ESU Newsletter May 2015


Dates for your diary!

On Monday, 11 May, the ESU’s International Public Speaking Competition begins in London. The two competitors from Hong Kong are Edward Mak (Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups) and Isaac Tsui (Hong Kong Schools Music and Speech Association). We are sure that both Edward and Isaac will acquit themselves well.


If you would like to brush up your English, this is a very good way to do it. Four participants meet with an ESU volunteer for four one-hour sessions at a venue to be agreed between the volunteer leader and you, or at a suitable coffee shop, away from the barriers. The charge is: ESU Members: HK$350 for four one-hour sessions.

An additional HK$150 for non-members as registration fee for this programme will be payable for one year.  We are in need of a discussion leader for Tuesdays, 7-8pm.  Please contact Venni at if you are able to help.


Mr Adam Forrester, Lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, will speak from 6.45pm-8pm on the topic, “Creating an Educational Video in 8 Steps.” Members are cordially invited to attend and arm themselves with questions about this fascinating topic.

Venue: Unit 707, AXA Centre, 151 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.

Ms. Caithin Feenstra will be the speaker on Monday, 8 June. Her topic will be announced.



The ESU/Fringe Play-Reading Group will take place at “Collette’s, 2/F, Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central on Monday, 18 May at 7.15pm. The play to be read is The Great Game - Afghanistan by various playwrights including Stephen Jeffreys and Amit Gupta. All are welcome.

  ESU Speech festival teacher training 2015 four sessions will be held on Saturdays:- 10, 17, 24, 31 October 2015 9.30am - 12.30pm details to be announced.


ESU Speech festival teacher training 2015

four sessions will be held on Saturdays:-

10, 17, 24, 31 October 2015

9.30am - 12.30pm

details to be announced.


All the World’s a Stage

Although the 

food served at the Shakespeare Dinner (23 April), held in the Helena May Club, was not to everybody’s taste, the after-dinner presentation by Mr David Booth was very well received and much appreciated by everyone present. The occasion was organised to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday. The birthday celebration may become a permanent feature of the ESU’s programme.


Reading Programme Accepted by “SCOLAR”


It is gratifying to report that the ESU proposal for a Reading Programme for secondary schools has been accepted by the Government (“SCOLAR”). Ten secondary schools will be encouraged to attend TWO separate reading sessions each during the period 1 November, 2015 and 31 May, 2016. Students from ten different secondary schools will be encouraged to attend TWO separate reading sessions each during the period 1 November 2016 and 31 May, 2017. The ESU will shortly be appointing lecturers to play leading roles in the Programme.



Programme for PLK Tong Nai Kan Junior Secondary College, Sham Shui Po


At a meeting held on 20 April (2015), the ESU agreed to organise “fun” English conversation classes for students (probably first year classes) at the PLK Tong Nai Kan Junior Secondary College in Sham Shui Po. These classes will be held at the school from early October to mid November 20l5 (4pm to 6pm) and will be conducted by volunteer tutors recruited by the ESU. The ESU will provide a list of the tutors to the school by early September 2015.


Representing the ESU at the meeting were Mrs Mary Szeto, Ms Margaret Leung and Dr Verner Bickley. Representing the school were Mr Clifton K.C. Yeung, Principal Education Secretary (Secondary Education); Ms. Phoebe L.W. Fok, Education Secretary, Po Leung Kuk; Mr Wong Chung Ki, Kenneth, Principal of the College and Ms. Fung Heung Wai, Connie, Panel Head of the English Department at the College.


International Public Speaking Competition

The British General Election begins on Friday, 8 May and the British media is giving it top priority, as it reports the ups and down of the election. The Conservative Party, allied to the Liberal Democrat Party, has been in office for five years and hopes to be returned for a second term.


Perhaps of more immediate interest to Hong Kong is the success (or otherwise) of its two candidates, Edward and Isaac, who will enter for the English Speaking Union’s Public Speaking Competition, now in its 35th year.


On the first day of the competition, the new Royal baby in London will be ten days old. A candidate, perhaps, in 2031?

Jane Easton, the (relatively) new Director-General of the English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth, writes in an introduction to the Competition for newcomers, “It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the English-Speaking Union’s International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC) in 2015. Now the largest public speaking competition in the world, the IPSC involves 40,000 students in over 50 countries. Not only does it provide students with an opportunity to develop the vital skills that will enable them to speak with confidence in public, but through the International Final in London, students from around the world have the opportunity to meet, engage and form friendships and understanding that will last a lifetime.”

The Coca Cola Cup


The ESU has been invited to send a representative (and judge) to the 2016 China Daily 21st Century Cup Competition. The venue is still to be determined. The Competition was launched in 1996, following a discussion between the Chief Editor of the newspaper, China Daily and Lady Appleyard, wife of the then British Ambassador to Beijing. The ESU has been represented on every occasion since the Competition began.


The Competition is held each year in a different part of China. In 2015 it took place in Kaifeng, of the Northern Song Dynasty. The city was sacked in 1127 when the Jin Tartars moved into north China from Central Asia, causing the Song dynasty to flee southwards. In 1644, the city was deliberately flooded by Ming loyalists.


But the City is still there!