Featured Colloquia

Feedback, dialogue and reflection: Innovative practices for ELT and beyond

Date: 9 January 2021 (Saturday)
Time: 15:35-16:25 (HKT)

Organiser: Professor Steve Walsh, Newcastle University


This colloquium features three papers highlighting different facets of feedback, dialogue and reflection. The main argument is that understandings of teaching and teacher education are enhanced when studied from a dialogic perspective.

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The first paper proposes the construct ‘dialogic reflection’ to suggest that professional learning entails dialogue and co-constructed meaning-making. Through the use of data on reflections, it is argued that fine-grained, ‘up-close’ understandings of classroom practice are achieved through tools such as recordings, transcripts and ‘snapshot’ lesson extracts. Ensuing dialogue with a critical friend maximizes potential for professional learning.

The second paper addresses the problem that written feedback processes position students too passively. The proposed solution is feedback requests whereby students begin a dialogue by suggesting what kind of comments they find valuable. For feedback requests to make an impact, both teachers and students need the cumulative development of feedback literacy.

The third paper discusses principles for effective dialogic feedback design within a learner-centred feedback literacy framework. Exemplified in a language curriculum module, the reported design engages education majors with peer feedback and self-assessment prior to student-teacher interactions. Key principles include increasing learner agency, sharpening evaluative judgement and building resilience to criticism.

Speaker Bios

Steve Walsh

Newcastle University

Professor Steve Walsh is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Communication in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, UK and visiting professor at HKU. He has worked in English language teacher education for more than 20 years and his research focuses on classroom discourse, teacher development, second language teacher education, and professional communication.

David Carless

The University of Hong Kong

Professor David Carless is the Head of Social Contexts and Policies in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. His most recent book, Designing effective feedback processes in higher education: A learning-focused approach, co-authored with Naomi Winstone was published by Routledge in July 2019.

Jessica To

The University of Hong Kong

Dr Jessica To is a Post-doctoral Fellow at Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. She is interested in investigating feedback, exemplar use and issues related to the implementation of formative assessment in higher education. Her ORCid number is 0000-0002-0264-3160.

The importance of leadership
for the future of Hong Kong English Language Centres

Date: 8 January 2021 (Friday)
Time: 16:10-17:00 (HKT)

Dr. Alessandro Benati, The University of Hong Kong
Dr. Melinda Whong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


English Language Centres in Hong Kong are currently undergoing changes in leadership, and finding it can sometimes be a challenge to appoint new directors. Arguably, this is a result of a profession that has not done enough to proactively nurture leaders from within. This colloquium discusses key elements of successful leadership, and explores future directions in terms of research, innovation, learning and teaching for Hong Kong Language Centres.​

Speaker Bios

Alessandro Benati

The University of Hong Kong

Dr. Alessandro Benati is Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Applied English Studies at the University of Hong Kong. He conducts research on language processing of linguistic structures using online measurements such as eye-tracking and self-paced reading. He has co-ordinated national and international high-impact research projects in this field.

Melinda Whong

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Dr. Melinda Whong is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Language Education at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. As a qualified teacher with experience teaching in the US, China and Egypt, her academic career has included over 20 years in the UK. Originally trained in generative SLA, she has devoted her work to bridging the gap between linguistic theory and language teaching practice. Her more recent books are: Grammar: A Linguists’ Guide to Grammar for Language Teachers (Cambridge University Press) and What is Good Academic Writing: Insights into Discipline Specific Student Writing (2021 Edited volume, Bloomsbury Academic).

Sean McMinn

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Sean McMinn is presently Associate Director and Associate Professor of Language Education at the Center for Language Education, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He will assume duty as Director of The English Language Center at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in January. Having nearly 20 years experience in higher education, Sean has taught a range of subjects, such as EAP, Digital Literacies, and Social Complex Systems, and has research interests in educational technology, digital literacies and networked learning. 

Professional collaborations for English learner success in higher education

Date: 8 January 2021 (Friday)
Time: 14:00-14:50 (HKT)

Dr. Lillian Wong, The University of Hong Kong
Professor Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala, Colorado State University


This colloquium discusses a diverse array of professional collaborations across disciplines and different types of institutional partnerships to ensure English learners’ academic success in various higher education contexts. It aims at promoting future collaboration and suggesting further research in order to keep abreast with developments in language education across disciplines.

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1. Professional and cross-disciplinary collaborations

Professor Anthony Maciejewski, Colorado State University
Professor Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala, INTO CSU, Colorado State University

In this session, presenters describe the cross-disciplinary work they have conducted together to support internationalization efforts at Colorado State University. They will discuss how that work has led to ensure English language learner success in engineering programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has also resulted in professional collaborations with outcomes shared at professional conferences and through collaborative publications with applied linguists/TESOL professionals in a variety of venues.

2. Academics and student affairs collaborations

Dr. Lisa Fischer, INTO Saint Louis University

In recent decades, the fields of TESOL and Student Affairs have concluded that student success is not just in the hands of academics or student affairs alone. These days English learner success is mediated by professionals coming from these two areas, once conceived separately, to work together to maximize the support given to English learners in higher education for the fulfillment of their personal, academic, social and professional goals.

3. Collaborating with colleagues: The good, the bad and the ugly

Professor Ken Hyland, University of East Anglia

In response to the major educational reforms in Hong Kong in 2012, The Centre for Applied English Studies (CAES) at The University of Hong (HKU) conducted a major makeover of its EAP programme to provide students from different faculties with courses that would be as relevant and disciplinary specific as possible. In this paper, Professor Ken Hyland, Director of CAES at the time, reflects on the challenges raised by working collaboratively with colleagues in other faculties to create these courses. While faculties generally recognised the advantages of discipline-specific EAP, we had mixed success in persuading stakeholders to share our goals of working as partners to implement ‘English in the Discipline’ programmes.

Speaker Bios

Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala

Colorado State University

Professor Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala is Professor of English (TESOL) and the Executive Director of Colorado State University’s English Language Center, INTO CSU. She serves as the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Secretary. Her current research interests are in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and access in applied linguistics/higher education.

Lisa Fischer

Saint Louis University

Dr. Lisa Fischer is the Academic Director of INTO Saint Louis University and an Assistant Professor of English as a Second Language. She holds a Ph.D. in English, and her research interests focus on composition pedagogy, multilingual writers, and preparing university faculty to support their international students.

Ken Hyland

The University of East Anglia

Professor Ken Hyland is Professor of Applied Linguistics in Education at The University of East Anglia. He has published over 240 articles and 27 books on EAP and writing with over 55,000 citations on Google Scholar. He was founding co-editor of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes and co-editor of Applied Linguistics.

Anthony Maciejewski

Colorado State University

Professor Anthony Maciejewski is Head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at Colorado State University. A Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), he serves as VP of Technical Activities for its Robotics /Automation Society and on the Board of Directors of its Education Society.

Where to for university teaching and learning in times of unprecedented change? International perspectives from Directors and leaders of Centres for Teaching and Learning

Date: 9 January 2021 (Saturday)
Time: 16:30-17:20 (HKT)

Organiser: Dr. Susan Bridges, The University of Hong Kong


University educators worldwide have faced unprecedented challenges and change to established teaching practice over the last 12 months. Practice that might once have been described as “innovative” has, in many cases, had to become mainstream almost overnight and many academics have had to rapidly acquire new digital skills and ways of working to support their students in this new landscape. University Centres of Teaching and Learning are core providers of institutional support and professional development for all academics involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, course and curriculum/ programme design and innovation. In facing the extraordinary challenges for campus-based teaching institutions over the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years, we share experiences from the UK, Ireland and Hong Kong on how our work has evolved from initially responding to the urgent need to support ‘emergency remote teaching’ to strategic support for hybrid, blended and online approaches to course design and delivery (Hodges et al., 2020; Jandric et al., 2020). What may have taken months or years in terms of policy has seen us shift on the ‘turn of a dime’ in this historically unique time. In this colloquium, we share how our centers have moved from responsive to proactive approaches and reflect on our projections for strategic directions as we move into a post-pandemic era.

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Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. Educause Review, 27. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/3/the-difference-between-emergency-remote-teaching-and-online-learning

Jandric, P., Hayes, D., Truelove., I, Levinson, P., Mayo, P., Ryber, T.,…Hayes, S. (2020). Teaching in the Age of Covid-19. Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00169-6

Speaker Bios

Susan Bridges

The University of Hong Kong

Dr Susan Bridges is Director, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) at The University of Hong Kong. CETL’s mission is to enhance the quality of the student learning experience at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) through continuing professional development (CPD) programmes and educational innovation initiatives aligned to strategic priority areas.  As CETL Director, Susan brings her experience as a former Assistant Dean in teaching portfolios in the faculties of Education and Dentistry as well as her learning sciences research in inquiry-based approaches with educational technologies to this vibrant team.

Áine Galvin

University College Dublin

Áine Galvin is Director of Teaching & Learning at University College Dublin.
She leads the team in UCD Teaching and Learning and contributes to the development of policies and practices that enhance the UCD learning environment. The UCD T&L team seeks to foster a culture of continuous enhancement of teaching and learning – supporting staff to deliver inclusive, innovative and research-informed teaching that leads to engaging and meaningful learning experiences for all UCD students.

Sarah King

University of Birmingham

Sarah King is Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning Development at the University of Birmingham. She leads the teaching and learning development strand of work in the University of Birmingham’s Higher Education Futures institute. The team supports the enhancement of teaching and learning practice at Birmingham, promotes innovation in the curriculum, and facilitates the career-long professional development of academics who teach and staff in supporting learning roles.

Jon Turner

University of Edinburgh

Dr Jon Turner is Director of the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) at University of Edinburgh. The IAD provides University level support for teaching, learning and researcher development. This includes direct support for staff and students, a focus on practice sharing, local and institutional enhancement and innovation. Prior to establishing the IAD, Jon’s focus was on doctoral education. His background is geology.

Featured Colloquium

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