With reference to the letter from Lo Wai Kong (“Coronavirus pandemic hardships can be overcome, Hong Kong’s DSE students should take heart”, April 25
) encouraging Diploma of Secondary Education
(DSE) candidates to learn from the difficulties faced while studying online, we believe society should provide more support for DSE candidates in the coming years.
Through a service-learning project led by the Language Centre with funding from the Centre of Innovative Service-Learning at the Baptist University, we plan to critically review the reference books on DSE English exams and offer self-access learning materials and tutoring services to the candidates free of charge.
Despite the abundance of DSE reference books in the market, the quality of the materials varies greatly, making it difficult for the students to choose. For example, one book presents a collection of essays written by two former DSE candidates who earned 5**
in the English exam. However, it is not clear how the authors wrote the essays or why these essays could guide the readers to perform well in the exams.
Thus, we plan to critically review the DSE reference books
in the market, identify useful strategies the candidates can adopt, and caution them about the more spurious approaches found in the books.
With our training in educational studies, we plan to prepare materials on essay writing for DSE candidates to study autonomously and give feedback on their practice essays. While the Education Bureau issues guidelines on feedback provision in the context of assessment and provides relevant resources for teacher training, it does not collect information from individual schools about how DSE candidates received comments from their teachers on their essay-writing.
With the guidance of the Language Centre teachers, we will prepare self-access lessons for the candidates, especially those who cannot afford private tutoring, to develop their writing skills and review their practice essays to help them identify areas for improvement. Recently, our project team had a meeting with lawmaker Regina Ip at the Legislative Council Complex and she praised our efforts to help DSE candidates from low-income families. We hope more non-governmental organisations and university students will support our efforts
) to serve those in need.
Wing Ki Yu and Chun Pong Ip, Kowloon Tong