HGSS English Ambassadors’ Fun Training Day at Disneyland, 08/2022
It was the 8th of August, 2022, and the Homantin Government Secondary School (HGSS) English Ambassadors were gathering before the gate of a magical kingdom. The HGSS English Ambassadors, that hard working group of linguistic champions of English. They toil through the year with various duties and get little reward for their hard work. But wait…how could we end the academic year for the English Ambassadors in a way that was both rewarding and educational? By taking them to a magical kingdom of course, of course. Magic isn’t real, you say. Well Disneyland begs to differ!
After liaising with Disneyland, we were able to select a program from their Youth Education Series called Disney's Foundations for Career Success. This program educates students from both the Disney perspective as a massive influencer and employer on the world stage, as well as letting the students see behind the magic curtain that most guests can never see. After they finished their educational sessions they were given unfettered access to the park to enjoy the rest of the day.
Upon completion of the special event, the students were asked to write about their feelings regarding the day’s events. We encouraged them to be open and honest. Here are some of their responses:
W. Wong said, “Exploring through the locker room, staff office, the backstage as well as the unpublicized staff road, we opened our eyes with a better understanding of an array of posts in a tremendously scaled company.” He then concluded, “In a nutshell, the activities were well-designed and tailored to students' learning! And the pros definitely outweigh the cons and it will be our pleasure to be invited to join similar activities again.”
Sumi said, “The facilitators are very passionate and attentive to guide us in the backstage area in Disneyland. Through this experience, I discovered that the staff there are not only doing their job but enjoying the acting and the serving.”
Some English Ambassadors weren’t afraid to mention some criticism, such as D. Ko, when he said, “...the amount of pure learning periods are less than that of learning at school, since most lessons are in the form of activities in the program, it did trade off some pure knowledge for the fun.”
Our students had many memorable moments from that day. One student, Ms. Chow mentioned, “The conference area, which features a picture and a doll perched atop a sofa in the Mickey Mouse hues of red and yellow, is the most striking location. They are enthralling to the core! Along with the trip to the staff room, we also went on a group excursion to Space Mountain. Without a doubt, Space Mountain is an exciting event, but what makes it so special is that it was shared with teachers and friends.”
All in all, it was a great experience and we intend to try a different program at Disney in the coming year. The experience ties in well with one of the English Ambassador goals which is to prepare students for real-world situations that involve interviews, event planning and implementation and service to your peers. With that in mind, the Disney event lends itself nicely to the stated goals and the chance to reward students for the effort they put in throughout the school year.