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Hong Kong’s younger and older generations are currently facing a range of challenges. For instance, most secondary school students have few opportunities to practice English. This poses obstacles to accessing higher education and employment; the population of retired adults is growing rapidly, and is seeking for new opportunities to stay active and connected.

In light of this, Lee Kum Kee Family Foundation is collaborating with the Institute of Active Ageing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, on the project “Intergenerational English as a secondary language” (IG-ESL), with an effort to improve secondary school students’ English by matching them older adult volunteers who are trained in language teaching and communication. By participating in fun and meaningful conversations and project-related activities, the program aims at promoting positive aging and offers an effective way to promote intergenerational understanding.

Project WeCan: English With Lineage: Intergenerational-ESL Programme

An Intergenerational Approach to ESL Education


  • English language and intergenerational friendship-building activities

  • Grammar lessons

  • Teachers’ professional development training

  • Intergenerational Contact Zone in participating schools’ English Learning Center

Target Audience

  • Students at secondary schools under Project WeCan  

  • Retired older adults in Hong Kong

  • University students

Scope of Services

  • All districts, Hong Kong

  • July 2016 to December 2018

  • Sept to Dec 2016 The Yuen Yuen Institute MFBM Nei Ming Chan Lui Chung Tak Memorial College

  • Feb to May 2017 Caritas Fanling Chan Chun Ha Secondary School 

  • Sept to Dec 2017 Catholic Ming Yuen Secondary School

  • Jan to Apr 2018 Buddhist Mau Fung Memorial College

  • Sep to Dec 2018 Pui Tak Canossian Primary School

  • Sep to Dec 2018 HKTA The Yuen Yuen Institute No. 3 Secondary School

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