Charity boosts English-speaking in HK

Investment banks have helped to fund a charity that seeks to improve the quality of English-speaking among Hong Kong children.

While you've been on holiday this year, you probably didn't realize a whole bunch of Hong Kong children have been busy trying to improve their English.

The children all come from low-income groups and have been improving their English with the help of Summerbridge, a charity that gets much of its funding from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley among others.

"Summerbridge's mission is to provide tuition-free intensive English education to financially underprivileged youths, improve the students' English, build students' confidence and self-esteem, encourage a love of learning, and train young leaders committed to community service," says Kelly McAskill, the programme manager of Summerbridge Hong Kong.

With Hong Kong's financial services community reliant on English-language skills, it is heartening that investment banks are putting their money where there mouths are and funding a project like Summerbridge.

During the Summer vacation, Summerbridge runs an intensive five-week 'English only' camp. With a high staff student ratio, teachers and students are able to pay close attention to the need of each student, who are between 12 and 14 years old.

Summerbridge Hong Kong was inaugurated in 1992 and is a registered charitable organization. Over the past 10 years it has developed from a single centre with 35 students to one with three locations and 350 students.

The improvement in the student's English as well as confidence, validates the approach. In the 2001 Hong Kong schools English exam, 91.9% of Summerbridge participants passed, compared to the national average of 65.5%.

For those of our readers who want to know more about Summerbridge and potentially get their institution involved, go to

Share our publication on social media
Share our publication on social media