Primary School Teaching: English

Home Admissions Course Guide Primary School Teaching: English

This Course Guide has been taken from the most recent presentation of the course. It would be useful for reference purposes but please note that there may be updates for the following presentation.

EDU E332

Primary School Teaching: English

EDU E332 Primary School Teaching: English is a two-semester, 10-credit higher level course for HKMU learners studying for the Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Primary Education. It is designed for practising teachers of English in primary schools, and all materials, tutorials and assignments will be in English. The course focuses on English language teaching methodology and also provides opportunities to improve your language skills in specific teaching areas.

EDU E332 Primary School Teaching: English aims to develop your capability to teach effectively within the context of the primary English curriculum for Hong Kong through reflecting upon theory and practice.

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Analyse the contexts that shape English language education in Hong Kong.
  2. Utilize knowledge of the English language system and how meaning is created through it to support effective learning in the primary English classroom.
  3. Apply knowledge of the processes of second language learning and approaches to the teaching of English to support effective learning in the primary English classroom.
  4. Relate relevant aspects of theories of language teaching and learning to classroom practice.
  5. Devise and utilize resources for learning including supportive assessments.
  6. Provide for and manage individual learning differences in primary English classrooms.

The following table provides an overview of the course and suggests the amount of time to allow for completing each unit. However, we all have our own pace of learning and approaches to study, so this schedule is only a guide. You can adjust it to fit your personal needs more closely. The important factor is to plan your study schedule carefully. The estimated time, on average, that you need to spend on this course is eight hours per week. This estimate includes time for reading the units, studying the Readings and set book, completing the self-tests, writing your assignments, reviewing the study material, attending the tutorials and preparing for your final examination.


UnitTitleWeeksAssessment activity
1English language teaching in Hong Kong3 
2Language learning and teaching issues4Assignment 1
3Perspectives on the English language4 
4English language teaching approaches and methods4Assignment 2
5Classroom management4 
6Assessment and planning4Assignment 3
7Listening and speaking4 
8Reading4Assignment 4
  363 or 4 assignments
and 1 Project

EDU E332 consists of this Course Guide, the study units (Units 1-9), a Readings section, assignments, audio recordings, video clips, and some supplementary material for language enhancement - all of which are provided by the HKMU. There is also a set book which you must obtain yourself. Please ensure that you have all of these materials and can identify them. If any of the HKMU-produced materials are missing, contact the Office for Advancement of Learning and Teaching (ALTO) at 2768 6446.


Course Guide

This Course Guide tells you briefly what the course is about, what it contains, and how you can work your way through it. It also gives you some information about tutorials, workshops and assignments. Refer to it throughout the course to help clarify important points about studying with the HKMU.


Study unit

There are nine units in EDU E332 Primary School Teaching: English. Each unit consists of three to four weeks of work, directions for working through the unit, and comments on and summaries of the key issues and ideas in the set book/Readings. Some units have a 'language enhancement' section that provides an opportunity for you to develop and practise the English language skills you need to communicate effectively for teaching purposes.

The units also contain activities and self-tests. The activities stimulate reflection and encourage you to relate theory to practice; the self-tests enable you to monitor your progress and reinforce your understanding of the material. Together, they will help you achieve the stated learning outcomes of the course.

In distance learning, the study units replace the university teacher. This is one of the great advantages of distance learning; you can read and work through specially-designed course materials at your own pace and at a time and place that suit you best. This approach also allows you to stop and reflect on how your own experiences relate to the course materials. In the same way that a teacher might assign some reading to you, the study units tell you when to read your set book or other material. Just as a teacher might give you an in-class exercise, your study unit provides activities for you to do at appropriate points throughout the unit.

The study units follow a common format:

  1. An introduction to the unit.
  2. Directions to read your set book or the Readings.
  3. Self-tests and activities which are spread throughout each unit. Do each self-test or activity as you come to it in the study unit.
  4. Language enhancement activities. These appear in some units, and you can do them at any stage during your study of the unit. Depending on your language proficiency, it may not be necessary to complete all the language enhancement activities.
  5. A summary.
  6. References. These are books and articles that were used to help in writing the unit. You do not have to read them, but you may find them useful if you want to know more about a particular topic.

Set books

There is one set book for this course.

Emmitt, M, Zbarachi, M, Komesaroff, L and Pollock, J (2010) Language and Learning: An Introduction for Teaching, 5th edn, Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

You are responsible for obtaining this book yourself.

It would also be very useful for you to get a copy of the Key Learning Area Curriculum Guide (Primary 1-Secondary 6) for English Language Education (Curriculum Development Council 2017) and the English Language Curriculum Guide (Primary 1-6) (Curriculum Development Council 2004).



In addition to the set book, there are a number of journal articles and extracts from other published materials which cover the course material in greater depth. You will find these in the Readings section of your course materials.


Audio-visual materials

This course has two accompanying VCDs and an audio CD. The VCDs consist of several segments of authentic English language lessons in Hong Kong primary schools. They are integrated with several of the study units and provide you with an opportunity to think about and analyse actual classroom practice of the methodology you are learning in this course. The audio CD supports the language enhancement section of Unit 7.

To supplement your course materials, there are ten two-hour tutorials and three workshops in EDU E332.

We will notify you of the dates, times and location of these face-to face sessions together with the name and phone number of your tutor as soon as tutorial groups are confirmed.

Your tutor marks and comments on your assignments and keeps a close watch on your progress. When your assignment is returned, pay close attention to the comments your tutor has written on the Assignment Form and on the assignment.

Your tutor will also assist you if you have any difficulties during the course. Don't hesitate to telephone him/her if you need help or direction. Contact your tutor if, for example:

  • you do not understand any part of the units or the assigned Readings;
  • you have difficulty with the self-tests;
  • you are interested in a topic and want to read about it further;
  • you have a question about the assignments, your tutor's comments on them or the grades that you received.

EDU E332 has two methods of assessing your progress: continuous assessment (assignments) and a final examination. The course is designed to help you move easily from the stated objectives through the required Readings, to the assignments and examination.



The assignment details for this course will be available on the OLE. There are four assignments and one project for continuous assessment purposes in the course. You may submit all four assignments, or three out of the four assignments, and you must submit the project. The assignments give you the chance to apply the knowledge you have gained in the course.

Each of the assignments has a weighting of 10% and the project has a weighting of 20%. The best three marks in the assignments and the mark for the project count towards your course result. This continuous assessment is worth 50% of the total course mark. It is important that you submit your assignments on time. You should submit them via the OLE on or before the due date. If for any reason you are unable to do so, it is sometimes possible to get an extension, but you must follow the proper procedure.

The General Information section on the OLE will contain more details about submitting assignments and suggestions on how to approach them. You will also receive a Study Schedule to remind you when to submit your assignments.


Final examination and grading

The final examination for EDU E332 Primary School Teaching: English will last for three hours and has a value of 50% of the total course result. It consists of questions which reflect the types of assignments that you encountered in the course material.

Use the time between finishing the last assignment and sitting the examination to review the entire course. You might find it useful also to review your assignments and comments on them before the examination.

The final examination covers information from all parts of the course. Do not worry that it will contain 'trick' questions or try to confuse you. The HKMU has a clear, open approach to helping its learners succeed in their studies. You will be provided with a specimen examination paper similar in format to the final examination, although the questions will be different. To earn a pass for the course, you must submit and attain a pass in the continuous assessment (your assignments and project) and on your final examination.

The following is a recommended strategy for working through the course. If you have any problems, phone your tutor at once. Remember that your tutor's job is to help you.

  1. Organize a study schedule. Refer to the section 'Course Overview' (p. 3) and to the Study Schedule for more details. Note the minimum amount of time you are expected to spend on each unit and how the assignments relate to the units. You can write your own dates for working on each unit to create your personal study schedule. You will receive by mail details of your tutorials, your examination and the date of the first day of the semester. Gather all this information in one place and note the important dates.
    Once you have created your study schedule, do everything you can to stick to it. The major reason that students fail is that they get behind with their course work. If you get into difficulties with your schedule, please let your tutor know before it is too late to help you.
  2. Turn to Unit 1 and read the sections 'Introduction'.
  3. Work through the unit. As you work, you will be asked to read sections from your set book or other articles, located in your Readings section. You will also be asked to think about your reading in relation to your own practice, by undertaking activities of various kinds, and to check your understanding of the unit by completing self-tests.
  4. Some of the concepts in this course will be new to you and you may have to make a particular effort to understand them. You may also find some of the language difficult. Keep a note of your problems and discuss them with your tutor as soon as possible. Be specific about the problem so that your tutor can help you more easily.
  5. Begin working on the next unit. Proceed through the course in the manner described above and try to pace your study so that you keep yourself on schedule.
  6. After completing the last unit, review the course and prepare for the final examination.

EDU E332 Primary School Teaching: English is intended to help you increase your knowledge and understanding of English language teaching in the primary school and apply these to your teaching. We hope that you find it interesting and that you will be able to use the knowledge and skills it provides throughout your career.

We wish you every success in your future endeavours and hope that you enjoy the course!

John Anthony Mahon (MA, BEd) is a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the In-service Teacher Education Course for Primary Teachers of English at the Education University of Hong Kong (formerly the Hong Kong Institute of Education). Formerly he was coordinator of the Hongkong Bank Language Development Fund/Institute of Language in Education's Target Oriented Curriculum Research and Development Project. Besides teacher education, curriculum development and research he is also experienced in course and materials design. He has presented a number of conference papers and has had articles, book chapters and teaching materials published.

Gertrude Tinker Sachs (PhD, MA, MSc, BA) is a University Lecturer at the City University of Hong Kong. She is an experienced teacher, teacher educator and researcher with special interests in language learning and teaching. Prior to her appointment, she was employed at the Education University of Hong Kong (formerly the Hong Kong Institute of Education) and has spent one year with the Target Oriented Curriculum Teacher Education section. Dr Tinker Sachs has presented and published papers both locally and internationally.

Mandy Evans (MA, PGCE, BA) is a lecturer at the Education University of Hong Kong (formerly the Hong Kong Institute of Education) where she specializes in Primary English Language Teacher Education. She served as a lecturer in the Target Oriented Curriculum Teacher Education section and taught for four years in a secondary school in Hong Kong. She was an in-service teacher educator in Malaysia for four years. She has written courses for the School of Professional and Continuing Education at the University of Hong Kong as well as school-based projects for the Education Department.

Shirley Chan Sui-ping (MA, MEd, Cert Ed) is a lecturer at the Education University of Hong Kong (formerly the Hong Kong Institute of Education) where she specializes in Primary English Language Teacher Education. She is a Member of the Institute of Linguists, United Kingdom. She is an experienced teacher and teacher educator, having worked as a lecturer with the Target Oriented Curriculum Teacher Education section and in a technical teacher training college, and as a teacher in a secondary school in Hong Kong.

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