The last SHTCA English Week (EW, pronounced ‘evee’) 2010 was a week long activity from the 22nd to 25th February. The closing ceremony was also attended by the CEO and Vice Principal of College. The event coincided with public speaking finals, debates and a line up of karaoke finalists too. The choir and dance presentations programmes included added to the carnival like atmosphere where everyone thought it was a great entertainment event as well.
This is the first time that such an event has been put into the college calendar. Ms. Kitty Lee, The Head of Hospitality School says, ‘It is to emphasise the importance of English and to prepare the graduates to meet the demands of the hospitality service industry both locally and internationally.” According to her, students come into the programmes thinking their English proficiency level needs to be just good enough to pass the examinations, forgetting that a better command of the language increases their job prospects and paves the path to a more promising career goal. The college is committed to the plan of having ‘English Week’ activities for every new intake.
The Language Department of the school will also play a part in bringing about an awareness among every student, that English is the denominator that helps them succeed in all the other component subjects as well. When asked to comment on the week long event she said, “ I was quite surprised by the encouraging response but let us hope that more of our local students too, come forward to take part in future.” She also said, that by having activities in class, mixing the weaker and better students together, will help weaker students to catch up. All teachers, she reminded, irrespective of the subjects they teach, can workout strategies that help weaker students to perform better.
Mr. Oliver, who is currently the Deputy Head, adds that the latest trend of the students is to go overseas for their exposure through the CTI ( Culinary Training Institute ). Therefore, he says English is becoming an important medium of communication for acquiring a more international exposure. With regard to future English Weeks he said, “Everybody should take part. Every class should be encouraged to participate. Preparations too, should start much earlier so that everything leads to a grand finale.”
To a suggestion that students should look forward to interesting prizes, he said the school will prepare better prizes to encourage all to participate. He hoped that the debate topics and the public speaking subjects too, will have a wider spread of issues to demonstrate the wider reading habit required among the hospitality students. He actually requested a working paper for the next ‘EW’ event to be ready soon so that the students, lecturers and the AA’s too, are well informed of their need for cooperation and efforts to make the event a more successful one. He does acknowledge that it takes a lot of effort. “Blood, Sweat and Tears”, as he put it.