Welcome to the third issue of Writing Macao. Centrepiece for this issue is the Stories for Macao book series. The stories in the series are written in English, by Macao people, almost all of them students (or former students) of the University of Macau. The stories in this series have been carefully selected and re-edited from work already published in draft form. These stories are part of the output of the ¡¥Poems and Stories of Macao Research Project¡¦. That project, in the English Department at the University of Macau, aims to encourage the use of English for creative expression and to promote Macao culture. The simple idea behind the project is that reading and writing literature is a valuable way to improve everyone¡¦s English. Reading and writing literature about your own place is also an important way of addressing some fundamental questions about where and how and who you are.
Our first set of three volumes published in this issue contains forty stories and represents the work of more than fifty authors, all from or living in Macao and most currently teaching English in Macao schools. These three volumes represent Books 4,5 and 6 of an envisaged ten volume series, the first three of which will be aimed at a primary school audience, the last volumes in which will be aimed at an upper secondary and tertiary audience. Books 4,5 and 6 are aimed at a junior and senior high school readership.
Each book is accompanied by sets of exercises for use in the classroom and at home. These exercises are designed to help the learner with grammar, vocabulary and comprehension. They are also designed to help the reader become a writer ¡V a creative writer ¡V of stories about Macao. To go to the accompanying comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and creative work, just click on the questions and exercises button at the end of each story.
As well as on-line publication, hard copy samples of these volumes will hopefully be on trial in Macao classrooms from March of 2005 as part of a Stories in Schools Initiative. Our hope is that feedback from teachers and students in and out of the classroom will help us to improve our product prior to official publication and widespread use of these materials throughout Macao schools.
The opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily express those of the Editor, the editorial staff or the Board of Readers of Writing Macao. Nor do they necessarily represent the views of the University of Macau, its Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities or its English Department.