Beginner Phonics A


Ivana, Ivania, Mikki, and Ivan

(my little creatures)

You may recognise one or two of those names, the three girls were in my Summer Monkeys B class and are as adorable now as they were then.

I’ve only taught them for a week so far and it’s going well. The girls are much stronger than Ivan is but I am sure with some push we can get him up to their level. Ivan is cute boytjie, but he does seem to be a little out of his depth with all girls.

I’m trying to motivate him and make sure that we work really hard while having fun,trying to draw him out and maybe get him to smile a little. Im teaching them the Phonics song and so far they are really enjoying it. Ivan and Ivana are very quiet, as is Mikki. I’m hoping to bring the three of them out of their shells a little. I may just be teaching in a learning centre but I am determined to work hard to make sure I am a good teacher.

We are hitting C soon and I cant wait to see how they do. So far my little creatures are getting 9-10/10 for spellings.

AS much as I am following the MT way I really want to make sure that they get a strong foundations so I have sort of tweaked it and may do my own thing to some degree. Im making sure that they can say their A sound correctly and recognise it. So I spend a good 10 minutes in the beginning going through the letters we have done and their sounds as well as words that start with those letters. Hopefully this works and I shall see how they progress and maybe re-evaluate again when we reach K.

Ivana and Ivana are really strong readers already, we go through all the words, they hardly need any help and I make sure that each child reads at least 3 pages. When they struggle with words on a page I am now making sure we go through that page twice so they see the word again.

These are such cute kids and even though the twins like to hit each other a little I have already seen them improving with this. Mikki is so sweet, I adore her.

Hopefully I can let you know how they progress eeeeeeek! :J


Explaining ESL and EFL


 I remember when I first started this journey that the ESL and EFL meant nothing to me. The I was confused and at a stage I thought they were exactly the same thing. I’m hoping that this will unconfuse a couple of people and also give you that extra bit of info to help narrow down your choices.

The essential difference is that EFL is the UK term whereas ESL is more of an American term.

But there is a further distinction, an important one:

ESL is teaching English to non-native speakers in an English-speaking country. The class is usually of mixed nationalities. Students have a more practical need for English, and more opportunity to practice it. They will often also have constant exposure to an English-speaking culture.

When doing my TESOL course we taught students like the above in varying degrees.

ESL Students:

  1. Lessons planned to their specific needs. Going to the doctor, filling in forms or even just reading a childs’ report card.
  2. They should be taught cultural norms and the way in which native speakers use the language. It can cause a lot of problems for them if they do not understand things like tone and even sarcasm.

EFL is teaching English to non-native speakers in a non-English speaking country. They often have very little exposure to English and very little chance to practice with native English speakers.

While teaching children in Hong Kong I have found this to be especially true. with the minority have English-speaking nannies/house keeper or parent, the majority of children do not get to practice English outside of the classroom. In fact some parents cannot understand more than a rudimentary level of English.

EFL students:

  1. To practice English as much as they can. I often let my kids, even phonics students, have a good 10-15 minutes at the beginning of class just talking. Sometimes its absolute nonsense. But, at least they are using English.
  2. A chance to see the many sides of English Language. Not just the boring rules and vocabulary. Play around with tone and voices, make up songs. Anything to show them that English can be used in a very wonderful and powerful way.

In the long run it just depends on which one you want to teach. While ESL seems like the easiest option it can often be more challenging. You will have adult students, often those who have a larger knowledge of grammar than you do…Shock, horror,gasp.

Good Luck! 🙂




Getting to LKF



MTR to Central

Exit D2 and turn left, walk along  the road. Turn left into Theatre Lane, and up D’Aguilar Street.


The MTR generally runs to half past 12 at night and starts at half past 5 in the morning; so if you leave too late take a taxi or look for a green minibus at the bottom of the main street. (down the hill look to your left)




Getting to Monkey Mountain from Mong Kok


We took the MTR from Yau Ma Tai to Cheung Sha Wan and then bus 72. You will need to take the Tseun Wan line (red line).


We got of at exit A3 but I would suggest taking exit A2 as you can see.

Cheung wan to the bus

By bus:

You can take bus 81 anywhere along Nathan Road from Jordan Road onwards. Check out the bus stops and look for the correct number. We got dropped off at the stop by Mong Kok Station. You may have to try out several bus stop before you find the one servicing 81.But make sure that you are on the correct side of the road! Bus 'map'

On the right is an image I took of the bus stop we were at. it shows where you are and which way the bus will go.

Get off at the Shek Lei Pui Reservoir stop just before the bridge. Check out the KMB website for further information.


To reach the park from the road, follow the access road next to the toilet block. It will take you down to the southern end of Kowloon Reservoir from where you can join  one of the various smaller walks.                    IMG_1852 IMG_1843