I never noticed we had an English Corner Diary. I love being here at Lam Woo and I think that the English Corner is an awesome idea! It’s really cool here. The only thing is that people are way too stuck on Korean pop singers. You guys should listen to some more Bob Marley
and how about Radiohead?
Does anybody even know them?
Or since I come from Italy, I should probably give you guys some artists from my country…There you go:
Sketch of G-Dragon (of the K-Pop band BIGBANG). Korean pop has been very popular in Hong Kong for the last couple of years. If you are interested in it you can join our English Portfolio discussion of K-Pop here: engp.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/lets-talk-about-k-pop/
The song being referred to is Big Big World by Emilia. It’s about 10 years old, but it is still quite popular among students here (in Hong Kong). The video below shows the lyrics to the song:
Here is a live version:
By the way, I am the ‘Richards’ (i.e., not the sexy one). The cool and handsome one is Chris, who was a Teaching Assistant at our school.
I’m still not sure why students here often address me using only my surname. Maybe they think Mr Richards is too formal and Stephen is too informal, so they go with using the surname by itself (which tends to sound rude). Also, it doesn’t help that my surname sounds like a given name.
Some other expatriate teachers get around this problem by having students address them with a title and given name (e.g., Mr. Bob, Miss Julie). Does it sound kindergartenish?
I guess it could be worse. Hong Kong students sometimes given themselves the worst names possible. For example, I have taught:
There’s a lot going on in these two pages. The top-left comment must have been written during the 2006-2007 academic year (when the new English Corner opened).
Fighting! This is an interesting term. It comes from English, obviously, but was popularized in Korea with a slightly different pronunciation (hwaiting – 화이팅) and with a different meaning. It serves as a form of encouragement (to yourself or others) to work harder and not give up (e.g., OMG! Exams are next week. Fighting!). It became part of Hong Kong slang, I think, after the Korean TV series Full House became popular here (you can find out more about the term at http://www.transparent.com/korean/hwaiting-fighting/).
At our school, success in inter-school music competitions, like the Music Festival, is very important. A lot of students are heavily involved as soloists or group members. We have an orchestra, symphonic band, Chinese orchestra, various choirs, vocal ensembles and chamber groups.
The yangqin is an interesting Chinese instrument —a trapezoidal zither player with mallets.