By Anson Sinn (LED Year 2, 2007-2008) & Chloe Liu (LED Year 3, 2007-2008)
In an interview with our LED programme coordinator, Prof. Cecilia Chun shared her views on teaching and learning with us.
Prof. Chun is currently an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, CUHK. With no preconceived plan towards teaching as a career upon graduation from the Department of English in CUHK, Prof. Chun started her first job as a secondary school English teacher. A few years later, she moved to HKU and worked as a teaching consultant in the Faculty of Education while pursuing her doctoral degree there as well. She worked there for a period of time before joining us. After years of teaching at university, Prof. Chun said that she loved teaching more than conducting teaching research or dealing with administrative matters. Though encountering challenges when interacting with students, she found satisfaction and recognition.
In her spare time, Prof. Chun enjoys reading novels, especially ‘whodunit’. Without any burden of raising children, she enjoys playing with her dogs very much. Apart from these, Prof. Chun devotes herself to community service and religion. She helps in a Sunday school of her parish. For years, she has been an active volunteer in a non-governmental organization which provides residential services to children and young people in need. According to Prof. Chun, these leisure activities yield a balance of growth in mind and body.
When asked to share her perception of teaching, Prof. Chun pointed out that good teachers should love their students. Other than preparing lessons well and marking essays thoroughly, they should also care for their students’ personal development. As for language teachers, it is very important to be creative in teaching and sensitive to language.
When asked about her feeling towards the LED students, Prof. Chun said, “They are very hard-working! They show strong commitment to their studies and always try to improve themselves on their performances!” However, she deemed that some students lacked confidence in themselves as they were not sure about their strengths and weaknesses. She suggested that they should take part in different activities in order to understand themselves better. She also thought that students should grasp the opportunities to explore different cultures. It would definitely be an advantage for a language teacher to understand more and be appreciative of the cultural differences between Hong Kong and other countries. Finally, she commented that students should manage their time well while taking up part-time jobs.