For students admitted between the 2018/19 and 2020/21 cohorts
All research students admitted between the 2018/19 and 2020/21 cohorts are required to take and pass two mandatory English subjects, ELC6001 (Presentation Skills for Research Students) and ELC6002 (Thesis Writing for Research Students) before their thesis submission. For exemption, research students need to pass the Research Language Skills Assessment (RLSA).
For students admitted from the 2021/22 cohort onwards
All research students admitted from the 2021/22 cohort are required to take the Research Language Skills Assessment (RLSA). Students’ performance on the test will determine if they need to complete the University’s English Enhancement Subjects and which subject(s) they should take. Here are the details:
(i) Students who receive Band 1 (both writing and speaking)
Be exempted from all English enhancement subjects.
(ii) Students who receive Band 2 or above (both writing and speaking)
Taking ENGL6016 "Advanced Academic English for Research Students: Publishing and Presenting";
(iii) Students who receive Band 3 or below
RLSA sessions are offered regularly. Students are strongly advised to read the information below before they enroll a test session through https://elc.polyu.edu.hk/booking/rlsa.php using their PolyU NetID. If you have not activated your NetID, please go to https://my.polyu.edu.hk - choose "NewStudent" and follow the system instructions to complete.
Research Language Skills Assessment (RLSA)
1. What is the Research Language Skills Assessment (RLSA)?
The RLSA is not an English proficiency test. It is designed to measure students’ academic speaking and writing skills with the focus on their critical-thinking and analytical skills and their ability to use clear, appropriate, and persuasive language to convey their ideas/arguments both in speaking and writing.
|RLSA Performance1||English Enhancement Subjects|
|Band 1 in both Writing, and Speaking tasks||Exempted|
|Band 2 or above in both Writing, and Speaking tasks||ENGL6016: Advanced Academic English for Research Students: Publishing and Presenting|
|Band 3 or below in either Writing, or Speaking tasks||ELC6011 and ELC6012
ELC6011: Presentation Skills for Research Students
ELC6012: Thesis Writing for Research Students
1. Band 1 is the highest grade and Band 5 the lowest.
2. Will RLSA results be recorded on PolyU transcript?
No. RLSA results will not be recorded on PolyU transcript.
3. Are the three English subjects compulsory?
Unless students receive exemption, they must complete and pass the English enhancement subject(s) recommended to them. These subjects will form the graduation requirements and they are credit-bearing. Results of these subjects will be recorded on PolyU transcript.
4. When should students take the test?
Students should take the test within 4 weeks after they have completed programme registration in PolyU. The earlier they take the test, the sooner they can register for the three offered subjects which are important for their studies in the University.
5. What skills does RLSA test?
RLSA contains two parts, one on writing and one on speaking. Students should return their writing task and speaking task before specified deadlines. For more details, please refer to the Test Format.
6. How do students register for the RLSA?
RLSA sessions are offered regularly. For the date of test sessions and enrolment, please go to https://elc.polyu.edu.hk/booking/rlsa.php.
7. Do students need to prepare for the test?
No. RLSA tests students’ overall academic speaking and writing skills, in particularly their critical-thinking and analytical skills and their ability to use clear, appropriate, and persuasive language to convey ideas and arguments. These skills cannot improve in one or two days.
8. Can students take only the speaking or writing part of the RLSA?
No, students need to take both the speaking and the writing parts of the RLSA. If students complete only one part (e.g., writing), the other part (i.e., speaking) will not be marked, and they will need to take both ELC6011 and ELC6012.
9. How many times can students take the RLSA?
Once only. Students who have signed up but failed to submit the writing or the speaking part before the submission deadlines will need to take both ELC6011 and ELC6012. The part they have submitted will not be marked.
10. What should students do if they foresee they cannot submit the two tasks before the specified deadlines after they have signed up for a test session?
Registration for each test session will close 4 working days before the test date. During the registration period, students can cancel their enrollments in the system themselves.
After the enrollment period and at least two working days before the test date, students could write to the ELC at firstname.lastname@example.org. After that, students cannot request to withdraw. If they have a valid reason for being unable to perform the tasks, they must provide evidence to substantiate their claims.
11. When can students receive the results of the RLSA?
Students will receive the results from the ELC in eight weeks after the test.