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Professor LAI, Chun

Professor LAI, Chun

賴 春

Unit Head

Associate Professor

Academic Unit of Language and Literacy Education


M. A. (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA), Ph.D. (Michigan State University, USA)


[javascript protected email address]


(852) 3917 7087


Room 623, Meng Wah Complex

  • Self-directed language learning with technology;
  • Technology-enhanced language teaching;
  • language learning beyond the classroom

Research Expertise

  • Technology-enhanced Learning
  • English Language Education
  • Teaching Chinese as a Second/Foreign Language

Prospective PhD/ EdD/ MPhil Applications

I am available to supervise PhD/MPhil students and would welcome enquiries for supervision.

Teaching Areas:

Teaching Chinese as a second/foreign language; foreign language curriculum design; technology and second/foreign language teaching and learning; educational research methodology


Research Interest:

Self-directed language learning beyond classroom; technology and second/foreign language learning; second language pedagogy; language teacher education


  • Outstanding Paper of the Year (2010). CALICO Journal, Computer Assisted Language Learning Consortium, U.S.A.

  1. The Relationship between Learners’ Out-of-Class Autonomous Technology-Enhanced Language Learning and Their Vocabulary Knowledge. Principal Investigator. RGC-funded project (2018-2021) HK$593,321
  2. Supporting Ethnic Minority Students' Chinese Language Learning through Enhancing Extramural Chinese Social Media Use. Principal Investigator. SCOLAR project (2018-2020) HK$2,211,832
  3. Understanding the Relationship of Language Teacher Identity with Their Technology Integration for Instruction. Principal Investigator. Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research, HKU (2018-2020)
  4. A Developmental Approach to Semantic Radical Knowledge for Chinese as Foreign Language (CFL) learners. Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research, HKU (2017-2019)
  5. Espoused Culture Values and Self-Directed Technology Use for Foreign Language Learning. Principal Investigator, RGC-funded project (2013-2015)
  6. What is the Essential Knowledge and Skills Learners Need to Engage in Active and Effective Use of Common Information Technologies for Foreign Language Learning? Principal Investigator, RGC-funded project (2010-2013)
  7. A Developmental Approach to Novice Teachers' Integration of Technology in Language Teaching. Principal Investigator, Small Project Funding, HKU (2011-2013)
  8. What predicts language learners' self-regulated use of technology for learning? Principal Investigator, Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research, HKU (2011-2012)
  9. Do Foreign Language Learners Use Technologies Strategically to Meet Their Language Learning Needs? Principal Investigator, Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research, HKU (2009-2010)


1. Lai, C. (2018). Autonomous Language Learning with Technology beyond the Classroom. Bloomsbury Publishing.


2. Reinders, H., Lai, C. & Sundqvist, P. (2022). The Routledge Handbook of Language Learning and Teaching Beyond the Classroom. Routledge. 


3. Lai, C. (2023). Insights into Autonomy and Technology in Language Teaching. Castledown Publishers.



Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Self-Directed Language Learning beyond the Classroom

  1. Lai, C., Chen, Q. S., Wang, Y. B. & Qi. X. D. (2023). Individual interest, self-regulation and self-directed learning with technology beyond the classroom. British Journal of Educational Technology.
  2. An, Z. J., Lai, C. & Gan, Z. D. (2023). Motivation in self-directed use of technology for English learning among high, average and low achievers. System.
  3. Lai, C. & Cai, S. Y. (2023). The nature of social media use and ethnic minorities' accuturation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations.
  4. Lai, C., Liu ,Y., Hu, J. J., Benson, P. & Lyu, B. N. (2022). Association between the Characteristics of out-of-class technology-mediated language experience and L2 vocabulary knowledge. Language Learning & Technology. 
  5. Lyu, B. N. & Lai, C. (2022). Learners' engagement on a social networking platform: An ecological analysis. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1-22.
  6. Lyu, B. & Lai, C. (2022). Analysing learner engagement with native speaker feedback on an educational social networking site: An ecological perspective. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 
  7. Lai, C. (2022). Learner autonomy and technology. In Ziegler, N. & Gonzalez-Lloret, M. (Eds.) Handbook of SLA and Technology (pp. 370-381). Routledge.
  8. Lai, C. (2021). The influences of different types of social media activities on ethnic minorities' acculturation. New Media & Society
  9. Lai, C. & Tai, C. P. (2021). Types of social media activities and Hong Kong South and Southeast Asians Youth's Chinese language learning motivation. System
  10. Lai, C., Gu, M. Y., Gao, F. & Yung, J. (2020). Motivational mechanisms of ethnic minorities' social media engagement with mainstream culture. Journal of Multilingual and multicultural development. doi: 10.1080/01434632.2020.1738442.
  11. Lai, C. (2019). Learning Beliefs and Autonomous Language Learning with Technology beyond the Classroom. Language Awareness, 28(4), 291-309.
  12. Lai, C. (2019). Technology and learner autonomy: An argument in favor of the nexus of formal and informal language learning.  Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 39, 52-58.
  13. Lai, C. (2019). The influence of extramural access to mainstream culture social media on ethnic minority students’ motivation for language learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(4), 1929-1941.  
  14. Lai, C., & Lyu, B. L. (2019). Hong Kong and informal language learning. In Dressman, M. & Sadler, R. W. (Eds.), Handbook of Informal Language Learning. Wiley Blackwell.
  15. Lai, C., Hu, X., & Lyu, B. N. (2018). Undertanding the nature of learners' out-of-class language learning experience with technology. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 31(1), 114-143.
  16. Lyu, B. L. & Lai, C. (2018). The "informal" aspect of blended language learning: An overview of learners' self-initiated language learning with technology beyond the classroom. In Palalas, A. (Ed.), Belended Language Learning: International Perspectives on Innovative Practice. China Central Radio & TV University Press. 
  17. Lai, C. & Zheng, D. P. (2018). Self-directed use of mobile devices for language learning beyond the classroom. ReCALL, 30(3), 299-318. 
  18. Lai, C., Li, X., & Wang, Q. (2017). Students' perceptions of teacher impact on their self-directed language learning with technology beyond the classroom: cases of Hong Kong and U.S. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65, 1105-1133.
  19. Lai, C., Wang, Q., Li, X., & Hu, X. (2016). The influence of individual espoused cultural values on self-directed use of technology for language learning beyond the classroom. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 676-688.
  20. Lai, C., Shum, M. & Tian, Y. (2016). Enhancing learners’ self-directed use of technology for language learning: The effectiveness of an online training platform. Computer Assisted Language Leaching, 29(1), 40-60.
  21. Lai, C., Yeung, Y. & Hu, J. J. (2016). University student and teacher perceptions of teacher roles in promoting autonomous language learning with technology outside the classroom. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29(4), 703-723.
  22. Lai, C. (2015). Modeling Teachers’ Influence on Learners’ Self-Directed Use of Technology for Language Learning Outside the Classroom. Computers & Education, 82, 74-83.
  23. Lai, C. (2015). Perceiving and traversing in-class and out-of-class learning: Accounts from foreign language learners in Hong Kong. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 9(3), 265-284. doi: 10.1080/17501229.2014.918982 
  24. Lai, C., Zhu, W. M. & Gong, G. (2015). Understanding the quality of out-of-class English learning. TESOL Quarterly, 49(2), 278-308. doi:10.1002/tesq.171 
  25. Lai, C. (2013). A framework of developing self-directed technology use for language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 17 (2), 100-122.
  26. Lai, C., Wang, Q. & Lei, J. (2012). What factors predict undergraduate students’ use of technology for learning? A case from Hong Kong. Computers & Education, 59, 569-579.
  27. Lai, C. & Gu, M. Y. (2011). Self-regulated out-of-class language learning with technology. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 24, 4, 317-335

Technology-Enhanced (Language) Learning

  1. Su, Y. F., Lin, Y., & Lai, C. (2023). Collaborating with ChatGPT in argumentative writing classrooms. Assessing Writing
  2. Hu. X., Zuo, H. D., Lai, C., Zhu, G. X., Guo, J. S. & Tan, H. L. (2023). Is social media for math learning beneficial for ethnic minority students' math identity? A socialization perspective. British Journal of Educational Technology.
  3. Wen, Y., Lai, C., He, S., Cai, Y., Looi, C. K., & Wu, L. (2023). Investigating primary school students' epistemic beliefs in augmented reality-based inquiry learning. Interactive Learning Environments
  4. Shi, Z., Liu, F., Lai, C. & Jin, T. (2022). Enhancing the use of evidence in argumentative writing through collaborative processing of content-based automated writing evaluation feedback. Language Learnin g& Technology, 26(2).
  5. Su, Y. F., Liu, K. L., Lai, C. & Jin, T. (Accepted). The Progression of Collaborative Argumentation among English Learners: A Qualitative Study. System
  6. Lai, C., Wen, Y., Gao, T. & Lin, C. H. (2020). The Mechanisms of the Learning Impact of Teacher-Organized Online Schoolwork Sharing among Primary School Students. Journal of Educational Computing Research.
  7. Hu, X., Gong. Y., Lai, C., & Leung, F. K. S. (2018). The relationship between ICT and student literacy in mathematics, reading and science across 44 countries: A multilevel analysis. Computers & Education
  8. Lai, C., Lei, C., & Liu, Y. (2016). The nature of collaboration and perceived learning in wiki-based collaborative writing. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 32(3). 
  9. Lai, C., & Morrison, B. (2013). Towards an agenda for learner preparation in technology-enhanced language learning environments. CALICO Journal, 30(2), 154-162. 
  10. Lai, C. & Li, G. F. (2011). Technology and task-based language teaching: A Critical Review. CALICO Journal28, 2, 498-521.
  11. Lai, C., Fei, F. & Roots, R. (2008). The Contingency of Recasts and Noticing. CALICO Journal, 26, 1.
  12. Lai, C. & Zhao, Y. (2006). Noticing in text-based online chat. Language Learning and Technology, 10, 3, 102-120
  13. Zhao, Y., Lei, J., Yan, B, Lai, C. & Tan, H.S., (2005). What Makes the Difference: A Practical Analysis of Effectiveness of Distance Education. Teachers College Record, 107, 1836-1884. 
  14. Lai, C. & Lei, J. (2015). The Technology Millenium. In He, M. F., Schultz, B. D.& Schubert, W. H. (Eds.). The Sage Guide to Curriculum in Education (pp. 335-343). Sage Publishing 
  15. Lai, C. (2015). Diagnostic Feedback in Formal Educational Settings. In M. Spector & M. H. Wang (Eds.). SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. 
  16. Lai, C. & Lei, J. (2013). Digital Divide in China. In Q, Zhang (Ed). Education in China: An Encyclopedic Handbook of Educational History, Models and Initiatives. Berkshire publishing.
  17. Lai, C., Ni, R. H. & Zhao, Y. (2013). Digital games and language learning. In M. Thomas, H. Reinders & M. Warschauer (Eds.). Contemporary Computer-Assisted Language Learning. Continuum Contemporary Linguistics Series (pp. 183-200). London & New York: Continuum.
  18. Zhao, Y., Zhang, G. M. & Lai, C. (2010). Curriculum, digital resources and delivery. In P. D., Pearson, & A. Luke (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Education, 3rd Ed (pp. 390-396) Elsevier.
  19. Zhao, Y. & Lai, C. (2009). MMORPGs and Foreign Language Education. In R. Ferdig (Ed.). Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education (pp. 402-421). Information Science reference: Hershey, P.A.
  20. Lai, C., Zhao, Y. & Li, N. (2008). Designing a Distance Foreign Language Learning Environment. In S. Goertler & P. Winke (Eds.). CALICO Monograph on Distance Education, 2008
  21. Zhao, Y. & Lai, C. (2008). Technology and second language learning: Promises and problems. In L. L. Parker (Ed.). Technology-mediated learning environments for young English learners: Connections in and out of school. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  22. Lai, C. & Zhao, Y. (2005). Introduction to part two: the importance of input and the potential o technology for enhancing input. In Zhao, Y. (ed). Research in Technology and Second Language Education: Developments and Directions. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
  23. Lai, C. (2005). Introduction to part three: The role of communicative practices and talking with and through the computer. In Zhao, Y. (ed). Research in Technology and Second Language Education: Developments and Directions. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
  24. Lai, C. (2005). Introduction to part four: The role of feedback and technology in SLA. In Zhao, Y. (ed). Research in Technology and Second Language Education: Developments and Directions. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
  25. Lai, C. & Zhao, Y. (2005). Introduction to part five: The essence of language education and technology integration in language education. In Zhao, Y. (ed). Research in Technology and Second Language Education: Developments and Directions. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Second Language Teaching and Learning

  1. Lyu, B. N., Lai, C., Lin, C. H., Gong. Y. (Accepted). Comparison Studies of Typing and Handwriting in Chinese Language Learning: A Synthetic Review. International Journal of Educational Research 
  2. Gong. Y., Gao. X. S., Li, M. & Lai, C. (Accepted). Cultural adaptation challenges and strategies during study abroad: New Zealand students in China. Language, Culture and Curriculum
  3. Gong, Y., Guo, Q. J., Li, M., Lai, C. & Wang, C. (in press). Developing literacy or focusing on interaction: New Zealand students’ strategic efforts related to Chinese language learning during study abroad in China. System
  4. Gong. Y., Lai, C. & Gao. X. S. (2020). The Teaching and Learning of Chinese as a Second or Foreign Language: The Current Situation and Future Directions. Frontiers of Education in China, 15, 1-13.
  5. Gu, M. Y. & Lai, C. (2019). From Chungking Mansions to Tertiary Institution: Acculturation and language practices of an immigrant mother and her daughter. Linguistics and Education, 52, 52-60.
  6. Lai, C., Qi, X. D., Lu, C. & Lyu B. N. (2018). The Effectiveness of Guided Inductive Instruction and Deductive Instruction on Semantic Radical Development in Chinese Character Processing. Language Teaching Research. 
  7. Gao, F., Lai, C. & Halse, C. (2018). Belonging beyond the deficit label: The experiences of 'non-Chinese speaking' minority students in Hong Kong. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.
  8. Gao, F., & Lai, C. (2018). Biculturalism and segragated schooling in Hong Kong. Journal of Multilingual and Multicutlural Development, 39(4), 301-312.
  9. Qi. X. D. & Lai, C. (2017). The effects of deductive instruction and inductive instruction on learners’ development of pragmatic competence in the teaching of Chinese as a second language. System, 70, 26-37. 
  10. Lai, C. & Lin, X. L. (2015). Strategy training in a task-based language classroom. Language Learning Journal, 43(1), 20-40. DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2012.681794
  11. Gao, T., Porter, T., Lai, C. (2015). Blogging reduces writing anxiety of Chinese as Second language students in primary school Chinese classroom. IB Journal of Teaching Practice, 3(1).
  12. Lai, C., Gao, F. & Wang, Q. (2015). Bicultural orientation and Chinese language learning among South Asian ethnic minority students in Hong Kong. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18(2), 203-224. DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2014.887054
  13. Lai, C. (2015). Task-based language teaching in the Asian context: Where are we now and where are we going? In M. Thomas & H. Reinders (Eds.). Contemporary Task-Based Language Teaching in Asia (pp. 12-29). London: Bloomsbury. 
  14. Lai, C. (2015). Integrating IB Philosophy and pedagogy into Chinese language teaching: What could educational technology bring into the dialogue? In Hill, I. & Shum, M. (Eds.) Infusing IB Philosophy and Pedagogy into Chinese Language Teaching (pp. 155-173). UK: John Catt publishing.
  15. Lai, C., Zhao, Y. & Wang, J. W. (2011). Task-based language teaching in online ab initio Chinese classrooms. Modern Language Journal, 95, s1, 81-103. 

Language Teacher Development

  1. Huang, X., Lai, C., Sun, M., & Sun, C. (2023). Associations of Different Types of Informal Teacher Learning with Teachers’ Technology Integration Intention. Computers & Education.
  2. Huang, X., Lai, C., & Wang, C. (2023). The relationship between informal teacher learning and self-efficacy among public school teachers and private school teachers in China. Journal of Education for Teaching, 49(5).
  3. Gong, Y. Lai, C., Gao, X. S., Li, G. F., Huang, Y. X. & Lin, L. (2022). Teacher cognition in teaching intercultural communicative competence: A qualitative study on preservice Chinese language teachers in Hong Kong SAR. Frontiers in Psychology. 
  4. Li, Z & Lai, C. (2022). Identity in ESL-CSL career transition: A narrative study of three second-career teachers. Journal of Language, Identity & Education
  5. Lai, C., Wang, Q, & Huang, X. H. (2022). The differential interplay of TPACK, teacher beliefs, school culture and professional development with the nature of in-service EFL teachers' technology adoption. British Journal of Educational Technology. 
  6. Lai, C., Wang, Q. & Huang, X. H. (2022). The evolution of the association between teacher technology integration and its influencing factors over time. Journal of Research on Technology in Education
  7. Lai, C. & Jin, T. (2021). Teacher professional identity and the nature of technology integration. Computers & Education, 175, 104314.
  8. Gu, M. Y., Lee, J. C. K. & Lai, C. (2020). Neo-liberal paradox of teaching among ESL teachers of ethnic minority students in Hong Kong. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. Doi: 10.1080/01434632.2020.1822852
  9. Huang, X. H. & Lai, C. (2020). Connecting formal and informal workplace learning with teacher proactivity: A proactive motivation perspective. Journal of Workplace Learning, 32(6), 437-456.
  10. Lai, C. Huang, X. H. & Lin, T. F. (2020). Teachers' socio-spatial practice in innovative learning environments. Cambridge Journal of Education. doi: 10.1080/0305764X.2020.1736003
  11. Lai, C. Li. Z., & Gong, Y. (2019). Boundary brokering for cross-cultural professional learning in international school contexts. British Educational Research Journal, 45(6), 1105-1123.
  12. Gu, M. Y. & Lai, C. (2019). An ethical analysis of how ESL teachers construct their professional identities through the use ofinformation technology in teaching. British Educational Research Journal, 45(5), 918-937.
  13. Gong, Y., Hu, X. & Lai, C. (2018). CSL teachers' cognition in teaching intercultural communicative competence. System.
  14. Gong, Y., & Lai, C. (2018). Technology integration into the language classroom: Developmental trajectory of begining teachers. Frontiers of Education in China, 13(1), 1-27.
  15. Lai, C., Li, Z. & Gong. Y. (2016). Teacher agency and professional learning in cross-cultural teaching contexts: Accounts of Chinese teachers from international schools in Hong Kong. Teaching and Teacher Education, 54, 12-21
  16. Lai, C., Gu, M. Y. & Hu, J. J. (2015). Understanding legitimate teacher authority in a cross-cultural teaching context: Pre-service Chinese language teachers doing teaching practicum in International schools in Hong Kong. Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy, 41(4), 417-434
  17. Lai, C., Shum, M. & Zhang, B. N. (2014). International mindedness in an Asian context: the case of the International Baccalaureate in Hong Kong. Educational Research, 56, 1, 77-96.
  18. Gu, M. Y. & Lai, C. (2012). Motivation and Commitment: Pre-service teachers from Hong Kong and mainland China at a training institute in Hong Kong. Teacher Education Quarterly.
  19. Shum, M., Zhang, B. N. & Lai, C. (2015). When IB Learner Profile meets Eastern Confucian tradition: From the perspective of Chinese Language teachers. In Hill, I. & Shum, M. (Eds.) Infusing IB philosophy and pedagogy into Chinese language teaching (pp.20-38). UK: John Catt Publishing.
  20. Shum, M., Zhang, B. N., Lai, C., Loh, K. Y. & Lam, T. F. (2015). The professional growth of Chinese language student-teachers in teaching practicum in the IB Certificate of Teaching and Learning Programme. In Hill, I. & Shum, M. (Eds.) Infusing IB philosophy and pedagogy into Chinese language teaching (pp.39-60). UK: John Catt Publishing.


Special Editions in Refereed Journals

  1. Tsung, L., Lai, C. & Li, G. F. (2020). Through students' eyes: Learning Chinese in a changing World. System. Special Edition.
  2. Gong. Y., Lai, C. & Gao. X. S. (2020). The Teaching and Learning of Chinese as a Second or Foreign Language: The Current Situation and Future Directions. Frontiers of Education in China. Special Edition.
  3. Lai, C. & Morrison, B. (Eds.) (2013). Learner preparation in Technology-Enhanced Language Learning Environments. CALICO Journal. Special Edition.
  4. Thomas, M. & Lai, C. (Eds.) (2013). Task-Based Language Teaching and Technology: Challenges and Opportunities. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning & Teaching. Special Edition.

  1. (2012-present) Member of Editorial Board, CALICO Journal
  2. (2015-present) Member of Editorial Board, Computer Assisted Language Learning
  3. (2017-present) Member of Editorial Board, Frontier of Education in China
  4. (2020-present) Member of Editorial Board, Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching
  5. (2009-present) Reviewer for the journals 'Language Learning & Technology', 'CALICO Journal', 'Computer Assisted Language Learning', 'TESOL Quarterly', 'Computers & Education', 'Teaching and Teacher Education'