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Research Reports

Research Reports (Volume 10): Teachers’ pedagogical decisions in the writing classroom: A case study at a Hong Kong university

Martin Tang Kok-kuen

ISBN: 978-962-7607-27-4

Research Reports (Volume 9): Senior women academics in Hong Kong: A life history approach

Martha Lam Pik-har

ISBN: 978-962-7607-26-7

Research Reports (Volume 8): A teacher’s reflection: Using journal writing to promote reflective learning in the writing classroom

Elza Tsang Shuk-chin

ISBN: 978-962-7607-25-0

Research Reports (Volume 7): Exploring writing strategies used by Accounting/ Finance majors at university and in the workplace

Susanna Ho Pui-san

ISBN: 978-962-7607-24-3

Research Reports (Volume 6): Spoken Word Recognition in a Second Language: An Investigation of the Ability of Hong Kong Learners to Recognise the Most Frequent Words of English When Listening to News Broadcasts

Richard Pemberton

ISBN: 962-7607-23-1

Research Reports (Volume 5): Argumentative L2 Text in Context: An Exploratory Study in Australia and Hong Kong

Grace Wong Hoi-yee

The question explored in this study is whether the use of an effective argumentative structure and/or a favourable language environment is more conducive to successful L2 writing. The data set consisted of high- and low-rated essays written by two groups of Hong Kong Chinese tertiary students, studying in Australia and Hong Kong respectively. The results showed that independent measures of coherence and grammatical accuracy correlated significantly with each other, and also with teachers’ holistic ratings, thus suggesting that effective argumentative structure and grammatical accuracy complement each other. The high-rated essays displayed effective argumentative structures, whereas the low-rated essays are unclear or contradictory. The increased exposure to everyday English has helped the Australian subjects advance a little in grammatical accuracy, but not in organisation. L2 students need to be taught argumentative structures explicitly, so that they can concentrate on grammatical accuracy once they master these structures. This book will be of interest to teachers, assessors and researchers of second language writing.

ISBN: 962-7607-22-3

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Research Reports (Volume 4): An Empirical Study of the Efficacy of Integrating the Teaching of Dictionary Use into a Tertiary English Curriculum in Hong Kong

Amy Chi Man-lai

Through an empirical research design, this study explores the efficacy of teaching dictionary use explicitly to non-native learners through experience with a conventional English enhancement course at tertiary level in Hong Kong. The study was carried out with the use of tailor-made teaching materials on dictionary use items identified to be relevant to the needs of these tertiary students, and to the nature of the existing English course at the university which they were attending. Through statistical and qualitative analyses, the study proves that such an approach is effective in disseminating the knowledge and skills required of students in using English learners’ dictionaries to solve specified linguistic problems. Based on the findings, it is recommended that support and training should be provided to English teachers to ensure that they are conversant with the development of, and innovations in, English learners’ dictionaries.

ISBN: 962-7607-21-5

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Research Reports (Volume 3): A Study of Semi-Technical Vocabulary in Computer Science Texts, with Special Reference to ESP Teaching and Lexicography

Jacqueline Lam Kam-mei

This is an empirical study establishing that lexical items occurring as part of the semi-technical vocabulary of Computer Science such as ‘insert’ and ‘tool’, two terms found on the command line of the Microsoft Word program, are semantically and stylistically distinct from general words, and from technical words such as ‘beta’, ‘debug’ and ‘mbytes’. Since such vocabulary items adversely affect students’ understanding of texts related to Computer Science, they invite the attention of ESP practitioners, subject teachers, lexicographers, publishers and computer personnel. A proposal is made for interdisciplinary teams to produce appropriate aids to help learners of English to overcome the problems of comprehension of semi-technical lexis.

ISBN: 962-7607-16-9

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Research Reports (Volume 2): Elements of a written interlanguage: A computational and corpus-based study of institutional influences on the acquisition of English by Hong Kong Chinese students

John Milton

This study is the first to describe by empirical means many of the chief lexical, grammatical and discoursal characteristics of the written English of Hong Kong students. It questions theories that make strong claims for linguistic constraints on L2 acquisition, and suggests instead that EFL learners are often explicitly encouraged in production strategies that may limit the acquisition of grammatical and communicative competence. This research will be of interest to teachers, textbook authors and others interested in the characteristics of Hong Kong Interlanguage, how these patterns are acquired, and how the features of Standard English might more effectively be made available to learners.

ISBN: 962-7607-15-0

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Research Reports (Volume 1): Tasks, Talk and Teaching: Task-Based Language Learning and the Negotiation of Meaning in Oral Interaction

Michael Courtney

Undergraduates in Hong Kong’s English-medium universities come from a background where classroom opportunities for oral development are limited. Interactive peer-group oral tasks can provide a practical basis for oral development within a language syllabus. This study establishes a method for classifying the design of commonly used oral interactive tasks, and for evaluating their performance output. The central activity of negotiated meaning is discussed in relation to task participant interaction and the question of language acquisition. Statistically significant links between task design and output are shown, and a principled basis is offered for the choice and use of oral interactive tasks for teaching and evaluation.

ISBN: 962-7607-14-2

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