IN coming up with the bridging course, Longman Asia spent three years on research and trial runs at four secondary schools. The research, started in October 1990, covered preliminary interviews which looked into the practical difficulties in using English as a medium with school principals and Form One teachers and students, resulting in an initial draft of learning materials. The draft materials, covering subjects like English, Geography, Mathematics, Integrated Science, History, Social Studies, Economic and Public Affairs, were used on Primary Six pupils at the end of the 1991 academic year and were then extensively revised. The revised materials were used on a trail basis in four secondary schools in September 1991. At the end of the trials, a test was conducted to assess the students' understanding of the subject content and their English proficiency. Most participants scored well in both aspects. A set of newly designed textbooks, teachers' guidebooks, worksheets and learning reinforcement exercises on the subjects were then finalised. Senior lecturer of the Institute of Language in Education, Philip Hoare, said the Education Department had not yet examined the research and the Bridge Programme package in detail. Nevertheless, he revealed that the Education Department would be providing a Teacher Education Package designed by the British Council for the Bridge Programme.