I work as a Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) under the Hong Kong Education Bureau’s NET scheme in a high school using English as its Medium of Instruction (EMI). I am the Head Advisor and Head Coach of the school’s English debating team and am responsible for promoting English on campus through various activities.
English has always been my source of confidence. It was my favourite and strongest subject at school; it unlocks a world far and wide in modern civilisation and its history; it presents to me a whole new set of perspectives and expressions. To a young mind and soul, English as a foreign language was mysterious yet fascinating, challenging but inspiring.
Nurtured with such admiration and armed with top grades in the English Language in the public examinations in Hong Kong, I went on to read English and English Education in undergraduate. The four years as an English major has further broadened my horizons in the breadth in English literature and the beauty of the language. I embraced it enthusiastically and was bestowed even more chances to live it daily.
From being selected as the New Zealand Student Ambassador by the Hong Kong government and the New Zealand Consulate General back in the days of high school, my experiences as an exchange student continued. I finished the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) immersion programme at the University of Queensland in Australia and headed to the U.S. for my exchange semester with the aid of a scholarship. Living with host families, sharing an apartment with an English-speaking roommate and pursuing study in multiple Anglosphere countries – the countless moments overseas during my studenthood have contributed to much personal transformation and breathed life into my youth.
Now as a teacher, I carry such precious moments and appeal in my day-to-day teaching and interaction with students. Eager to present them a wider world out of Asia, I endeavour to polish their English proficiency while at the same time introduce them to English-speaking cultures tirelessly (pretty much out of personal drive and interest).
On this journey to embracing English not only as a lingua franca but a means of contemplation, I have never been alone. The people and the intellectual exchange thereof during the 13+ years in English debating have been the best encounters I could ask for. From a budding debater in junior high school to one in university; from a part-time coach to now a full-time head coach of a team, English debating has shaped my being, thinking and doing and has blessed me in countless ways. I have earned friendships I most cherish; I have become articulate in thoughts and deliveries; and I have emerged strong and defiant thanks to the inherent resilience built. English debating has been my passion, my loyal friend and my lifelong coach.
Often my taking pride as a debater will get myself labelled as aggressive right away. But debating is essentially a form of public speaking as well. How to deliver our messages persuasively with all kinds of appeals, how to communicate with the audience verbally and silently, and how to engage everyone in a discourse are values I hold dearly as I pass on the techniques and passion in public speaking to the younger ones on the National Team of Hong Kong.
Oh, how beautiful is this language; how grateful I am for it. It raises me in all possible ways.
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