NET Scheme

The Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme provides every primary and secondary school in Hong Kong with a mother tongue English teacher. The principal objectives of the scheme are to enhance English language teaching and to increase students’ exposure to English as spoken by native speakers.

Our school has two NET teachers, to ensure that every student has a lesson with a native English speaker each week.

Primary NETs work in partnership with local English language teachers to provide students with an authentic English learning environment. They also help to develop school-based teaching strategies and curriculum materials, and contribute to the professional development of fellow teachers.

NET teachers support and strengthen English language learning and teaching in a number of important ways, including:

  • developing innovative learning and teaching methods, materials, curricula and activities to meet the needs of local students
  • providing a realistic environment for children to learn English and develop their confidence in using the language for effective communication
  • providing opportunities for students to learn English through a range of different experiences and activities
  • promoting the professional development of local teachers
  • disseminating good practice in language learning and teaching through teacher development programmes, such as seminars, workshops and networking activities
  • supporting the work of the English Panel
  • providing advice on language learning, teaching and language resources
  • working with local teachers on activities outside the classroom, including assemblies, poetry reading, verse-speaking, inter-school competitions (eg, debating and radio drama), Angel Helpers
  • devising and helping to run fun English-based activities, with the aim of encouraging students to use English in a relaxed, non-academic context; examples include English Days, lunch-time story-telling sessions for KS1 students, drama, games and quizzes

We seek to develop and implement new initiatives that will enhance the standard of English, both in the classroom and beyond. For example, in the last school year, our NET teachers started an online book club to promote reading around the school and a newsletter to showcase students’ work and foster a love of reading. We have expanded on this initiative this year, by launching a colourful school newsletter that contains articles about a wide range of school activities, as well as information and ideas about books and reading. The first issue of the newsletter was published in October 2021 and there will be a further three issues during the school year.

As with all teachers, NET teachers must be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances, to ensure that students consistently receive the best possible education. During the period of class suspension due to Covid-19, the NET teachers were actively involved in developing and delivering teaching materials for home-schooling. This enabled us to provide high quality online classes and successfully teach the English curriculum whether the students were learning online or face to face.

NET Teachers’ Focus

The principal focus in Key Stage 1, which covers P1 to P3, is to teach the children to read effectively in English through shared reading, big books, reading strategies, reading activities, word recognition and phonics. Shared reading in class is a key activity. All students use the same reader, initially introduced by the teacher, to learn new vocabulary, sentence structures and patterns, and other reading skills. The teacher introduces each story and familiarises the students with it by talking about the characters and identifying sentence structures. Expressive reading is demonstrated and the children are encouraged to predict possible outcomes for the story and make inferences based on what they read. New sounds are identified through the teaching of phonics and the children are taught how to create different sounds orally and express them in writing. Songs are used to reinforce both ideas from the stories, phonics learning and enhance the rhythm of student’s spoken English. This approach makes reading an enjoyable activity, boosts the students' confidence and develops reading for pleasure.

Lessons for P4 to P6 students in Key Stage 2 frequently involve activities based on themes in the English textbooks used by each class. The NET teachers build on these themes by adapting sections of the textbook and encouraging the students to participate in a variety of oral activities. The objective is to enable the students to respond in English in a natural and authentic way and to increase their confidence. Interactions between student and teacher 1-1, their classmates and whole class discussions are important during oral lessons. A significant recent development in our Key Stage 2 teaching has been the introduction of a school-based literacy curriculum, designed to help students read and write more effectively. Literacy curriculum modules have been created for each of the three years, with plans, materials and learning activities covering a wide range of topics. Teaching reading and writing through the new literacy curriculum is proving highly beneficial to students, who are able to produce clear, detailed and well-structured pieces of writing in different styles. Further information about the literacy curriculum can be found in the website section on English Curriculum.

NET Teachers
Theresho Ntsoane

This is my first year teaching at Canossa School (Hong Kong) and I cannot wait to put my years of experience to use and to gain more experience from this well acclaimed school. I’ve been teaching as a school based NET for 4 years; this will be my first year as an EDB NET. 


My teaching career started in Shenzhen, China where I worked for 1 year. My main teaching objectives were focused on Phonics and Writing. In addition to this, I facilitated English enrichment camps where students got the chance to use English in real-world situations.


In search of professional growth, I moved to Hong Kong, SAR. In the 3 years that I’ve been working here, my teaching focus has become more well-rounded. For KS1 students, I’ve taught a school based curriculum which largely focused on different text types and students producing their own writings based on the text-type. I’ve also taught the EDB’s PLPR/W curriculum which has a great focus on phonics and reading (shared and guided reading). For KS2 students, I’ve taught a reader based curriculum which also had a greater focus on self-regulated learning and a use of online learning. 


In this academic year, I will teach P1, P4, and P5. In addition, I’ll play a leading and supporting role during extra-curricular activities such as the editing of the school’s newsletter, debating, Canossa TV, English days, debating and drama. I look forward to helping the students to grow their love of learning English, reading and drama. If there’s anything I know how to do, it’s to make sure a lesson is filled with fun and excitement. 


Outside of school, I’ve spent a lot of time volunteering at the Heep Hong Society, Shenzhen Hearing programme, storytelling with The Hong Kong Society for Asylum-Seekers and Refugees. Volunteering is very close to my heart and it’s something to be encouraged in the younger generation.

Timothy Houston

This is my first year working at Canossa School (Hong Kong) and I’m very happy and excited to be here. It is a great school with a long history and I’m grateful to be a part of it.


My teaching career began in England in 2012 after getting my bachelor’s degree in classical music. I taught music in various primary and secondary schools as a percussion specialist. In 2015 I came to Hong Kong for the first time to study Wing Chun Kung Fu and become a certified instructor, after which I moved back to England and began teaching kung fu. I loved Hong Kong so much I decided to get a CELA qualification from the University of Cambridge so I could develop my teaching career and come to live and work here as a native English teacher.


I have been working as a native English teacher in Hong Kong since 2020. In that time, I have focused mainly on reading and phonics. Teaching is something I’ve always been passionate about. I enjoy helping, encouraging and motivating students of all ages to learn, grow and overcome challenges. I am always looking for new ways to help students improve and develop their English and motivate them to develop good reading habits.


This year I am teaching classes at three different year groups – P2, P3 and P6, I will also be taking part in many of the fun extra-curricular activities we have. I’m looking forward to getting to know and have fun with all the students here. I’d be interested to hear about student’s hobbies and interests. I’m always happy to chat so don’t be shy, feel free to come and say ‘hi’ anytime.


I’m very much looking forward to an exciting year ahead.