CONIAM David John 龔大胃

Research Projects


  • Building and Evaluating an Item Bank of English Language Listening Test Items
  • CONIAM David John
    1 January 2002
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    This project aims to establish and evaluate an item bank of English language listening items. Through contacts with the Hong Kong Examinations Authority (HKEA), I will be permitted access to a considerable amount of .good. items which the HKEA has piloted and subsequently run in their public examinations. The testing of listening is complicated and time-consuming. The development of an item bank consisting of good, calibrated items will have potential for the school and educational communities as a whole. Properly calibrated, such an item bank can be a very powerful tool. Its significance lies in the manner in which the test-independent nature of IRT-calibrated items, together with an item bank of good, calibrated test material can be used for a variety of diagnostic, evaluative and comparative purposes in different English language assessment situations. (ED01852)


  • Development of Language Across the Curriculum for English-medium Education
  • MAN Yee Fun Evelyn, CONIAM David, CHUN Ka Wai Cecilia, MAK CHAN Shuk Yin
    4 April 2004
    Education & Manpower Bureau, HKSAR Government

    This project aims to explore how language across the curriculum (LAC) can be more effectively implemented in English-medium (EMI) schools in Hong Kong through professional development of both English teachers and subject content teachers. Based on a teacher development course “ESL in the Mainstream” developed in South Australia, the project seeks to research and evaluate how a peer training and sharing model of teacher development can enhance the delivery skills of English and subject content teachers, improve their teaching strategies and affect the curriculum and culture of an English-medium school. The project seeks to identify the conditions necessary for the successful implementation of a language across the curriculum approach in school, with the aim of making policy recommendations for promoting such an approach in local EMI classrooms. In addition, the project aims to make recommendations for the development of a structured teacher education programme that would enhance teaching and learning effectiveness for English-medium education. (ED03854)


  • Development of Support Measures for Student Adaptation to English-Medium Schools
  • MAN Yee Fun Evelyn, CONIAM David John Christine Anne, BRUCE LEE Kit Bing Icy (Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research,) CHEUNG Yuet Yau*, TAM Wai Kwan Cecilia*
    10 July 2001
    Education Department, Hong Kong SAR Government

    This project proposes to provide a range of support measures for EMI schools to help Secondary 1 students adapt to the English-medium learning environment in secondary schools. The support measures, which have multiple focuses, are conceptualized on the premise that a single focused approach such as a bridging programme is unlikely to reap long-term benefits for Secondary 1 students studying in EMI schools. The project seeks to enhance the effectiveness of English-medium education for Form 1 students by providing ongoing language enrichment and support measures from three perspectives-for the school, the teachers, and the students. These may be conceptualised as follows:
    (1) For the school - The project puts forward proposals to help the school create a language-rich environment for students to use English, mainly through establishing an English culture in school.
    (2) For the teachers - The project proposes to provide teacher training workshops and packages of materials to help both English language teachers and content subject teachers to enhance their professional competence as EMI teachers by providing them with specific strategies and materials to cope with English-medium teaching especially at S1 level. The project also proposes a mentoring programme for teachers, which consists of ongoing teacher education workshops, face-to-face feedback sessions, classroom visits, and a support network through electronic conferencing.
    (3) For the students - The project proposes additional help by providing them with a self-access language enrichment package specifically designed for EMI students, apart from a summer bridging programme for S1 students. Such a self-access package allows S1 students, especially the less proficient ones to work at their own pace and to develop autonomy in learning. (ED01576)


  • English Language Teaching Rap Ambassadors Programme
  • LIN Mei Yi, CONIAM David
    1 February 2007
    Language Fund, Standing Committee on Language Education & Research, HKSAR Government

    ELT Rap in Town: An Innovative ELT Project (Dec 5, 2006)
    Workshop One (Centralized): ELT Rap
    - Hip-hop culture and the components (MC-ing, breaking, graffiti, DJ-ing)
    - Importance of timing in ELT Rap, i.e. rhythm and beats
    - Basic phonics (letter-sound relationship, phonemic awareness, 26 letter sounds, vowels and consonants)
    - Importance of rhyming in ELT Rap, i.e. rhyming techniques
    Workshop Two (School-based): English Rap Lyrics Creation
    - Sampling of existing poems, riddles, idioms, song lyrics
    - Introducing poetic metaphors, synonyms, antonyms, metonyms, acronyms, figures of speech
    - Applying repetition, substitution and other techniques in the creation of lyrics based on unique features of schools and students
    Workshop Three (Centralized): Showcase
    - Appreciate classic hip-hop rap lyrics, e.g. “Rapper’s Delight”
    - Interact with artists to obtain feedback on students’ rap lyrics and rapping techniques
    - Showcase students’ learning outcomes Project Synopsis
    The “ELT Rap in Town” project integrates rap lyrics, hip hop music and language arts as means for promoting Englih language acquisiton among teenagers. The proposed activities for English Festival 2007 organized by SCOLAR include teacher workshops, student workshops and production of audio-visual teaching pack, as well as an interactive website for all secondary school students and teachers in Hong Kong. (ED06332)


  • The Impact of Wearing a Face Mask in a High-Stakes Oral Examination: A Hong Kong Post - SARS Study
  • CONIAM David
    15 November 2004
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    This talk describes a study which emerged from the SARS crisis, the aftermath of which was that all personnel in all educational institutions in Hong Kong were compelled to wear face masks for the period April-August 2003. Consequently, the Grade 11 HKCEE English language oral test was conducted with all test takers and oral examiners wearing face masks. The proposed study will therefore examine the effect that wearing a face mask has on a test taker’s oral test score. The study will be conducted by administering two versions of a past HKCEE oral test to the whole cohort of Grade 11 students in a mid-ability-band school in Hong Kong. The study’s two hypotheses are that firstly, the wearing of a face mask will influence raters’ judgments in the oral test. Test takers sitting the oral test with face masks will score significantly lower than when not wearing a face mask. This will be investigated through the test data results. The second hypothesis relates to the extent to which the alterations in signals affect raters’ judgments in that their ratings are the wearing of a face mask causes both audibility problems and to restricted understanding of test takers’ emotions. This will be investigated by questionnaire and interview data. If these two hypotheses are proven, the significance of the study lies in public examination bodies having to seriously to consider the conditions under which oral tests may be administered - if such tests are to provide reliable results. (ED04819)


  • Investigating Computerised Essay-Scoring in the Hong Kong English Language Public
  • CONIAM David
    1 April 2006
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    The background to the current study lies in the computerisation of approaches to assessment. The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) has, for some time, been investigating procedures and processes related to computerisation in terms of systemic and professional applications of computers. In the field of English language, systemically, the HKEAA has been investigating computerising certain aspects of the marking process. Professionally, there has been the development of the computer-based Basic Competency Assessment system.
    A further initiative that the HKEAA is interested in investigating concerns the use of computerised essay-scoring programs. And it is toward this objective - in the Hong Kong context - that the current project is focused. The study will be examining the hypotheses firstly, that a computerised essay-scoring program; discriminates test takers into grade levels as reliably as do human raters; secondly, that the grades produced by a computerised essay-scoring program correlate highly with those of a human rater; thirdly, that a computerised essay-scoring program grades are not affected by the topic a test taker may have selected
    Although computerised essay-scoring programs are still in their infancy, especially with the rating of second-language writing, this project will contribute significantly in enabling the HKEAA to consider their stance vis-á-vis computerising assessment. (ED05339)


  • Provision Services for the English Enhancement Scheme
  • MAK CHAN Shuk Yin Barley, CONIAM David
    1 September 2007
    Caritas Wu Cheng-chung Secondary School

    The Chinese University of Hong Kong is submitting a proposal to the Carita Wu Cheng –chung Secondary School in response to the Tender for the purchasing service for the English Enhancement Scheme. The main characteristic of this proposal is the adoption of a whole-school approach to develop a holistic and coherent plan of consolidating existing school resources and practices to ensure a significant and sustainable impact on student learning outcome in English. Under the whole school approach, it is designed to address needs and concerns of three major groups which form the skeleton of the school; teachers, content and curriculum, and students. Under each group, the Consultancy team will design a specific sub-system to cater for their individual needs. The three sub-systems are: a) professional development for teachers; b) school-based curriculum instruction and design; and c) students activities to promote their academic attainment. All these three sub-systems are closely knitted and formed the main structure of the language enhancement program in the proposal. (ED07595)


  • Provision Services for the English Enhancement Scheme
  • MAK CHAN Shuk Yin Barley, CONIAM David
    1 September 2007
    Caritas Chaiwan Marden Foundation Secondary School

    The Chinese University of Hong Kong is submitting a proposal to the Caritas Chaiwan Marden Foundation Secondary School in response to the tender for the purchasing service for the English Enhancement Scheme. (ED07902)


  • Provision Services for the English Enhancement Scheme
  • MAK CHAN Shuk Yin Barley, CONIAM David
    1 September 2007
    Caritas Chong Yuet Ming Secondary School

    The Chinese University of Hong Kong is submitting a proposal to the Carita Chong Yuet Ming Secondary School in response to the Tender for the purchasing service for the English Enhancement Scheme. (ED07990)



Research Publications


  • "Assessor Training in a High-Stakes Test of Speaking: The Hong Kong English Language Benchmarking Initiative". (co-authored with FALVEY Peter) Melbourne Papers in Language Testing 2nd ed., vol.8, 1999. p.1-19.



  • "Continuing Education Reform in Hong Kong: Issues of Contextualization". (co-authored with DOWSON Chris, BODYCOTT Peter and WALKER Allan David) Educational Policy Analysis Archives vol.11 no.5 2003.02.
    (CUHK Library Call No: Available Online)



  • "Diversity in Language Standards in Hong Kong: Concern Over Language Standards and Measures Taken to Improve Standards, with Particular Reference to Benchmarks for English Language Teachers". Educational Challenges in the New Millennium Loo, S.P. (Ed.) vol.1, Malaysia, 1999. p.45-49.



  • "Education Reform in Hong Kong: Issues of Consistency, Connectedness and Culture". (co-authored with DOWSON Chris; BODYCOTT Peter and WALKER Allan) Education Policy Analysis Archives vol.8 no.24, USA, 2000. p.1-16.
    (CUHK Library Call No: Available Online)



  • "English Language Grammatical Development in Lower Secondary School Students in Hong Kong". Curriculum Forum vol.10 issue 2, Hong Kong, 2001. p.1-16.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL HKS Periodical LB2806.15 .C88 v.9-10, 1999-2001; CC Periodical LB2806.15 .C88 v.10, no.2, 2001)



  • "Establishing Writing Benchmarks for Primary and Secondary English Language Teachers in Hong Kong". (co-authored with FALVEY Peter ) Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics vol.5 no.1, Hong Kong, 2000. p.128-159.
    (CUHK Library Call No: CC Periodical P129 .H65 v.5, 2000; Available Online)



  • "Helping Students to Adapt to an English Medium of Instruction Environment in Hong Kong Secondary Schools". (co-authored with MAN Yee Fun Evelyn and LEE Kit Bing Icy) Education Journal vol.30 no.2, 2002. p.63-81.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL HKS Periodical L64.C4734 v.30-32, 2002-04; CC Periodical L64.C4734 v.30, 2002)



  • "The impact of wearing a face mask in a high-stakes oral examination: An exploratory post-SARS study in Hong Kong". Language Assessment Quarterly vol.2 no.4, Mahwah, United States of America: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005. p.235-262.
    (CUHK Library Call No: CC Periodical P53.4 .L355 v.2, 2005; Available Online)



  • "IT Use in the English Language Classroom in Hong Kong: How Far is Government Policy Being Achieved?". Education Journal vol.30 no.2, 2002. p.21-39.



  • "A longitudinal study of grammar gain in English medium of instruction schools in Hong Kong". Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics vol.11 no.1, Hong Kong SAR, 2008. p.1-16.
    (CUHK Library Call No: Available Online)



  • "The Relevance and Applicability of Cloze in English Language Benchmarking in Hong Kong". (co-authored with FALVEY Peter) New Horizons in Education vol.42, Hong Kong, 2000. p.1-10.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL HKS Periodical L71 .C44 no.40-42, 2000; CC Periodical L71 .C44 no.40-42, 1999-2000)



  • "Selecting Models and Setting Standards for Teachers of English in Hong Kong ". (co-authored with FALVEY Peter) Journal of Asian Pacific Communication vol.12 no.1, John Benjamins, Amstardam, 2002. p.13-37.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Periodical P87 .J58 v.12, 2002; Available Online)



  • "A statistical approach to second language grammar knowledge: A longitudinal, cross-sectional study of Hong Kong students". (co-authored with CHIU Ming Ming and TANG Lai Yiu Eunice) Educational Research Journal vol.34 no.2, Hong Kong SAR, 2006. p.195-215.



  • "Using wikis to promote authentic writing among secondary school students in Hong Kong". (co-authored with MAK CHAN Shuk Yin Barley) Invited talk by School of Foreign Studies, Nanjing University. Hong Kong SAR: Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education, CUHK, 2008.04.17.


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