Project Details

A decade on from the inception of LPATE in 2001: Can we determine whether teacher English language standards have improved?

The proposed impact study aims to investigate perceptions of changes in Hong Kong English language teachers’ English language proficiency, given that over a decade has elapsed since the minimum language standards Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers (English) [LPATE] was introduced in 2000 (see Falvey and Coniam, 2002). Given that if a teacher is to deliver a second language via a ‘communicative curriculum’, a teacher’s language proficiency – the ability to function in the second language – is the cornerstone on which the pedagogy rests (Medgyes, 1999). The study will comprise two main elements. The first element involves two strands. The first strand is a quantitative survey of key stakeholders, i.e., school principals; English language department panel heads; teacher educators; long-serving LPATE chief examiners; EDB Classroom Language Assessment examiners; Government inspectors and administrators; and overseas immersion providers. The stakeholders will be asked to complete a survey contrasting their attitudes towards the language proficiency of English language teachers before the introduction of the LPATE and their more current experiences. The second strand will consist of qualitative semi-structured interviews with a smaller number of key respondents. The data from the first strand, the survey, will be analysed before the qualitative interviews take place. This procedure will allow for key elements of the survey to be mined more deeply with interview participants. The second element will involve an analysis of LPATE data from the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority over the years in order to determine the extent to which levels of proficiency among English language teachers may have changed. The third element will involve an analysis of the impact of LPATE on issues not directly connected to teacher language proficiency The first two elements outlined above, will, it is anticipated, combine to give a platform upon which to investigate key stakeholders’ views of English language teachers’ English language proficiency both as a post hoc reference point and for future reference. The third element will also attempt to gauge the impact of the introduction of the LPATE on issues not directly connected to the language proficiency of teachers.

Commencement Date : 2015/1
Completion Date : 2016/12
Chief Investigator(s) : CONIAM DAVID JOHN 龔大胃 #
Co-Investigator(s) : Urmston Alan *
Mak, Barley *
Lockwood, Jane *
Drave, Neil *
Falvey, Peter *




*Investigator from an outside institution/organization
#Investigator who had served in EdUHK


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