View graph of relations


Description of impact

STEM education has been substantially promoted in local primary and secondary schools to unleash students’ potential in innovation. Secondary school students are exposed to science, technology and mathematics knowledge through deliberations and practices since early stage. According to an international study, Hong Kong students have good performance in mathematical and scientific literacy. However, those gifted students may not be able to express their ideas accurately and professionally in their scientific writing in English when they promote to secondary and tertiary education.

Dr Jack PUN, Assistant Professor from the Department of English at City University of Hong Kong, recently completed his Quality Education Fund project, promoting genre-based pedagogy to equip local science teachers and students with better skills of writing scientific reports in secondary schools. The project spanned three years of extensive English genre-based intervention in nine secondary schools with over 600 students from 2019 to 2022. Originating from Dr Pun’s earlier research exploring the role of English in Hong Kong English and Science curriculum and teaching practices in English-medium classrooms, the project implemented innovative genre-based pedagogical tool to enhance students’ English in writing science. The project also aims to develop students’ awareness and self-directed learning skills in writing science reports.

Dr Pun and his team organised an online sharing session on 16 Sep 2022 to wrap up the project and report the outcomes with local science teachers and students. In the seminar, participants learnt about the research background, the effectiveness of genre-based pedagogy, and the project’s impact on developing students’ English skills and their writing abilities. The results of the project indicated improvement in students’ science writing skills, including accuracy of English lexico-grammatical features, report organization, and content delivery, demonstrating the efficacy of the genre-based approach as a flexible teaching method for adapting subject classrooms to English learning.

The genre-based approach can address the learning needs of Hong Kong students by working with local schools to develop a school-based curriculum for delivering a language-focus teaching approach to students with varying English abilities. Not only did it improve students’ writing skills, but also contributed to the acceleration of students’ interest in English learning and communication. Students are more confident in English learning, and are reported using English more often outside the classroom and envisioning more cultural or communication-based English goals. Overall, the genre-based approach may contribute to the betterment of Hong Kong students’ learning endeavours and the bridging of language and science.

For those who are interested in learning more about the project, please visit https://www.teachingscienceenglish.com for more information.

Photo 1: Dr Jack Pun and his team gave a seminar to nine participating schools and their teachers on genre-based pedagogy for science writing.

Photo 2: Dr Jack Pun and his team shared the project findings and positive results on the participating schools about their improved English awareness of writing in science, and their writing abilities in different sections of a scientific report after the genre-based pedagogy intervention.

Photo 3: Teaching manual and other teaching resources (including teaching notes, student handouts, PowerPoint slides) are available for download from the website.