Research Projects

  • Crossing Cultures: English Majors as Ethnographers at Home and Abroad
  • JACKSON Jane
    1 September 2001
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    Beginning in 2001-2, approximately fifteen second-year English majors at CUHK will join a special stream of studies. In this new program, the students will participate in seminars in Literature and Applied Linguistics, conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the U.K., and prepare a research report. This study will focus on the cross-cultural experiences and adjustment of the subjects. Specifically, it will investigate how they may serve as participant observers in their own culture learning experience abroad. Prior to departure, in the Applied Linguistics seminar, the subjects will be trained to record and reflect on their experiences as culture/ language learners during their five-week visit to the Oxford English Centre in the U.K. In addition to a culture learning journal, the subjects will keep a record of critical incidents - stressful or confusing experiences in this unfamiliar sociocultural setting. The subjects will also be interviewed prior to their departure, at regular intervals during their stay in Oxford, and after their return to CUHK. Thus, this ethnographic study will have a strong element of triangulation and promote an emic (insider’s) perspective. Data will consist of participant observation (in Hong Kong and in the U.K.), interviews, surveys (pre- and post-departure), journals, and critical incident reports. An applied goal of this project is to determine ways to enhance the experience of Chinese students in programs of this nature. Critical incidents and cases will also be developed based on the actual experiences of the sojourners. These narratives will be used in pre-departure sessions/intercultural communications courses as a tool for understanding cross-cultural transitions. (AL01809)

  • Cultural Identity Formation in Postcolonial Hong Kong
  • JACKSON Jane
    1 September 2001
    Chou’s Foundation Fund

    This project involved a sociocultural investigation of an elective intercultural communications course at a tertiary institution in Hong Kong. By means of a survey, background information was gathered from the students (primarily English majors) about such aspects as their previous intercultural encounters. As a course requirement, the students also wrote a cultural identity paper in which they reflected on their cultural background (sense of belonging to particular groups) and how it might influence their communication with others. Their narratives were subjected to a content analysis, which identified common themes and metaphors that emerged in the discourse. In addition, focus group discussions and interviews were carried out with a sampling of students to further explore their views on this topic. The transcripts of these encounters were then analyzed and linked to the ideas conveyed in their cultural identity papers and survey. The ultimate aim of the project was to better understand the factors impacting on the formation of the students. cultural identities and attitudes towards English and Western cultures. The findings provided a deeper understanding of the complicated mix of cultural, psychological and social factors that were affecting the students. sense of self and their attitudes towards .others.. On a practical level, the study provided valuable input for the design and delivery of intercultural communications programs in Hong Kong. (AL01652)

  • Linguistic and Cultural Immersion: Perceived Stressors and Coping Strategies
  • JACKSON Jane
    1 January 2003
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    A growing number of Hong Kong universities are sponsoring students on short term study and residence abroad programs at considerable expense. The ultimate aim of this study is to enhance programs of this nature by providing a deeper understanding of the factors affecting the students’ emerging intercultural communicative competence. The ethnographic case study will focus on an English language and cultural immersion program for CUHK English majors. Prior to their departure for England, the students will complete a survey and interview to determine their openness to other cultures, expectations, and concerns about the sojourn. They will then participate in pre-departure workshops, designed to ready them for intercultural experiences. During their five-week sojourn, the students will take courses in an English Language Centre, investigate a cultural scene of their choice, visit cultural/literary sites, interact with international students, attend cultural events, and live with a British family. In a journal, they will describe and reflect on their activities and experiences across cultures. The researcher will observe, photograph, and record the students’ behavior and gather additional information by way of informal discussions with them and their teachers. To better understand the perceived stressors and coping strategies of the students, they will fill in a post-sojourn questionnaire and share their experiences in interviews and debriefing sessions. The data will be analyzed and triangulated using NVivo, a qualitative, hypermedia software program. Recommendations will be made for improvements in predeparture seminars as well as the monitoring of students in short term study and residence abroad programs. (AL02508)

Research Publications

  • "Barriers to InterculturalHarmony: A Case Study of Hong Kongers in England". The Third Biennial International Conference on Intercultural Research; Theme: Harmonizations between within-cultural diversities and cross-cultural commonalities Taipei, Taiwan: National Taiwan Normal University, 2004.05.23.

  • Campus bound : passport to academic success. (co-authored with Maureen Sargent and Jean Hunt) Toronto : Nelson Canada, 1995.
    (CUHK Library Call No: CC PE1128 .J33 1995)

  • "Case-Based Learning and Reticence in a Bilingual Context: Perceptions of Business Students in Hong Kong". System vol.31 USA: Elsevier, 2003. pp.457-469.
    (CUHK Library Call No: CC Periodical P51.S95 v.31, 2003)

  • "Case-Based Pedagogy in Business Education in Hong Kong". Invited talk. HONG KONG: Language Centre, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2004.09.17.

  • "Case-based Teaching in aBilingual Context: Perceptions of Business Faculty in Hong Kong". English for Specific Purposes vol.23. USA: Elsevier Ltd, 2004. pp.213-232.

  • "Cultural Identity and Language Choice: English Majors in Hong Kong". Culture, Communication and Language Pedagogy ed. by C Lee and W Littlewood. Hong Kong SAR: Hong Kong Baptist University, 2002.12.07. pp.37-50.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL P94.6 .C845 2002 c.2; UL HK Studies P94.6 .C845 2002)

  • "Cultural Identity Formation in Postcolonial Hong Kong". Paper presented in the International Conference on Globalization, Culture and English Language Education in China and Hong Kong (SAR), organized by Department. of English, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong, 2001.03.10.

  • "An Inter-University, Cross-Disciplinary Analysis of Business Education: Perceptions of Business Faculty in Hong Kong". English for Specific Purposes USA: Elsevier Ltd., 2004. p.293-306.

  • "Language Choice and Cultural Identity: English Majors in Hong Kong". Proceedings of Culture, Communication and Language Pedagogy: Building Bridges and Meeting Challenges Hong Kong: Hong Kong Baptist University, 2001.05.30. p.23.

  • Language, identity, and study abroad : sociocultural perspectives. London ; Oakville : Equinox Pub., 2008.
    (CUHK Library Call No: CC P53.41155 .J33 2008)

  • "Postcoloniality and the Politics of Identity in Hong Kong". Paper presented in an International Conference on Anglophone Cultures in Southeast Asia: Appropriations, Continuities, Contexts, organised by The Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Wurzburg Germany. Hong Kong, 2001.10.10.

  • "Postcoloniality, Cultural Identity, and Language Choice in Hong Kong". Paper presented in the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference, organized by AAAL. 2002.04.08.

  • "The Question of Language Choice: From Hong Kong to Oxford". 7th English in South East Asia Conference: Changing Responses to Challenging Times Hong Kong SAR: Hong Kong Baptist University, 2002.12.07.

  • "In Search of a Home: Identities in Transition in Post-Colonial Hong Kong". English Today vol.18 no.2, Cambridge, UK: Auckland Art Gallery, 2002.04. pp.39-45.
    (CUHK Library Call No: CC Periodical PE1001.E53 v.18, 2002)

  • "The Sociocultural Dimension of Language Choice in Postcolonial Hong Kong". Keynotes Speeches at China’s 4th International Symposium on Intercultural Communications, organized by China Association for Intercultural Communication & Xi’an Foreign Language University. Xi’an, China, 2001.10.13.

  • "Teaching and Learning with Business Cases: Ethnographic Insights into the Hong Kong Context". Invited talk by City University of Hong Kong. HONG KONG, 2004.10.04.

  • "Voices of Transition: The Discourse of Identity in Hong Kong", "Dealing with Diversity". Paper presented in the Fifth Congress of the International Society for Cultural Research and Activity Theory, organized by Vrije Universiteit. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2002.06.19.

  • "West Meets East: Documenting the Experiences of NETs (Native English Teachers) in Hong Kong". Paper presented in the 7th International Pragmatics Conference, organized by International Pragmatics Association. Budapest, Hungary, 2000.07.10.

* Name of external researcher
# Name of staff who has left the University