The immersion programme is, by nature, an internationalized and intercultural programme, designed for the full-time third year undergraduate students majoring in English Language Education. This is a required course for these pre-service ELF/ESL student teachers to complete an eight-week overseas programme in an English-speaking country. Participants of the programme will have a minimum 20 contact hours per week. For the 2019 immersion programme, Faculty of Education, CUHK, will work with The Centre for Global Programmes (CGP) and to provide an immersive experience for 19 participants in the city of York and The University of York.
The immersion programme aimed to enhance competence in using English as a means of communication; to have first-hand experience of and gain knowledge about cultures and lifestyles in countries where English is the mother tongue; to expand their repertoire of techniques in teaching English as a foreign language; to expand exposure to educational practices in places other than Hong Kong; and to provide the opportunity for participants to develop a more global outlook.
The CUHK students would study alongside York students, both home and international, for a duration of three weeks. CUHK students would deepen their knowledge of the key values, behaviours and practices of English-speaking cultures through ‘Watching the English’ sessions. CUHK students were also introduced to additional sessions which focused primarily on the links between culture and language, in particular the ways in which varieties of English mirror the values of Anglophone communities. Intellectual tools would also be supplied for students to negotiate cultural difference. In the typical sessions, different models for understanding cultural differences would be introduced to students, supplemented with application in the form of role plays problem-based learning and small group activities. To allow deep interaction, CUHK students would take part in field-work with University of York students and go on trips to local places of interest and intern-led social events on campus.
The outbound teaching practice tour was organized by B.A. (English Studies) and E.Ed. (English Language Education) Co-terminal Double Degree Programme at the Faculty of Education, supervised by Prof Eunice Tang. The trip aligned with the University’s strategic plan in enriching student development on diversified learning experiences; internships in contexts outside Hong Kong; and internationalization.
This outbound tour extended and expanded students’ teaching and learning experiences to a setting beyond Hong Kong. Through this programme, students gained an understanding of educational policies, practices and curriculum in other ESL/EFL countries. Dominican International School in Taiwan received the 12 final year students from the 5-year full-time ELED to conduct an 8-week Teaching Practicum. The participants interacted and exchanged ideas about teaching and reflect on the teaching context and classroom practices in a different cultural background, through face-to-face discussions with the Taiwanese teachers and shadowing of in-service teachers, CUHK students were given opportunity to design lessons and implement them in the classroom under the supervision of the original teachers.
“This outbound teaching practice was an invaluable internship experience for us prospective teachers in developing a more international outlook towards the profession. In such a globalised and multicultural city like Hong Kong, a city heavily influenced by both western philosophies and Confucius Heritage Culture, it was refreshing to experience the innovative practices of an integrated, infused and intermixed cultures within a school.”
This excerpt above is extracted from the blog post written by the participants: https://platehk.org/netter/2019/09/12/special-issue-2019-outbound-tp-taiwan/