Letter from the Principal
I started Spark English in 2015 to provide high quality all-rounded English education to Hong Kong students. My aim was to give Hong Kong students and their parents an alternative. Most formal schools used outdated teaching methods and uninspiring teaching materials, while many language centres were suffering from poorly equipped teachers and owners who were not educators. I wanted to establish an English school run and owned by teachers and put students’ learning experience in its core. I also believed with the right programme, Hong Kong students can receive the same English education as prescribed in the UK National Curriculum.
The Right Way
Instead of aimless drilling and memorisation, our programmes introduces English to students as a whole – a living and breathing language that every facet of it is important. It is how English should be learnt. Every element of the language is interlinked. To be proficient in English, one must be skillful in listening, speaking, reading, writing and comprehension. There are also technical skills like phonics and grammar to master. With knowledge and experience, students can then be immersed in English and use it like a native.
Pitfalls in Current System
Unfortunately, English teaching in Hong Kong schools has not evolved much for decades. Primary schools and secondary schools are often scratching the surface in terms of teaching. Limited chances to practise speaking and listening in everyday setting; scarce use of native text for reading and comprehension; minimal instruction in writing; and poor introduction of phonics and grammar are common. In kindergartens, there was almost always insufficient support to help kids to embark on literacy at this critical age. In the private sector, the gulf of quality is astounding. There are native speakers who call themselves English teachers with minimal or zero education in English teaching. There are centres that only aim for exams and would happily cram vocabulary down the throats of young learners. Or the ones that eagerly promote hyperbole – that learning phonics is all it takes to learn reading. I can never forget parents’ reaction when I told them what their kids have been learning elsewhere was wrong, or why their children were not improving after spending much time attending these places.
Philosophy of SparkEnglish
In my mind, there is no short-cut to high quality English education. The teachers have to be top-notched with proper training and experience. The materials have to be tailor-made to Hong Kong students’ needs. Class delivery has to be flexible and adaptable to the students. Lesson goals have to be achievable and yet challenging enough to inspire students to learn. Cultivating confidence and the right learning attitude are also crucial. Most importantly, the process has to be fun and enjoyable. In all my years of teaching English to young children and teenagers, my philosophy is to teach English to my students as a whole. It is also the philosophy of SparkEnglish.
How We Make a Difference
Outside of the classroom, we value communication with our students’ parents. The door is always open for a chat on a student’s progress and what parents can do at home. Behind the scene, teachers spend their time comparing notes on students’ progress and work together to help students to improve.
Today, I am proud to say we have helped hundreds of students to excel in English learning. These students come from local and international schools, from traditional to progressive. Many of my first students are still learning and growing with us. While we are expanding our services and locations, we will always be guided by our philosophy and principles.
Thank you for visiting the website to find out more about SparkEnglish. I look forward to speaking with you in person.
Sign Up for a Free Assessment
Do you want to find out your child’s English level? We provide a free assessment if you fill out the form below. Our assessment covers all aspects of English learning and is conducted by our principal or programme director. The assessment provides insight into your child’s strengths, areas of improvement and learning strategy going forward.
available from 9:00 – 18:00 (Mon – Sat)