Student tutors hone their skills
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Addressing tutors at the gathering, Professor Lilian Vrijmoed Kwan Lee-ping, Dean of Student Learning, said the University hoped all students would score great achievements in studies, personal life goals and future careers after completing their university education. "Student tutors are working hard towards these objectives, and I hope all students can work constantly and seize all opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom and achieve their goals sooner," said Professor Vrijmoed.
Divided into small groups, the 52 student tutors took part in games to get to know one another better. Dr Eva Wong Chow Yee-wah, Director of EDO, also joined them. Ms Rebecca Chan Po-yu, Director of the Student Residence Office, explained to them how they should best get along with fellow students. She pointed out that a competent student tutor should excel in five areas, namely patience, communication skills, willingness to communicate with people, rich life experience and an ability to lead through inspirational guidance.
Sir David Santandreu Calonge (Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms), Senior Education Development Officer of EDO, said the office would host regular meetings and invite guests to share their personal insights with student tutors. "These gatherings will give the tutors opportunities to work with others and enhance their own leadership and communication skills, which will be very useful to their counselling work later on," Sir David said.
Ng Yan-kit, a Year 4 student of School of Law (SLW), has been a Language Clinic tutor since his second year of study at CityU. When he first joined the programme, he helped students from various departments living in the student residence to improve their English proficiency. Focusing now on helping his fellow students at SLW, he has a deeper understanding of the role of a student tutor. "It gave me a chance to work with students from various backgrounds and with different personalities. I have not only made new friends and expanded my social circles, but also improved my communication and presentation skills, which will be a great asset to my future career in law," he said.
Shirley Cheung Lai-shan and Janet Lau Ka-ling, Year 3 students of the Department of Accountancy and Department of Management respectively, said their initial objective when joining PALSI was to improve their academic performance. But they soon found that they were acquiring skills beyond their own courses, for example, test-taking skills and studying strategies. Having gained so much from the scheme, they have volunteered to act as tutors.
"As a bridge between fellow students and EDO, we need to assess the operation model of the scheme and suggest improvements to benefit more students in the future," said Janet.
Launched in 2004, the Language Clinic is aimed at boosting students' English writing skills through peer assistance from student tutors. Stringently selected and trained by EDO, the tutors will offer guidance to their fellow students to complete English writing assignments. All faculties and schools and student residence halls now have Language Clinics in place.
The Peer-Assisted Learning (using Supplemental Instruction model) Scheme (formerly known as the Supplemental Instruction Scheme), was set up by EDO. Senior students with outstanding academic performance are selected each year to act as tutors. During the nine weeks of the scheme, tutors will discuss assignments and share their studying experience with Year 1 students and help them grasp the course content.