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Travels with Inky – Hong Kong

Chris JollyChris Jolly – August 2013

Inky might be the most travelled mouse ever to hail from Essex, and thanks to her cohorts Snake and Bee, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to over fifty countries spreading the word of Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar.

In July I travelled with our authors Sue Lloyd and Sara Wernham to the Far East, stopping first in Hong Kong.  This wasn’t my first trip to Hong Kong, I’ve been half a dozen times and while it was nice to back and felt very familiar, this was a first for us at Jolly Learning – it was the first time we’d held a conference for our trainers in Asia.

It was really wonderful to see people from so many different countries and backgrounds in attendance in Hong Kong. We had trainers from eight different countries; India, Australia, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Singapore, China, Korea and Japan, and Hong Kong. It was great to see the trainers sharing their considerable breadth of knowledge in such a friendly and supportive way.

We had a broad range of speakers which made for some very good presentations on the delivery of Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar, and provided new insights on the use of the materials.

We also had some media attention In Hong Kong with Annemarie Evans interviewing me for a piece on Jolly Phonics for The South China Morning Press; Annemarie also came to our day for teachers and photographed me with two Chinese teachers who’d come to learn more about phonics.

While on the island, we spent an enjoyable afternoon with our long established friends Andus Li and Joseph Chu of the Jolly Faith Learning Centre in Beacon Heights.  We met parents at the centre and saw the children aged 4/5 demonstrate their ability with letter sounds. Then Andus and Joseph rounded off a memorable day by taking us all out for a Chinese meal.

I could never have imagined, when I sat at my kitchen table with Sue Lloyd in 1992, that our ideas would spread around the world and be enjoyed by a very enthusiastic group of young children in Beacon Heights, Hong Kong. There was something unreal about us rewriting the rules way back then and it was bizarre enough to imagine it for the UK let alone for people around the world, and I suspect all of us involved in the creation of Jolly Phonics – Sue, Sara and I, have to pinch ourselves at how far it has gone.

Inky and Chris’s passports have received stamps from: USA, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Belize, Jamaica, Bahamas, Cuba, St Kitts, Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait,  Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Cyprus, Malta, Ireland, South Arica, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Italy, and Portugal.

Chris Jolly – August 2013