HAAL Seminar (27 Mar, 2019)


Date:                    Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Venue:                 AG434, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Time:                   6:00 – 7:00 pm

Understanding adolescent L2 learners’ perception of computer technology and their cognitive engagement in a computer-assisted writing environment

Cynthia Lee

School of Education and Languages, Open University of Hong Kong


In this seminar, I will share the findings of a study on the use of computer technology to assist writing by adolescent Chinese learners of English in Hong Kong secondary schools. In the first part of the seminar, I will report the perceptions and actual use of computer technology for individualized and collaborative school language learning by this group of second language (L2) learners. Based on 193 anonymous survey questionnaires, this group of learners had a positive attitude and high self-efficacy towards technology use. However, these factors correlated with individualized and collaborative learning in different ways. The variations demonstrate a discrepancy between perceived usefulness and actual adoption of technology.

In the second part of the seminar, I will show the ways in which six Chinese learners of English selected from one of the participating schools were cognitively engaged in writing argumentative essays while using an automated content feedback system. Their cognitive engagement was demonstrated through composing and problem-solving strategies, and evaluative comments derived from two sets of introspective data – videotaped verbal reports and stimulated recalls. All L2 learners were mostly concerned with ‘what’ to write (i.e., content), followed by how to express their ideas (i.e., language).

The study enhances our understanding of the current role of computer technology in language learning among adolescent L2 learners, and L2 learners’ mental activities in a computer-assisted writing environment. Pedagogical recommendations are made.

Professor Cynthia Lee isCynthia Lee Head of Education and Deputy Director of Research Institute for Bilingual Learning and Teaching. She has been leader of two inter-disciplinary research projects, two multi-million teaching and learning projects, and one strategic development project. She has also been Principal Investigator of three RGC-funded projects. She has authored and edited five books, published numerous journal papers in SSCI-indexed journals, SCOPUS-indexed journals, refereed book chapters, and book reviews. Her latest book titled Researching and Teaching Second Language Speech Acts to Chinese Learners of English was published by Springer in June 2018.


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

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