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Research Projects

Model and Changes: The Hymns, Imperial Edicts, and Writings on Etiquette and Rites between Qingli and Xifeng-with a Focus on Figures of Northern Song Reform of Poetry and Prose

From Qingli to Xiling and Yuanfeng (1041-1085), the political and literary reforms happened almost simultaneously. How to explain this phenomenon? The most prominent Wenren of Northern Song were not only literary figures, but also thought leaders of that time. In an era of changes, how did they pass on Siwen through a more comprehensive form of Wen based on their philosophies and set a model for the world? In response to these questions, this research is aims to probe the connections between ‘Wen-Dao’, ‘imperial edicts’, and ‘etiquette’ in the Northern Song Dynasty.


Year: 2020 - 2022

Project Leader -

Dr FUNG Chi Wang

Department of Literature and Cultural Studies

Third language (L3) phonological development for multilingual learners in the Chinese context

In Hong Kong, multilingualism is prevalent, where citizens have Cantonese as their first language (L1), Mandarin and English as their second (L2) or third language (L3). Previous studies pointed out that the language acquisition of a multilingual is nonlinear and dynamic (Jessner, 2008), and L3 speakers possess a greater repertoire than L2 speakers in terms of cognitive flexibility, phonetic-phonological articulatory, perceptual knowledge and language-learning awareness that helps L3 learners better acquire a new language (Gut, 2009). Regarding the complexity of language teaching and acquisition, this project aims to examine the interaction amongst L1, L2, and L3 and provide in-depth insights for language teachers and learners in Hong Kong and researchers worldwide.


Year: 2020 - 2022

Project Leader -

Dr CHEN Hsueh Chu Rebecca

Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies

Capacity: PI

A Self-Regulated and Personalised Vocabulary Learning Approach Mediated by Mobile Technologies for University Students

Effective learning of second language (L2) vocabulary hinges on the learners’ ability to self-regulate their learning. However, little research interest has been shown in how students self-regulate when they are left on their own to explore L2 vocabulary learning mediated by mobile technologies. In this research, a self-regulated and personalised (SRP) vocabulary learning approach is developed and its effectiveness measured. This research aims to help students develop a heightened capacity for self-regulation to learn L2 vocabulary with mobile technologies more efficiently and effectively. This research adopts a mixed-method design. An experimental design is adopted to find out to what extent students can learn L2 vocabulary using the SRP approach in a mobile technology-mediated environment via a self-directed intervention for one semester. In addition, a multi-case study will be conducted to provide qualitative evidence to verify whether the self-directed SRP approach can lead to a heightened capacity for self-regulation.


Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr MA Qing Angel

Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies

Capacity: PI

Effects of Phonological Rule-Based and Acoustic Perceptual-Based Instructions on the Prosodic Acquisition of English Word Stress by Chinese ESL Learners

English is stress-timed while Chinese is syllable-timed, which makes English word stress placement difficult for Chinese learners of English. This project aims to develop assessment tasks to identify Chinese learners’ difficulties in English word stress placement in perception and production, design training programmes to examine whether word stress can be acquired systematically, and conduct a teaching experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of the training programmes in facilitating the learning of word stress. This project will generate substantial impact in both theory and practice.


Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr CHEN Hsueh Chu Rebecca

Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies

Capacity: PI

Preparing pre-service language teachers to teach critical thinking: An ethnographic case study in Hong Kong

This project seeks to investigate how student teachers are prepared to teach CT in a pre-service language teacher education programme in Hong Kong. Adopting an ethnographic case study design and informed by an ecological perspective on teacher education, the project will explore how student teachers learn to teach CT in relation to their programme coverage, coherence and applicability. The project will also draw on multiple perspectives from language teacher educators and programme leaders/coordinators to discover how CT is integrated with their situated teacher education curricula. Such an ethnographic design not only can contribute to our understanding of CT, but can also generate insights into the dynamic, complex process of teacher learning across different sites, influenced by a range of institutional and socio-cultural factors.


Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr YUAN Rui Eric

Department of English Language Education

Capacity: PI

Amount: HKD614,740

The Identity Construction Experiences of Teachers of English to Young Learners in Mainland China

This project responds to the need for research into the teaching of English to young learners (TEYL), defined as children between the ages of 5-12. Despite the significant increase in popularity of TEYL globally, including mainland China, our knowledge of how TEYL is implemented, the attitudes of teachers, and the challenges they face is scant. This project, therefore, addresses this gap in our understanding of English language teaching and learning by exploring the experiences of one group of primary school English teachers in mainland China. A particular contribution of this project is to examine the experiences and perceptions of teachers of English to young learners using the theoretical lens of teacher identity. The results of this project will be of interest to policy makers, teacher educators, school authorities, researchers, and teachers of young learners themselves, both in mainland China and analogous educational settings worldwide.


Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr TRENT John Gilbert

Department of English Language Education

Capacity: PI

Amount: HKD614,033

Disappearing Voices: An Oral History of Leftist Film Workers during Cold War Hong Kong

This oral history project aims to document the voices of Hong Kong leftist film workers who were active from 1949 to 1966 and to utilize their voices to reconstruct Cold War Hong Kong history. The principal investigator adopts the common usage of the term “leftist” during this era, defining leftist film workers as those who worked for the three major leftist film studios and the sole distributor of films made in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Until the mid-1960s, leftists controlled a significant share of the Hong Kong film market, produced popular movies and exported their productions and PRC-made films to other Chinese communities


Year: 2017 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr HUI Kwok Wai

Department of Literature and Cultural Studies

Examining the effects of executive function on Chinese word reading among Chinese as a second language (CSL) learners and Chinese students from a developmental perspective

This study aims to investigate the cognitive factors of word reading in CSL and native Chinese-speaking learners.


Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LIAO Xian

Department of Chinese Language Studies

Duration: 1 Dec 2019 – 30 Nov 2021

Circulation of Literature Across Territories: Wang Jingxi and Hong Kong Versions of Chun Wen Xue and Wen Xing Cong Kan, and the Literary Fields in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 1960s and 70s

This project investigates literary fields of Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 1960s. In 1967, Lin Haiyin founded Chun Wenxue literary journal in Taiwan. In the same year, its Hong Kong version was published by Wang Jingxi .Wang also introduced Wen Xing Cong Kan series from Taiwan via his Wen Yi Bookstore. It was owing to Hong Kong version of Wen Xing Cong Kan that Hong Kong readers could get a glimpse of the works of Yin Haiguang, Li Ao, Bo Yang, whose once banned works were difficult to access even in Taiwan.

 

On the other hand, his poor management led to accusation of not paying royalties to the authors and infringements of copyrights. What Wang created from the mid-1960s to 70s was a complicated case regarding cultural publishing. This project aims to investigate the significance of Wang Jingxi in the dissemination of literature across Hong Kong and Taiwan.


Year: 2018 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr CHAN Chi Tak

Department of Literature and Cultural Studies

The interplay of language-in-education policy, language ideology and linguistic practices within discourse of internationalization in higher education – a comparative study

Year: 2018 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr GU Mingyue Michelle

Department of English Language Education

Capacity: PI

Amount: HKD623,992

A Study on Joseph Yau and City Magazine: The Written Languages and Identities of Hong Kong in 1970s–80s

The project regards “written languages” as a combined perspective from Joseph Yau and City Magazine. Through the study of this important local writer and the development of City in 1970s and 80s, it aims to examine the complicated interrelation between written languages and identities and investigate the process of local identity building. We would like to advocate the inclusiveness and open-mindedness of “localness” in Yau and City. It is true that this project places a strong focus on local literature, history and culture. As we know that international approach is very critical in success of our research, we will place Yau and City in the whole picture of international politics and western cultures which are highly influential to Hong Kong during the period concerned.


Year: 2017 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LI Yuen Mei Fanny

Department of Literature and Cultural Studies

Role of Informal Digital Learning of English (IDLE) in Hong Kong University Students’ Perceptions of English as an International Language (EIL)

This project aims to examine the relationship between IDLE and two dimensions of EIL among Hong Kong university students, who are increasingly experiencing diverse accents among users of English through IDLE activities. Drawing on a sequential explanatory mixed-methods research design, data will be collected from 20 ESL/EFL classes at two universities by means of questionnaires (N = 400), open-ended questions (N = 400), semi-structured interviews (n = 40), and stimulated recalls (n = 40). With an interdisciplinary approach drawing from E-learning, sociolinguistics, and TESOL, theoretically this study can help us better understand and further theorize the way in which informal language practice using technology is related to contemporary students’ perceptions of EIL. Pedagogically, the findings will offer practical insights into how English language teachers can better prepare contemporary English learners for cross-cultural interactions in digital or face-to-face milieus.


Year: 2020 - 2022

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Ju Seong

Department of English Language Education

Capacity: PI

Amount: HKD453,150

Between Historicity and Imagination: Mutienzi Zhuan (The Travels of King Mu) and the Rise of Early Chinese Fictions

The prevalent theory traces the origins of Chinese fiction to the Wei and Jin Dynasties and considers the Tang Dynasty the time when they emerged fully fledged. With the advancement of archaeological works in China, this theory is gradually being challenged by excavated works of fiction dated to the Warring States and the Qin and Han periods. However, questions such as what are the stylistic features of early Chinese fiction and how did the fiction genre developed from that of historical writing remain to be answered. The purpose of this project is to focus on Mutienzi zhuan (The Travels of King Mu) to answer the above questions. As the earliest excavated text that survives into the modern age in Chinese history, our research on Mutienzi zhuan involves multiple aspects. We will start with a textual study of the text from a paleographical perspective, then move on to date its contents by comparing the text against documented bronze sources. The third step is to analyze the stylistic features of Mutienzi zhuan by comparing it with selected early fiction from other cultures, such as The Golden Ass, One Thousand and One Nights, and Mesopotamian mythologies, and to investigate the authorship, readership, transmission, and consumption of early Chinese fiction from a social perspective. The last step is to distinguish between the real and imagined geography in the text and reconstruct the transportation geography of King Mu’s travels using a historical geographical approach. It is hoped that this comprehensive research on Mutienzi zhuan will contribute to the study of Chinese paleography, history, geography and literature.


Year: 2017 - 2022

Project Leader -

Dr LEI Chin Hau

Department of Literature and Cultural Studies

L2 Phonemic Quantity Contrasts: Production and Perception by Cantonese, Mandarin, English and Japanese Speakers

This project examines an underexplored yet fundamental question in second language (L2) research: when acquiring new speech sounds, do L2 learners draw on knowledge of their first language (L1) phonology sound-by-sound or along some continuous dimension such as length?

Taking phonemic length (i.e. short vs. long sounds) as the test case, we will compare native listeners with different L1 backgrounds producing and perceiving length contrasts in non-native language(s). Their relative performance will answer numerous questions about how L1 transfer occurs.

The findings of the study are expected to have both theoretical and pedagogical implications. At the theoretical level, our findings can lead to a definitive conclusion at the ‘feature vs. category’ dialogue in L2 phonological acquisition. In turn, this will benefit learners of languages where length distinctions matter, such as Japanese. In the long run, our findings can also help teachers devise more effective pedagogical strategies.


Year: 2020 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Kwing Lok Albert

Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies

Capacity: PI

The Relationship between Executive Functions and Integrated Writing in Chinese (L1) and English (L2) among Secondary Students in Hong Kong

The study examines the concurrent and prospective effect of executive functions on the integrated writing (IW) task performance in both Chinese (L1) and English (L2).


Year: 2020 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr LIAO Xian

Department of Chinese Language Studies

Duration: 01 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2022

Understanding How Young Non-Chinese Speaking Students Interact in Chinese: Influences of Task Characteristics and Intersubjectivity

The study aims to examine the effects of task characteristics and intersubjective on the patterns of interaction in young non-Chinese speaking students in Hong Kong.


Year: 2020 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr YAN Jing

Department of Chinese Language Studies

Duration: 01 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2022

A Study on Fragrance within the Curtains, the Annotation for Huang Tingjian’s Poetry Anthology by the Japanese Zen Monk Banri Shūkyū

十一世紀的黃庭堅(1045-1105)號山谷,是型塑北宋詩歌與禪宗形態、內涵的代表。其《山谷內集》有詩逾七百首,是今人認知山谷詩學、禪學的核心文獻。該集歷來以難解而聞名,註家甚少。自古及今的華人世界內唯宋代任淵(1090?-1164?)曾遍註內集詩,又唯錢鍾書(1910-1998)選註的逾八十首為當代學界山谷詩註的典範。然而,十五世紀室町時代的日本禪僧萬里集九(1428-1507?)曾著書《帳中香》,以漢文遍註內集。萬里獨特的知識背景、闡釋立場與心態,使得該書在詮解旨趣異於華人註家的同時,尤在認識《山谷內集》中詩禪關係的問題上,深具洞察。然此書的存在及其重要性,長期未為學界所熟知。本計劃即將針對萬里集九及其《帳中香》展開首次全面研究。筆者尤其將通過檢視該書以禪解詩的獨特路徑,反思《山谷內集》固有的內典化傾向,進而重新認識黃庭堅所引領的迥異於唐代傳統的宋型詩禪新風。同時,本計劃亦將有助學界重新探索,近古以降的中日兩國在詩禪文化上曾有的互動與共性。


Year: 2018 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr SHANG Haifeng Aaron

Department of Literature and Cultural Studies

Impact of short-term study in mainland China programme on Hong Kong local university students’ intercultural competence, perception and attitude about mainland China, and national identity

Year: 2018 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr. GU Mingyue Michelle

Department of English Language Education

Capacity: Co-I

Amount: HKD594,435

A Foucauldian Perspective on Citizenship and Identity (Re)Construction Among University Students in Social Movements in Hong Kong

This study aims to investigate how university students understand prevailing political discourses in Hong Kong’s social-political context; investigate the development of citizenship and (re)construction of identity among university students within Hong Kong’ socio-political, cultural and economic discourses; identify the difficulties and challenges students face in their interactions with peers holding different political and ideological views and their coping strategies; and provide theoretical resources and suggest effective university-level measures and individual-level strategies to facilitate students’ whole-person development.


Year: 2020

Project Leader -

Dr GU Ming Yue Michelle

Department of English Language Education

Capacity: PI

Amount: HKD$458,735