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  • Journal Articles

    1. The correlation between out-of-school and in-school reading resources with primary school students’ reading attainment
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Information Research, 24(3), 2019
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: University of Borås
    Introduction. This study examines the impact of the availability of reading resources in the school, the classroom, the home and the social environment on the reading proficiency of Grade Four primary school students in Hong Kong.Method. Data about the reading performance of Hong Kong students in the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study is reported. The survey data of 3,875 Hong Kong primary school students’ reading performances were analysed.Analysis. The survey data of 3,875 Hong Kong primary school students’ reading performances and their access to out-of-school or in-school reading resources were statistically analysed using multilevel modeling.Findings. The analysis revealed that the number of books at home, the time readers spent reading at home, the literacy facilities in the school and in the home and the children’s use of school and local libraries significantly impacted their reading attainment. The results also showed the positive impact of home reading facilities and encouragement, and the use of public and school resources on the students’ reading attainment.Conclusion. This study applied multilevel modeling to simultaneously evaluate the impact of reading resources located in family, classroom and library on students’ reading attainments. It demonstrated the importance of access to reading materials in home and family environments for students’ reading attainment. Copyright © 2019 the authors.
  • Book Chapters

    2. Developing academic presentation competence in EAP classroom
    Document Type: Book Chapters
    Pages: 307-326
    Year published: 2017
    City published: Hauppauge, New York
    Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
    Academic presentation (AP) is the most common type of oral tasks for academic studies. It is not only a means for speakers to exchange their ideas with (and gain feedback from) members in the academic communities but also provides speakers with an opportunity to develop higher-order thinking skills, through the process of which construction of new knowledge takes place. Regarding its unique roles, speech functions, linguistic and discourse features, recent scholarly discussion and research findings on academic presentation suggest that AP should be taught as a genre, and yet there is still a scarcity of research-based pedagogical instruction or instructional materials designed for EAP contexts. To be able to deliver quality presentations, ESL/EFL learners, as new comers of the academic communities, not only have to face the linguistic and cognitive demands, but also develop new identities and roles that are often very different from their L1 cultures. This chapter discusses the needs of ESL/EFL learners and their challenges in developing academic presentation competence in EFL contexts, such as Hong Kong. Following on a review of the knowledge, skills and strategies pertaining to the development of academic presentation competence and a discussion about current EAP practices, a pedagogical framework for EAP settings, comprised of designated tasks and evaluation measures, is proposed. Copyright © 2018 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Journal Articles

    3. Developing and evaluating a flipped corpus-aided English pronunciation teaching approach for pre-service teachers in Hong Kong
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2020
    Publisher: Routledge
    This study aimed to develop a corpus-aided pronunciation teacher-training programme and examine the effectiveness of a corpus-aided pronunciation teaching approach in English classrooms in Hong Kong. A workshop was conducted for 86 participants to introduce several English learner corpora. After the workshop, eight volunteer participants, pre-service teachers in Hong Kong, were paired off, entered into a seven-stage corpus-aided pronunciation teacher programme and attended interviews. One pair was selected to give a trial lesson, and 13 primary school students were invited to evaluate this lesson. The results revealed that the training provided sufficient knowledge about corpus-aided pronunciation teaching and task design. The pre-service teachers expressed a strong willingness to use corpus data as examples to raise students' awareness of commonly mispronounced sounds. They agreed that the flipped instruction component was effective. Of the 13 primary school students, 83.33% agreed that they learned how to pronounce the target sounds correctly, and 75% were able to identify their mispronounced sounds via the corpus-aided teaching method. The findings will not only provide pre-service teachers with examples of corpus-aided pronunciation lesson plans and materials but also contribute to integrating the flipped classroom approach into teacher education programmes. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Journal Articles

    4. Exploring discipline-specific vocabulary retention in L2 through app design: Implications for higher education students
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: RELC Journal, 2020
    Year published: 2020
    Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
    In higher education, understanding discipline-specific vocabulary can be challenging. Insufficient vocabulary can be a major challenge for students as they begin their university studies. This study examined university undergraduate English language learners' discipline-specific vocabulary retention when they used an in-house developed mobile app, Books vs Brains@PolyU, in Hong Kong. A total of 159 second language (L2) students from four disciplines participated in the study, and they completed a pre- and posttest consisting of 120 words in four difficulty levels in their chosen disciplines. The results suggested that participants acquired more vocabulary words at the intermediate and advanced levels than at the beginner and elementary ones. The findings improve the understanding of MALL and vocabulary acquisition using apps to facilitate and support learners' academic studies. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).
  • Journal Articles

    5. The synergistic effect of phonology and songs on enhancing second/foreign language listening abilities
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Phonology in second/foreign (L2/FL) listening has not received much attention from scholars and teachers. This article reports on a mixed-methods study which set out to fill this gap by exploring the effectiveness of explicit instruction in phonology and the use of songs to enhance English-as-a-L2 (ESL) learners' listening abilities in Hong Kong. ESL learners (n = 92) aged 17-20 participated in a three-month experiment. Data from pre-, post-listening tests and semi-structured interviews were collated. The findings demonstrated the efficacy of L2 phonology instruction in improving learners' L2 listening. More remarkably, the positive effect was augmented when the instruction was coupled with phonological analyses of song lyrics. However, using songs alone for gap-filling exercises (as is commonplace in L2 classrooms) was not found to be effective.
    [Copyright of International Journal of Applied Linguistics is the property of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.]
  • Journal Articles

    6. The benefits of metacognitive reading strategy awareness instruction for young learners of English as a second language
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Literacy, (0), - , 2019
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    This paper presents a small-scale study examining the effects of metacognitive reading strategy instruction on English language learners' reading comprehension in a Hong Kong international school. Twenty-five primary school (Grade 5) students who learn English as a second language participated in this study. Metacognitive instruction was incorporated into 10 process-based reading lessons. Data were collected from notes learners took during reading, post-reading reflection reports, teacher-facilitated group discussions and two types of reading tests. Results revealed that the young learners could articulate several knowledge factors that influenced their reading. In addition, learners reported a better understanding of the nature and demands of reading, a deeper awareness of metacognitive knowledge in improving reading comprehension and increased confidence in handling reading exercises. The learners also showed enhanced reading performance compared to those in a control group without metacognitive intervention. This study highlights the potential of metacognitive instruction to enhance primary school English learners' reading literacy.
    [Copyright of Literacy is the property of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.]
  • Journal Articles

    7. From traditional to alternative feedback: What do L2 elementary students think?
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 29(1), 109-129, 2019
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    This study investigates students' perceptions about their teachers' adoption of a new way to use feedback in writing classrooms in two elementary schools in Hong Kong. The innovation comprises three feedback stages (i.e., pre-feedback, during-feedback and post-feedback) over the course of a teaching-learning cycle to maximize the potential of feedback to the learning effectiveness of the students. Data included student questionnaires, interviews with students and teachers, lesson observations as well as documentary analysis of teaching material. Results indicate that the students considered feedback delivery in the three stages as beneficial to their interest, confidence, motivation and self-perceived performance in writing. The article highlights the need to offer feedback in all three feedback phases to maximize its effectiveness and to offer a more positive learning experience to students.
    [Copyright of International Journal of Applied Linguistics is the property of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.]
  • Journal Articles

    8. From reading strategy instruction to student reading achievement: The mediating role of student motivational factors
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Psychology in the Schools, 56(5), 724-740, 2019
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    This study investigated the associations among reading strategy instruction, student motivational factors (i.e., attitudes toward reading, reading self-concept, and motivation to read), gender, and reading achievement. The analyses were conducted using the Hong Kong sample (students at Level 1, n=3,875 and teachers at Level 2, n=133) from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2011 through multilevel structural equation modeling. The results showed that, first, the relation between the frequency of reading strategy instruction and student reading achievement was mediated by student attitudes toward reading. Second, the frequency of reading strategy instruction was significantly related to student attitudes toward reading and motivation to read and student attitudes toward reading was significantly associated with reading achievement. Finally, girls had more positive attitudes toward reading, more positive reading self-concept, higher motivation to read, and higher reading achievement than boys. These findings may shed light on how teachers should arrange their reading strategy instruction to interplay with student attitudes toward reading and motivation to read and to help improve reading achievement.
    [Copyright of Psychology in the Schools is the property of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.]
  • Journal Articles

    9. Reading engagement and reading literacy performance: Effective policy and practices at home and in school
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Source: Journal of Research in Reading, 41(4), 657-679, 2018
    Year published: 2018
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Based on the data of Program for International Student Assessment 2009, this paper examines how various aspects of home literacy environment, school climate and students' reading engagement related to their reading performance. A profile of Hong Kong students' three indices of reading engagement - namely, reading enjoyment, reading diversity and online reading - relative to other East Asian societies is first presented. The relative contributions of different family-level and classroom-level factors on Hong Kong students' reading engagement are then examined by using hierarchical linear modelling. Assessment of the relative impact of the three engagement indices on reading performance shows that reading enjoyment is the strongest predictor. That home-school cooperation in cultivating a positive reading climate, nurturing a good reading habit for all students and enhancing the classroom and teaching climate appear to be promising avenues for improving students' reading engagement and performance may be of importance for shaping future policy and practice.
    [Copyright of Journal of Research in Reading is the property of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.]
  • Journal Articles

    10. Effects of a gamified learning platform on elementary school students' flow experiences in leisure reading
    Document Type: Journal Articles
    Year published: 2019
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Reading is the basis of most learning but is regarded by students as a boring activity in Hong Kong. Therefore, schools in Hong Kong have launched different reading programs to promote reading. One of the successful examples is Reading Battle which gamifies the reading comprehension assessments with points, levels, e-badges and leaderboard on an interactive learning platform. This study looked into how gamification affected the flow experience of students and discussed to what extent the nine flow dimensions were experienced by them, especially the heavy users of the gamified learning platform. This case study chose nine students from four different elementary schools in Hong Kong and adopted a mixed method such as questionnaires and interviews. While many students first did it for external motivation such as getting more points and ranking high on the leaderboard, the study found that the heavy users of Reading Battle became committed to reading and many enjoyed the flow experiences where they seemed to forget about time and discomfort and truly enjoyed the reading process.
    [Copyright of Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology is the property of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.]
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