Why do we begin the project?

 

Hong Kong students performed well in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) over the years. Yet, it is a real concern for us that these gifted HK students with high achievements in STEM but fail to express their brilliant ability to integrate and apply their knowledge and skills through English. This project will focus on writing that is suited to the genre concerned and will make the genre-specific conventions more explicit and accessible to students.

  • Immediate beneficiaries: Approximately 600 students in secondary grades 7, 8, 9 from 9 secondary schools (60 to 100 students per school). Writing workshops have catered to different learning needs across the different levels.

  • Deliverables will be produced and delivered to secondary schools across Hong Kong, in addition to the website made available to schools and the general public.

  • Deliverables will also benefit English and Science teachers in assisting them to enhance their pedagogy in order to improve their students’ skills in English writing for science subjects.

Timeline

Divided into 7 stages across April 2019 to March 2022.

April 2021 - March 2022

April 2021 - February 2022

April 2021 - December 2021

April 2021 - December 2021

April 2020 - September 2020

April 2020 - September 2020

April 2019 - March 2020

Development of teaching manual: Creation of the teaching manual and website for use by all secondary schools in Hong Kong

Analysis: analysis of the data and reporting preliminary findings

Post-tests: measuring participants’ English language abilities following the execution of the workshops

Intervention: the 12-week writing workshops. Throughout the 12-week intervention, students will develop strategies and skills through a range of interactive tasks specifically related to science writing

Pre-tests: measuring participants’ general English language abilities

Implementation: providing training for the instructors in workshop delivery

Preparation: producing the genre-based teaching/learning materials

Procedure

April 2021 - September 2021

3 part-time instructors underwent the briefing and training sessions in order to understand the nature of the project and the intended teaching outcomes

completed teaching workshops for 7 out of 9 schools successfully

October 2020 - March 2021

Finalized the teaching materials with our language consultant, Dr Graham Locke, formatting 10 weeks of worksheets, student notes, teachers’ notes and PowerPoints

 

Recruited a part-time teacher to conduct the workshops. Briefing and training session is provided to the teacher

In the progress of liaising with other secondary schools to confirm their workshop starting dates.

April 2020 - September 2020

Recruited language consultant, Dr Graham Locke to review the materials, giving feedbacks, and designing extra materials deemed appropriate

Created teaching videos and PowerPoint for the teaching staff  to adopt the online learning method for the project

In the progress of sending out invitations to the secondary schools again to re-confirm their participation in the project

April 2019 - March 2020

Did literature review for setting the background for developing the materials

Invited some potential students to share their views on the appropriateness of those materials we selected for course materials

Revised our selections of school scientific texts for producing materials for the writing workshops

Deliverables

 

  • A teaching manual that will showcase the ways that content-subject teachers can improve their students’ academic language competence through an approach to teaching that is focused on subject-specific discourses

  • A website that supplies the teaching/learning materials to the general public and secondary schools in Hong Kong

  • Two or three journal publications on the topic of developing English writing skills and genre-awareness among Hong Kong secondary school students

Evaluation

  • Performance indicators: the project uses an experimental approach and applies standardised tests to evaluate the effectiveness of the genre-based pedagogy in enhancing students’ English writing abilities in science subjects.

  • Outcome measurements: Pre-tests and post-tests to measure the change in the students’ English language abilities