HAAL Seminar (8 January, 2019)

LATEST SEMINAR

Date:                    8 January 2019, Tuesday

Venue:                 AG434, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Time:                   6:00 – 7:00 pm

Teacher Metacognitions about Identities: Voices from Expert Language Teachers

Rui Yuan

Department of English Language Education, Education University of Hong Kong

Abstract

In second language teacher education, while many researchers have argued that the concept of identity should be embraced and practicalized by language teachers for systematic reflections and continuous learning, the notion of identity tends to be elusive and sometimes contested, thus making it difficult to be interpreted and acted upon by teachers. In addition, there is rich research evidence showing that language teachers may lack awareness and strategies to explicate, critique, and transform their identities, especially in constraining situations where they have to grapple with various contextual obstacles such as a heavy workload and rigid school culture. Given the complex and contested nature of teacher identities, it is crucial for language teachers to foster their metacognitions about identities so that they can explore what their identities entail and mean for themselves and others (e.g., students), as well as regulate and refine their identities to improve their professional practice.

This seminar presents an exploratory study that looks into four expert language teachers’ metacognitions about identities in the Chinese context. Informed by an integrated framework of metacognitions, the study demonstrates different types of metacognitive experiences, where the participants employed various forms of metacognitive knowledge and skills to construct, modify and distribute their identities. The study also sheds some light on the process of the participants’ metacognitive development through their identity (re)construction within and across their situated communities. The seminar ends with some practical implications for second language teacher education on how to help teachers, regardless of their age or experience, cultivate and integrate metacognitions with their ongoing identity work and seek their continuing professional development.

Rui Yuan an Assistant Professor in the Department Rui Yuan of English Language Education, Education University of Hong Kong. His research interests include language teacher identity and teacher development. His publications have appeared in over 20 international journals such as TESOL Quarterly and Teaching and Teacher Education.

 

Refreshments Served. All are Welcome with Limited Seats Available.
Visit HAAL at http://www.haal.hk/

Acknowledgement
HAAL would like to thank the Department of English at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University for their generous support to HAAL events.

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PAST SEMINAR

Date:                    14 December 2018, Friday

Venue:                 BC404, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Time:                   6:00 – 7:00 pm

Bridging the gap between ELF and L2 student pragmatics: Rethinking assessment practices in teaching English as a global language

Jim Chan

Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Since the era of globalisation, the use of English in international communication has been the focus of considerable research in the emerging research paradigm of English as a lingua franca (ELF), which has seen L2 speakers become the vast majority. One significant implication of this vibrant field of research is a shift in the conceptualisation of the changing functions and forms of English in multilingual societies worldwide, in that real-life ELF communication places greater emphasis on communicative functions, and the use of pragmatic strategies plays an important role in this process. This poses immense challenges for traditional ELT theories and practices guided by native-speaker (NS) standards because NSs are less relevant to most international communication. With reference to previous research on ELF pragmatics, this study examines the extent to which L2 learners’ pragmatic production reflects the use of ELF in an interaction task in Hong Kong’s public examination. The findings suggest that the students’ interactions were dominated by several discourse-specific pragmatic features and pre-taught communicative strategies based on the examination task design, whilst relatively few features were relevant to those identified in previous ELF studies. Although students with a higher academic attainment were more capable of diversifying their language forms, they tended to only show a limited range of pragmatic functions owing to the design of the examination task and their prior language learning/teaching practices. This seminar will conclude by offering suggestions for contemporary language assessment practices to address this misalignment between L2 students’ pragmatic production and the ELF reality.

Dr. Jim Chan is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Jim Chan Education in the University of Hong Kong and was previously a Chemistry and English teacher in secondary and tertiary education in Hong Kong. His research interests include world Englishes, English as a lingua franca, language policy, curriculum and teaching, and language attitudes. Some of his recent work has been published in TESOL Quarterly, World Englishes, International Journal of Applied Linguistic, System, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Language and Education, Asian Englishes, and Journal of English as a lingua franca.

 

Refreshments Served. All are Welcome with Limited Seats Available.
Visit HAAL at http://www.haal.hk/

Acknowledgements
HAAL would like to thank the Department of English at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University for their generous support to HAAL events.