PVT China (Hong Kong) English customer story 2021 v1.2 Effi…

A Pearson Virtual Teacher Story

A quality online English language learning solution

Pearson surveyed 17 teachers and interviewed three to better understand implementation and perceived benefits of Pearson Virtual Teacher (PVT) at China (Hong Kong) English School. Overall, teachers and parents alike are very pleased with the results of English language learning with PVT. Specifically, teachers said: • Students are enthusiastic about their PVT lessons and enjoy interacting with the native English- speaking teachers. • PVT is a good solution for successful conversion to the hybrid classroom (known as Online-Merge- Offline (OMO) model). • Native English teachers provide students a language learning environment that promotes skill building and understanding of culture. • Parents agree PVT offers students a quality English language learning education.

Background of school

In the fall of 2020, due to the pandemic and desire to implement a hybrid classroom (OMO) model, China (Hong Kong) English School adopted PVT.

China (Hong Kong) English School was established in 1994 and has two campuses with over 5,000 students from kindergarten to secondary school. One campus is located in Zhongshan, China and the other in Jiangmen, both are in Guangdong Province. English is a compulsory subject in China and therefore, China (Hong Kong) English School places importance on preparing their students for successful use and understanding of the English language.

To better understand their perception of and experience with PVT, we surveyed 17 teachers from the Zhongshan campus and interviewed three who use PVT for English language learning with grade school students aged six to 12.

Pearson — A Pearson Virtual Teacher Story Copyright © 2021 Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s). All rights reserved.

Product Implementation

Pearson Virtual Teacher Supporting Teaching and Learning

PVT At-School is a hybrid classroom (OMO) teaching solution where a native English-speaking teacher located in another country, in this case Australia, presents English lessons to students in a virtual environment. During virtual lessons students are in class with a local teacher who assists students as needed. In addition, the use of technology supports students in learning English. At China (Hong Kong) English School a variety of technology is used in the PVT classes, including smartboards, tablets, computers, smart phones and online quizzes/games. Heidi, Carol and Sophie shared their experience teaching English at China (Hong Kong) English School. Heidi teaches 2nd and 4th grade, students aged 7-8 and 10-11 respectively. She co-presents lessons with the native English-speaking teacher. Their typical lesson consists of new vocabulary, grammar and extracurricular readings. She finds this combination to be “very functional.” Carol and Sophie both teach 5th grade students aged 9-11. When co-teaching with the native English-speaking teacher their typical lessons consist of question and answering sessions and readings. Sophie appreciates that PVT lessons are more relaxed, which makes English language learning convenient and accessible for teachers and students alike.

Prior to the pandemic China (Hong Kong) English School had native English-speaking teachers in-house to teach English. However, as a result of the pandemic, English language learning with native English-speaking teachers was moved online. This presented a main challenge for the school and PVT was a great solution for them. “It is hard for foreign teachers to travel to China. We used to have foreign teachers in the school, but because of COVID, we have a lack of foreign teachers. It has been really hard to find qualified foreign teachers up until now…PVT really helps solve this current problem. It is very good.” The teachers believe having access to native English- speaking teachers supports student English language learning and affords students a better way to experience foreign culture and context. Heidi notes that local teachers often use Chinese to explain topics while the native English-speaking teachers only speak English in class, which encourages students to think and speak in English leading to better mastery of the language.

Pearson — A Pearson Virtual Teacher Story Copyright © 2021 Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s). All rights reserved.

Teachers express that one of the main challenges for students when learning English was nervousness about making mistakes in front of others. With PVT and online learning, students appear to be more inclined to speak up. “Before PVT, when students were unsure about the answers, they would normally remain silent. With PVT they are more willing to try because the foreign teachers are great at using praise to encourage them to speak more. Their engagement is better than before.” Students also appear to be engaged as is evident in their enthusiasm for every PVT lesson. Carol finds students get really excited about the oral lessons because they get to listen, talk, and respond. This interest in the lessons has led to increased performance, according to Carol: “I think they learn many things through PVT. I will hear them talk about the foreign teacher or teaching content with classmates, so they really are paying attention to the teacher and their PVT lessons.” The majority of teachers have seen first-hand how eager students are to interact in PVT classes with 88% (15/17) of teachers agreeing or strongly agreeing their students enjoy the virtual English instruction and 71% (12/17) of teachers agreeing the OMO model of instruction provided by Pearson supports student engagement.

“In the traditional way of teaching English, some Chinese English teachers would speak Chinese to students to speak English. In PVT lessons, there are foreign teachers, so students are forced to use English to think, communicate, and understand meanings. It gives students an environment, English learning environment, to learn English. It is better for the foreign teacher to teach English because it is not only the knowledge, but also the culture. That is something a local teacher cannot teach.” The vast majority (77%; 13/17) of surveyed teachers agree or strongly agree that students benefit from increased access to English instruction from a native English speaker versus traditional English instruction. Teachers at China (Hong Kong) English School have also been pleased with the general presence and encouragement of the native English-speaking teachers with 71% (12/17) of the local teachers rating them as good. Heidi was especially pleased with the native English speaking teachers’ methods , saying: “The foreign teachers use toys to help students understand the differences between words. I think it is better for the students to learn this way to understand the meaning of words.”

Pearson — A Pearson Virtual Teacher Story Copyright © 2021 Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s). All rights reserved.

All three teachers who were interviewed agree that parental feedback regarding PVT has been positive. It allows students more opportunities to communicate with and learn from a native English-speaking teacher, which parents find very beneficial. In fact, Carol said parents would like their students to participate in more than the one lesson per week, which is their current schedule. In addition, Sophie recognizes that parents want their child to receive high quality English language instruction:

“The students English lessons have improved in oral English pronunciation and I think their confidence has been built up through PVT as well.” “PVT is flexible because it has a lot of foreign teachers that are always there and able to come in and help. We are not limited by time or space, or even teachers. It is a really good way to teach Englis h.” All of the teachers interviewed at China (Hong Kong) English School recognize the value of PVT, and they hope to continue to use PVT for instruction in the future for teaching English. “We will continue to use PVT because it provides a convenient way to communicate with a foreign teacher. They can break the distance and time. The students can see a foreign teacher easier and communicate with them easier. They learn to use English better in their lives.”

“Most parents only care that their students are getting a quality English education and PVT meets their requirements. They are very satisfied with PVT and their current English lessons.”


The main goal for the teachers interviewed at China (Hong Kong) English School was to find an English language learning environment that helped their students communicate effectively in English. According to all three teachers, PVT was instrumental in developing their students’ oral skill s. In addition, they found PVT to be flexible making it a viable solution for online English teaching and learning needs with native English speaking teachers.


We would like to thank China (Hong Kong) English School and all the teachers that took the time share their feedback regarding PVT with us. In particular, we would like to thank Heidi, Carol and Sophie for their valuable insights and time spent speaking with us.

Pearson — A Pearson Virtual Teacher Story Copyright © 2021 Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s). All rights reserved.

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