Students in Professional Communication and English Studies (PENG) provided services to assist non-Chinese speaking students during the CIE New Student Orientation 2021. These services included engagement of new students in adapting to college life as well as simultaneous English interpretation. Through this service-learning experience, the PENG students did not only learn to apply their language skills in college activities, but also helped break the ice with new students on their first arrival day.
Tom, Ross and Alvin were the three volunteers in the team, each had a different story to tell in their service learning experience. Tom was the first one enrolled. “I did not hesitate to say yes when Carol, our Academic Coordinator of PENG, called upon me.” He said. “I always want to extend my personal network in the College, and I found that the New Student Orientation was a great opportunity for me to try”. When Tom spoke, others could see the light reflection on his glasses as if a hint of enthusiasm beaming from his eyes.
Ross, on the contrary, hesitated when Carol first approached him. “I feel more comfortable communicating in writing, not speaking”, he said, “but why not stepping out from my comfort zone and try something I am not feeling particularly competent with?” Ross looked at the ceiling, thought awhile, and continued: “I am a reserved person who take things slow. But this time, I just throw my caution to the wind and try my best to connect with the new students”. He spoke with a relieved smile.
Among the three, Alvin seems to be the most experienced one in organizing activities during the high school period. He said: “I took an active role in my secondary school. I assisted in many school events back then. I enjoyed contributing myself in organizing different activities.” Alvin had his gestures more defined when he mentioned his cross-cultural experiences. “I served in the Hong Kong St. John Ambulance and worked with different ethnic groups during my service,” he spoke with pride, “I could apply what I learned in St. John to CIE when greeting the new students.”
Carol, their advisor, was very much impressed with their courage to step up and serve. “I am pleased that our new students are getting to see the importance of their services,” she nodded and said, “our interpretation service is not only about accuracy, but the tone that delivered a warm welcome to the new comers of our College!” Carol raised her voice as she spoke with a glowing face – signs of a satisfied teacher.