UPEI Wins Contract to Train English Teachers from Hong Kong
The University of Prince Edward Island has won a major international contract to provide English language training to student teachers from the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIE). UPEI was one of just two successful bidders selected from high-profile universities in Britain, Europe, Australia and Canada to deliver these highly specific and demanding programs.
"UPEI is very proud to be awarded this important contract. It means we have gained international recognition for our expertise as teachers of English as a second language," says Vianne Timmons, Vice-President of Academic Development. "The application process was extremely rigorous and competitive. It says a great deal about the quality of our programming to have edged out larger universities such as McGill."
The Hong Kong Institute of Education is a 7,000-student institution specializing in teacher training. It has a strict mandate from the Chinese government to increase the number of highly-skilled Chinese English teachers. As the first stage in what is expected to become a long-term agreement, UPEI has been awarded a contract to provide an intensive 10-week summer English program for 21 students. During the first five weeks, the student teachers will take two custom-designed, 36-hour courses and will participate in a 30-hour in-school placement to observe teaching methods. In the second five weeks, they will take part in the UPEI Summer Language Program alongside 175 Francophone and international students.
Before entering the UPEI summer program, the pre-service teachers from Hong Kong will have completed two years of a four-year honours Bachelor of Education majoring in primary teaching and will have taken at least one-third of their courses in English. When they arrive in PEI they will be proficient enough in English to interact comfortably. An integral objective of the UPEI program is to broaden and deepen the students' awareness and understanding of the culture in which they are studying, so students will live with local families and take part in related field trips, cultural, and social activities.
The Hong Kong students will arrive on June 4 and the university is currently organizing the homestay component of the program. Anyone interested in hosting a student is invited to contact Reiko Dolan, UPEI Homestay Coordinator, at 566-3322.