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I am Director of the English Language Centre at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
I have been working in Hong Kong at the PolyU for twenty-one years and have been living in Asia for over nearly thirty years - in China, South Korea and Malaysia. Before that I worked in Egypt, Spain, Italy and England.
My experience has been as an English language teacher, teacher-trainer, university lecturer, self-access centre director and language centre director.
BA (Hons) in English History and Literature R.S.A. Certificate (TEFL) R.S.A. Diploma (TEFL) M.A. in Applied Linguistics PhD
Free, easy and web-based: Blending everyday digital media into tertiary English teaching This paper will refer to data derived from a small-scale questionnaire survey focusing on the classroom of various technologies, software and web-based tools by approximately thirty tertiary level English language teachers working in one tertiary language centre in Hong Kong. It will also consider data from interviews conducted with seven of these teachers. The participants were qualified, experienced teachers from different backgrounds. They displayed a range of views on the value of using digital media in the classroom, as well as on a blended approach to language learning and teaching more generally. The semi-structured interviews conducted with selected participants examined in greater detail some of the views that emerged from the survey data. Both the survey and the interviews focused on the use of technologies that are in general commonly available. These include notebook/tablet computers and mobile devices, software such as Microsoft Office, various internet sites such as YouTube and Google, social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter, as well as learner management systems. This presentation will focus particularly on the extent to which the teachers integrated web-based tools, mobile phones and social networking tools into their teaching. It will examine some of the opportunities provided by these technologies that these teachers identify, as well as a number of challenges that they reported. It will conclude by reflecting on the teachers' experiences and views, and considering the possible implications of these for teacher development and blended delivery course design. Show abstract
Referring to two parallel small-scale projects conducted three years apart, this paper examines the use of IT and multimedia by a group of approximately thirty tertiary level English language teachers working in one tertiary language centre in Hong Kong. The participants were qualified, experienced teachers from different backgrounds. They displayed a range of views on the value of CALL and the place generally of IT in the language classroom, as well as on a blended approach to language learning and teaching. The study aimed to determine their use and perceptions of such technology, and the extent to which and the way in which their use of it changed over the three-year period. Data were collected in two ways. A questionnaire survey was conducted that enquired whether and how participants used various technologies and software in their classes. The survey also asked participants to comment on their reasons for, and mode of, using them, and their reasons for not doing so. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with selected participants in order to examine in greater detail some of the patterns that emerged from the survey data as well as to encourage participants to elaborate upon comments made. Both the survey and the interviews focused on the use of technologies that are in general commonly available. These include notebook/tablet computers and mobile devices, software such as Microsoft Office, various internet sites such as YouTube and Google, social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter, as well as learner management systems. The presentation will focus on the extent that the technologies and software were used, as well as on how patterns of usage changed and how much teachers' perceptions and views shifted over the three-year period. In addition to discussing the results in relation to relevant research (e.g. Sumi, 2011), implications for teacher educators and elearning advocates will be considered. Sumi, S. (2011). Voices from EFL teachers: a Qualitative investigation of teachers' use of CALL. In Levy, M., Blin, F., Siskin, C.B. & Takeuchi, O. (Eds.) WorldCALL: International perspectives on Computer-Assisted Language Learning (pp. 293-312). New York: Routledge. Show abstract
Closing panel discussant at English Language Centre Symposium 2013, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 3 June 2013.
Learning and using English in the Hong Kong tertiary context: Some issues and implications at Language Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University, 11 March, 2013.
Panel discussant as English Language Leadership Symposium, University of Macau, Macau, 15-16 June, 2012.
Closing panel discussant at English Language Centre Symposium 2012, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong, 1 June 2012.
What is a self-access centre in 2012? at Hong Kong Association for Self-Access Learning and Development Seminar, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, 9 March, 2012.
Closing panel discussant at English Language Centre Symposium 2011, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, 3 June 2011.
Language education with regard to the impact of the 3-3-4 academic structure on self-financed sub-degree programme Units at Joint Quality review Committee seminar, City University Telford Campus, Hong Kong, 21 January, 2011.
Plugged in? A case study of how IT is really used in a tertiary language centre in Hong Kong at 12th KAMALL-APAMALL Joint International Conference 2009, Dongduk Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea, October 24, 2009.
Information technology and multimedia in tertiary language teaching at 11th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, Eötvös Lorànd University, Budapest, Hungary, 19-21 June, 2013.
Style and substance? Language centre leadership and management in times of change at English Language Centre Symposium 2013, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 3 June 2013.
Teacher or advisor? The role of the teacher in an independent learning context at Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2012, Osaka, Japan, 5-8 April, 2012.
Portraits of the students as a young academic writer: Challenges faced by non-native writers in an English-medium university at English Language Centre Symposium 2011, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, 3 June 2011.
Some effects of the medium of instruction on Hong Kong tertiary students at CELC Symposium, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 26 - 28 May, 2010
Teaching in English, Learning in a Foreign Language at 5th Cam TESOL Conference, National Institute of Education, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, February 21 - 22, 2009
Writing up Grounded Theory Research: Increasing credibility through the use of the “Worked Example” at Second International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain, July 10 - 13, 2007
The challenges of studying at an English-medium university in Hong Kong at 2nd CELC Symposium, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 30 May - 1 June, 2007
How was it for you: Reflections on peer observation at 41st RELC International Seminar, SEAMEO Regional Language Centre, Singapore, April 24 - 26, 2006.
Evaluating learning gain in a self-access language learning centre at the English Language Education and Assessment Centre Seminar. Lingnan University, Hong Kong, October 24, 2005.
A Framework for the Evaluation of a Self-Access Language Learning Centre
at Independent Learning Association Conference. Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. September 10 & 11, 2005
Role of the teacher in a self-access language learning centre at ¬Thai TESOL 2005. Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. January 20 - 22, 2005.
Role of the learner in a self-access language learning centre at 38th International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language Conference. Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool,UK. April 13 - 17. 2004
Evaluating learning gain in an independent language learning context at Independent Language Learning: New Research Directions, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, December 4 & 5, 2003.
What is a self-access language learning centre? at The Independent Learning Conference, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, September 13 & 14, 2003.
The troubling process of mapping a self-access language learning centre at LT2000 – Quality Language Teaching through Innovation & Reflection, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong, June 19 - 23, 2000.
(with Andrew Morrall) The place of computer-mediated learning in a Self-access Centre at Hong Kong Association for Self-Access Language & Development workshop, Jan 25, 2000.
(with Raymond Cheung) The development of a system for the management of computer-based educational resources in a self-access language learning environment at International Conference on Multimedia Technology & Management, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, December 17-19, 1998.
Learning English outside the classroom: self-access in China at International Symposium on Teaching English at Tertiary Level in the Chinese Context, Qing Hua University, Beijing, China, October 3 & 4, 1998.
Evaluating a self-access language learning centre: why, what and by whom? at ¬2nd. Hong Kong Association for Self-Access Learning & Development Conference, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, September, 5, 1998.
The World Wide Web as a Research Tool at 32nd Annual IATEFL International Conference, Manchester, England, April, 14-18, 1998.
Getting them in and keeping them in at 18th Annual Thai TESOL International Conference, Hat Yai, Thailand, January, 22-24, 1998.
(with Sue Fitzgerald) Developing pedagogical support materials for multimedia at TESOL ’97, Orlando, USA, March 11-15, 1997.
Bringing it all together: the development of an integrated computer language learning network at International Conference on Multimedia Technology & Management, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, December 11-14, 1996.
Catering for individual learning styles: experiences of orienting students in an Asian self-access centre at Autonomy 2000, Bangkok, Thailand, November 20-22, 1996.
(with Sue Fitzgerald) Integrating CD-ROM programs into a language learning environment at 2nd. Malaysian International Conference on English Language Teaching, Penang, Malaysia, 20-22 May, 1996.
(with Richard Farmer) Independent learning: reconciling expectations with the ideal at International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language - 1st. Learner Independence Interest Group Conference , Brno, The Czech Republic, 10-12 May, 1996.
(with Winnie Lee) The role of newspaper articles in promoting the development of autonomous learning skills in English language learning at Malaysian English Language Teaching Association International Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 1995.
Completion date: 29/02/2016
Dr Stephen Evans (Principal Investigator) and Bruce Morrison (co- investigator) Meeting the challenges of English-medium higher education: The undergraduate experience of the new Hong Kong curriculum - GRF funding HK$675,000.
Dr Alan Urmston (project leader), Bruce Morrison, Dr Jane Lockwood, Dr Christine Shirley and inter-institutional (PolyU, CityU and Lingnan U) team. The Further Development and Implementation of the DELTA: A Web-based English Language Diagnostic Assessment and Tracking System for University Students in Hong Kong UGC funding (HK$3.4m).
Developing measures and support for English language related Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programme outcomes, and evaluating achievement of these outcomes by individual students and the BBA Programme as a whole – PolyU funding from Learning and Teaching Committee (HK$97,310) and Dean of Faculty of Business (HK$180,000). (Joint project leader)
Web-based English language learning and exit portfolio system - Elearning Development & Support project, internally funded by VP(Academic Development) (HK$319,000). (Project leader)
Design, development, trialling, and implementation of an inter-institutional learning/exit e-portfolio - UGC funded, inter-institutional initiative (HK$10m allocated to project, HK$1.1m to ELC, PolyU). Project terminated by UGC in 2009. (Project Management Group member)
Meeting the challenges of studying at an English-medium university in Hong Kong - internal funding from Learning & Teaching Committee (HK$73,000) & Dean(COM) Reserve Fund (HK$160,000). (Project leader)
An investigation into the academic vocabulary knowledge of PolyU students - PolyU Teaching Development Grant (HK$110,100). (Project leader)
Video showcasing of good ELC learning & teaching practices - internal funding from Learning & Teaching Committee (HK$20,000) & FCOM Dean’s Fund (HK$51,000). (Project leader)
Integrating the administrative systems of the CILL, SEP, GILLS & WAP on-line - internal funding from FCOM Dean’s Fund (HK$25,000). (Project leader)
A study of the implementation of the World Wide Web as a research facility in the English Department - HKPU Departmental Research Grant (HK$50,000). (Project leader)
An examination of the use of a range of multimedia computer applications within a self-access language learning environment - HKPU Departmental Research Grant (HK$12,500). (Project leader)
An on-line writing assistance service: developing independent and critical revision ability in student writers - UGC Learning & Teaching Development Grant (approx. HK$90,000). (Team member)
A preliminary examination of the study styles and strategies of users of the Centre for Independent Language Learning as reflected in their learning journals - HKPU Departmental Research Grant (HK$11,000). (Project leader)
English language learning for study and professional purposes: using CD-ROM multimedia with World Wide Web support - UGC Learning & Teaching Development Grant (approx. HK$150,000). (Team member)
English Language Learning and teaching on the Internet: establishing a Hong Kong-wide “Virtual” Language Centre in a World Wide web environment - UGC Language and Teaching Development Grant (approx. HK$3m). (Team member)
Integrating multimedia into language learning in the English Department - Departmental Learning & Teaching Development Grant (HK$34,600). (Project leader)
Development of a website to assist all third-year students with the writing of their Final Year Project. – FCOM Dean’s Fund (HK91,000). (Team member)
Independent language learning
Non-native speaker tertiary learning experience Programme evaluation