Vision and Inspiration
Venture, which was established in 1986 by Julia Courtenay-Tanner, quickly set a new benchmark for language acquisition in Hong Kong. From primary students to adults, Venture spear-headed a wholistic approach to English teaching with programmes being conducted not only for organisations such as HSBC, Schindler Lifts, Zung Fu and the Hyatt Group, but also for individuals, both adults and children.
It soon became apparent that young students needed additional exposure to the English language, and so Venture pioneered overseas summer camps with one of Britain’s leading language schools in England. During these time-away-from-home vacational programmes, students experienced the thrill of independence and the need to communicate in English with youngsters of their own age from countries all around the world. Hong Kong teachers accompanied the groups to England and benefitted from the teacher training programmes that were offered to them.
An innovative approach to English language learning and a determination to run programmes of the highest quality have been the foundation of Venture’s success. Venture not only trains in companies and schools, and to adults, teenagers and children, it also provides teacher training programmes in Hong Kong, India and China. Most recently, Venture has participated in an English language programme for teachers from rural schools in China with the Ah Kim Hing Love and Care Charity.
Venture’s inspirations include an essay competition that was run annually by the South China Morning Post for several years. The competition encouraged students to explore and develop their creativity through the medium of writing. Following the success of this competition, the South China Morning Post opened up the Student of the Year Awards, inviting Julia Courtenay-Tanner to be one of the judges for the Linguist of the Year. She held this position for several years until the SCMP closed the event.
In collaboration with a quasi government organisation, Venture was invited to provide Social Etiquette training to senior executives in major corporations based both in mainland China, and Hong Kong. The programmes have since grown to incorporate Good Manners for children and Life Skills for teenagers, and continue to be a core of Venture’s English training repertoire.
With the opening up of China and the influences of the western world on Hong Kong, it became evident that the Hong Kong student required more than English language training only. Venture extended its programmes to include Drama training both at its own Centre and in schools around Hong Kong. Venture’s relationships with local schools are long and on-going, and its performances are an important feature of schools’ end of year presentations.
For many years now Venture has won accolades across Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories for the success of its dramatic stage productions, as well as for the many achievements of its students in the annual Hong Kong Speech and Drama Festival.
Our individual-based interview and exam programmes to assist students enter top schools and universities overseas have continued to grow alongside our other programmes, with Venture students being accepted into such schools as Harrow, Eton and Winchester, and into universities that include Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Cornell and Chicago among others.
Currently, Venture is actively enhancing language training for Gifted youngsters in Hong Kong and is developing broadly focused, open-ended programmes, created to stimulate the minds of these talented young people and motivate them to achieve success.
Venture continues in its passion to assist the people of Hong Kong achieve the best possible English and communication skills through its English, Drama and Social Etiquette programmes. Its directors, teachers and administrators uphold Venture’s mission statement ‘to empower those we teach to communicate confidently, caringly and effectively in the spoken and written word, creating harmony between peoples and beliefs’.