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Storytelling

English learning starts at an early age in Hong Kong. From kindergarten, children learn the names of the people, animals, places and things that populate their imaginations and their storybooks. In primary and secondary schools, NETs work with their colleagues to combine images and text to bring English to life. While this happens naturally in classrooms and reading rooms, students also connect with English through the stories they read and the films they watch outside school time. 

Many schools have a home-reading programme where students read illustrated stories with their parents. While the contribution of Hong Kong's NETs is gaining recognition among schools and parents, a collaborative project between the NET Section and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has been providing chances for NETs to bring their creative arts to the wider community. This initiative bolsters the weekend English Storytelling for Children Programme already running in public libraries. The project kicked off at a briefing session at the Central Library on a Saturday morning in September 2015. 

Tanya Hart, who is reading stories at Tuen Mun Public Library, reports some youngsters returning weekly for the storytelling sessions. She finds her young English learners react positively to well illustrated stories full of action and comedy and they love ‘acting out’ the character roles. Allen Ng, at Chai Wan Public Library, has his listeners making alphabet trees after the story. Mike Shaw’s listeners at Tai Po stated that they ‘loved Peter Pan and the stories very much’ and the sessions were a ‘good chance to learn English and make new friends’. Youngsters think the stories are ‘funny and interesting’. Jack Ching, who is Assistant Librarian at Tai Po Public Library, said that the library had ‘received a lot of positive feedback from those who attended, and that parents had observed that their kids loved the storytelling and activities very much’. Gary Lo, Senior Librarian of the LCSD, said the storytelling project was very successful. 

To find out more about Storytelling, please visit here

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