An ethical analysis of how ESL teachers construct their professional identities through the use of information technology in teaching
Dr. GU Mingyue, Michelle
While there is growing recognition of the mutually shaping relationship between teaching with information technology (IT) and teachers’ beliefs, skills and self‐efficacy, there has been a paucity of research attention on the construction of teacher identity during actual IT‐assisted in‐class teaching and out‐of‐class networking with students, in a full institutional and social context. This study investigates how a group of secondary school English as a second language (ESL) teachers regulated their teaching and practices and constructed their identities in relation to governmental requirements for the use of IT in teaching. Teachers from seven government‐subsidised schools in Hong Kong were interviewed about their experiences of using IT in teaching. We frame the reported practices of these teachers as a process of construction of identity, formed in the context of the ‘governmentality’ supporting current examination‐oriented educational policy. Observing from the perspective of what has been termed ‘governmentality’ and an ethical framework for self‐formation of personal identity makes it possible to see these teachers’ professional identities constructed through the use of IT practices within the contradictory conditions of professional/personal demands, compliance/resistance, school promotion/peer non‐cooperation, advantage/disadvantage in use of IT, use of IT/content and pedagogical knowledge. This study has implications for developing a more supportive and rational environment for the use of IT in teaching, in which more autonomy and identity options—rather than constraints—can be provided for teachers in the digital era. This study also informs practitioners and policy makers in other educational settings experiencing a similar IT boom in teaching.
- Gu, M. & Lai, C. (2019). An ethical analysis of how ESL teachers construct their professional identities through the use of information technology in teaching. British Educational Research Journal, 45 (5), 918-937.
Basis Psychological Needs of Students in Blended Learning
Dr. WONG Ming Har, Ruth
Traditional classroom setting has transitioned from a solely face-to-face, teacher-oriented instructional approach to an integrated, mixed-mode classroom learning dynamic. With this change of educational context, it is imperative to know: are students’ basic psychological needs being better met and fulfilled? To address this question, this paper adopted a mixed method to discover if, and how, blended learning meets students’ three basic psychological needs, specifically relatedness, competence and autonomy. Findings show that the first two need-constructs of relatedness and competence were fulfilled. The need for autonomy, however, was not being met due to school culture, assessment and the perhaps-habitual adherence to the conventional roles of teachers and students. This study also found that the three aforementioned psychological are positively related. In fact, blended learning has provided a new dimension of, and opportunity for, learning interactions for students of differing learning styles. Varieties of academic outputs released other expressions of “self” in many students, which enabled the first need for relatedness to be met. Blended learning outputs could bring a positive spiral of development of recognition from others, and meet the second need of competence later, leading to better identity formation, and ultimately again to relatedness.
- Wong, R. (2019). Basis Psychological Needs of Students in Blended LearningInteractive Learning Environments.
Informal digital learning of English and strategic competence for cross-cultural communication: Perception of varieties of English as a mediator
Dr. LEE Ju Seong
This exploratory study examined the potential connections between informal digital learning of English (IDLE), strategic competence for cross-cultural communication and perception of varieties of English. A total of 266 Korean EFL university students, who had no overseas experience, filled in a questionnaire survey. Follow-up semi-structured interviews were also carried out to complement the quantitative data. Results of structural equation modelling showed that perception of varieties of English mediated the relationship between IDLE and strategic competence for cross-cultural communication. The qualitative data also confirmed that EFL students without overseas experience tended to adopt more effective cross-cultural communication strategies when their perception of different varieties of English became more positive through their engagement in IDLE activities. These results can offer pedagogical insights into how ELT researchers and teachers can better prepare contemporary English learners for cross-cultural interactions in multicultural environments, whether in digital or face-to-face milieus.
- Lee, J. (2020). Informal digital learning of English and strategic competence for cross-cultural communication: Perception of varieties of English as a mediatorReCALL, 32 (1), 47-62.
Flipped learning with Wikipedia in higher education
Dr. ZOU Di
This project investigated how Wikipedia can be integrated into flipped learning in higher education through the project-based learning approach. It proposed a flipped learning model where Wikipedia was involved in creating a collaborative learning environment. Two groups of students participated in the research and were asked to complete group projects of creating Wikipedia entries, one of which learned in the flipped classroom, the other in the conventional classroom. An online collaborative learning platform, GMoodle, was developed to provide an interactive learning environment for the participants’ learning with Wikipedia. The results showed that learning with Wikipedia in the flipped classroom was more effective than learning with Wikipedia in the conventional classroom. The participants in the flipped group created more versions of Wikipedia entries. The flipped learning environment provided the students with more in-class collaboration and interaction opportunities, leading to more time and space for active learning.
- Zou, D., Xie, H., Wang, F., & Kwan, R. (2020). Flipped learning with Wikipedia in higher education Studies in Higher Education.
Second Language Acquisition
Cross-cultural transitions in a bilingual context: The interplays between bilingual, individual and interpersonal factors and adaptation
Dr. YU Baohua
As a regional hub for education, Hong Kong has seen a growing population of international students. In contrast to existing conceptual models in acculturation literature that are typically devoted to studying long-term settlers such as migrants or refugees in English speaking countries, this study develops and tests a fine-grained model for degree-seeking mobile students in East Asia. A mixed-method study was conducted: a survey of 619 international students across six Hong Kong universities and focus group interviews with 22 Asian and nine non-Asian students. Bilingual competences were found to play significant roles in predicting sociocultural adaptation together with academic efficacy, social support, contact with locals, and psychological adaptation. This study offers practical and managerial insights for educational policymakers, university senior management and administrations, academicians, and research communities on how to manage the expansion and accommodate the needs of international students so that we can cater for a culturally diverse body of students. This research is significant because it extends the literature by examining sociocultural adjustment during crosscultural transitions in the increasingly globalised context of Hong Kong.
- Yu, B., Vyas, L. & Wright, E. (2020). Cross-cultural transitions in a bilingual context: The interplays between bilingual, individual and interpersonal factors and adaptation Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.
Experimental and quasi-experimental designs
Dr. John ROGERS
This chapter provides an overview of experimental and quasi-experimental research designs in the context of applied linguistics research. We begin by discussing key concepts, such as validity and reliability, before outlining steps and challenges when planning an experiment. Following this, descriptions of frequently used design types are provided, including pretest-posttest, latin-square, repeated measures, factorial, and time-series designs. Recent examples are used to illustrate the advantages and limitations of each approach. We further accentuate key features of each example study, with particular emphasis on how these features help control for threats to the internal and external validity of the findings. We end the chapter by summarising factors researchers should take into account when selecting and designing applied linguistics experiments. Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334250281_Experimental_and_quasi-experimental_designs
- Rogers, J., & Révész, A. (2020). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs.In J. McKinley & H. Rose (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (pp. 133-144). New York: Routledge.