VERNER BICKLEY is a writer, author, publisher, educationist and cultural administrator. Until very recently, he was an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre of Asian Studies (CAS), now renamed, 'Centre for Humanities and Social Science (incorporating the Centre for Asian Studies', University of Hong Kong, He is a Sector/Subject Specialist for the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational Qualifications. He is Chairman of the Executive Committee of the English-Speaking Union, Hong Kong. For a number of years he was Chairman of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Hong Kong, and remains on the RCS Committee.
With his wife, Gillian Bickley, Verner Bickley is co-Director of the independent publishing house, Proverse Hong Kong, and co-Founder of The Proverse Prize for unpublished writing.
Verner Bickley’s most recent book, Footfalls Echo in the Memory is a memoir of his life as a former British naval officer, Colonial servant, and British Council officer (2010).
Dr Bickley was Assistant Director of Education and Director of the Hong Kong Government’s Institute of Language in Education for nine years.
Previously, he served as Director of the Culture Learning Institute and Chairman of the Directors of the East-West Center in Hawaii. He was appointed to hold a concurrent appointment as Full Professor of English at the University of Hawaii. Dr Bickley was also President of the Hawaii Branch of the English-Speaking Union.
Earlier in his career, he was a member of the Singapore Education Department and a British Council Officer in Burma (Myanmar), Indonesia and Japan.
Verner Bickley has had extensive radio and television experience with the following radio stations:
He was anchorman in an Open University of Hong Kong 13-part English language TV series for Cable TV Hong Kong.
Dr Bickley has written more than twenty textbooks and books and numerous articles on international education, language and culture, and language pedagogy. He has also written dozens of scripts for radio and TV, including scripts for the BBC; NHK, Tokyo; Radio Malaya; Radio Republik Indonesia and Radio Television Hong Kong (“Letter from Hong Kong”).
His book, Language and the Young Learner in Hong Kong (2004), is a critical survey of kindergarten education in the SAR.
His book, English for the Office, published by the Commercial Press, is designed specifically to address the needs of Chinese students entering the workplace in China, after completing secondary education.
In 2001, supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Dr Bickley published Searching for Frederick and Adventures along the Way (Asia 2000), a partly-autobiographical guide to life-writing, focusing in particular upon Dr Frederick Stewart, the founding Principal of the Central School (now Queen’s College) in Hong Kong.
Dr Bickley is the Language Adviser for the whole series, and author of a subset of the series for the Oxford University Press primary English course, On Target, for Hong Kong, China and Thailand.
Verner Bickley studied Speech and Drama under the late Greta Colson.
In different countries, he has directed amateur productions of the following:
In Hong Kong Verner Bickley has played a variety of roles in Hong Kong Players’ productions, including:
Verner Bickley played John of Gaunt in the Queen’s Café production of Richard II.
For the professional Square Peg Theatre, Verner played the surgeon in Sally Dellow’s play, Making Boobs.
In Hong Kong Singers’ productions, he was the Judge in Hello Dolly! and President Roosevelt in Annie!.
He had cameo roles in three films:
He enjoyed a walk-on part in The Chinese Box, directed by Wayne Wang, starring Jeremy Irons and Gong Li.
Dr Bickley has a particular interest in curriculum reform. He was a member of the Ford Foundation Curriculum Development project in Indonesia, and, for some years, was leader of one section of the American team that participated in the five-nation (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the United States) curriculum development project (“The Pacific Circle”), sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Verner Bickley's books are available from bookstores and from various Hong Kong based and international websites.
Proverse Publisher, Verner Bickley, joined a panel discussion at the Play Den, Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore, Thursday, 12 May.-- The subject? -- "Singapore Education in the Aftermath of War: A Long Look Back". Verner began his career in Singapore in 1951 as an Education Officer attached to Raffles Institution where he taught English and (unbelievably as it seems to him now) physical training! In 1954, he was transferred to the Singapore Teachers' Training College as a Lecturer in English and Education and in1956 he was promoted to be Head of the Department of English and Speech Training at the College.
He was joined on the panel by Ms Ivy Soh, who joined the University of Malaya's pioneer student cohort in1949 and had a career in the Teachers' Training College, the Regional English Language Centre and the Institute of Education.
Also on the panel was Dr Ann Wee, Associate Professorial Fellow with the Department of Social Work at the National University of Singapore. Dr Wee taught in Methodist Girls' School from 1950 to 1954.
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