Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

Language Issues

Proposal for a Pilot English in the Major Project with the Faculty of Dentistry


This is a project for the development and pilot implementation of an adjunct English in the Major (EM) course, focusing on both written and oral English, to offer parallel language support to the Community Health Project (CHP) offered by the Faculty of Dentistry. The CHP is a demanding whole-year research project taken by fourth-year dentistry students. It requires one written submission (a 30-page group-based report), one group oral presentation, and a written examination. While students currently only receive weekly group-based consultation mainly on the project content at key stages of the CHP from their assigned Faculty supervisors, in the EM course piloted in 2008-09, this feedback was supplemented by language support offered by the English teachers on students’ written English, specifically with a view to improving their written presentation of the project. Input was also given to enhance students’ ability to deliver a professional oral presentation of the project appropriate to the purpose of the research and the audience. A mixed mode delivery via lectures, small group tutorials and the web allowed the English teachers to offer, flexibly, progressive English language input on both written and oral English, and to cater to a diverse range of learning needs.

Principal Investigator

Dr. L.M.L. Cheung, Centre for Applied English Studies, Faculty of ArtsContact

Project level

University-level project

Project Completion

May 2010


  • An EM course was piloted in 2008-09.
  • Course materials for students to enhance students’ ability to develop report writing skills, to execute community communication tactics, to discuss findings and interpret ideas, and to make professional oral presentations.
  • Faculty supervisor support course materials that include a set of student writing samples to illustrate the assessment criteria and feedback forms that focus on these criteria.
  • Detailed assessment criteria and feedback forms developed in collaboration with Faculty supervisors for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of students’ research reports and oral presentations of theCommunity Health Project.
  • A preliminary WebCT learning environment to supplement the course materials and to facilitate interaction among English teachers and students.
  • Knowledge and experience to facilitate the further development of EM courses in the Faculty of Dentistry and possibly extend the same (or a similar) approach to other faculties.
  • Paper presentations/Invited Talks:
    • (a) Loong, Y. (2010). “Language across curriculum: Students’ perspectives in a final year capstone project in Dentistry”.  Paper presented at the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia (ALAA): Future directions in Applied Linguistics – Local and global perspectives, 4th – 7th July, 2010, University of Queensland, Australia.
    • (b) Cheung, L. (2010). “Exploring corpora applications in English in the Discipline Course”. Staff Retreat, 24th May 2010, Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
    • (c) Loong, Y., Tse, L.K. and Cheung, L. (2010). “English in Dentistry: Challenges in assessment of writing”.  Paper presented at the ELC Symposium: The Challenges of the 4-year Curriculum for English Language Centres in Hong Kong, 2nd June, 2010, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
    • (d) Cheung, L., Loong Y. and Tse L.K. (2009). “Learning Outcomes: The evaluation of an English in the Discipline course for fourth-year dentistry students”.  Paper presented at the 5th International Symposium on Teaching English at Tertiary Level, 16th – 17th October, 2009, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
    • (e) Cheung, L. (2009). “Insights from the Dentistry English in the Discipline Course”.  Staff Retreat, 20th May, 2009, Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.