Wah Yan Online Oral English Programme
Guidelines for students 2016 12 09
Programme Purpose and Operation
This programme offers you the opportunity to talk to English speakers online at a designated time so that through regular use, you can improve both your confidence and your fluency when communicating in English.
Tutors who use English daily and/or professionally, are available during set hours of the day to talk to you. You will be assigned to a particular tutor at a mutually convenient time
While the intention is to have an annual operation if the results are satisfactory, the first year of this programme is planned to run from mid-December 2016 to mid-May 2017.
What do you need?
You need to have:
(a) a device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer) ;
(b) a Google Hangouts account;
(c) your device should have a video camera ; and
(d) a reliable Internet connection.
Do note that a better quality Internet connection gives you a more satisfactory learning experience.
What could you talk about?
The tutor has a list of topics for discussion from which you can choose. generally relevant to your prospective oral English examination(s).
The available subjects are
Subject to the tutor’s agreement, you may:
- request a particular subject to talk about;
- lead a group conversation if you have done sufficient research on a subject; and
- join an ongoing conversation as a group member if you find it interesting.
Sensitive and controversial topics such as religion, sex and politics are prohibited.
Here are some suggested topics:
- Science & Technology: “Head-down tribe” has been coined to describe the group of people in Hong Kong who are addicted to their smartphones. What do they do in MTR or while walking? How do they endanger themselves and other people?
- Environment & Pollution: What are some of the serious environmental problems of Hong Kong? What do you do on a daily basis to help to protect the environment? Should we use country parks for housing development?
- Education & Children’s Development: Describe the reasons for school bullying. What can we do to curb such conduct?
- Living in Hong Kong: Express your views on the working poor of Hong Kong. Describe why young people cannot find jobs and the effects of poverty on them.
When can you talk?
At the scheduled session time assigned to you.
Note that there is a maximum limit in a group conversation; this is currently set at 10.
How should you behave?
The tutors in this programme either live in an English-speaking country or work professionally in English. They volunteer their time to assist you without compensation. You are asked to extend to them due respect by:
- A) being polite;
- B) giving the conversation your full attention (turn off mobile phones and eliminate other possible distractions to the extent possible);
- C) not using any foul language; and
- D) not seeking help on homework related matter.
Use common sense to secure your own Google account.
A tutor may end a session or bar an offending student if
- a student does not provide proper identification;
- a student does not have the necessary equipment to participate effectively in the tutoring session;
- a student becomes unruly, disruptive or behaves inappropriately towards the tutor or another student in the tutoring session; and
- a student is not appropriately clothed while using a webcam.
How can you use this Programme to your best advantage?
Learning a language well is a life-long challenge. Regular practice is the key to good results. Before you talk to a tutor, you should try to look up material and vocabulary related to the topic you are about to discuss with your tutor. You could also record your conversation for subsequent review. Staying on the same subject for a few sessions could help you become more confident in future conversations on a similar topic.
There will be an online Open Day in December 2016 for you to ask questions and you will be informed of the date and time after successful registration.
Feedback, Questions or Complaints
You can direct your queries and messages to Ivan Luk at [email protected]
[Last update: 20161212]