Projects Details

Augmented reality teaching and learning in a laboratory course

Leaders:
Ka Sin Cindy Lam (Environmental Science, School of Science, HKUST)
Chun Kwun Stanley Lau, (Division of Life Science, HKUST)
Shuk Ching Elza Tsang (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Member:
Wing Suet Zoe Yeung (Environmental Science, School of Science, HKUST)

Source of funding:
HKUST Teaching Development Grant

Summary:
This project develops a mobile app integrating augmented reality (AR) simulation aids with multi-modal learning resources to enhance students’ learning and their engagement in different learning activities of laboratory courses such as field trips, laboratory sessions and report writing. We selected a laboratory course (LIFS 3330 Marine Biology Laboratory) as the pilot run to evaluate the effectiveness of the interactive mobile app and AR simulation in enhancing students’ engagement activities and instructors’ teaching performance. Information available on the app can is multi purposes:

  1. increasing students’ understanding of course content;
  2. stimulating students’ participation and communication in the course;
  3. incorporating experiential learning in course group project;
  4. providing access to useful English learning resources in a user-friendly way.

The key deliverables of the project include

  1. an interactive mobile app;
  2. template and source codes for the building of an educational app that are not only applicable to this laboratory course, but also transferrable to other science-related laboratory courses;
  3. a bank of useful English e-learning materials such as web links, quizzes, text analyses and games;
  4. an interactive field guide incorporating species identification using AR technology. Our project takes the leading role to develop assessment tools using AR technology for HKUST students.

CLE MOOCs

Leader:
Sean McMinn (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Collaborators:
Delian Gaskell (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Kin Tang (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Summary:
Specialization Summary
This Specialization introduces non-native speakers of English to methods for developing English language and communication skills for the workplace, doing business, cross-cultural understanding, and business case study analysis. Students apply these skills in the final Capstone Project by analysing a current business case study and providing recommendations to a target audience in both presentation and written formats.

PI:
Sean McMinn

Instructors:
Delian Gaskell and Kin Tang

The courses include:
Business English: Basics
This course aims to improve your Business English language skills by developing your vocabulary and reading skills and your understanding of tone, style and knowledge of communication methods. We’ll also cover how these language skills can enhance audience analysis, business case analysis and basic business communication strategies. Skills learned in this course will often be referred to and needed to complete the speaking, writing and cross-cultural communications courses of this Specialization.

English for Effective Business Writing
This course aims to improve your Business English writing skills by developing your use of vocabulary, grammar, understanding of different business writing genres, and your ability to write professional business documents. Skills learned in this course will be used in the cross-cultural communications course and help prepare you to produce the professional business documents in the Capstone project.

English for Effective Business Speaking
This course aims to improve your Business English speaking skills by developing your use of vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, spoken communication skills within a Business context, and your ability to deliver professional business speeches for specific purposes. Skills learned in this course will be used in the cross-cultural communications course and help prepare you to deliver the professional business presentation in the Capstone project.

Business English for Cross-cultural Communication
This course aims to prepare you for working in an cross-cultural Business setting. We’ll learn about common cross-cultural theories and how they are relevant to everyday business practices in a globalised world. By combining all of your vocabulary, reading, speaking, and writing skills that you acquired in the previous three courses, you will learn how language plays an important role in cross-cultural communication. You will also enhance your cross-cultural understanding and will be able to use vocabulary, tone and style, and spoken and written communication skills within a cross-cultural Business context. Skills learned in this course help prepare you to deliver the professional business presentation in the Capstone project.

Business Case Analysis
The Capstone project is the culmination of your journey through the Business English for Non-Native Speakers specialization. It is aimed at applying the written and spoken skills that you have gained to an authentic business situation. You will be able to choose a business case provided by HKUST, or use an example from your own work experience and: (1) prepare an online video presentation (approx. ½ hour) that analyses the case and provides recommendations, and (2) prepare a business recommendation report to coincide with the presentation (approx. 2,000 words). The report should include an executive summary, analyses of the case and recommendations.

All courses are currently running.

Website: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/business-english-speakers

Developing and promoting digital literacies for effective English communication: The Multimodal Online Digital Literacy Lab (MODLL)

Leader:
Sean McMinn (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Co-Leader:
Patrick Desloge, (Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC)

Summary:
This project, in which HKUST is the lead partner, aims to create an environment, opportunities and resources for both teachers and learners of English to develop digital and English communication skills. By directly connecting an HKUST common core course, an HKU experiential learning programme, and online and physical digital literacies labs, we will create new opportunities that will enable students to:

  1. learn digital communication skills and
  2. become more critically aware of their English language development.

We will do this by providing students with both theory and authentic experiences, by promoting reflective learning through digital media production and through developing best assessment practices for digital literacies.

A project such as this will

  1. allow learners to prepare for their future, literate lives in a digitally mediated world;
  2. match learners’ literacy practices in out-of-class environments; and
  3. engage and empower learners to participate in language and literacy instruction.

Current research suggests that by empowering students with the abilities to create digital media through authentic tasks, we will enable them to engage with the target language (English), create opportunities to reflect on language development for professional and academic communicative purposes.

This project is in progress and its work will continue until 2020.

Presentation:
Creating a Multimodal Online Digital Literacy Lab (MODLL) to enhance language teaching and learning. 38th ThailandTESOL International Conference 2018. January 25-27, 2018

The Diagnostic English Language Tracking Assessment (DELTA)

Team:
Language Testing Unit
Room Z213
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Dr Alan Urmston
Felicia Fang
Belle Choi
Cherry Ng
Irene Lo

Summary:
The Diagnostic English Language Tracking Assessment (DELTA) is an English language proficiency measurement system designed specifically for the Hong Kong academic context. Through the DELTA, students can diagnose their strengths and weaknesses in reading, listening, grammar and vocabulary; track their English language gains; and plan their English language learning. The DELTA has been developed and is administered by the English Language Centre and other universities in Hong Kong.

Website: http://gslpa.polyu.edu.hk/eng/delta_web/

ELC Online Courses

Team:
English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Adam Forrester
Jessica Xia
Bee Dy
Keenan Manning
Anna Ho
Vivian Li
Michael Dean

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Summary:
The PolyU ELC is developing a range of online courses in the style of MOOCs and SPOCs. The platforms being used include the main edX platform created by Harvard and MIT, and KEEP which has been developed as a collaborative venture by CUHK. The ELC MOOCs include English@Work in asia: Job applications, and English@Work in asia: Job interviews, and SPOCs on Reading, Grammar, Independent learning, Academic English and Service Learning.

Website: https://elc.polyu.edu.hk/MOOCs/

The ELC YouTube Channel

Team:
English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Adam Forrester
Jessica Xia
Marie Ng
Zonda Chan
SK Lee

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Summary:
The ELC YouTube Channel was created in 2011. Since then it has grown with currently over 230 videos hosted, view more than 650,000 times. The channel is used for several purposes. It’s main purpose is to foster blended learning in the core ELC subjects. Videos that provide support for student learning are hosted on the channel, so that students can access them anytime and anywhere, on any device. A second purpose is to provide a platform for promoting the work of the ELC. Short videos showcasing the various initiatives of the Centre are on the platform. Finally, the channel also hosts teacher training videos such as the “Know how@ series of teacher support videos.

Website: https://www.youtube.com/elcpolyu

ELPA: A collaborative project on developing an English test to assess students’ English proficiency after admission

Leaders:
Mr. Edward Li (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Prof. Cheung Hin Tat (The Education University of Hong Kong)

Collaborators:
Ms. Ivy Sek, Ms. Jessica Chan, Dr. Pancy Pang, Mr. Andrew Chung (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Dr. Pamela Leung, Dr. HSU, Connie, Dr. Pauline Mak, Dr. Shirley Xiao (The Education University of Hong Kong)

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC)

Summary:
The purpose of this collaborative project is to further develop the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) test as a more comprehensive assessment mechanism that not just measures the general English proficiency of tertiary students commencing university education in Hong Kong, but also monitor their proficiency gains in discipline-related contexts beyond the foundation year.

Presentations:

  • A joint presentation by Edward Li and Sailor Cai ‘Towards a discipline sensitive English Language Proficiency Assessment’ at the Faces of English 2 Conference, organized by CAES, the University of Hong Kong from 1–3 June 2017.
  • A joint presentation by Ivy Sek and Jessica Chan ‘Revisiting communicative competence for a discipline-sensitive language test’ at the Faces of English 2 Conference, organized by CAES, the University of Hong Kong from 1–3 June 2017.
  • A joint presentation by Edward Li and with Ivy Sek ‘Developing a discipline-sensitive English Language Proficiency Assessment at the International Conference’ at ESP, new technologies and digital learning, organized by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University from 7–9 December 2017

The new ELPA test is undergoing continuous development.

English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) and the CAES Self-Access Initiative: Enhancing the Support of English in the Disciplines for HKU Students

Leader:
Ashley Hazell (Project Leader, Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)

Members:
Lorena Leigh (Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)
Janet Zhang (Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC)

Summary:
This proposal aims to expand self-access facilities and support for The University of Hong Kong (HKU) students outlined in a 2016 university document by recruiting a further two English Teaching Assistants to the three current assistants who can promote and support self-access activities in the CAES Advisory Zone, the Centre’s equivalent of a Self-Access / Independent Language Learning Centre. These additional two ETAs would help increase self-access provision for HKU students in a targeted manner by providing services that directly support the learning of students taking English Enhancement courses offered at CAES during years one to three at the HKU. The Self-Access Coordinator, along with CAES course Programme Coordinators would oversee the initiatives, which primarily include providing weekly English language workshops, discussions and advising that targets areas in the CUE and ED curricula that students may need further out-of-class help with or need to study independently on. An additional self-access provision with the employment of two additional ETAs would be to increase social English opportunities as this skill is not usually included in CAES academic and professional skills courses.

Website: http://www5.caes.hku.hk/az/

Enhancing disciplinary postgraduate thesis writing via a data-driven learning approach

Principal Investigator:
Dr. Lillian Wong (Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)

Co-investigators:
Dr. Peter Crosthwaite (Formerly of CAES until end of June 2017, presently at University of Queensland, Australia)
Dr. Lisa Cheung (Centre for Applied English Studies, the University of Hong Kong)

Source of funding:
Teaching Development Grants, The University of Hong Kong

Summary:
The project aims at providing a systematic multidisciplinary thesis writing support resource for teachers and students in the Graduate School Introduction to Thesis Writing course (and other postgraduate writing courses) and faculty supervisors, comprising a database of theses with tasks for individual learner development and language enhancement throughout their years of study at the university. It will enhance the learning opportunities for postgraduate students and the quality of their theses as well as the support teachers and supervisors provided in the thesis writing process of postgraduate research. It will also broaden the curriculum of the thesis writing course to meet the increasing expectations and needs of postgraduate students for more diverse discipline-specific teaching/learning resources.

Enhancing IELTS Grammar Training for “At-Risk” Students’ on Accelerated Learning Track Course (ALT) in the English Enhancement Curriculum

Leader:
Ms Blanche Chu (Centre for Language in Education, The Education University of Hong Kong)

Members:
Ms Shirley Chan, Dr. Jessie Choi, Mr. Ernest Chow, Ms Cherry Chow, Ms Catherine Lin, Ms Desiree Mao, Ms Fanny Wong (Centre for Language in Education, The Education University of Hong Kong)

Source of funding:
Teaching Development Grant, The Education University of Hong Kong

Summary:
This project aims to develop systematic grammar training materials for weaker students who are required by policy to take additional module hours on English enhancement. The materials target a “discovery approach” to address some of the fossilized grammar errors of local students.

Enhancing EdUHK Students’ IELTS and General Vocabulary through Incorporating e-Learning into English Enhancement Course

Leader:
Dr. Pamela Leung (Centre for Language in Education, The Education University of Hong Kong)

Member:
Dr. Amelia Tse (Centre for Language in Education, The Education University of Hong Kong)

Source of funding:
Teaching Development Grant, The Education University of Hong Kong

Summary:
This project aims at improving students’ vocabulary learning with individual student results documented by the reporting features of WordEngine, a commercial and visually stimulating vocabulary acquisition e-platform. Because vocabulary embedded in a course can encourage the development of good study habits and reflection, students can get personal satisfaction in vocabulary e-learning with WordEngine’s recycling activities, gaming, and detailed reports showing vocabulary growth within the project period.

Hong Kong Continuing Professional Development Hub (HKCPD Hub) for University Language Centres

Leader:
Dr. Lillian Wong (Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)

Co-Leaders:
Mr. Stephen Bolton (English Language Centre, City University of Hong Kong)
Ms Christy Chan (English Language Centre, City University of Hong Kong)
Ms Blanche Chu (Centre for Language in Education, The Education University of Hong Kong)
Mr. Adam Forrester (English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Dr. Nigel Huckstep (Center for Language Education, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC)

Summary:
This is a collaborative project among five English Language Centres in Hong Kong universities to develop a Hong Kong Continuing Professional Development Hub (HKCPD Hub) to strengthen English teaching efforts and improve student learning outcomes. The HKCPD Hub provides a framework for English teachers in the Hong Kong tertiary sector to engage in communities of practice and professional learning, to collaborate and share expertise. The HKCPD Hub organizes and encourages continuing professional development activities including seminars, forums, workshops, symposia and an international conference. Local scholars and international experts are invited to conduct workshops and lead seminars on innovation in English teaching and research. Colleagues from different English Language Centres also share best practices and research findings in English teaching and learning.

A HKCPD Hub dedicated website provides an online community to support English Language Centre colleagues’ continuing professional development needs and interests. The website showcases best practices and innovative projects as well as share resources. “Communities” in key areas of English language teaching and learning are formed to offer collaborative communities of practice for colleagues to share insights and best practices, exchange ideas and knowledge, solicit professional development support and work on projects together to explore innovation in English teaching and learning.

This project provides a systematic and supportive framework for continuing professional development that fosters active participation of English Language Centre colleagues across institutions in learning, discussion, sharing, collaboration and contribution for the advancement of English teaching and learning in Hong Kong universities.

Website: https://hkcpdhub.hku.hk/

ICOSA

Leaders:
Marc LeBane (Centre for English and Additional Languages, Lingnan University)
Andy Morrall (English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Fiona Williams (English Language Centre, City University of Hong Kong)

Summary:
This project, known as Inter-Institutional Collaborative Online Self- Access (ICOSA) project was a four- year inter-institutional project for the language centres of five tertiary institutions in Hong Kong (HK Polytechnic University, Lingnan University, Baptist University, City University and the Institute of Education) to create and share a range of English language self-access learning materials online via an online repository.

Materials: http://icosa.hkbu.edu.hk/

Publication: http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/4887/

Literacy in the Disciplines

Leaders:
Ms Shari Dureshahwar Lughmani (Project Manager, English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Dr. Hebe Wong (Coordinator I,  English Language Centre, City University of Hong Kong)
Dr. Elizabeth Bankowski (Coordinator II, Language Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University)
More details here.

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Summary:
This website has been developed as part of the UGC funded project, “Supporting and developing students’ English literacy practices in the disciplines” which is funded by the University Grants Committee’s Competitive Funding Scheme on Teaching and Learning for the 2012-2015 triennium. This inter-institutional literacy project aims to examine the provision of English literacy across three broad disciplines in Hong Kong tertiary institutes, namely Social Science, Science and Engineering in the participating institutions that include the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Baptist University. The website consists of a comprehensive support system to help provide a stimulating learning environment for students, content and language teachers. It also aims to help teachers become conversant with disciplinary genres and the linguistic and pedagogical resources suitable in a second language learning environment. The resources on this website will be open to and shared by all tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and beyond.

Website: http://literacy.elc.polyu.edu.hk/

Mastering the technical vocabulary of STEM

Leader:
Dr. Claudia Wong (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Co-Leaders:
Dr. KY Wu and Ms. Irene Ng ( Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Mr. Adam Tse (English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC)

Summary:
The project aims to develop resources for students of science and engineering and their teachers to support the learning and use of technical vocabulary. University English enhancement courses in Hong Kong tend to focus on academic English. Unfortunately, it is often assumed that students do not require assistance with technical language since this will be acquired during the study of content courses. However, recent research suggests that the role played by technical vocabulary in specialized texts has been significantly under-estimated. Technical vocabulary can account for a very large proportion (often over 30%) of the words in a text. The challenges represented by technical vocabulary in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content areas, particularly for second-language (ESL) students, are also receiving special recognition globally. Some studies suggest that the heavy load of technical vocabulary may even contribute to science avoidance by students.

The project addresses the above problems by creating learning resources based on technical words that are judged by Engineering and Science faculty to be important, including words known to be difficult for students. The resources (OLR) will be available to students on-line and take the form of interactive activities which are both motivating and effective for learning. The activities are presented as self-paced learning objects, with an initial diagnostic quiz which directs students to one of three levels of challenge based on their existing knowledge of the vocabulary of their discipline. The learning resources are intended to develop students’ ability to use technical vocabulary correctly both in written and spoken English. Ten STEM disciplines will be included.

Before the learning resources are created, the project first identifies technical vocabulary that is judged to be relevant and important for Hong Kong university students by Engineering and Science faculty. The first stage of the project involves the creation of ten subject-based corpora and ten subject-based vocabulary lists. The materials in the OLR are based on the vocabulary of the wordlists.

This project is in progress and its work will continue until 2020.

Online Project for the Improvement of University Speaking (OPTIMUS)

Leaders:
Dr David Gardner (Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)
Dr Ken Lau (Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)

Co-Leaders:
Dr Jane Robbins (English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Dr Hebe Wong (English Language Centre, City University of Hong Kong)
Mr James King (English Language Centre, City University of Hong Kong)
Mr Kevin Pat (Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)
Ms Jovi Chan (Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong)

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC)

Summary:
The goal of the Online Project for the Improvement of University Speaking Project (OPTIMUS) is to provide Hong Kong tertiary students with an online, self-access resource for the improvement of their English speaking skills. OPTIMUS is the product of a large UGC-funded project conducted collaboratively by HKU, CityU and PolyU. OPTIMUS is centred on a database of more than 60 video exemplars of authentic best-practice speaking from expert and peer presenters. The user interface allows learners a large degree of independence to tailor usage to their preferred learning styles and needs.

Website: http://optimus.hku.hk/home/

Writing across the disciplines: building self-paced online modules for senior undergraduates

Leader:
Dr. Claudia Wong (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Collaborators:
Dr. Nigel Huckstep (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Sean McMinn (Center for Language Education, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Source of funding:
HKUST Teaching Development Grant

Summary:
This project aims to fill the gaps between the existing English curriculum and the needs of senior undergraduates who are keen on gaining some research experience. The objectives of offering the self-paced online courses are two-fold: to promote autonomous learning as well as to offer academic support to students who need extra help with academic writing.

We are developing modules on Critical Review Writing and Proposal Writing and these modules include tasks related to the kind of reading students will need to do in order to write a critical review of proposal. The modules will be situated on HKUST’s LMS.

One of the major intended outcomes of the project is to promote autonomous learning among senior undergraduates, who may eventually become research postgraduates here or overseas. This is in line with the university’s objectives to promote critical thinking, to equip students with the essential skills for research and to facilitate knowledge exchange.

Language Enhancement for Capstone Projects Using Interactive Apps

Leaders:
Julia Chen (Director, Senior Lecturer [Concurrent appointment]; Educational Development Centre, English Language Centre; PolyU)
Winnie Yu (Professor, Faculty of Applied Science & Textiles, PolyU)

Co-leaders:
Christy Chan (Senior Tutor, English Language Centre, CityU)
Keith Tong (Acting Director, Centre for Language Education, HKUST)
Jose Lai (Director, English Language Teaching Unit, CUHK)
Christelle Davis (Lecturer, English Language Teaching Unit, CUHK)
Grace Lim (Teaching Fellow, English Language Centre, PolyU)
Angela Ng (English Section Head, Language Centre, HKBU)
Vicky Man (Senior Lecturer, Language Centre, HKBU)

Source of funding:
The Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC)

Summary:

  1. This project, comprising co-investigators from five UGC-funded tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, aims to achieve two major objectives:
    To enhance the English abilities that undergraduate students in different disciplines need to complete their capstone projects,
  2. To develop a mobile app for students to organize their capstone project ideas and to practice the English required at different stages of capstone projects, e.g. the English needed to write the abstract, literature review, methodology, findings, conclusion and recommendations of their report, and the English skills they need to verbally present and defend their thesis.

To achieve these two objectives, the project will bring together English language teachers and discipline academics/project supervisors, as well as experts in mobile app design, be they staff, students or experienced app developers. Language resources that are specific to the use of English for capstone projects in different disciplines will be developed. General language resources that address common English needs will also be produced. These resources will then be delivered to students via a mobile app. Students from different disciplines will have access to a capstone project English app that is developed specifically for them. This app will offer in-app and push notifications so that students will receive project reminders and relevant English resources at each stage of their capstone project process. Students can personalize the app for themselves and they can use other functions on their phones to help them generate ideas for their capstone project.

This project is in progress and its work will continue until Aug 2020.

Link:

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