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PhD Programme

Advice on PhD Programme

Students who intend to apply to the PhD programme are welcome to contact the Director, Dr Alessandro Benati (abenati@hku.hk), for initial consultation on supervision and matters relating to topics of interest to pursue research in.

 

Current full-time PhD students

Najat H S D Alabdullah

Najat’s PhD research explores the effects of structured input and structured output on the acquisition of English causative forms using online measurements. Contrasting the effects of these two pedagogical interventions has been previously conducted using mainly offline testing. This study will be making important theoretical and methodological contributions on the investigation of the role of focus on form in language processing.

 

Chris Kwan 

Chris’ PhD research aims to yield a thick description of the discourse of face-to-face, peer-to-peer interactions in the context of university writing centre tutoring, drawing upon Bhatia’s (2017) multi-perspective approach to discourse analysis. It is hoped that the findings in this study can make a contribution to the current literature on writing centre theory and practice, and add to our understanding of the use of peer tutoring as an alternative approach to English language teaching at the tertiary level.

 

Kaiqi Shi

Kelvin’s PhD research investigates the relative effects of structured input on the processing and retention of English past tense regular forms. This investigation builds upon the work carried out within the structured input research framework with the intention to measure its online effects. A self-paced reading test will be used measure accuracy of response, response and reading time among L2 learners. This is an important methodological tool to measure in-depth language processing.

 

Siqi Song

Siqi’s PhD research aims to study the use of multilingual resources in the writing of ESL students in English-speaking higher education institutions through ethnographic research. It explores how diverse cultural and linguistic resources contribute to the academic literacy development of the growing population of ESL students in English-medium universities, seeking deep understanding about their experience and perspectives on English writing. It is hoped that the findings can provide implications for multilingual writing pedagogy, especially offer insights on guiding students to negotiate the differences in languages and write with all the available linguistic resources.

 

Some past graduates

Ivy Chan, A study of academic writing development over time: The case of Engineering undergraduates

Kim Chanhee, A corpus-based study on ‘evaluative that construction’ in academic and professional discourse

Aaron Doyle, The L2 motivation and academic decision making of local and international English majors in China

Andy Gao, From the Chinese Mainland to Hong Kong: Understanding shifts in Mainland Chinese students’ English learning strategy use

Ken Ho, Epistemic and rhetorical recontextualization in undergraduate Engineering writing: A text-informed investigation

Dick Huang, A corpus study of Chinese EFL majors’ phraseological performance.

Nora Hussin, Interaction from an activity theoretical perspective: Comparing learning discourse of language face-to-face, in chat and in audio conferencing in second language learning

Kevin Jiang, Metadiscursive nouns in disciplinary writing

Vivian Kwan, Academic discourse socialisation into the target disciplines: A multiple-case study of undergraduates from double-degree English teacher training programmes in Hong Kong

Ellie Law, Promoting learner autonomy through a self-access language learning (SALL) component of a taught English course

Tim Lee, The use and perception of second language motivational strategies at a Hong Kong community college

Laura Luo, Writing support for Chinese scientists seeking to publish research articles in English

Peter Wingrove, A corpus based analysis of TED talks and academic lectures

Greg Wu, Language teacher development in the English-in-the-Discipline courses: Bridging academic literacy, disciplinarity, and interdisciplinarity

Richard Zhang, Language choice, language ideologies, and identity: A sociolinguistic study of Mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong and Macao

Olivia Zhang, Engaging in feedback communication: Longitudinal ethnographic case studies of postgraduate writers in research supervision and writing processes

Victor Zhang, Student engagement with feedback on their writing: Case studies of English majors in two Chinese universities