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					    LANGUAGE CENTRE


   Self-Evaluation Document


               for


Academic Consultation Panel Visit



         7-9 December 2010




                 1
                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1   Mission & Vision
Chapter 2   Goals & Objectives
Chapter 3   Learning Outcomes & Graduate Attributes
            3.1   Outcome-Based Approaches to Teaching and Learning
            3.2   Learning Outcomes
            3.3   Graduate Attributes
Chapter 4   Organization & Administration
            4.1   Overview
            4.2   Organizational Charts
            4.3   Staff Resources
            4.4   Terms of Reference for Language Centre Committees
Chapter 5   Language Sections
            5.1 English Section
            5.2 Language Enhancement Programme
            5.3 Chinese Section
            5.4 Putonghua Section
            5.5 Foreign Language Section
Chapter 6   Quality Assurance
            6.1   Overview
            6.2   Internal Monitors
            6.3   External Monitors & Benchmarks
            6.4   Student Feedback
Chapter 7   Staff Profile
            7.1 Qualifications & Experience
            7.2 Research & Publications
            7.3 Staff Development
            7.4 Outstanding Achievements
Chapter 8   Support Services & Extracurricular Activities
            8.1 Self-Access Language Learning
            8.2 Library
            8.3 Information Technology

                                           2
            8.4 Extracurricular Activities
            8.5 Language Ambassadors/Tutors
Chapter 9   Challenges & Future Plans
            9.1 Self-Evaluation
            9.2 Plans for 4-Year Curriculum
            9.3 Future Challenges




                                             3
Appendices


1.    Summary Report of ACP Visit to the Language Centre (2003)
2.    Response to the Summary Report of ACP Visit (2003)
3.    Language Centre Annual Report on Language Enhancement Activities (2009)
4.    List of Courses Offered by the Language Centre
5.    Sample Course Syllabuses
6.    Academic & Teaching Staff Profile
               6.1 Individual Staff CV‟s
               6.2 Awards & Honours
               6.3 Scholarly & Creative Output
7.   List of Supplementary Materials1




1
  Owing to their voluminous nature (consisting of several large files), Supplementary Materials will be made
available on site during the ACP panel visit for quick reference.

                                                       4
                                       Chapter 1
                                  Mission & Vision


1.1   The mission of the Language Centre is (firstly) to equip HKBU students with the
      English and Chinese language skills needed for successful academic study and
      participation in university life, and (secondly) to help them acquire sufficient practical
      language skills to function effectively in society and their future workplace.


1.2   Hong Kong aspires to be an effectively biliterate (Chinese-English) and trilingual
      (Cantonese-Putonghua-English) society, and to live up to its reputation as „Asia‟s
      World City‟.   Education obviously has a key role to play in realizing these aspirations.
      Towards this end, the Language Centre endeavours to create a rich and diverse
      linguistic environment in HKBU, with innovative opportunities for language learning
      and language use.




                                              5
                                        Chapter 2
                                 Goals & Objectives

2.1   Language centres in Hong Kong‟s tertiary institutions have long been faced with the
      conundrum of whether to focus more on English for Academic and/or Specific
      Purposes (EAP/ESP), or on General English. From the 1990‟s to early 2000‟s, LC
      adopted an EAP-oriented approach, and its English courses were tailor-made for
      students from specific academic disciplines or fields, such as „English for Arts and
      Social Sciences‟, „English for Music‟, „English for Physical Education‟, etc.
      Meanwhile, the basic issue of the average HKBU students‟ general English
      proficiency came under increasing scrutiny from the University community as a whole.
      Taking into account the fact that around 80% of HKBU‟s first-year intake each year
      generally came with a score of „D‟ or lower in the A-Level „Use of English‟
      examination (which reflected relatively weak proficiency in English), and the public
      dissatisfaction with the standard of English of Hong Kong university graduates as a
      whole, it was decided by the University in the early 2000‟s that LC‟s English courses
      should concentrate more on strengthening the students‟ general English proficiency
      than be too narrowly focused on the use of English for specific academic purposes.


2.2   The current goal of LC‟s English language programme is therefore to help students
      acquire general proficiency in English of a level expected of those with a university
      education (regardless of their academic or professional specialties), to enable them to
      function effectively in society as well as in academic pursuits.       On top of general
      English, covering all the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking, there is
      an additional focus on the type of generic, transferable academic skills that are needed
      in studying any academic discipline at the tertiary level.             Discipline-specific
      vocabulary and discourse fall outside the province of LC, and are left to the respective
      academic departments.


2.3   The language requirements for HKBU students are laid down by the University‟s
      Senate.   Currently, all first-year undergraduates are required to take 3 to 6 units of
      English and 3 units of University Chinese, and a pass in both subjects is a requirement



                                               6
        for graduation.2      Students entering HKBU with a grade of „E‟ (a borderline pass) in
        the A-Level „Use of English‟ paper are required to take a „Bridging Course‟ during the
        week before the first semester begins. In addition, all students are required to reach a
        certain level of proficiency in Putonghua, failing which they will be required to take
        and pass a LC Putonghua course. All these measures are intended to ensure that all
        HKBU students will have effectively attained trilingual and biliterate competence by
        the time they graduate.


2.4     The approach adopted in the teaching of English in LC is basically communicative and
        task-based.     Accordingly, LC‟s classes are kept small in size, generally not exceeding
        22 students per class, in order to maximise teacher-student and student-student
        interaction.     While all four skills are covered, special emphasis is given to speaking
        and writing, as these are the two weakest areas in HKBU students‟ English
        proficiency3.     LC‟s Chinese courses, on the other hand, concentrate more on writing
        and reading, and to a lesser extent speaking and listening, as Chinese is the first
        language of virtually all of HKBU‟s students.              While LC teachers may make use of
        commercially available textbooks if they fully meet the objectives and requirements of
        particular LC courses, a high proportion of the instructional materials used in both
        English and Chinese have been specially designed by LC teachers, and are regularly
        revised and updated in the light of discussions in course team and Programme
        Management Committee (PMC) meetings, and feedback from students and peers.


2.5     To provide HKBU with a richer language-learning environment, LC supplements its
        core English and Chinese courses with a range of elective language courses (both
        credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing) designed to meet various practical or personal
        needs and interests of the students.            In keeping with Hong Kong‟s cosmopolitan
        character and its widening contacts in the international arena, LC provides students
        with ample opportunities to learn foreign languages which are of practical or cultural
        value to them. Currently, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese are on offer,
        with minors in French, German and Japanese.                          Furthermore, LC provides
        well-equipped facilities for self-access language-learning, for the benefit of those who

2
  Language (English and Chinese) will become part of the General Education curriculum in the new 4-year
degree structure from 2012 onwards; for more information, see 3.2.1.
3
  As revealed in the IELTS test each year, the scores for speaking and writing usually lag behind those of
reading and listening by as much as one point (on a 9-point scale).

                                                       7
do not have time to enroll in scheduled classes, or who prefer to learn in their free time
and at their own pace.




                                        8
                                     Chapter 3
               Learning Outcomes & Graduate Attributes


3.1   Outcome-Based Approaches to Teaching and Learning
3.1.1 The advent of the Outcome-Based approach to Teaching and Learning (OBTL), which
      was mandated by UGC and adopted by HKBU from 2007 onwards, has brought about
      a major re-thinking of HKBU‟s educational objectives and teaching practices. The
      gist of OBTL is this: Given that what matters most in education is not what is taught
      but what is learned, the objectives of our programmes and courses are best stated in
      terms of „Intended Learning Outcomes‟, i.e. what we intend our students to be able to
      do at the end of the course/programme.      For OBTL to have any real substance, it is
      necessary for the Intended Learning Outcomes to be „constructively aligned‟ with the
      Teaching/Learning Activities and Assessment Methods, to ensure that the intended
      outcomes are achieved and properly assessed.


3.1.2 For the past two years, LC has been re-thinking its courses along the lines of this
      approach, and by 2010, all of its courses/syllabuses have been revamped in the OBTL
      mode.


3.2   Learning Outcomes
3.2.1 Unlike most other academic departments, the Language Centre has (until now) not had
      a set of learning outcomes at the programme level, as it does not have a „programme‟
      or „curriculum‟ in the normal sense of a programme of study leading up to a degree in
      an academic discipline.   However, there are generic outcomes for the English and
      Chinese courses proposed for the new General Education core curriculum (to be
      implemented in 2012), as given below:

      English Language (6 units): Courses in this category aim to develop students‟ general
      proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and foster appropriate
      communicative strategies and greater effectiveness in the use of English in academic,
      professional, and social settings. After completing the required courses, students
      should be able to:


                                              9
              Identify and evaluate the main ideas in English texts in a range of genres;
              Comprehend English that is spoken in standard international accents in a
               variety of genres;
              Write English essays of an academic, expository or argumentative nature,
               expounding a theme or topic in a logical and coherent manner, with good
               grammar and choice of vocabulary;
              Participate in oral discussions and presentations in English in a coherent and
               effective manner;
              Improve    their     English   proficiency   independently   using    self-access
               multimedia resources.

      Chinese Language (3 units): Courses in this category aim to enhance students‟
      competence and interest in reading, writing, speaking and Chinese language
      knowledge, and to foster the linguistic proficiency and communication skills that are
      essential to their study and future careers. After completing the requirements in this
      category, students should be able to:

              Identify and evaluate the main ideas in Chinese texts in a variety of genres;
              Write Chinese essays of an academic, expository or argumentative nature,
               expounding a theme or topic in a logical and coherent manner, with correct
               grammar and appropriate choice of vocabulary;
              Speak and debate in public with effective techniques and confidence;
              Clearly describe the cultural content of Chinese language through concrete
               analyses of Chinese characters and idioms;
              Improve    their     Chinese   proficiency independently using        self-access
               multimedia resources.


3.2.2 All of LC‟s courses have now fully adopted the OBTL format, with a set of learning
      outcomes for every course which serve as a „blueprint‟ for its teaching/learning
      activities and assessment methods. Of all academic subjects, language teaching is
      perhaps one of the most naturally „outcome-oriented‟, given that the goal of every
      language course is to help students achieve a certain level of proficiency in particular
      language skills, and to stimulate their motivation for language-learning.     A sample of
      LC‟s syllabuses (in English, Chinese and foreign languages, and at both undergraduate


                                               10
       and postgraduate levels) are attached in Appendix 5, as an illustration of LC‟s learning
       outcomes and how they are aligned with teaching/learning activities and assessment
       modes.


3.3    Graduate Attributes
3.3.1 For decades, HKBU has been pursuing the goal of Whole Person Education (WPE), an
       ethos which pervades its curriculum and co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
       More recently, in tandem with the OBTL approach, HKBU has further elaborated its
       WPE concept in terms of more concrete and specific institutional learning outcomes,
       in the form of a set of „Graduate Attributes‟, as detailed below:


3.3.2 HKBU‟s Graduate Attributes:


       „An education at HKBU aims at developing all aspects of the whole person --
       intellectual, professional, moral, spiritual, cultural, social and physical.   In particular,
       it aims to foster the following attributes among its graduates, who should:


       1.    Have up-to-date, in-depth knowledge of an academic specialty, as well as a
             broad range of cultural and general knowledge;
       2.    Be able to think critically and creatively;
       3.    Be independent, lifelong learners with an open mind and an inquiring spirit;
       4.    Have trilingual and biliterate competence in English and Chinese, and the ability
             to articulate ideas clearly and coherently;
       5.    Have the necessary information literacy and IT skills, as well as numerical and
             problem-solving skills, to function effectively in work and everyday life;
       6.    Be responsible citizens with an international outlook and a sense of ethics and
             civility;
       7.    Be ready to serve, lead and work in a team, and to pursue a healthy lifestyle.


3.3.3 The above set of Graduate Attributes informs the design of all courses in LC, and not
       just GA #4 (on language) alone.         For example, LC courses attempt to inculcate
       independent learning skills and literacy and IT skills, which students will need for
       lifelong learning; stimulate students‟ critical and creative thinking through


                                                11
reading/writing tasks which are appropriately challenging; and raise their civic and
ethical awareness, and expand their general knowledge, through discussion of issues
of current relevance.




                                     12
                                          Chapter 4
                         Organization & Administration

4.1    Overview
4.1.1 The Language Centre is the largest department in the Faculty of Arts, with 36 full-time
       teaching staff, 32 part-time teaching staff, 11 administrative and technical staff, and 11
       teaching support staff [cf. 4.3 for a detailed breakdown]     The Head of LC oversees
       the work of the entire Centre (cf. Figure 1 in 4.2), with the teaching staff divided into
       four organizational sections: English (Figure 2), Chinese (Figure 3), Putonghua
       (Figure 4), and Foreign Languages (Figure 5). Each section has its own section head,
       and the staff members in English, Chinese, and Putonghua sections are primarily made
       up of full-time teachers who design and teach both credit-bearing and non-credit
       bearing courses. The Foreign Language section is made up of part-time (adjunct) staff,
       led by a full-time LC staff member who is able to teach a foreign language besides
       English. In addition, the Outreach and Development section, overseen by the LC Head,
       encompasses all initiatives related to teaching and research development, as well as
       outreach initiatives (Figure 6).


4.1.2 All full-time teaching staff in LC are also members of the Language Enhancement
       Programme in their respective sections (English, Chinese or Putonghua). The LEP
       comprises all the non-credit bearing courses, workshops and enhancement services
       provided by the Language Centre. Because the English section offers (by far) the
       biggest range of such courses and services and the highest number of enrolled students,
       the English LEP has its own Section Coordinator (Figure 7) who has representation on
       the Programme Management Committee. The English Head and English LEP Section
       Coordinator work closely together to ensure alignment in terms of desired learning
       outcomes and appropriate resourcing to achieve these outcomes, with the relevant staff
       working in both sections (i.e. main and LEP).


4.1.3 Each language section in LC has a unique set of goals: e.g., the English section is
       charged with improving students‟ general English proficiency. The outcomes are
       measured by HKBU final-year students‟ performance in IELTS.                 Other major
       responsibilities of the English section include running writing and speaking contests,

                                               13
        as well as operating the English language lab and the English Learning Oasis. The
        primary goal of the Chinese section is to teach University Chinese and run the Chinese
        Writing Enhancement Service. The Putonghua Section is responsible for implementing
        the PTH Graduation Requirement4, and the Foreign Language section offers a Minor
        Programme in French, German, and Japanese.


4.1.4 The Language Centre set up a Programme Management Committee (PMC) in 2009
        in order to oversee the curriculum changes and challenges involved in the new 4-year
        curriculum beginning in 2012.          The PMC is made up of the LC head, all the section
        heads/coordinators mentioned above (English, English LEP, Chinese, PTH and
        Foreign Languages), plus up to three ad-hoc members. In what follows, the
        organizational chart for each section is presented, followed by the Terms of Reference
        for each LC Committee. Then, in the following chapter, each section will provide
        detailed information on the courses and services they provide.




4
 All HKBU undergraduates are required to demonstrate proficiency in Putonghua by either passing a proficiency
test or taking a Putonghua course offered by LC. [Cf. Section 5.4.]

                                                     14
4.2        Organizational Charts
         [NB. The names of heads/coordinators of various sections are those currently in effect,
         but may rotate in future.]


Figure 1: General




                                                                                                 Head


                                                                                         Prof. Kathleen
                                                                                            Ahrens




       English                         English LEP                             Chinese                           PTH Section                             Foreign                      Outreach &
       Section                           Section                               Section                                                                  Languages                     Development
                                                                                                                                                         Section                        Section

      Dr. Huang                        Ms. Patricia                            Dr. Ho                             Ms. Leung                       Ms. Angela Ng                   Prof. Kathleen
      Yue Yuan                          Warren                                Shing Bon                           Man Fong                                                           Ahrens




Figure 2: English Section



                                                                                                       Head

                                                                                                Prof. Kathleen
                                                                                                   Ahrens




                                                                                                  English
                                                                                                  Section

                                                                                                  Dr. Huang
                                                                                                  Yue Yuan




                                                                                                           English
                                                   Credit-                                                Learning                  Extra-                Seminars &    Library and     LC Website
                                                  bearing                                                Oasis (Web-              curricular              Conference     Resource       & Language
                                                   Course                                                   based                 Activities              Information      Room           Inquiry
                                                                                                          Learning)                                                                        Forum
                                                  Dr. Huang                                                                        Mr. Chan                  Dr. Lu      Dr. Chew
                                                                                                         Ms. Connie                                                                      Ms. Connie
                                                  Yue Yuan                                                 Leung
                                                                                                                                   Kin Wing                Dan Huai     Kheng Suan
                                                                                                                                                                                            Leung




        English I        English II     Electives       Foundation      EAP Chinese    Humanities                         Speech          Short Story
                                                                         Medicine                                         Contest          Writing
                                                                                                                        Mr. Chan Kin        Contest
       Dr. Elizabeth     Mr. Chan       Dr. Huang      Dr. Cissy Li &    Dr. Huang    Ms. Rita Singh                   Wing & Mr. Jesse    Mr. Brian
        Bankowski        Kin Wing       Yue Yuan       Dr. Carol Lam     Yue Yuan                                          O’Reilly         Bittner




         Advanced        Advanced       Current        Lang. Use &        PSPW
         Listening     Pronunciation     Event           Comm.
            Dr.                                                         Mr. David
                                       Prof. Tony      Dr. Cynthia
         Elizabeth      Ms. Vicky
                                                           Lee          Gardner
         Bankowski        Man            Hung




                                                                                                                           15
Figure 3: Chinese Section



                                                                                                          Head


                                                                                                    Prof. Kathleen
                                                                                                       Ahrens




                                                                                                      Chinese
                                                                                                      Section

                                                                                                       Dr. Ho
                                                                                                      Shing Bon




                            Credit-                                                                 Chinese LEP                                          Playwriting        Seminars          Library and
                            bearing                                                                                                                      Competition                           Resource
                            Course                                                                                                                                                               Room

                             Dr. Ho                                                                   Dr. Ng                                               Dr. Law           Dr. Ng              Dr. Law
                            Shing Bon                                                                Hok Chung                                              Ching           Hok Chung             Ching




                                                                                          Supplementary
        University         Foundation          Electives                     WES              Courses            Workshops             Web-based
         Chinese            Courses                                                         (including                                 Learning
                                                                                            Summer &                                    (SALL)
                                                                                          Winter Courses)

         Dr. Ho             Mr. Wong           Individual                  Mr. Tang          Dr. Ng               Individual            Mr. Tang
        Shing Bon           Wai Ho,           coordinators                 King Yu          Hok Chung            coordinators           King Yu
                             Hugo




Figure 4: Putonghua Section




                                                                                                             Head


                                                                                                      Prof. Kathleen
                                                                                                         Ahrens




                                                                                                             PTH
                                                                                                            Section

                                                                                                         Ms. Leung
                                                                                                         Man Fong




                       Credit-                                                               PTH LEP                                                   PTH             PTH Lab             PTH             LC Website
                       bearing                                                                                                                      Graduation                           Speaking           (Prepare
                       Course                                                                                                                       Requirement                           Contest            Chinese
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Version)
                      Ms. Leung                                                              Ms. Chau                                                Ms. Leung         Ms. Leung        Mr. Zhou               Mr.
                      Man Fong                                                               Lai Suen,                                               Man Fong          Man Fong         Bo, Victor           Zhou Bo,
                                                                                              Stella                                                                                    (by rotate)           Victor




                                                                          Supplementary
  Elementary         Intermediate       Advanced /             SES            Courses       Workshops             Web-based            Screening      COPA
  Putonghua           Putonghua         Advanced-                           (including                            Learning               Test
                                          Plus                               Summer                                (SALL)
                                                                             Courses)
 Mr. Zhou              Ms. Chau          Mr. Zhou            Mr. Zhou       Ms. Chau        Individual                Ms. Lam           Ms. Chau      Ms. Chau
 Bo, Victor            Lai Suen,         Bo, Victor          Bo, Victor     Lai Suen,      coordinators               Hoi Yung,         Lai Suen,     Lai Suen,
                        Stella                                               Stella                                    Vienna            Stella       Stella




                                                                                                                                  16
Figure 5: Foreign Languages




                                                                                                                            Head


                                                                                                                        Prof. Kathleen
                                                                                                                           Ahrens




                                                                                                                          Foreign
                                                                                                                         Languages
                                                                                                                          Section

                                                                                                                         Ms. Angela
                                                                                                                             Ng




                                             Credit-                                                        Supple-                                                               Extra-
                                             bearing                                                        mentary                                                             curricular                                                Scholarships
                                             Courses                                                        Courses                                                             Activities
                                           Ms. Angela                                                         Ms.                                                               Ms. Vicky                                                 Ms. Angela
                                               Ng                                                          CarrieAnne                                                             Man                                                         Ng
                                                                                                              Tam




                                                                                                                                                        Festivals &                                    Study            Seminars &
      French *          German *             Italian *        Japanese *        Spanish #                                                                 Events                                      Abroad             Talks for
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Programmes           Students
                                              Ms.
     Mr. Jean-          Mr. Ulrich          Barbara            Team             Ms. Carina                                                               Ms. Vicky                                   Ms. Angela          Ms. Angela
     Luc Rey              Gast               Dalle          Coordination           Pico                                                                    Man                                           Ng                  Ng
                                             Pezze                               Martinez




                                                                                                                           International
                                                                                                                            Festivals &
                                                                                                                           Other Foreign        French           German          Spanish
                                                                                                                             Language
                                                                                                                              Events
                                                                                                                            Ms. Vicky          Mr. Jean-        Mr. Ulrich      Ms. Carina
                                                                                                                              Man              Luc Rey            Gast             Pico
                                                                                                                                                                                 Martinez
    * with Minor Programme and Web-based Learning
    # with Web-based Learning




Figure 6: Outreach & Development




                                                                                                                                    Head


                                                                                                                              Prof. Kathleen
                                                                                                                                 Ahrens




                                                                                                                              Outreach &
                                                                                                                              Development
                                                                                                                                Section

                                                                                                                              Prof. Kathleen
                                                                                                                                 Ahrens




                                       Teaching                                                                                Research                          Intervarsity     IT/LAB                       Learning         ACP (6-year     LC Staff
                                                                                                                                               LC Publicity                                   Self-funded
                                      Development                                                                             Development                          Writing      Development                    Commons           Review)        Interest
                                                                                                                                                                                               Courses
                                                                                                                                                                 Competition                                                                     Group
                                      Prof. Kathleen                                                                            Dr. Huang        Ms. Vicky         Dr. Chu        Mr. Leo     Prof. Kathleen      Ms. Rita       Prof. Tony    Dr. Dan Lu
                                         Ahrens                                                                                 Yue Yuan           Man           Siu Cheung         Yu        Ahrens              Singh            Hung




Chinese Inter-    PTH Inter-                                                                                            Research            Research            Post-
                                      OBTL         Workshops /          LEI              SDF             SDF
 institutional   institutional                                                                                          Working               Data            graduate
    Sharing        Sharing                          Retreats                                              Prof.          Papers            Management        Applications
    Events          Events                                                                              Kathleen                                              & Inquiry
  (bi-yearly)     (bi-yearly)                                                        Prof. Kathleen   Ahrens & Ms.
                                     Prof. Tony    Prof. Kathleen   Prof. Kathleen                                      Dr. Huang          Mr. Oliver         Dr. Huang
    Dr. Chu        Ms. Leung                                        Ahrens           Ahrens & Dr.       Patricia
                                       Hung           Ahrens                                                            Yue Yuan             Chan             Yue Yuan
  Siu Cheung       Man Fong                                                           Cynthia Lee       Warren




                                                                        Assessment        Advising         IELTS




                                                                                                                                                17
Figure 7: Language Enhancement




                                                                                                                Head


                                                                                                        Prof. Kathleen
                                                                                                           Ahrens




                                                                                                         English LEP
                                                                                                           Section

                                                                                                          Ms. Patricia
                                                                                                            Warren




                 Supplementary
                Courses (including                                                  IELTS Task    Bridging             WES          Special                                                    Requested
                 Winter Course)
                  Ms. Patricia
                                                                                       Force       Course                          Workshops                                                   Workshops/
                     Warren                                                                                                                                                                     Courses
                (Summer Course)
                 Dr. Chew Kheng
                                                                                    Mr. David    Ms. Patricia      Dr. Cissy Li   Ms. Patricia                                                 Ms. Patricia
                    Suan/ Ms.                                                       Gardener      Warren                           Warren                                                       Warren
                 CarrieAnne Tam




    IELTS                                       Special                                                                                                                 Students                                 Individual
  Preparation                                   Interest                                                                                                                                                           Staff
                                                Courses                                                                                                                                                         Consultations

   Mr. David                                Ms. Patricia                                                                                                               Ms. Patricia                             Ms. Patricia
   Gardener                                  Warren                                                                                                                      Warren                                  Warren




                Productive           Business          English       Study Skills                                                                Interviews       LPATE        Post-graduate       CRE
                   Skills                             Through…         (SALL)                                                                                   Preparation     Presentation    Examination
                                                                                                                                                                                   Skills
                                                     Programmes

                Ms. Patricia         Mr. David        Ms. Patricia   Miss Connie                                                                 Ms. Patricia   Ms. Patricia       Dr. Carol     Dr. Cissy Li
                 Warren              Gardner           Warren          Leung                                                                       Warren         Warren             Lam




                                                                                                                                  18
4.3       Staff Resources
                                                LC Staff Resources (as at 4 October 2010)
I. Teaching Staff (Overall)
            Professor Associate         Senior      Lecturer I    Lecturer II     Assistant   Teaching Language        Language     Part-time   Total No.
                        Professor      Lecturer                                   Lecturer    Assistant Ambassador       Tutor      Lecturer     of Staff
No. of          2            4            13            5             9              2           2         11              1           22           71
Staff
Percentage   2.82%        5.63%        18.31%        7.04%         12.68%           2.82%      2.82%        15.49%       1.41%       30.99%          100%

Ia. Full-time Teaching Staff
                  Professor         Associate           Senior         Lecturer I      Lecturer II     Assistant     Total No. of Staff
                                    Professor          Lecturer                                        Lecturer
No. of Staff          2                 4                 13                5              9              2                 35
Percentage          5.7%             11.4%              37.1%             14.3%          25.7%          5.7%               100%

Ib. Teaching Support Staff
                  Teaching       Language             Language         Total No. of Staff
                  Assistant     Ambassador              Tutor
No. of Staff          2             11                    1                      14
Percentage         14.29%         78.57%               7.14%                    100%

II. Support Staff – General Administration
                Executive     Executive    Secretary              General         Technical         Assistant         Technical       Total No. of
                  Officer     Assistant                            Clerk           Officer       Technical Officer    Assistant          Staff
No. of Staff         1           3             1                     2                3                 1                 2                13
Percentage         7.7%        23.1%         7.7%                 15.4%            23.1%              7.7%             15.4%             100%




                                                                          19
Figure 8: Administration

                                                              LANGUAGE CENTRE
                                                 ORGANIZATIONAL CHART of ADMINISTRATION (2010-11)


                                                                                                                                Head


                                                                                                                           Prof. Kathleen
                                                                                                                              Ahrens




                                                                                                                             Executive
                                                                                                                              Officer

                                                                                                                             Ms. Gladys
                                                                                                                              Cheung




                                                      Administrative                                                                                                                        Technical
                                                        Support                                                                                                                              Support




             Language                  Credit-bearing                  Development                Functions /
           Enhancement                    stream                                                                                                                          Technical                          LC Web-based
                                                                                                  Activities /
            Programme                                                                                                                                                      Support                            management
                                                                         1 EA                      Publicity
                                                                 -ACP Visit                                                                                     1 Technical Officer                        1 Technical Officer
                                                                 -SDF projects                                                                                  1 Assistant Technical Officer
                1 EA                    1 Secretary              -2012 new curriculum                1 EA
                                                                 -LEI project
                                                                 -LEAP Programme
                                                                 -Putonghua Graduation
                                                                 Requirement

                                                                                                                                                                                                         ELO &          PTH Lab
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lang Lab

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Technical      Technical
                                                  2 General Clerks
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Assistant       Assistant



      Note: Co-ordinators of LEP, IT, Functions / Activities, Publicity, Labs and Web Officer will also oversee the relevant tasks of their respective areas.




4.4            Terms of Reference for Language Centre Committees
               Teaching and learning in LC is managed by a number of committees, starting with the
               Programme                                         Management                                             Committee                                    (PMC),                             which                       oversees   the   entire
               language-teaching enterprise in LC.                                                                                                  Each individual language section is managed by
               its own committee, comprising (normally) all the teachers of the particular section, and
               chaired by the section head or coordinator.                                                                                                                                 The terms of reference for each
               individual committee are as follows:


4.4.1 THE PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (PMC)
               MEMBERSHIP
               Chair:                                     Head of Language Centre
               Secretary: Executive Officer of LC or other designated staff
               Members: Head of English Section
                                                          Head of English LEP Section
                                                          Head of Chinese Section
                                                          Head of Putonghua Section
                                                          Head of Foreign Languages Section
                                                          Up to three co-opted members

                                                                                                                                                     20
    TERMS OF REFERENCE


    1. To review proposals for new credit-bearing courses and ensure that they are of a
         satisfactory standard in terms of content and format;
    2. To review the syllabuses to prepare for evaluation including learning outcomes,
         teaching/learning activities and assessment methods of existing credit-bearing
         courses, and recommend revisions where necessary;
    3. To oversee curriculum development in the Chinese, Putonghua, English, Foreign
         Languages and English LEP Sections;
    4. To oversee initiatives to improve and enhance language teaching;
    5. To evaluate future directions for development.


4.4.2 ENGLISH SECTION COMMITTEE


    MEMBERSHIP
    Chair:       Head of English Section
    Secretary: Designated staff
    Members: Head of LC (ex officio)
                  All full-time teachers of the English Section


    TERMS OF REFERENCE


    1.    To discuss university policies pertaining to English Language, and make
          recommendations where necessary and appropriate;
    2.    To review the LC English curriculum on a regular basis, and recommend changes
          or updates where necessary;
    3.    To monitor the examination results of credit-bearing English courses;
    4.    To identify and discuss staff development needs in the English section and
          recommend appropriate measures;
    5.    To identify and discuss general problems and issues in the teaching/learning
          (including self-access learning) of English in LC and recommend appropriate
          solutions;
    6.    To provide a forum for the development of English-teaching materials in LC;
    7.    To oversee LC‟s co-curricular and extra-curricular English language activities.

                                            21
4.4.3 CHINESE SECTION COMMITTEE


    MEMBERSHIP


    Chair:     Head of Chinese Section
    Secretary: Designated staff
    Members: Head of LC (ex officio)
               Coordinator of the Putonghua section
               All full-time teachers of the Chinese Section


    TERMS OF REFERENCE


    1.   To discuss university policies pertaining to Chinese Language, and make
         recommendations where necessary and appropriate;
    2.   To review the LC Chinese curriculum (including Chinese LEP but excluding
         Putonghua) on a regular basis, and recommend changes or updates where
         necessary;
    3.   To monitor the examination results of credit-bearing Chinese courses;
    4.   To identify and discuss staff development needs in the Chinese section and
         recommend appropriate measures;
    5.   To identify and discuss general problems and issues in the teaching/learning
         (including self-access learning) of Chinese in LC and recommend appropriate
         solutions;
    6.   To provide a forum for the development of Chinese-teaching materials in LC;
    7.   To oversee co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in Chinese.


4.4.4 PUTONGHUA SECTION COMMITTEE


    MEMBERSHIP


    Chair:     Coordinator of Putonghua Section
    Secretary: Designated staff
    Members: Head of LC (ex officio)
               Head of Chinese Section (ex officio)

                                          22
                 All full-time teachers of the Putonghua Section


   TERMS OF REFERENCE


    1.   To      discuss   university   policies   pertaining   to   Putonghua,   and   make
         recommendations where necessary and appropriate;
    2.   To review the LC Putonghua curriculum on a regular basis, and recommend
         changes or updates where necessary;
    3.   To monitor the examination results of credit-bearing Putonghua courses;
    4.   To identify and discuss staff development needs in the Putonghua section and
         recommend appropriate measures;
    5.   To identify and discuss general problems and issues in the teaching/learning
         (including self-access learning) of Putonghua in LC and recommend appropriate
         solutions;
    6.   To provide a forum for the development of Putonghua-teaching materials in LC;
    7.   To oversee co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in Putonghua.


4.4.5 ENGLISH LANGUAGE ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME (LEP) STANDING
    COMMITTEE


    MEMBERSHIP


    Chair:         Coordinator of English LEP
    Secretary:     Designated staff
    Members:       Head of LC (ex officio)
                   Head of English Section (ex officio)
                   Coordinators of the various sub-sections of LEP, i.e.:
                   English Bridging Course (EBC), Writing Enhancement Service (WES),
                   Speaking Enhancement Service (SES), IELTS Courses, Self-Access
                   Language-Learning (SALL), Supplementary Courses (Coordinator and
                   Assistant Coordinator)




                                             23
    TERMS OF REFERENCE


    1.   To identify and discuss students‟ English Language Enhancement needs and
         recommend appropriate initiatives;
    2.   To review the English LEP curriculum on a regular basis, and recommend
         changes or updates where necessary;
    3.   To review the pre-tests, post-tests and quizzes of English LEP courses, and
         monitor the results.


4.4.6 FOREIGN LANGUAGE COMMITTEE


    MEMBERSHIP


    Chair:        Coordinator of Foreign Languages
    Secretary:    Designated staff
    Members:      Head of LC (ex officio)
                  All teachers of the Foreign Language Section


    TERMS OF REFERENCE


    1.       To review the LC Foreign Language curriculum on a regular basis, and
             recommend changes or updates where necessary;
    2.       To identify and discuss general problems and issues in the teaching/learning of
             Foreign Languages in LC and recommend appropriate solutions;
    3.       To oversee co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in Foreign Languages.




                                            24
                                         Chapter 5
                                   Language Sections

In this chapter, the work of the various sections of LC will be described, particularly in the
context of changes over the last 6-7 years (since the last ACP visit).


5.1    The English Section


5.1.1 Overview
       Over the years, and particularly since 2004 (when the University revamped its
       undergraduate curriculum), LC has been engaged in a continual process of
       re-structuring its English curriculum to meet the diverse and changing needs of the
       students, and strengthen their basic English skills to enhance their competitiveness.
       The English curriculum consists of three components: (1) compulsory (core) courses,
       (2) elective credit-bearing courses, and (3) non-credit-bearing supplementary courses.


5.1.2 Core English courses
       One major change in the past 6 years has been the increase of the English language
       requirement from 3 to 6 units. The two core English courses (totaling 6 units) are:
            LANG1491 – English I
            LANG1492 – English II


       English I, which aims at raising the students‟ basic proficiency, is taken in the first
       semester by all first-year students with a grade of „D‟ or „E‟ in the A-level „Use of
       English‟ (UE) examination („E‟ being a bare pass, and the minimum requirement for
       admission to HKBU). English II is taken by all first-year students in the second
       semester regardless of their UE grade, and aims at developing their English
       proficiency to a level commensurate with the expectations of a university education.
       For English II, students with a grade of „A‟, „B‟ or „C‟ in UE are grouped together in
       more „advanced‟ classes.     A pass in English I (where applicable) and English II is a
       graduation requirement, and students who fail in either course are required to re-take it
       until they succeed in getting a pass.   [The syllabuses for English I and II are attached
       under Appendix 5.]

                                               25
5.1.3 Elective English courses
      To broaden the students‟ language skills and cater to individual interests and needs, the
      English Section offers a number of elective credit-bearing courses, some focusing on
      specific communicative or productive skills:
           LANG2220 - English through Current Events
           LANG2210 - Advanced English Pronunciation
           LANG2230 - Advanced Listening in English
           LANG 2140 - Language Use and Communication: Theory and Practice
           LANG3620 - Public Speaking and Practical Writing


      In addition, the English Section regularly offers a wide range of non-credit-bearing
      supplementary courses to meet the diverse interests of the students.         For further
      details, see 5.2.3 below (LEP).


5.1.4 Quality Assurance mechanisms
      In the English Section (as in the other sections), each course (both credit and
      non-credit bearing) is overseen by a course coordinator who is responsible for: 1)
      preparing and updating the course syllabus; 2) developing and revising the course
      materials; 3) designing the assessments; 4) dealing with problems related to the course.
      English I and English II are by far the biggest courses in the English section, with
      around 1,000 and 1,400 students respectively and taught by around 20 teachers each.
      The coordinators of these two courses form their own course teams respectively with
      2-3 other colleagues to help manage the course.      With such large courses, a major
      quality assurance concern is standardizing and moderating the assessment grades.
      Markers‟ meetings are held regularly for major assessment tasks (such as written
      assignments and exams), where the team of teachers (1) discuss the marking criteria;
      (2) mark 3-5 sample scripts; (3) compare each others‟ marks; and (4) further discuss
      the marking criteria and arrive at a consensus.   At the markers‟ meeting for the final
      examination, each teacher presents the final grades of her/his classes and reports on
      any special cases, followed by discussion and approval by the whole course team.
      The syllabuses and materials for all English courses are regularly reviewed and revised
      by the respective coordinators and course teams in the light of feedback and


                                             26
       discussions.


5.2.   Language Enhancement Programme


5.2.1 While HKBU has a minimum entry requirement for English (i.e. a grade of „E‟ in the
       A-level Use of English exam, which is a bare pass), a high proportion – usually around
       80%, or in sheer numbers, around 1,100 -- of its yearly student intake are at or near
       this minimum, with a UE grade of either „D‟ or „E‟. Accordingly, the mission of the
       Language Enhancement Programme (LEP) is primarily to help raise the general
       English proficiency of the students most in need of help, and to supplement the core
       courses (English I and II) by enhancing specific language skills which the students
       need in their academic study or future careers.   For this purpose, LC offers a range of
       non-credit-bearing supplementary courses in both semesters as well as during the
       winter and summer breaks. [For a full list of LEP courses, see Appendix 4]


5.2.2. English Bridging Course (LANG 0030): This 15-hour, 5-day intensive course, first
       introduced in 2004, is compulsory for all incoming students with a grade of „E‟ in the
       A-level „Use of English‟ exam. It is offered in two phases over two weeks before the
       start of the First Semester each year. The course focuses on English speaking and
       listening skills, and aims at preparing incoming students with a weak command of
       English for an English-medium university environment, and building up their
       confidence in communicating in English.


5.2.3 Non-credit-bearing (Supplementary) courses: Since 2003, LC has been steadily
       increasing the number of non-credit-bearing supplementary courses from 9 to over 30,
       in response to students‟ language needs, and requests from other departments/units.
       Students enroll in these courses voluntarily to develop their language skills for
       personal interest, examination preparation, or other practical reasons. The courses
       range from 5 to 30 hours in duration, and focus on four main areas:
            productive language skills (speaking and writing)
            integrated language skills (e.g. the „English Through…‟ courses, in which
             students focus on content and/or learning strategies as well as language)
            workplace-related courses


                                              27
           examination preparation


      Approximately 60% of LEP students enroll in the IELTS preparation courses. While
      postgraduate students can also enroll in supplementary courses, LC has specifically
      designed two courses to help them with the writing of their dissertations and making
      oral presentations.


5.2.4 Workshops: LC runs a variety of workshops, some at the specific request of other
      departments/units in HKBU. Among the workshops held are IELTS preparation, Job
      interviews, Common Recruitment Exam preparation, etc.


5.2.5 Writing Enhancement Service (WES): The WES aims to improve students‟ writing
      ability in English through small group tutorials (with 3–5 participants), where students
      are streamed according to their language needs, year and major subject. Individual
      consultations are offered to final-year students who are writing their Honours Projects,
      and to postgraduate students.

5.2.6 Speaking Enhancement Service (SES): The SES aims to improve students‟ speaking
      ability in English through individual or small group tutorials. The service was first
      launched in mid-January 2010. Students can seek consultations with tutors five times
      during a semester, and their improvement is measured through the pre- and
      post-tests.


5.2.7 Academic Staff Consultations: Since 2006, LC has been offering individual
      consultations to HKBU academic staff (particularly those from non-traditionally
      English-speaking countries like mainland China) who wish to improve their spoken
      English and presentation skills. The aims of these consultations are to help participants
      to identify their own pronunciation needs, provide guidance and practice on the
      pronunciation of English, and give tips on how to make English presentations more
      effectively. Though the number of staff who have opted for these consultations has
      been small (owing presumably to personal reasons), improvements in their spoken
      English       have a far-reaching impact on all the students they teach.




                                                 28
5.2.8 Evaluation of Supplementary Courses and Services: In addition to the standard
      course evaluation, the IELTS courses and most of the productive language skills
      courses and work-related courses have pre- and post-tests to gauge their effectiveness.
      Some courses, e.g. English Pronunciation and Honours Project Writing, also have
      pre-and post-self-evaluation questionnaires. For details of these effectiveness
      measurements, see the latest LC Annual Report (attached under Appendix 3).


5.2.9 Language Centre Publicity: LC regularly publicizes various English language
      activities held in HKBU on its website http://lc.hkbu.edu.hk/activities_e.php.        In
      2008, LC established a new Publicity Team to promote its supplementary courses,
      workshops, services and extra-curricular activities as well as Academic Staff
      Consultations throughout the university.


5.3   The Chinese Section


5.3.1 The Chinese Section aims at providing Chinese language courses of different levels
      and types to meet the needs of HKBU students in pursuing their studies and future
      careers, and in achieving the necessary biliterate and trilingual competence to function
      effectively in Hong Kong society.     In addition, the section aims at developing and
      enhancing the students‟ potential in Chinese creative writing.


5.3.2 Credit-bearing courses: The bulk of the Chinese Section‟s work is to teach the
      compulsory core course „University Chinese‟ (LANG1480) to all first-year students.
      The aim of the course is to develop the Chinese literacy of the students to a level
      expected of university graduates, particularly in writing, and also in reading and public
      speaking skills.   [The syllabus for University Chinese is attached under Appendix 5.]
      In addition, the section has designed various credit-bearing elective courses to cater to
      the needs and interests of the students, including the courses „Creative Writing in
      Chinese‟, „Creative Writing: Modern Chinese Poetry‟, „Learning to Write in Chinese
      Through Reading Masterpieces‟, „Modern Chinese Drama: Appreciation and
      Playwriting‟, „Chinese Writing for Business and Public Administration‟, „Modes of
      Writing in Chinese‟, and „Refining Chinese Writing Skills‟.




                                             29
5.3.3 Supplementary       courses:    The      Chinese   Section   offers   non-credit-bearing,
      supplementary courses on Honours-project writing, creative writing, Cantonese
      pronunciation, and pre-employment Chinese examination preparation, for students
      who want to take them out of personal interest or need, without having to use up their
      limited credit units.


5.3.4 Language Enhancement Service: The Chinese Section offers two free services to
      enhance students‟ language proficiency, i.e. the Writing Enhancement Service (WES)
      and the Cantonese Pronunciation Improvement Service (CPIS).             It also conducts
      workshops on preparing for the Common Recruitment Examination and the
      Cantonese/Putonghua dinner table, and provides students with a wide range of
      materials       through        its       self-access    language-learning        website
      [http://lc.hkbu.edu.hk/sall/chinese/].


5.3.5 Service and support to other departments and units: The Chinese section takes an
      active role in providing services to other departments/units in HKBU in response to
      their requests. These have included the Common Recruitment Examination and Joint
      Recruitment Examination preparation workshops and talks for the placement section
      of the Student Affairs Office, Chinese language courses and Chinese assessments for
      students of the School of Chinese Medicine, and (from 2003-2009) for the Music
      Talent Development Programme of the Music Department.


5.4      The Putonghua Section


5.4.1 As Putonghua (Mandarin) is fast becoming a basic civic requirement for graduates
      entering Hong Kong society, the Putonghua Section has the pressing task of raising the
      Putonghua proficiency of HKBU students to the expected level.               In 2007, the
      University introduced a Putonghua requirement whereby all students who are native
      speakers of Cantonese are required to demonstrate foundation proficiency in
      Putonghua by either passing a test or taking a Putonghua proficiency course offered by
      LC.   The aim of the Putonghua Section is to equip students with the necessary
      Putonghua listening and speaking skills, and vocabulary and usage, to meet the
      challenges of society and the workplace upon graduation.


                                               30
5.4.2 Overview of Courses offered
      The Putonghua Section offers both credit-bearing and non-credit bearing courses to
      students, ranging from elementary to advanced levels. In addition, supplementary
      courses for specific purposes are available for students with such needs.    The regular
      Putonghua courses (from elementary to advanced levels) focus on training students to
      speak and comprehend Putonghua through practice in pronunciation, oral reading,
      daily conversations and speaking on specific topics. Effectiveness and efficiency of
      comprehension skills are emphasized, and the Pinyin system is taught to enhance
      accuracy and fluency.     Besides these regular courses designed for local students, the
      Putonghua Section also offers Mandarin courses for non-Chinese speakers. [For a list
      of Putonghua courses offered by LC, see Appendix 4]


5.4.3 Other services
      In addition to the above courses, the Putonghua Section offers a range of other services
      to help students improve their Putonghua skills:
      (i)    Speaking Enhancement Service (SES): In groups of 2-3, students meet with
             their tutor once a week for 3-4 weeks. They are asked to speak on topics
             assigned by the tutor, who will correct their mispronunciations and help them
             improve their general oral skills.
      (ii)   Self-Access Learning Language (SALL): The Putonghua SALL helps students
             and colleagues to learn Putonghua and sharpen their communication skills at
             their   own      pace.    Learning        tools   include   a   SALL      website
             [http://lc.hkbu.edu.hk/sall/pth] and a Putonghua Language Laboratory, where
             students can self-access a wide range of materials and develop independent,
             lifelong learning skills in the process. [See report on the Putonghua Language
             Laboratory in 8.1.6]
      (iii) Computerized Oral Proficiency Assessment for Putonghua (COPA): This is
             offered to students already proficient in Putonghua who want to fulfill the
             graduation requirement by taking a proficiency test. The test is scheduled twice a
             year (in January and June), and is computerized and conducted in LC‟s
             Putonghua Language Laboratory.
      (iv) Workshops: The Putonghua Section offers a series of workshops to cater to
             students‟ needs. These include Interview workshops, which help students
             become more confident in their future job interviews conducted in Putonghua,

                                                  31
                 and COPA workshops, given the day before a COPA test to familiarize students
                 with the test procedures and for them to try a mock version of the test.


5.5       Foreign Language Section


5.5.1 Compared with six or seven years ago, the Foreign Language section of LC has
          undergone significant expansion. The repertoire of foreign languages has increased
          from three (French, German and Japanese) to six – Spanish, Italian and Korean having
          been added in the meantime.5           More significantly, since 2009-2010, LC has started
          offering the three most popular languages, i.e. French, German and Japanese, as a
          Minor option: in accordance with university-wide regulations, students who take at
          least 15 credits of an approved subject can declare it as a Minor. This development
          entailed strengthening the number and substance of foreign language courses offered
          by LC, the success of which is a tribute to the dedication of LC‟s part-time
          foreign-language staff.       In a university which lacks a foreign languages department,
          LC is proud to be able to offer these Minors to HKBU students, to meet the
          multi-national language needs of a cosmopolitan „world city‟ like Hong Kong.           [See
          Appendix 4 for a full list of Foreign Language courses.]


5.5.2 Student enrolment in foreign language courses
          With the expansion in foreign language provisions, there has been a corresponding
          growth of interest among HKBU students in learning a foreign language.            A minority
          of these students (mainly English and translation majors) study a foreign language to
          fulfill their major‟s core requirement, while the vast majority take it as an elective.
          The number of students taking credit-bearing foreign language courses in recent years
          has averaged about 650 per semester, while the number taking non-credit bearing
          supplementary courses has averaged around 200 per semester.            So far, 74 students
          have graduated with a Minor (21 in French, 17 in German and 36 in Japanese).


5.5.3 Foreign Language Activities
          The Foreign Language Section, though it consists primarily of part-time lecturers, has
          organized many extra-curricular activities in collaboration with other parties within

5
    Owing to variable demand, Korean is not offered regularly every year.

                                                        32
      and outside the HKBU community to stimulate students‟ interest and learning.
      Among these are the International Festival, German Fest, French Festival, Japan Week,
      Cultural Diversity Week, and study tours to Italy, France and Japan. Other activities
      include visits to museums, career seminars, and talks and workshops by invited
      speakers. All of these have been well-received by both the international and local BU
      students.   Two years ago, the LC also started to organize teaching development
      seminars for teachers of foreign languages in Hong Kong.


5.5.4 Achievements of teachers and students of foreign languages
      To show appreciation for the effort HKBU has put in to promote foreign languages,
      the French, Spanish and Italian Consulates have in the past few years awarded
      subsidies and scholarships to one lecturer and more than 200 students of foreign
      languages, which enabled them to further their foreign language study experience.
      Last year, one of our French students won first prize in the First Inter-varsity French
      Speech Contest in Hong Kong, a remarkable achievement for a non-major competing
      against French majors from other universities.




                                            33
                                       Chapter 6
                                 Quality Assurance


6.1    Overview


6.1.1 At the institutional level, the University‟s Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) is the
       main body which sets and reviews all institutional policies and procedures on the
       quality of teaching and learning. Among these is the six-yearly peer review by an
       Academic Consultation Panel (ACP), and the peer review and accreditation of new
       programmes.


6.1.2 Since the last ACP visit to LC in 2003, the Quality Assurance mechanisms for teaching
       and learning in HKBU have undergone a major devolution from centralized
       committees such as CARC (Course Accreditation and Review Committee) to
       individual faculties, departments and programmes, with a view to encouraging
       ownership of academic processes at the grass roots level.      Since then, LC has -- under
       the broad oversight of the Arts Faculty -- assumed responsibility for assuring the
       quality of its own courses and teaching.         In this, it makes use of a combination of
       internal and external monitoring mechanisms and benchmarks.


6.2    Internal Monitors


6.2.1 In common with other academic departments at HKBU, teaching quality is internally
       monitored by LC‟s own Programme Management Committee (PMC, cf. 4.4.1), which
       has overall responsibility for guiding and overseeing curriculum development in LC,
       and the various section committees (English, Chinese, Putonghua, Language
       Enhancement, and Foreign Languages – cf. 4.4.2-6), which monitor course
       development and assessment results in their respective sections.       At their respective
       levels, these committees collectively ensure that LC‟s curriculum and courses (both
       new and old) are of a consistently high quality, that they meet the changing needs of
       the students and of Hong Kong society, and that LC‟s assessment standards are
       consistently and equitably maintained.        The PMC reports to the Faculty/School Board,

                                                34
      which in turn is accountable to the Senate for (inter alia) the quality of delivery of the
      Faculty/School‟s programmes.


6.2.2 In monitoring the quality of LC‟s courses, the committees make use of a variety of
      feedback, including: (i) Assessment results, from examinations, tests, assignments and
      other teaching/learning activities, which provide important data on the extent to which
      the students have successfully attained the objectives or learning outcomes of the
      course; (ii) Teaching Evaluation results, which provide an indication of the quality of
      teaching and learning from the learners‟ point of view; and (iii) Individual course
      questionnaires, which elicit the students‟ evaluation of the usefulness and quality of
      the course itself (as opposed to teaching quality).


6.3   External Monitors & Benchmarks

6.3.1 The chief external benchmark for the English proficiency of HKBU graduates is the
      IELTS test, which has served as a de facto English „exit test‟ for all tertiary institutions
      in Hong Kong since 2003. All students in UGC-funded institutions are subsidized
      (by UGC) to take this voluntary test in their final year. The performance of HKBU
      students in IELTS has risen steadily over the years, from an overall average score of
      6.11 (on a scale of 1-9) and 6th place (among the 8 UGC-funded institutions) in 2003,
      to over 6.5 and a steady 4th place from 2006 onwards (behind HKU and CUHK and
      slightly behind HKUST).       The most recent IELTS scores, averaging 6.62, serve to
      confirm the overall English standard of HKBU graduates as being slightly closer to
      „good user‟ (7.0) than „competent user‟ (6.0), especially with respect to Reading and
      Listening (over 7.0 respectively).




                                               35
                                       IELTS Results
             Average Overall Scores and Sub-scores of HKBU students 2002 -2010

IELTS              Average      Average       Average        Average    Average     No. & % of
Results            Reading      Listening     writing       speaking     overall    final year SS
                  sub score     sub score    sub score      sub score     score     participated
2002-2003           6.34            6.16       5.87           5.87         6.11       633; 51%
2003-2004           6.73            6.37       5.99           5.95         6.32       719; 50%
2004-2005           6.77            6.76       6.08           6.08         6.49       790; 55%
2005-2006           7.02            6.83       6.00           6.08         6.55       819; 54%
2006-2007           6.99            6.91       5.98           5.98         6.53       960; 61%
2007-2008           6.95            6.82       5.88           5.94         6.46      1,074; 69%
2008-2009           7.17            7.06       5.92           5.98         6.60       997; 62%
2009-2010           7.17            7.13       5.90           6.02         6.62      1049; 65%



          The lower performance in Speaking and Writing is a trait which HKBU graduates
          share with other university graduates in Hong Kong (even from the best institutions).
          It is a weakness which HKBU seeks to redress in its 4-year curriculum, with a new
          course on Public Speaking (cf. section 9.2) and a new Speaking Enhancement Service.


6.3.2 Since the abolition of the External Examiner system in the early 2000‟s, the main
          external monitoring mechanism for HKBU‟s programmes (including LC) has been the
          Academic Consultation Panel, which is a six-yearly peer-review process.     The panel
          comprises six (or more) distinguished academics in the chosen field, most of whom
          from overseas. The ACP‟s terms of reference include all matters pertaining to the
          quality of teaching and learning in the programme as well as the effectiveness of its
          administration.     It therefore constitutes a thoroughly comprehensive and in-depth
          review of a programme‟s „state of health‟. [The last ACP report on LC in 2003, and
          LC‟s response, are attached in Appendices 1-2.]


6.4       Student Feedback


6.4.1 Considering that success in teaching is measured most of all by how well it is received
          and by the learning outcomes, LC attaches great importance to feedback from students,
          both through informal and formal channels.




                                                 36
6.4.2 A major source of student feedback to assess and improve the quality of teaching is the
          online Teaching Evaluation (TE) exercise held at the end of every semester, whereby
          feedback on every course and teacher is systematically collected via a questionnaire
          with a rating scale and written comments.               All teachers are then encouraged to
          respond online to the students‟ feedback, which provides a chance for them to respond
          to criticism (just or unjust) and clear up potential misunderstandings, as well as to
          reflect seriously on their own teaching and hold themselves accountable for their
          performance.6


6.4.3 The TE results thus serve as an important indicator of the teachers‟ performance from
          the students‟ point of view, and offer insights into teaching improvement. On a
          regular annual basis, the Head of LC discusses the TE results and students‟ written
          comments with individual staff members, assesses their professional development
          needs, and recommends follow-up action where necessary.                     In problematic cases,
          this is followed up in subsequent reviews by checking on whether the staff has
          addressed the problems discussed earlier and made demonstrable improvements.


6.4.4 With the on-going implementation of OBTL (Outcome-Based Teaching & Learning),
          LC realizes that the evaluation of teaching will need to go hand-in-hand with the
          evaluation of the students‟ learning experience, to provide more direct evidence of the
          quality of learning that has taken place.          It has been cooperating actively with the
          newly re-constituted Centre for Holistic Teaching and Learning (CHTL) in piloting a
          new „Learning Experience Questionnaire‟, which may become standard practice for all
          HKBU courses in the near future.




6
    Samples of students‟ TE comments and staff responses will be provided in the Supplementary Materials.

                                                       37
                                         Chapter 7
                                       Staff Profile


7.1    Qualifications & Experience


7.1.1 Exceptionally among language centres in Hong Kong universities, LC is staffed not
       only by lecturers (whose main duty is teaching), but academics on the professorial
       track, whose duties include both teaching and research.    Among its full-time teaching
       staff of 36, there are 6 academics (two professors and four associate professors).
       This helps to ensure that LC does not just remain a „service department‟ which offers
       language instruction only, but a centre which carries out innovative research in
       linguistics, applied linguistics and other language-related studies, and where
       language-teaching is informed by the latest theories and research.      In addition, it is
       worth noting that there are no fewer than 8 PhD holders among the 30 lecturer staff,
       most of whom did their PhD while teaching full-time in LC, which is a testament to
       the commitment of the staff concerned, and the importance that LC attaches to
       professional development.


7.1.2 The minimum qualification for a lecturer post in LC (from assistant lecturer to senior
       lecturer) is a Master‟s degree in linguistics, applied linguistics or a language-related
       field.   In addition, previous teaching experience in tertiary institutions is (depending
       on the rank) a prerequisite or (for the lowest ranks) at least a strong advantage.     As
       can be seen from their profiles (cf. Appendix 6), LC can boast a highly qualified team
       of teachers with many years of aggregated teaching experience.


7.2    Research & Publications


7.2.1 The academic staff of LC have a varied background in linguistics and applied
       linguistics, which accounts for the richness and variety of their research and
       publications. Variously, their linguistic research includes the core areas of linguistics
       (phonology, syntax, semantics and discourse), as well as their applications to, or
       interface with, language teaching and learning.        Perhaps better than any other

                                               38
       department at HKBU, LC‟s research profile exemplifies the university‟s ideal of
       teaching stimulating research and research feeding into teaching.     LC staff, including
       both academic and lecturer staff, have engaged in an impressive number of research
       and teaching development projects, at all levels ranging from RGC‟s competitive
       ear-marked research grants (CERGs), to the University‟s faculty research grants
       (FRGs) and teaching development grants (TDGs). [For a list of recent publications
       and research grants by LC staff, see Appendix 6.3]


7.2.2 No less robust than its research output and activities is LC teachers‟ literary and
       creative output, especially in Chinese: LC boasts some of Hong Kong‟s most
       distinguished Chinese writers among its staff, who have won an impressive number of
       literary honours and awards.     It is therefore fitting that LC should have fostered
       among its students an exceptional number of talented Chinese writers and literary
       prize winners.


7.3    Staff Development


7.3.1 Staff development is an initiative which is pursued both at the institutional and
       faculty/department levels.   One of the most important institutional efforts to promote
       teaching quality in HKBU is the Teaching Development Grant (TDG), which supports
       initiatives by the teaching staff to develop new approaches, methods and technologies
       in teaching, and new materials, software and course designs, with a maximum funding
       amount of $200,000 per project.     Participation by LC staff in TDGs has been active
       and productive, with a total of 11 projects completed in the last 7 years.


7.3.2 LC recognises that quality building is at least as important as quality evaluation.     It
       therefore pays special attention to professional development, and organises regular
       seminars and workshops where experts both from LC and from outside institutions can
       share their research, insights and practice, with a view to promoting the quality of
       teaching/learning and research among LC staff.        [A list of recent LC seminars is
       available online at: http://lc.hkbu.edu.hk/te/seminar.php, and included in the
       Supplementary Materials.]



                                               39
7.4   Outstanding Achievements


7.4.1 Over the years, LC staff have accumulated an enviable number of awards, prizes and
      honours in recognition of their outstanding contributions to teaching, scholarship,
      creative work and service. Among these are the HKBU President‟s Awards for
      Teaching (Dr Chu Siu Cheung 2003, Dr Ho Shing Bon 2006, Assoc. Prof. Wu Yin
      Ching 2009) and Service (Prof. Tony Hung 2002, Dr Cynthia Lee 2006).       [A list of
      the awards and honours received by LC staff is attached under Appendix 6.2.]




                                           40
                                                  Chapter 8
                   Support Services & Extracurricular Activities

It may be a truism to say that learning does not stop outside the classroom, but it is another
matter to do something about it.           Given the strictly limited class hours provided for language
learning, LC realizes the importance of encouraging students to continue learning outside the
classroom -- and even beyond graduation -- by providing opportunities and incentives for
language learning, and various language activities to stimulate their interest and involvement.


8.1       Self-Access Language Learning (SALL)

8.1.1 Advances in educational technology in recent decades have brought about a mini
          revolution in self-access learning, and enabled teachers and institutions to offer
          learners more extensive opportunities to continue their learning independently outside
          the classroom and (hopefully) as a lifelong endeavour. Since its beginnings about a
          decade ago, LC‟s Self-Access Language-Learning (SALL) component has been
          offering an ever-increasing range of language-learning resources to students, including
          workshops, software and Web-based materials, and a multimedia lab (the „English
          Learning Oasis‟).        Information on all these resources is easily accessible on the SALL
          website (http://lc.hkbu.edu.hk/sall/).


8.1.2 The English Learning Oasis (ELO) is a multimedia language-learning laboratory
          which is open to students throughout the week, and throughout the year.                It offers
          students an independent study environment with readily accessible materials in which
          they can develop their English proficiency as active participants outside the classroom.
          The list of software is regularly reviewed, augmented and updated, to meet the needs
          of our students and to support LC‟s teaching.              A language advising corner (with one
          staff on duty) has been set up in the lab to offer help and guidance to students.

8.1.3 The following list gives a general idea of the wide range of SALL‟s resources and
          services for students:7



7
    A full list of language learning software is provided in the Supplementary Materials.

                                                         41
       (1) SALL workshops (2009-2010)

       A. IELTS Preparation
        Reading & Writing
        Listening & Speaking
        Writing Task 1 & 2
        Speaking
        How to Prepare for IELTS

       B. Improving your Vocabulary
        Using Online Tools
        Recording and using new vocabulary

       C. Self-Study Skills
        Setting a study plan
        How to study English more effectively

       D. Improving your Writing
        Learning to write accurately and fluently


       (2) SALL resources on the Web

       English language learning websites
        HKBU English Language Activities
        Language Inquiry Forum
        IELTS Information Website
        Teaching and Learning Website

       LC English course websites
        LANG1491 English I
        LANG1492 English II
        LANG2210 Advanced English Pronunciation
        LANG2230 Advanced Listening
        SUPE1030 Cantonese I


8.1.4 LC maintains usage figures for its SALL facilities and resources, which show that they
       have been actively used by students. The most recent statistics are given below:




                                             42
Usage of SALL online resources (1 Sept 2009 - 24 Apr 2010)
                                                                       No. of hits -
Pages                                                                     Total


Self-Access Language Learning (SALL) website

Self-Access Language Learning – English                                  19,233

SALL Resources on the Web                                                 8,896

SALL Workshops and Services                                               1,876

English Learning Oasis (ELO)                                              2,506

Other LC English language learning websites

IELTS Information Website                                                 1,622

Language Inquiry Forum                                                   10,541

HKBU English Language Activities                                          7,611

Teaching and Learning Website                                              568

LC English course websites (supplementary materials)

LANG1491 English I (home page only, not including individual units)       3,234

LANG1492 English II (home page only, not including individual units)      1,023

LANG2210 Advanced English Pronunciation                                    156

LANG2230 Advanced Listening                                                230

SUPE1030 Cantonese I                                                        47



1st Semester: Total frequency of users (1 Sept 2009 – 1 Dec 2009)
  Total frequency                                                        1,816

  Average time spent in the ELO (per visit)                             57 mins


2nd Semester: Total frequency of users (11 Jan 2010 – 24 Apr 2010)
  Total frequency                                                        1,527

  Average time spent in the ELO (per visit)                             55 mins




                                                   43
8.1.5 Chinese Self-access Learning


      The Chinese SALL website, first set up in 1999, provides a range of self-access
      language learning materials for students to download, including mock examination
      papers for the “Common Recruitment Examination - Use of Chinese”, online self-tests
      of basic language skills, and a variety of language learning resources.                 LC is
      progressively converting existing SALL materials into audio learning materials to
      facilitate students‟ learning.     As an indicator of usage of the SALL website, there
      were a total of 11,150 hits for the past 8 months on the link for „SALL materials‟. The
      average monthly hits were 1,394.


      Chinese SALL web page: Number of hits (1 Sep 2009 – 31 Apr 2010)
                                                                                    Average
     Links          Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec    Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    Total   monthly
                                                                                      hits
     SALL
                    1491   1750   1369   1053   1185   1129   2044   1129   11150    1394
     Materials

     Main Page      938    1036   837    608    711    507    2001   1183   7821     978

     Online
     Language       488    567    415    492    443    383    822    549    4159     520
     Test

     Useful Links   193    272    190    133    161    131    462    245    1787     223




8.1.6 Putonghua Self-Access Language Learning


      Putonghua self-access learning is supported mainly by a dedicated SALL website
      [http://lc.hkbu.edu.hk/sall/pth] and a Putonghua Language Laboratory, which together
      provide a range of self-learning materials, computer and multimedia software and
      equipment to enhance students‟ Putonghua speaking and listening skills. The
      Putonghua Language Laboratory (PLL) has 30 computers, each equipped with a
      headset and built-in microphone, and installed with the Infinity DLL language
      laboratory teaching and learning system and various Putonghua self-learning software.
      The DLL system provides users with practice in pronunciation, oral reading, listening

                                                  44
 comprehension etc., as well as oral communication with Putonghua speakers in
 academic and social settings, and preparation for various public examinations.     The
 PLL is open to students throughout the year, with a duty staff on hand to recommend
 suitable learning materials.    The PLL also houses the Putonghua Computerized Oral
 Proficiency Assessment (COPA) system to allow learners to practice sample questions
 in preparation for COPA. The PTH Self-Access Language Learning website
 (http://lc.hkbu.edu.hk/sall/pth) is updated on a regular basis, with a new bilingual
 language interface (Chinese and English) to meet the needs of local and overseas
 students and staff members.     Self-access links on the website include:


A.   Audio materials for Putonghua courses (for students taking the courses only)
B.   Introduction to Putonghua Pronunciation
C.   Self-learning materials (for students to download)
D.   Putonghua Speaking Enhancement Service
E.   Introduction to Putonghua Language Laboratory
F.   Putonghua Shuiping Ceshi Course
G.   Preparation for COPA
H.   Putonghua Speech Contest

The usage figures for the Putonghua SALL webpage are given below:
Table 1 Putonghua SALL webpage: Number of hits (2009-2010)
                                               09-10         09-10
Pages                                          st
                                               1 Sem        2nd Sem
Main page (主頁)                                 7,249         7,239

PTH Pinyin introduction (語音簡介)                 3,001         1,930

Self-learning materials (自學材料)                 5,255         6,289

Course page (課程資料)                             8,643         10,259

Link page (有用連結)                               1,367         1,125



Table 2 Putonghua SALL Language Laboratory: Number of users (2009-2010)
Pages                                     09-10 1st Sem   09-10 2nd Sem

Number of users (students)                      576           585

Total hours used (for courses, training
                                               453.5          435
workshops etc.)
Percentage of hours used
                                               66.9%         57.9%
(out of total available hours)




                                          45
8.2    Library


8.2.1 Through its two Library Coordinators (English and Chinese), LC works closely with
       the university library to ensure that it provides the best possible support for the needs
       of LC‟s teachers and students.      Specifically, the Library Coordinators have five
       objectives in mind: 1) to monitor LC‟s library allocation and ensure effective spending
       of funds for new and recurrent library materials; 2) to review approved materials and
       assist in the selection of titles from publishers‟ catalogues; 3) to work with the library
       on special projects such as selection of new serial subscriptions; 4) to keep the library
       informed of LC‟s curriculum changes and new research interests;           5) to keep LC
       updated on news about new or improved library facilities and services.


8.2.2 As an example of LC‟s library budget, in 2008-2009 LC was allocated HK $260,685
       for books and AV materials, plus $184,716 for periodicals, totaling $445,401 in all.
       Up to 85% of the LC library budget has to be spent by the end of December each year.
       Thus, the judicious and timely selection of books and other library materials is a top
       priority for LC‟s Library Coordinators, who scour book catalogues, the internet, and
       library shelves for prospective titles, in consultation with LC staff and taking into
       account LC‟s needs. Normally, LC manages to utilise virtually all of its library budget.
       Through the years, LC has helped the library build up a good collection of books and
       journals in various languages and language-teaching/learning purposes.


8.3    Information Technology


8.3.1 LC‟s IT Committee is responsible for overseeing and formulating strategies for the use
       of information and communication technology to support teaching and learning. Each
       full-time teaching staff is provided with a desktop computer in their office. There is a
       powerful multimedia computer in the Resource Room for teachers to edit video clips or
       create animations. The photocopier located on each floor allows teachers to scan and
       store student work electronically for research or teaching purposes. Apart from the
       standard computing equipment such as computers, digital visualisers and electronic
       whiteboards in the LC classrooms, teachers may borrow notebook or netbook
       computers to facilitate collaborative learning among students in class.

                                               46
8.3.2 In addition to conducting regular workshops on the basic operation of the BU eLearning
       1.0 (formerly called BUMoodle), and the anti-plagiarism software „Turnitin‟, the IT
       Committee also organizes internal seminars for colleagues to share their teaching
       experience in e-learning. LC‟s IT needs are supported by three technicians who are
       highly proficient in technical know-how and programming languages, in particular for
       web-design and e-learning. They have a bachelor‟s or master‟s degree in computer
       science or similar discipline, with several years of working experience.


8.4    Extra-curricular Activities

8.4.1 English extra-curricular activities
       To stimulate students‟ interest in using English outside the classroom, especially for
       creative purposes, the English Section organizes two annual open contests in the
       university each year:


               The English Speaking Contest               (since 2001)
               The Short Story Writing Competition        (since 2005)


       The English Public Speaking Contest is usually held in mid-October, and is open to all
       UGC-funded students who are non-native speakers of English.        It is divided into two
       categories: Poetry Recitation and Public Speaking. After the first-round screening by
       LC staff, six to eight students from each category are selected for the final round,
       which is adjudicated by academics and professionals from HKBU‟s English
       Department or other institutions. The winners receive book vouchers and trophies
       while the other finalists are awarded merit prizes.         The Short Story Writing
       Competition, held in the second semester, is open to all Year I students, to motivate
       them to apply what they have learnt in class (in English I-II) and to stimulate their
       creativity. Each year, eight topics on various themes are provided to the students, and
       they then proceed to write their own stories of around 800 words. After screening and
       pre-selection, the finalists (around 35) are adjudicated by external judges, and the
       winners receive book vouchers and trophies.




                                              47
8.4.2. Putonghua Speech Contest
      The annual Putonghua speech contest is organized by LC every November.           A total
      of 554 participants have taken part in this contest during the past 6 years (of whom
      298 proceeded to the finals), attended by audiences totaling 726.        The contest is
      divided into the following components, each with three winners: (i) solo speaking
      (mother-tongue) group, (ii) solo speaking (non-mother tongue) group, (iii) choral
      speaking (mother-tongue) group, (iv) choral speaking (non-mother tongue) group, and
      (v) drama group. On top of that, two grand awards -- the „most outstanding‟ award and
      the „most creative‟ award – are also given out. The division into native and non-native
      Putonghua speakers is done not only out of fairness, but to provide local students with
      extra incentive to emulate native speakers. Each contest is adjudicated by 5 to 6
      judges (both external and internal), who not only provide valuable comments on the
      contestants‟   performance,    but    also   give   impressive    demonstrations     and
      mini-performances of their own.


8.4.3 The Intervarsity Creative Writing Competition (大學文學獎)
      The Competition, which was launched in 2000 and held every two years, is
      co-organized by the Arts Faculty and Language Centre. Over the years, a total of 19
      tertiary institutions have joined this competition, and two collections of winning pieces
      have been published. The Competition is divided into 3 categories: short story, poetry
      and prose. Its aim is to stimulate students‟ interest and enhance their skill in creative
      writing. Undergraduate and postgraduate students and recent graduates are eligible to
      join. The adjudicating panel comprises nine renowned overseas and local writers and
      educators in contemporary Chinese literature. Since its inception, the Intervarsity
      Creative Writing Competition has become one of the most prestigious literary
      competitions in Hong Kong, and can boast among its winners several of Hong Kong‟s
      most promising and active young writers, such as Mak Shu Kin (麥樹堅), Lui Wing Kai
      (呂永佳), Tang Siu Wa (鄧小樺) and Tse Hiu Hung (謝曉虹). Eleven of the prizes in
      the competition over the years have been won by students who have taken LC‟s courses
      (LANG2130 and LANG2240).


8.4.4 Other writing competitions: The Chinese section of LC also organizes other creative
      writing competitions to encourage and promote creative writing among students, and


                                             48
      (indirectly) a lifelong love of Chinese writing. They include the „Playwriting
      Competition 舞 台 劇 本 創 作 比 賽 ‟, launched in 2008.             In 2009, the organizing
      committee extended it to include an English section, to enable other students
      (especially international students) to take part.    Six prizes are awarded for the
      Chinese section and three for English. To maintain high professional standards, the
      organizers invited Mr. Poon Wai-sum, one of the leading playwrights in Hong Kong,
      as the final adjudicator and guest speaker at the prize presentation ceremony, where
      the script of the winning Chinese entry was performed by the students of the class on
      Modern Chinese Drama.


8.5   Language Ambassadors/Tutors


      In 2009, the Language Enhancement Initiative Project was introduced by the
      Language Centre under the auspices of the Hong Kong Government‟s one-off funding.
      Under this scheme, newly-graduated students with relevant master‟s and bachelor‟s
      degrees are hired for purposes of enhancing the English, Chinese and Putonghua
      language skills of HKBU‟s undergraduates. Graduates with master‟s degrees are
      designated as „Language Ambassadors‟, and those with bachelor‟s degrees are
      „Language Tutors‟. The scheme lasts for three years and will end in June 2012, and
      each year the Language Centre will hire approximately 10 recruits. Their main duty
      is to help students improve their language mainly through informal and fun activities,
      by organizing language learning activities in the ELO, offering individual/group
      tutorials for language practice, holding language events and answering students‟
      language questions in the HKBU Learning Commons, holding mock IELTS speaking
      interviews, assisting teachers in objective marking, and preparing and editing teaching
      materials for classroom use.




                                            49
                                        Chapter 9
                            Challenges & Future Plans


9.1    Self-Evaluation


9.1.1 As LC has expanded its areas of responsibility in the past seven years to include a
       Putonghua requirement and a Foreign Language Minor, the subsequent structure of LC
       has expanded to include four major sections: Chinese, English, Foreign Languages and
       Putonghua. Along with the extensive number of supplementary courses, workshops,
       and enhancement services provided by the LEP program, the Language Centre offers a
       wide range of opportunities for language learning to the HKBU student body, with
       particular strengths in Chinese creative writing courses and in English through Current
       Events. Among HKBU‟s faculties and departments, LC was an early adopter of
       Outcome-based Teaching and Learning (OBTL), and all course outcomes,
       teaching/learning tasks and assessments are vetted with an eye to ensuring that the
       tasks and assessments are aligned with and support the learning outcomes. LC‟s
       courses, teachers and the learning experience they provide are viewed very positively
       by the students, as evidenced from the course evaluations, teaching evaluation (TE)
       score averages for each teacher, and from students‟ written comments. Still, teachers in
       all sections of LC note that students still need to improve their language skills in both
       Chinese and English. Moreover, since over two-thirds of HKBU‟s student body comes
       from Chinese-medium secondary schools, the need for additional, robust training in
       English is apparent. The outcomes for English can be objectively measured by the
       voluntary exit test (IELTS) for UGC-funded university graduates. While our IELTS
       scores have shown improvement in Reading and Listening (with scores of around 7.0),
       Speaking and Writing skills average around 6.0. While this provides approximately a
       6.5 average, in fact, the Speaking and Writing averages are relatively low for graduates
       of an English-speaking university.


9.1.2 Thus, as the issue of English language ability and performance is considered critical to
       the university's overall mission, the Language Centre, in conjunction with the senior
       university administration, have undertaken three initiatives to improve students'


                                              50
       performance. First, in order to improve the participation rate in the voluntary IELTS
       test in the final year of study, the VPA‟s office has funded a LC initiative to reward
       top-performers in the IELTS test.     We hope that this scheme will encourage all
       students to take our supplementary IELTS prep courses prior to taking the IELTS
       (which is required for award recipients) and also encourage those with strong English
       skills to participate in this voluntary exercise. [For statistics on HKBU students‟
       performance in past IELTS tests, see section 6.3.1.]


9.1.3 An additional new initiative, funded in part by the Strategic Development Fund (SDF)
       of the University, is to assess the incoming IELTS scores of 100 students, track their
       progress in English credit-bearing, non-credit bearing and enhancement services as
       well as in contests and study-abroad programs, and then see how they fare in the
       IELTS exit test. In this way, we should be able to evaluate if an HKBU education has
       enhanced the English ability of these students, and if so, look at factors that may have
       influenced the success of the students‟ performance.


9.1.4 The third initiative was proposed by LC in 2009 and has been running for the past 10
       months. Its purpose is to improve our language enhancement services, by adding a
       Speaking Enhancement Service to our Writing Enhancement Service and creating a
       system that would allow both systems to be used in a virtual, asynchronous mode, in
       addition to the traditional face-to-face method. The Speaking Enhancement Service
       has already been very well-received by students, and we hope that the addition of an
       asynchronous component will allow students to upload work at any time and receive
       feedback on their work. We hope this will allow more students to use our enhancement
       services, and will, to some extent, alleviate the pressure on the face-to-face
       enhancement services during the years (2012-14) when two cohorts are present on
       campus.


9.1.5 We hope that these initiatives taken over the past three years will help us improve our
       services to HKBU students as well as provide incentives for them to do well in
       English language studies, and demonstrate that we analyze our services carefully and
       seek to find ways to improve. In addition, although we have emphasized our initiatives
       related to English language learning, we also do revisit and revise our course offerings
       for all sections in the Language Centre, particularly in regard to the new cohort that

                                              51
       will arrive in 2012, as discussed in the next section.


9.2    Plans for the 4-Year Curriculum


9.2.1 The new 4-year curriculum has a strong General Education (GE) component as well as
       more room for students to select electives. 9 units in GE will be devoted to language,
       with 6 units of English (University English I & II) and 3 units of Chinese (University
       Chinese). The main difference between the current curriculum and the new curriculum
       is that all students (not just students who score „D‟ or „E‟ in their HKAL Use of
       English exam) will be required to take English I. In addition, we plan on streaming
       students into advanced and regular sections of both English I and II based on their
       entry scores in order to meet the different needs of students with differing levels of
       English proficiency. In terms of course preparation, both the English and Chinese
       sections have been steadily evaluating and revising their curriculum and assessments
       in order to meet the needs of the new cohort (2012 onwards). In particular, studies
       have shown that students in the new cohort are more willing to speak up and are more
       interested in current events; however, they lack basic training in grammar. Our
       curriculums in English and Chinese will provide opportunities for students to speak
       more in class and also encourage them to pay attention to the details of the language so
       that they can communicate more effectively.


9.2.2 In addition to the core units in language, students will also take a Public Speaking
       course as part of their General Education. This course will have 70% of its
       assessments in English and 30% in Putonghua. While it will not be run by the
       Language Centre, we look forward to some LC staff being responsible for some
       sections of the course. This issue will be discussed more thoroughly after a GE
       Director and GE Office has been set up. However, this course, which is supposed to be
       taken in the second year of study, does have concrete implications for the Language
       Centre: namely, all students must pass a Putonghua Language Requirement before
       they can take this course. Under the 3-year system, this was a Putonghua Graduation
       Requirement, so students had three years to fulfill it. Under the new 4-year system,
       however, students will be required to fulfill the requirement in their first year. The
       details of how this will be done are still in the planning stages at this point, and will


                                               52
       need approval at higher levels in order for implementation to go forward.


9.2.3 Electives will also be an important part of the new four-year curriculum. All sections
       of LC will offer a range of electives so students can further engage in language study,
       and, in the case of foreign languages, gain a minor in French, German, or Japanese
       after following an 18-unit course of study. The English section's electives will include
       English through Current Events, and Public Speaking and Practical Writing, while the
       Putonghua Section will offer advanced classes in Putonghua as well as Putonghua
       Public Speaking, and the Chinese section will offer additional electives in Creative
       Writing and Stylistics, among other courses. [A list of proposed courses is provided
       at the end of Appendix 4.]


9.3    Future Challenges


9.3.1 The main challenges we face have to do with preparing all four sections (English,
       Chinese, Putonghua, Foreign Languages) for the new cohort of students, and to
       implement all the logistics involved for the double-cohort period of 2012-2015,
       including providing as many language enhancement services (i.e. non-credit bearing
       courses and other language enhancement services) as possible. The English section is
       focusing on implementing new teaching materials for its six units of English, and
       providing additional elective courses. The Chinese section is doing the same for its
       three units of University Chinese and its elective courses. The Putonghua section is
       responsible for setting up and implementing a Putonghua Language requirement for
       students to pass in their first year of study. The Foreign Languages Section will add
       electives and devise an 18-unit minor programme. The LEP program will support
       language enhancement in terms of writing and speaking enhancement services in
       English and speaking enhancement in Putonghua and writing enhancement in Chinese.


9.3.2 A related challenge has to do with the incoming students‟ language abilities. As
       students will be entering university a year earlier, they will have had less training in
       language when they arrive. In addition, as the new secondary curriculum emphasizes
       interaction and productive skills, it is foreseen (based on current secondary students‟
       performance) that these students will have less of a grasp of the mechanics of English


                                              53
      and Chinese, including lexical choice, grammatical structures, and punctuation. How
      to incorporate these elements of language learning in a lively format so that students
      will be motivated to improve further on their own is a critical issue for all tertiary
      language teachers in Hong Kong. In this regard, the introduction of OBTL – which the
      Language Centre has been among the first in HKBU to pioneer and implement in all
      its courses -- is particularly timely,      as the essence of OBTL is geared towards
      helping weaker students by defining realistically achievable learning outcomes and
      aligning them to the teaching and learning activities, and by systematically gathering
      formative data on student learning. Though much fine-tuning remains to be done after
      the new 3-3-4 system starts operation in 2012, we are confident that our new core
      language courses will meet the needs of the new secondary curriculum graduates. In
      addition, students can avail themselves of individualized help through our expanded
      writing and speaking enhancement services.


9.3.3 In addition, as other HK universities (excluding HKIED) have made plans to have
      students typically take 12 units of English (City U will have up to 18 units for weaker
      students, Chinese U will have 9 units), BU students will only have 6 units. One way to
      deal with this issue is to require students who get below a certain grade in their core
      language classes to take an additional language class. This possibility is currently still
      under discussion and would need approval from the senior administration if it were to
      be implemented. Another way to deal with this issue would be to have HKBU teachers
      outside the Language Centre grade students on their overall ability to communicate in
      their assignments. This would hopefully encourage more students to visit the
      Language Centre‟s language lab (the English Learning Oasis) and to seek help from
      Speaking Enhancement and Writing Enhancement Services, as they would be
      motivated from comments by their course teachers that they need to improve their
      language skills.


9.3.4 In sum, we look forward to working together with all HKBU colleagues as we all seek
      to improve our students‟ language abilities so that they will graduate truly trilingual
      and biliterate, with the confidence and fluency to communicate their ideas to a wide
      variety of people in a range of settings.




                                               54
                             APPENDICES


1    Summary Report of ACP Visit to the Language Centre (2003)

2    Response to the Summary Report of ACP Visit (2003)

3    Language Centre Annual Report on Language Enhancement Activities
     (2009)
4    List of Courses Offered by the Language Centre

5    Sample Course Syllabuses
          LANG 1480   University Chinese
          LANG 1491   English I
          LANG 1492   English II
          LANG 1610   Elementary Putonghua
          LANG 2220   English through Current Events
          LANG 7640   Grammar of Modern English
          FREN 1610   French I
6.   Academic & Teaching Staff Profile

     6.1 Individual Staff CV’s

     6.2 Awards & Honours

     6.3 Scholarly & Creative Output (2003-2010)

7.   List of Supplementary Materials




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