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Plenary Speakers

Professor Henry Widdowson is Professor of English to Speakers of Other Languages at the Institute of Education, University of London, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Essex and Visiting Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Vienna.

He is a prolific author of works on stylistics, language and language teaching spanning almost four decades. He is the editor of two series of works for Oxford University Press: Oxford Introductions to Language Study and, in conjunction with Chris Candlin: Language Teaching: A Scheme for Teacher Education. A volume of work celebrating Professor Widdowson contribution to Applied Linguistics was published in 1997: Principles and Practice in Applied Linguistics: Studies in Honour of H.G. Widdowson (edited by Guy Cook and Barbara Seidlhofer). Widdowson own works published by Oxford include the seminal Teaching Language as Communication, Practical Stylistics, and Aspects of Language Teaching and a recent volume in the Introduction to Language Study Series: Linguistics published in 1996.

Professor Liz Hamp-Lyons is Chair Professor of English, and Head of the English Department at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. Her research and scholarly interests encompass academic writing and first and second language writing assessment. She has edited the definitive work on second language academic
writing assessment: Assessing Second Language Writing in Academic Contexts published by Ablex, Norwood, N.J. in 1991, and published numerous articles in the area. Recent work has focused on the portfolio assessment of writing, and her new book, Assessing the Portfolio:Principles for Theory, Practice, and Research (with Bill Condon),will be published by Hampton Press, Cresskill, NJ, this year; a book on second language portfolio assessment is in progress. She has published on test washback (with J. Charles Alderson) and on the ethics of language testing (in Language Testing, and in the new Kluwer Encyclopaedia of Language in Education).

Professor Peter Skehan of the Centre for Applied Linguistic Research, Thames Valley University, the United Kingdom has done innovative work in the fields of language aptitude, language testing, individual differences and, most recently, task-based learning. He is the author of Individual Differences in Second Language Learning published by Edward Arnold in 1989 and of an article with the same title which appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition 1991, Jun v13 n2 p275-98.

He has recently published an article, written, in collaboration with Pauline Foster The Influence of Planning and Task Type on Second Language Performance which appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition 1996, Sep v18 n3 p299-323. A second article on task-based learning: A Framework for the Implementation of Task-Based Instruction, appears in Applied Linguistics 1996, Mar v17 n1 p38-62.

Professor Skehan's latest work is A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning published by Oxford University Press in 1998.

Professor LEONG Che Kan trained at the University of Hong Kong with a B.A. (Hons.) degree in English Literature and M.A. (Ed.), the University of Queensland, Australia in Child Guidance and Development, and obtained his PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta, Canada. He taught in Hong Kong and was research officer with the Education Department from 1957 to 1969. He lectured at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada from 1969 to July, 1998, when he became Professor Emeritus. During his different sabbatical leaves, he did research at these Universities : Free University of Amsterdam, London University Birkbeck College, University of Umea, East China Normal University, Universities of Hong Kong, Nagoya University, Hiroshima University and Universities in Lublin and Krakow, Poland.

Dr. Leong was awarded a Doctor of Social Science degree (Honoris Causa) by the University of Umea, Sweden in 1990. In 1986, the International Dyslexia Association honoured him with the Samuel Torrey Orton Award for his contribution to the science of dyslexia. In 1998 the University of Saskatchewan awarded him an Earned Doctor of Letters degree. Dr. Leong is a Fellow of the American and Canadian psychological associations and a chartered psychologist (U.K.).

Professor Leong's research interest over the past thirty years is in the psychology of reading (English and Chinese) and reading disorders. He has authored two and coedited six graduate-level books, including : Psychology of Reading (J. Downing & Leong, 1982), Children with Specific Reading Disabilities (Leong, 1987), Developmental and Acquired Dyslexia (coedited by Leong & R.M. Joshi, 1995), Cross-Language Studies of Learning to Read and Spell (coedited by Leong & R.M. Joshi, 1997), Cognitive Processing of Chinese and Japanese (coedited by Leong & K. Tamaoka, 1999). During these 15 years Prof. Leong has also published some 40 book chapters and 40 research papers. He serves on the editorial board of a number of research journals.

Professor Ingvar Lundberg is Professor of Psychology , University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He first trained and worked as a teacher and obtained his PhD in Experimental and Child Psychology at the University of Stockholm. He was a founding member and later head of the Psychology Department, University of Umea in 1965. His research in metalinguistic awareness and psychology of reading is internationally known. He has published a number of books in English, Swedish and other Scandinavian languages. He is a regular consultant on reading and language development to Scandinavian ministries of education and academic institutions.

Professor David R. Olson is Professor and Head, Centre for Applied Cognitive Science at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He obtained his PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Alberta. His work in literacy and cognition and  " children's mind  "  is well-known. One of his recent books  " The World on Paper  "   (1994) has won critical acclaim. He was awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Gothenburg and the University of Saskatchewan and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Professor Shi-ming Hu, has been teaching at the State University of New York for more than 20 years, since she obtained her doctorate from Columbia University. She has received a number of awards including Huge Cleland Memorial Outstanding Professor Award. Currently she is holding the honourary title of "Distinguished Teaching Professor".

The focus of her studies is on curriculum design and pedagogy. She has developed a series of Chinese language texts based upon the social and cultural perspective; the texts are very effective and welcomed by the teachers as well as students.

Besides her daily teaching, Prof. Hu is also interested in comparative education. She is especially interested in education in China and Southeast Asia; she has published books and articles concerning education issues in those areas.

In the 1980's, Prof Hu was invited by the Minister of Education in China to train foreign language instructors at various locations during summer, for a period of five years. In the early 1990's, she continued to travel to China, Singapore and Malaysia to give lectures and seminars to assist the improvement of teaching and learning Chinese.

Professor Cheng-hai Chew, is Director of the Centre for Chinese Language and Culture and Head of the Division of Chinese Language and Culture at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He was visiting professor in the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1996 to 1997. He has undertaken major research in socio-linguistics focussing on the dialects of Southeast Asian , Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Professor Zhiqiang Li, is the Dean of the Education Research Institute of Zhejiang Province, PRC. His research is mainly in the area of psycholinguistics and methods of Chinese language teaching. He has major publications in these areas.