24 July 2008

Public lecture on teaching English at Swinburne Sarawak

KUCHING – Professor Tony T.N. Hung, who is Head of the Language Centre at the Hong Kong Baptist University, will be giving a one-hour public lecture entitled “Reflections on language teaching in the ‘Postmethod’ era”.

It will be held from at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus from 3pm to 4pm on Friday, 8 August.

School teachers, especially those who wish to update themselves on the latest developments in English language teaching, are encouraged to attend.

The topic of Professor Hung’s lecture on Postmethod is the latest theory in the teaching and learning of English.  It consists of a move away from thinking about alternative methods to reflecting on alternatives to methods. 

Professor Hung will be basing his lecture on the work of Professor B. Kumaravadivelu of San Jose State University, who argues that teachers need to look beyond teaching methods to methodology. Not all English teachers will agree with his approach, but most will be challenged by his radical thinking into reviewing their own teaching practices.

English language teaching has been heavily influenced by communicative methods from the ’80s with renowned scholars such as Professor Henry G. Widdowson of the University of London and others providing cogent philosophical arguments for the communicative teaching movement.  

The core of this movement underlies the Malaysian government’s implementation of the teaching of mathematics and science in English in schools. 

The Mathematics and Science in English policy is an attempt to place the learning and use of English in a meaningful, communicative classroom context.

How successful is this approach to the teaching and learning of English? To what extent is it affecting the teaching and learning of Mathematics and Science? Postmethod teaching of English gives an interesting perspective on these issues.

Professor Hung has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of California and an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Lancaster. 

Prior to taking up his current position at Baptist University Hong Kong, Professor Hung was a senior lecturer at the Department of English Language and Literature of the National University of Singapore, and a lecturer in teacher-training colleges in Sarawak. 

His research interests and publications include “World Englishes” on Hong Kong, Singapore and Chinese English; interlanguage analysis; and the application of Linguistics to language-teaching, particularly the teaching of grammar and pronunciation.

Among his more recent publications is Understanding English Grammar (Hong Kong University Press 2005).

The public lecture is organized by the School of Language and Foundation of Swinburne Sarawak. If you are interested in attending, kindly call Dayang Norashikin on 082-416 353 ext 8301, to confirm your participation to allow her to organize the seating and refreshments. Alternatively, email her at ntalhata@swinburne.edu.my

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David Teng
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