Implementing Professional Learning Community (PLC) to Promote Reflective Teaching
and Teacher Collaboration in
English as Medium of Instruction (EMI) and
Formative Assessment

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Project Investigators
Dr. Ko Yue On James
Associate Director and Research Fellow of APCLC, The Education University of Hong Kong
Miss Yuan HUI
City University of Hong Kong
Project Duration


Situated in a context with competitive pre-university programmes in China, this action research project aims to investigate the potential contributions of professional learning community (PLC), defined as teachers who teach different curricula in the same school grouped together to learn from each other through regular professional dialogues, resource exchanges, and collaborative work (Hord, 1997). PLC is expected to promote collegiality, teaching performance, and student learning outcome. “Developing professional learning communities appears to hold considerable promise for capacity building for sustainable improvement” (Stoll, Bolam, McMahon, Wallace & Thomas, 2006, p.221). Reflective teaching is another valued emphasis in this project because teachers are expected to develop the “ability to facilitate learning and talk meaningfully about [their] practice” (Tyrrell et al., 2013, p.15). An appreciative inquiry (AI) approach, one of the five action research approaches identified by Dick (2009), is to be adopted.

The research objectives are outlined as below: 1) To build teachers’ capacity in EMI teaching through a variety of activities promoting reflective teaching and teaching collaboration in respective PLCs. 2) To enhance teachers’ agency believes in applying formative assessment. 3) To understand the organizational conditions for promoting PLCs in IB schools. 4) To advance the existing practices of IB teachers in EMI in China.