Mr. ZHANG Wenhao (張文灝)




Title of Thesis

Hong Kong Engineering Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions, Problems and Strategies toward Oral Presentations: a Mixed-Method Case Study


Short Abstract of Thesis

Since 1990s, ESL/EFL engineering tertiary undergraduates’ and professionals’ comparatively weak oral English language proficiency has been reported significantly compromising their oral presentation performances. As recent studies increasingly underpin the multimodal nature of science and engineering practices (i.e. ensemble of graphs, diagrams, figures, and texts), linguistic and multimodal patterns within experienced native English speaking engineering professionals’ oral presentations has then been gaining primary research attention to inform development of ESL/EFL science and engineering undergraduates’ and professionals’ oral presentation competences. However, few studies, especially in non-Anglophone area, probe into ESL engineering undergraduates’ conduct of their oral presentations from an ethnographic standpoint.  

Taking on a mixed-method case study research design, Wenhao investigates nine Hong Kong engineering undergraduates’ perceptions, problems and strategies throughout their preparation and delivery of their ESP and disciplinary course presentations, with a multimodal perspective. Together with comments on student participants’ presentations from an engineering professor and an ESP tutor, multiple research instruments (e.g. surveys and questionnaires, semi-structured interview, stimulated recall, think aloud protocol, and videotaping) are strategically employed toward scientific triangulation and better interpretation on student participants’ learning trajectories. He hopes that through this project a pedagogical model for oral presentation that addresses English language use, disciplinary practices, and use of assorted semiotic resources can be developed.