Better English with MJ

Better English with MJ

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May Tse
By Barry C Chung

Form Four students at Toi Shan Association College spent the better half of last Thursday rehearsing Michael Jackson dance moves from the iconic music video Thriller. The activity was part of a new project to promote learning through pop culture in the NSS syllabus.

The new curriculum focuses on alternative, fun methods to learn English. It aims to expose them to a foreign culture through 'kinesthetic learning', or learning through activities.

'I want to let students feel a sense of achievement and satisfaction,' Vicky Wong, a NET at the school, said. 'Their attitudes are transformed by dance choreography.'

Students also learned Jackson's lyrics and information about his life and music. Both the dance and the in-class portion of the curriculum count towards students' grades.

In 2007, a group of Filipino inmates recorded their own adaptation of the zombie-like dance on YouTube. Since then it has spawned a cult of copycats worldwide. MySpace recently voted Thriller as the most influential music video of all time.

Hong Ting-keung, 16, a student at the school, feels that Thriller is a great learning tool. 'Before, I never danced but now I can learn new things like MJ dance moves - the best part is, it's free,' he said with a grin.

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