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Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

Language Issues

The Development of and Pilot of a General University English Course* for the 2012 Four-year Curriculum

* now titled as Core University English Course


Hong Kong will complete the transition to a 3+3+4 educational structure by September 2012. Secondary schools will consist of 6 years instead of 7 and university degrees will be 4 years instead of 3. Because of this, it is likely that first-year university students’ English language skills will be weaker than previous cohorts. To help these students make the transition to studying at an English medium university, HKU students will take a compulsory English course in their first year. This will be an English for General Academic Purposes course called General University English (GUE)*.

This Teaching Development Grant focused on identifying the cross-discipline language skills needed for entry-level first-year undergraduate students. It aimed to establish a syllabus for the GUE* course, produce a set of teaching materials and assessment instruments as well as grade descriptors for assessing students’ academic English proficiency.

Principal Investigator

Ms. M.G. Legg, Centre for Applied English Studies, Faculty of ArtsContact

Project level

University-level project

Project Completion

September 2011

Deliverables (HKU Portal Login Required)

  • GUE* learning outcomes Download
  • GUE* grade descriptors Download
  • A published textbook for the GUE* course
  • CUE Citation and Referencing Online Module. Download
  • Test specifications for each assessment
  • Grade descriptors for each assessment task – tutorial discussion, written examination and understanding lectures. Download
  • Conference papers:
    • Conceptualizing a new English for General Academic Purposes Course.  The Challenges of the 4-year Curriculum for English Language Centres in Hong Kong.  The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, June 2010.
    • Conceptualizing a new English for General Academic Purposes Course.  Enhancing Learning Experiences in Higher Education: International Conference.  Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU, December 2010.
    • The Importance of Pre-writing Tasks for Undergraduate Students within an EAP Course – Developing students as Readers and Writers in the 4-year Curriculum.  The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, June 2011.

* now titled as Core University English Course

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