TV shows to promote English learning
TVB Pearl and ATV World begin broadcasting the first of four new series this month designed for teenagers as part of a plan to promote the use of television as a language-learning tool.
All four programmes will carry English subtitles.
To encourage youngsters to keep watching, there will be a quiz after each episode and online competitions will offer prizes.
'English in the Air 2003-04' received $4 million from the government's language fund.
The scheme is being launched by the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (Scolar) and comes after a Scolar survey showed many Hong Kong students lacked the motivation to study English, and had few opportunities to apply what they learnt.
The programmes include a youth reality series, called Road Scholars, and a drama series, Smallville. Lizzie McGuire, another drama series, will be broadcast on TVB in December and youth reality series Sail Away will be aired on ATV in March.
Students may also go to the www.hkedcity.net/english/tv website for more interactive learning material to supplement the programmes. Both the television and internet material have been developed by Hong Kong Education City, an independent company funded by the government.
Michael Tien Puk-sun, chairman of Scolar, said there was a lack of quality English television programmes for youngsters because of commercial reasons.
'Teenage programmes with English subtitles may not be popular among foreigners. The government and Scolar's support is vital to encourage the broadcasting of this kind of programme,' he said.
Mr Tien said online teaching and learning resources would act as a platform for students to apply what they learnt from watching the television programmes. These include competitions with prizes such as free trips to study English in Britain and book coupons.