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A Mutually Beneficial Camp

A Mutually Beneficial Camp

Venkata Kamala Priyadarsini Pilaka’s Story
Faculty of Social Sciences

In July this year, the ENGLISH-TO-GO Language Enrichment Camp was successfully held by CEDARS, together with the help of students as Camp tutors, Tutorial  Instructors and Student Hosts, and Priya, an Indian student from the Faculty of Social Sciences, was one of the students who acted as both Event Assistant to support the logistics of the Camp and a Tutorial Instructor to teach children Indian dance.

 “When I read about the purpose of the camp, I felt drawn to it as I believe that education is a powerful tool that helps one stand on their feet,” said Priya. Apart from contributing to empower the children through learning, Priya was equally eager to learn from the kids and their experiences. These explained the reasons why Priya was so motivated to join the programme -  to mutually learn from one another.

Photo of Priya teaching student
“I believe that education is a powerful tool that helps one stand on their feet.”

One of the highlight activities in the camp was the tutorial activities. Having over 10 years of experience in performing), Priya contributed to teach the children Bharatanatyam, which is regarded as the mother of many other Indian classical dance forms. When asked about what was the best part of being a Tutorial Instructor, Priya responded that it was having the opportunity to teach Bharatanatyam. “Being able to represent my culture and my skills on an international level was a really exciting experience.” she  recalled. “Above all, the dance aspect of it really made it fun for the students too.”

Before the camp, Priya anticipated that there would be language and cultural barriers. Nevertheless, it was lucky that all the kids were excited to learn the dance, which also motivated her. Perhaps the real difficulties that she encountered is how to make this tutorial as fun for the children and as educational as she could as the Tutorial Instructor. She eventually made use of her experience as a Student Teaching Assistant this summer to integrate cultural learning aspects with the English Language, which helped her plan an interactive lesson for the students. 

Overall, the camp not only benefited the children, who previously had little or even no understanding about Indian dance, but also benefited Priya as a Tutorial Instructor. It was definitely an eye-opening experience for children to learn and admire the traditional dance performed by Priya; while for Priya, this was also her first and one-of-a-kind opportunity to teach the dance, as well as to learn and interact with people of different cultural backgrounds.

Want to have similar experience as Priya? Be sure to check out at https://wp2.cedars.hku.hk/englishtogo/language-enrichment-camp/ for the latest updates on the ENGLISH-TO-GO Language Enrichment Camp for Children. Become Camp Tutors, Tutorial Instructors or Student Hosts to advocate for equal learning opportunities and create fantastic and unforgettable HKU experience for kids! 

Written by:
Leung Lok Yan
Year 2, Faculty of Arts
September 2021

A Mutually Beneficial Camp