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Study BA in English Studies for the Professions at Hong Kong #PolyU, Department of English


This is the presentation of the BA in English Studies for the Professions at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. My name is Han Ladegaard, and I’m the Head of the English Department. I’m very pleased to present the Department in this short presentation and with my colleague Dr Dennis Tay, the programme that we are offering to undergraduate students. This is the Department of English, 26 academic staff, and approximately 700 undergraduate and postgraduate students. We established in 1988 which means that we’ve just celebrated our 30th anniversary last year. Our mission is to provide linguistic excellence in professional contexts so we work on in our research and our teaching to focus on how the language is used in various professional contexts in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Our philosophy is that our teaching should be informed by our research and our research should be informed by our teaching. So what our colleagues teach in the classrooms also represents the research they do in various professional contexts. The colleagues in the English Department work in one of five different research areas. We have a group of colleagues working in language and professional communication. They focus on the use of language in various professional contexts: in companies, in hospital wards and other professional contexts. We have a group of colleagues working on language teaching and learning, focusing on how language is taught and how language is learnt by students in Hong Kong and elsewhere. And increasingly focusing on how new technologies are used to learn language. We have a group of colleagues who work on Linguistics, English Language and Systemic Functional Linguistics, focusing on areas such as grammar, phonetics, phonology, syntax semantics etc. We also have a group of colleagues who work on the way language is used in new media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other types of new media. And finally we have colleagues who work on intercultural issues, intercultural communication, for example in business settings and we have colleagues who work on what we call area studies and in the English department the area that we focus on is in particular European context. We have award-winning teachers and researchers in the Department, and this slide you can see just a little example of the books that have been published recently by some of the English Department colleagues. One book focusing on speech and language therapy, speech disorders. We have a book focusing on language and intercultural communication in workplace settings. We have a book that focuses on various aspects of discourse analysis. And a book that focuses on the various social meanings that are attached to various languages, dialects and accents. We also have a number of award-winning students, including the most outstanding PolyU student from last year, who was Amy Chan. And now I am happy to handover to my colleague Dennis Tay for a presentation of the BA in English Studies Professions. Thank you. Thank you very much Hans for the introduction and now as the programme leader, I will talk to you about some of the more concrete details of the programme for those of you who are considering studying with us . So our program is called BAESP. It’s a direct honors degree which means you spend four years with us and you graduate with a Bachelor of Arts with an honours attached to it. It’s a 4-year full-time English Major Degree Programme that is endorsed by the Education Bureau (EDB) of Hong Kong. What this actually means is that after graduating with us, you have an advantage, you have an edge if you are considering a teaching career because the certification is directly recognised by EDB. Just a point of clarification, starting from this year 2020/21, students in the first year of PolyU can be admitted directly to our programme, instead of through the previous Broad Discipline programme. So that’s just a minor detail for you to pay attention to when you are applying to us. Another perk in joining our programme is that we have a suite of very attractive scholarships and in particular EDB has offered a
suite of scholarships that are available for prospective English teachers. So as you can see on the slides for local students and non-local students the terms are extremely attractive and they also support your aspirations to become an English teacher. And for more details, you are welcome to visit the EDB
website (www.edb.gov.hk). BAESP is focused in a way that we promote the learning of the English language through three focal areas and these local areas will give you an opportunity to customise your learning experience with us. So the three focal areas that we focus on respectively: Language sciences which gives students a firm foundation in various aspects of theoretical linguistics as you can see on the screen; as well as the more practical or pragmatic aspects, such as Global communicative competence to give our students an edge on a global international workplace as well as English for the professions very specialised in the use of the English language in professional settings in Hong Kong. So all three of these areas combined to give our students a very holistic education and grounding in the communication skills that are required to success in today’s international workplaces. In particular our global aspect can be seen through our offering of a suite of European languages including Spanish, German and French. And of course being in Hong Kong we also focus a lot on Chinese academic technical writing so you can expect to be proficient in both English and Chinese when you study with us. So these are some of the study options that you can expect to have. These are essentially pathways that you can choose when you join PolyU and join our Department. The first option is by and large the most common option which is basically you major in English with us. And to do so you will require 123 credits plus 3 WIE training credits. Now you may ask me what is WIE. It actually stands for Work-Integrated Education which is a compulsory components for PolyU students and I will briefly touch upon that later on. Option two is where you do a major with us but you also have a space and the freedom to choose what we call a minor programme. This means that you can also specialise besides English in another area offered by the University and to do so actually the number of credits is the same as the first option. It’s just that you will have to take a concentration of subjects in the minor rather than taking a broad range of electives from different subjects. So essentially both of these options are very attractive and they are both quite popular with our students. So some of the common minor choices that our students take include things like Marketing. Some students actually take European Studies which is also offered by our Department so they essentially major in English and minor in a European language for instance like Spanish. That is also very attractive to our students. The third option is still under discussion so we are hoping to devise a double majors programme where our students major in both English language as well as in a programme offered by the Chinese Department known as Linguistics and Translation. But at the time of us speaking to you this option is yet to be confirmed. PolyU and the English Department believe very firmly in learning not just within the classroom but also without. So these are just some of the snapshots that our students are actively involved in through various opportunities such as exchange programmes, internships and various other kinds of community engagement whereby how students apply what they learn in a classroom to benefit not just themselves but also the community. So as you can see from the picture, our students are actively involved in attractive exchange options to various countries. They are also engaged in internships with various reputable international organisations. They also conduct community service to serve the underprivileged in society including but not limited to the teaching of English in rural communities in the world. So you can expect a very vibrant, diverse, and all-rounded education with our BAESP programme. So these are just some statistics related to admission scores for the past three years. As you can see the admission scores calculated on the basis of average HKDSE scores are hovering at the high 21 region so 21.8, 21.6, and 21.9 in the past three years and this is calculated based on the scores in Chinese, English and any best three elective subjects. So we hope that this will give you a rough benchmark or a guideline to gauge your the probability of your success in applying to us. Okay and finally some of you must be very interested in this very pragmatic question. So what do our graduates actually end up doing? So the answer as you can see on the screen is a right diverse range of options ranging from things like Corporate communications to Human resources to Public relations, Advertising, Civil service, Tourism management, Translation and so on and so forth. So our students enjoy a broad range of options precisely because they are given a firm grounding in the communication skills that were required to success in today’s workplace. And some more statistics for you. So this is essentially a survey conducted by The Polytechnic University on graduates after their graduation every academic year. So our students enjoy a fairly healthy starting salary averaging at approximately HKD17,000 and this stretches across are the various employment sectors. As you can see on the screen the left most column shows you the various employment sectors and average salaries across these sectors will be grand average of 17,000. So this is relatively high and quite an attractive starting salary for fresh graduates based on
today’s market. And finally this brings us to the end of our very brief presentation. If you have any further questions or would like to know more about the Department. This is our Departmental website you can see the URL: www.polyu.edu.hk/engl at the bottom right of the screen We have a very updated website with the latest news and information for your consultation. And we also have a very vibrant social media presence. We have an official Facebook account as well as Twitter, Instagram and even a YouTube channel where you can watch all of our Departmental events including academic seminars, talks by distinguished speakers and so on and so forth. Please feel free to visit us and drop us a note if you would like to. If you have any more concrete inquiries, you are very welcome to write to either myself Dennis Tay or Ms Zoe Mak who is our administrative assistant who knows everything about the programme that needs to be known. And the final link is also the link to our
program website and you are free to consult if you think necessary.

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