hong Kong. They offer classes from 1 year old all the way to 15 year olds. But most are around age 4 – 7. This center creates their own lesson plan and teaching materials, so all I have to do is follow their lesson plan and teaching style. Before I began teaching, I had a few days of teacher training to familiarize myself with their materials, class style and student management methods. In this center, I work as a summer supply teacher. Work hours are from 10am to 7pm with 1 hour lunch break and some days an extra hour break. Each lesson is an hour long, so I teach around 7 to 8 classes per day. Yea, it can be quite intense sometimes, especially towards the end of the day. There are two different class styles. For the younger classes (age 1 – 3), their parents accompany them in class and lessons are held in a playroom, so they sit on the floor on a play-mat. This type of class includes games, songs and learning of letters, numbers and vocab through listening, speaking and motion activities. The older classes are classroom-based and include a mixture of games, story-time, doing workbooks and teaching of vocab, grammar, phonics and writing. I like teaching the older classes more because I can actually converse with the students and they can be quite funny and adorable!
The kids are great. Most of them are pretty well-behaved and if not, using incentives like giving out sweets and stickers can pretty much calm them down. I had a fun time teaching children and they are all sooo cute (especially the younger ones with their HUMONGOUS eyes)!!
A lot of fresh graduates or college students take gap years to teach English abroad. You don’t have to major in education to teach. Some places do require a teaching degree, but those are not difficult to obtain. There are many others which don’t require that. It’s a great opportunity to travel and meet new people. You might end up loving teaching or the place!
That’s all from me. Hope to see you guys in our WIC meetings and don’t be shy, come up and introduce yourself to me!