The Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme provides every primary and secondary school in Hong Kong with a mother tongue English teacher. The principal objectives of the scheme are to enhance English language teaching and to increase students’ exposure to English as spoken by native speakers.
Primary NETs work in partnership with local English language teachers to provide students with an authentic English learning environment. They also help to develop school-based teaching strategies and curriculum materials, and contribute to the professional development of fellow teachers.
NET teachers support and strengthen English language learning and teaching in a number of important ways, including:
Lessons for P4 to P6 students in Key Stage 2 frequently involve activities based on themes in the English textbooks used by each class. The NET teachers build on these themes by adapting sections of the textbook and encouraging the students to participate in a variety of oral activities. The objective is to enable the students to respond in English in a natural and authentic way and to increase their confidence. A significant recent development in our Key Stage 2 teaching has been the introduction of a school-based literacy curriculum, designed to help students read and write much more effectively. Literacy curriculum modules have been created for each of the three years, with plans, materials and learning activities covering a wide range of topics. Teaching reading and writing through the new literacy curriculum is proving highly beneficial to students, who are learning how to produce clear, detailed and well-structured pieces of writing. Further information about the literacy curriculum can be found in the website section on English Curriculum.
Andrew Ashley NET Teacher
In summer 2019, I celebrated my tenth anniversary at Canossa School (Hong Kong). Celebrated is definitely the correct word to use because I really enjoy teaching here. It’s a wonderful school to be part of, thanks to the highly motivated, hard working students and the friendly and experienced teaching staff. I’m now looking forward to my eleventh year here!
I’m teaching classes at four different levels this year - P1, P2, P5 and P6. In P1 and P2 I read storybooks with the students, using the stories as an exciting and entertaining way of teaching language structures, vocabulary and pronunciation. What we read in the books encourages students to talk about their own experience. Being able to talk confidently is very important! We also do a lot of work on phonics, covering different sounds, to provide students with the building blocks they need for a strong command of spoken English.
Many of the lessons for P5 and P6 students also focus on oral English, with the aim of encouraging students to communicate effectively and confidently. Students read aloud, answer questions, give presentations and tell stories. Both years also do in-depth study of three carefully chosen readers, with a view to preparing students for their secondary school work. A very exciting aspect of teaching at this level is using our school-based literacy curriculum to help students improve their reading and writing skills. Each module in the literacy curriculum covers a different topic for students to learn about, as well as focusing on a specific text type.
Prior to becoming a NET at Canossa, I taught in a number of primary and secondary schools and in adult education colleges. I enjoy teaching at all levels but my time here has taught me how rewarding it is to work with primary school students. It can be challenging but it’s also very stimulating to help young learners to absorb a foreign language and become confident in using it. Seeing students make progress is thrilling!
I know that this year at Canossa will be just as interesting and satisfying as my previous years here.