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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

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

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

Capacity: PI

Construction of Gender in Primary Literacy Resources: A Study of Readers for Hong Kong Early Learners

The present study arises from the belief that early school readers play a major role in the socialisation of children’s lives and their gender development, and that schooling is an important medium of reproducing cultures and of perpetuating the existing mechanisms of domination. The study aims to examine how male and female characters are represented in the readers produced by local publishers and those recommended by the Education Bureau in its two popular reading schemes, namely the Primary Literacy Programme: Reading and Writing, and Reading across the Curriculum. A total of 180 readers for Key Stage 1 (Primary 1-3) will be selected for the analysis. The value of the investigation is that it will help heighten the public awareness of the power of book authors to position the two genders through various means.


Year: 2018 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Fung King Jackie

Capacity: PI (Dr LEE Fung King Jackie)

Capacity: Co-I (Dr CHIN Chi On Andy)

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

Capacity: PI

A self-learning open platform of Chinese for non-Chinese speaking learners

Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr CHIN Chi On Andy

Capacity: PI

Children’s literature in English language teaching for primary students in Hong Kong

Year: 2018 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Fung King Jackie

Capacity: Co-I

A Study of the Cantonese Bibles by Western Protestant Missionaries in the Late-Qing and Early-Republican Era

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr KATAOKA Shin

Capacity: PI

A comparative study of culture education in ELT textbooks – the cases of Hong Kong and Mainland China

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Fung King Jackie

Capacity: PI

A preliminary investigation into translator status signalling mechanisms in online communities

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LIU Fung Ming Christy

Capacity: PI

A Self-regulated and Personalised Vocabulary Learning Approach Mediated by Mobile Technologies for Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese University Students

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr MA Qing

Capacity: PI

Comparative modelling of speech prosody: AM theory vs. PENTA model

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Kwing Lok Albert

Capacity: PI

Production and Perception of L2 Phonemic Quantity Contrasts Across Languages

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Kwing Lok Albert

Capacity: PI

The effect of statistical distribution of the input on bilingual morpheme acquisition

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LUK Pei Sui Zoe

Capacity: PI

The roles of L1 and L2 phonological features in L3 pronunciation learning and teaching in a multilingual society

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr CHEN Hsueh Chu Rebecca

Capacity: PI

Toward a Research Cluster in Clinical Linguistics

Year: 2020 - 2022

Project Leader -

Prof CHEUNG Hin Tat

Capacity: PI (Prof CHEUNG Hin Tat)

Capacity: Co-I (Dr CHIN Chi On Andy, Dr LEE Kwing Lok Albert)

Enhancing students’ professional development and knowledge exchange in translation via Mahara

Year: 2020 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr LIU Fung Ming Christy

Capacity: PI

Revamp of the corpus-based online pronunciation learning system and acoustic analysis of spoken learner corpus for Cantonese learners of Mandarin

Year: 2020 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr CHEN Hsueh Chu Rebecca

Capacity: PI

Enhancing Learners’ Self-regulated Skills Mediated by Mobile Technologies for Language Learning

Year: 2019 - 2021

Project Leader -

Dr MA Qing

Capacity: PI

Development of Teaching and Learning Materials for a Professional Course Involving Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr CHIN Chi On Andy

Capacity: PI

Lesson Study of Grammar Instruction in Schools

Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Leader -

Dr LEE Fung King Jackie

Capacity: PI