Alumna and teacher: A special way of giving back to alma mater

Gladys Luk Ngan-yuk
Lecturer, School of Education and Languages

‘I really enjoyed the time as a full-time student here and pursuing knowledge without burden. With a bit of serendipity, I returned to the OUHK to teach in 2010 and eventually found the new direction of my career path as a University lecturer.’

Gladys Luk Ngan-yuk

Ms Gladys Luk Ngan-yuk does have a special connection to the School of Education and Languages – once a student here and now one of its teachers. She has created her own success story at the OUHK.

A new journey well taken

Having been a secondary school teacher for over two decades, Gladys quit her job in 2006 and embarked on a new study journey at the OUHK. She later became one of the graduates in the first cohort of its full-time Bachelor of Language Studies (English) programme. She is grateful for having been admitted by the School and given the chance to study with both young and mature classmates. ‘I really enjoyed the time as a full-time student and pursuing knowledge without burden,’ Gladys recalled.

Gladys moved on to enroll in a Master of Education programme at the University of Hong Kong. With a bit of serendipity, she returned to the OUHK to teach in 2010 and eventually found the new direction of her career path as a University lecturer. She has applied her substantial experience in teaching secondary school music and English well into her new role, for instance, as course coordinator of ‘Early Childhood Education: Music and Movement’.

Gladys likes adding ‘warm up’ activities to her classes in order to motivate her students to learn. For instance, she would play TV commercial jingles to start a lesson so that students can understand what everyday English is like. She also believes that it is important to train students to think independently and ask critical questions. ‘I encourage them to set up discussion groups with me on mobile phone so that they can chat and exchange ideas freely on study-related problems.’

She has also taken students to Warwick University, UK to participate in the English Language and Culture Immersion Programme for a couple of years. She observed that students were really immersing themselves in an English speaking environment and had learnt a lot from it. ‘They had to speak English with the host family. They were a bit shy in the beginning but loved it all the way through afterwards,’ Gladys said with a grin.

Connections and interactions all the way

Today, the music teacher always hears the lingering charm of the overture. Her students, who have now become secondary school teachers, would sometimes bring their students to visit the OUHK where they participated in the various activities organized by her, such as interview skills training workshop. And on other occasions, Gladys would draw support from alumni and take the current students out for school visit so that they can have first-hand experience of the school environment. She reveals that she really likes this kind of connection and interaction with alumni.