A Comparative Study of University Students' Chinese and English Abilities: Towards An Analytic Framework of Language Ability

Project: Research

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Thorson (2000) also complains that there is very little work on the relationship between writing in second language and writing in people’s first language. This study aims to fill in the gap by conducting a comparative study on students’ language awareness and their Chinese and English language proficiency. It will also examine the nature and function of language intuition() (both Chinese and English) and to what extent the cultivation of language intuition helps enhance language competence. The project will focus on the relationship between language skills, language intuition and metalinguistic awareness in relation to three grammatical aspects of language, that is, phonetics, semantics and syntax of the two languages.The research will take a multi-dimensional approach incorporating descriptive, interpretative and explanatory orientation to focus on five perspectives: listening and reading comprehension, writing and speaking performance and language awareness. A variety of well-established methodological instruments and procedures will be used, including questionnaires, focus group interviews and classroom observations. The project is committed to proposing an explanatory framework of language abilities which involves the relationship between language skills, language intuition, metalinguistic awareness and three grammatical aspects (Phonetics, semantics, syntax) of modern Chinese and English. It is hoped that this framework could be integrated in language learning and teaching programmes to enhance learners’ Chinese and English language proficiency.


Project number7002412
Grant typeSRG
Effective start/end date1/04/0918/04/12