The co-terminal double degree programme is a five-year full-time undergraduate programme offered by the Faculty of Education, in collaboration with the Department of English and the English Language Teaching Unit of the Faculty of Arts. We aim at nurturing effective and qualified English language teachers for local primary and secondary schools.
The programme focuses on three major disciplines: the study of English language and literature, educational issues, and English language teaching methodology. Students are afforded opportunities to integrate theories and classroom practices in school experiences and teaching practicums in both primary and secondary schools. Students will participate in an 8-week overseas immersion programme with the financial support of the HKSAR Government to further enhance students’ English language proficiency, enrich their understanding of the cultures of English-speaking communities, and expands their experience of overseas educational practices. The two research-based courses embedded in the programme will help students synthesise subject knowledge and independent inquiry, and equip students with informed decisions in their future classroom.
Graduates of the programme will be awarded two degrees: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, including a recognition as equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma in Education qualification. They are also considered to have met the HKSAR Government’s Language Proficiency Requirement and exempted from the Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers of English (LPATE) at Level 3.
Nurturing Second Language Teaching Professionals and More
English Language has been a core subject in the Hong Kong school curriculum for more than a century. As English is one of the official languages in Hong Kong and Chinese-English bilingualism has become a hallmark of this international city, the qualification requirements of English teachers have been the focus of public attention.
In 2008, the Faculty of Education restructured its BEd (Language Education) Programme in response to higher expectation on and requirements of registered English teachers. The restructuring resulted in the launch of the new Bachelor of Arts (English Studies) and Bachelor of Education (English Language Education) (ELED) Co-terminal Double Degree Programme.
Aiming at nurturing competent language teachers with sound subject knowledge and a firm pedagogical grip, the five-year full-time ELED programme focuses on three major disciplines: English language and literature, educational issues, and English language teaching methodology.
Graduates of the programme will be awarded two degrees: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, including a recognition equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma in Education qualification. They are considered to have met the HKSAR Government’s Language Proficiency Requirement and exempted from the Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers of English (LPATE) at Level 3.
Among the 10 required courses on subject knowledge, Acquisition of English as a Second Language introduces major theories and models of second language acquisition and discusses their application in teaching and learning, which is particularly relevant to the local language context. Other courses comprising communications, linguistics, grammar, phonetics, phonology, lexical studies and literature will altogether build a comprehensive language foundation for the students. ELED students also enjoy a liberal choice of electives from more than 60 courses offered by the English Department. They can immerse themselves in their favourite literary genres, or explore the interaction of language and society, or literature and art.
An ELED student Brian Leung commended highly the cross-Faculty and inter-departmental curriculum design of the programme, ‘The Educational Studies and Language Teaching Methodology courses provided by the Faculty of Education is professional, comprehensive and enlightening. The courses allow students to actively integrate their learnings into practice, which nurture student-teachers to become more versatile and adaptable to innovative teaching methodologies. On the other hand, the language courses offered by the Department of English and the English Language Teaching Unit cover a multitude of content, ranging from linguistic appreciation and creative writing to professional application of language.’
The ELED programme engages students in a variety of teaching and learning activities. Besides lectures and tutorials, there are case study analysis, critique of recorded lessons and micro-teaching. The laboratory-based learning is complemented by field experience gained via school visits, school attachment, and lesson observation and teaching practice.
A variety of pre-Teaching Practice experiences will be organized in the first three years of study. In the fourth and final years, a total of 14 weeks of Teaching Practicum in primary and secondary schools will be arranged for students to conduct English teaching in local schools or international schools. Wayne Yip, who graduated in 2019, mentioned, ‘Being a teacher in Hong Kong is never easy. However, with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience offered by a variety of courses as well as different guidelines and advice given by our professors, I am capable of facing all the unseen challenges.’ He also considered the connections with various local primary and secondary schools as one of the most invaluable yet underrated aspects of the programme.
Understanding the needs and expectations of English teachers in the modern classroom, the programme puts a lot of emphasis on providing international perspectives of English language teaching. There are several outbound teaching trips organized by the Faculty. By observing English lessons and teaching in various countries, students are expected to gain insight into how English teaching is carried out in other regions, which in turn induce reflection on their own teaching practices.
Fulfilment of overseas immersion is mandatory for ELED students who will have the opportunity to attend an eight-week overseas programme with the financial support of the HKSAR Government. The immersive experience invites students to gain first-hand exposure to language acquisition, granting students with broader vision and cultural understanding towards the English culture. Brian went to the UK and he is still excited about the trip. ‘The courses encouraged us to embrace cultural differences and explore the uniqueness of British culture. We were granted the opportunity to interact with students from Russia, Thailand and Japan, which further enriches our understanding towards English as a World Language.’
Language and education aside, ELED students can choose to pursue a minor programme to further explore their interests or broaden their knowledge. In the past, some students have chosen psychology, translation, journalism, fine arts, music, government and public administration, among others. Besides the majority of graduates who become school teachers, some are working with the government as Assistant Education Officers, Executive Officers and Administrative Officers. The programme’s professional training assist students in preparing better work plans, and communicating effectively with people from all walks of life.
The small intake of no more than 20 students a year also facilitates a collaborative community of practice. As Christan Chow, a graduate of 2019, exclaimed, ‘There is nothing merrier than getting to know people who share similar vision and mission with you. It is absolutely a fascinating experience to be part of the ELED family.’
If you are interested in building solid and sound English knowledge and teaching skills to serve the community, and are prepared to take up challenges in the workplace, ELED is for you.
Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2021