Kit urges parents to pitch in

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 January, 2007, 12:00am

Parents are being encouraged to play an active role in teaching their children how to read with a new phonics kit due to be launched in Hong Kong in March.

Hooked on Phonics teaches native-English speakers to read English by using books, CDs, DVDs and flash cards. Programmes for Chinese-speaking children will be available later in the year.

Seminars for parents will be offered at a learning centre in Causeway Bay as part of the package.

The kit, aimed at children aged between three and eight, recommends children spend 20 minutes following the material, two to three times a week. Instructions are included for parents in their native language to help their child.

'If parents want to know more about how to teach we will have a one-day seminar that will explain how to use the product in detail,' said Edwin Yau, product manager of PolyEd which will distribute the product locally.

Chip Paucek, president of Educate Products, the American company that produces the phonics kit, said it had been popular in the US, where it was launched 20 years ago. 'You don't need to be a teacher to be able to use it,' he said.

Ruby Yang Chi-cheung, a teaching fellow at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, said children should begin learning to read as early as possible and parents could play an important role.