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Division of English Language Education



The Division of English Language Education (ELE) currently comprises twenty members, with teaching and research expertise in various areas related to applied linguistics, language teacher education  and the English language curriculum. The current Division Head is Professor Angel Lin. 

The Division has considerable strengths in the areas of  teaching,  research and community engagement. We pride ourselves on our good teaching and our emphasis is on bringing about positive learning outcomes amongst our students.  We have a strong research profile and our division includes many world-class scholars. We are heavily involved in the local community and we contribute to the work of numerous educational associations and bodies, including the Education Bureau, the Curriculum and Development Council  and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority. We also have extensive professional connections with colleagues in Mainland China and overseas.



Teaching is at the core of Division activities. A number of Division members have been winners of Faculty or University teaching awards: Cheri Chan, Gary Harfitt, Margaret Lo and Nicole Tavares.


Undergraduate Programmes

At the undergraduate level, ELE plays a leading role in the creation and delivery of cutting-edge programmes preparing teachers of English for the local school sector. Building on the strengths of the BEd (Language Education) programme, the Faculty initiated a double degree in 2005 – the BA&BEd in English Language Education – in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts. In 2012, four new double degree programmes were  launched in response to curriculum changes at the secondary and tertiary levels in Hong Kong. These programmes include the five-year BA&BEd in English Language Education in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts.


Taught Postgraduate Level

At the taught postgraduate level, the ELE Division plays a key role in the Faculty. In the Postgraduate Diploma in Education we have full-time and part-time programmes in both Primary English and Secondary English. At the master’s level, we run  three MEd specialisms  in English Language Education (ELE),  English Language Studies (ELS) and  Language Across the Curriculum(LAC). In 2014 we will launch  a  full-time MATESOL programme in partnership with the Centre for Applied  English Studies in the Faculty of Arts.


Doctoral Programmes

Our professoriate is heavily involved in the teaching and supervision of doctoral candidates at both PhD and EdD levels. The Division consistently attracts a large number of applicants wanting to pursue doctoral work with us. In addition, we engage in collaborative research and co-authoring with our doctoral students.. Many of our doctoral graduates take on high-profile roles in education in Hong Kong and mainland China.

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The Division of English Language Education seeks to be a world leader in multi-disciplinary research on language teaching and learning and the forces that shape language-in-education practices. Our research publications include books by major international publishers and articles in the most respected international academic journals. Our local research into language teaching and learning, as well as language practices and policies in schools and other social contexts, provides an up-to-date foundation for our undergraduate and postgraduate classroom teaching. 

Our current research includes major projects supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) to David Carless, Chris Deneen, Gary Harfitt, Fiona Hyland, Yongyan Li, Angel Lin and Jasmine Luk on important topics such as critical thinking in Hong Kong secondary schools, medium of instruction policy in Hong Kong, e-portfolios in assessment, students’ writing in Hong Kong and Mainland China, and dialogue in small classes. Other members of the Division conduct research on such cutting-edge issues as complexities in school-university collaboration; multilingualism and superdiversity in Spain and Hong Kong; media coverage of language policy in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the United States; the impact of new technologies on students’ motivation; the structure of interaction in multilingual classrooms; bilingual education in Southeast Asia; and quantitative analysis of the impact of medium of instruction. 

Division members collaborate with scholars in many countries in the region and beyond, and welcome inquiries from students and scholars interested in conducting research in Hong Kong.


Community Engagement Photo


Community Engagement

ELE colleagues play an active service role in the wider community,  both locally and internationally.

Internationally, division colleagues serve on a number of editorial boards for leading international journals, including Applied Linguistics, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, the British Educational Research Journal, the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, the Journal of English for Academic Purposes, the Journal of Second Language Writing, Language Policy, Language Teaching, and TESOL Quarterly.

Colleagues also contribute to the work of numerous local educational associations and bodies, including the Education Bureau, the Curriculum and Development Institiute and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority. Two members have served terms as President of the Hong Kong Association for Applied Linguistics.

Our colleagues are active in interfacing with the local educational community. As part of knowledge exchange, we have carried out numerous workshops and other school-based activities. Colleagues teaching on the MEd(LAC) programme share expertise and actively conduct both qualitative and quantitative research on medium of instruction policies, translanguaging and bilingualism, and their impact on Science, Mathematics and PSHE lessons in Hong Kong.

The MEd(LAC) team's knowledge of and good practices in language-across-the-curriculum initiatives have won for them several EDB-commissioned bids to run professional development courses for in-service primary and secondary school teachers.

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