19 March 2001

The first of Hong Kong's English Language Benchmark Training Courses run by The University of Queensland will be held in Brisbane later this month.

The University's Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education, ICTE-UQ, was one of seven institutions world-wide to have been selected by the Hong Kong Government to conduct the courses.

The aim of the project, involving more than 11 000 teachers over the next five years, is to set new benchmark standards for English Language teaching in Hong Kong.

The first of the Brisbane-based courses - English for TESOL Professional Purposes (ETPP) - will begin on March 26. Most of the 27 registered participants will be staying with Australian families, organised through ICTE-UQ's extensive homestay network.

ICTE-UQ Director Christine Bundesen said future ETPP courses to be run in both Hong Kong and Brisbane from July are already full.

'Our program is proving to be one of the most popular options for serving teachers and the offering of the courses in a native English-speaking environment is proving attractive,' Ms Bundesen said.

A pre-departure seminar for teachers undertaking the program was held on March 9 followed by an official launch hosted by the commissioner of the Queensland Government Office in Hong Kong and the acting Consul General of Australia.

For more information contact Jan King at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 1120 or email: communications@mailbox.uq.edu.au)