English aid has multiple uses

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 June, 1999, 12:00am

Teachers of English have been introduced to a new CD-ROM, which helps students master the language while also improving their general knowledge and reading and comprehension skills.

The CD-ROM Journey to the West: Y2K Mission and its contents were explained at a workshop at Sha Tin Government Secondary School.

The workshop was organised by the South China Morning Post in an effort to familiarise teachers with the use of information technology in teaching English.

Project director Dr Vicki Ooi Cheng-har of the University of Hong Kong's Department of English introduced the CD- ROM, which is to be released in September.

Lynn Yau Foon-chin, managing director of Encounter Enterprise, which collaborated with the Post to produce the CD- ROM, said it was well received and that valuable feedback had been received from teachers at the workshop.

The CD-ROM comprises: 'The Team' - an introduction of characters; 'Y2K Mission' - an interactive story; 'Y2K Reader (two levels)' - text to interactive story; 'Self-study Centre (two levels)' - Post articles and photos; 'Language Support' - exercises and glossary; 'Challenger (two levels)' - English language learning maze game; 'Dreams' - the theme song, and 'About Us' - the credits.

The whole package includes a handbook detailing instructions about using the CD-ROM for classroom discussions and projects.

In addition, there is a set of 12 lesson plans in a specially-designed folder.

Dr Ooi said the IT-based English teaching and learning resource package was not just about learning English but also helped students to improve their general knowledge and reading and comprehension skills.

Teacher Lai Yuen-fan from the Immaculate Heart of Mary College was impressed by the interactive elements of the CD- ROM.

'I think it's a good study tool for students and facilitates teaching in class,' she said.

Hui Sin-wing from Chiu Chow Association Secondary School, who teaches junior forms, said: 'It saves us time from visiting the library, photocopying and researching to collect relevant materials.' He said students tend to prefer interactive learning.

'The theme of the CD-ROM, Journey to The West, is familiar to students, so I believe this will make it interesting,' he said.

Wu Fong-wang from Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School said although there were many educational CD-ROMs, few were suitable for students.

'Most CD-ROMs only focus on grammatical exercises. This one is tailor-made for Hong Kong students.' Liona Chui Shan-fok from Sha Tin Government Secondary School said the content of the package was ideal for classroom discussions.