The Director of Education and Trustee of the Language Fund has approved funds totalling $11.38 million for the fourth batch of five projects from the fifth call for applications to the Language Fund. Two other applications from existing project leaders to further expand and develop their projects for funding of $2.46 million were also approved.
This brings the total number of approved Language Fund projects to 141, involving grants of over $169 million since the Fund was established in 1994.
All these projects meet the criteria set by the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) for allocation of the Language Fund. SCOLAR will closely monitor the progress of project implementation and identify effective ways in disseminating the outcomes arising from these undertakings.
The priority research project recommended in this batch aims to study the impact of using Putonghua as the medium of instruction in Chinese language teaching on the students' Chinese language proficiency in writing, reading abilities and cultural knowledge at the secondary level.
Other Chinese projects approved include a research study on enhancement of vocabulary learning and writing skills of primary students; development of a support system on the Internet for use by primary and secondary Chinese language teachers; a research study on the effectiveness of a reading programme adopting the "reading aloud" approach on pre-primary children.
The only English project approved involves placement of Native English-speaking teenagers to serve as English Language Teaching Assistants (ELTAs) in secondary schools to arouse students' interest in learning English. Target participants of this project are Chinese-medium secondary schools.
As regards the two projects awarded grants for continuation, they include a cross-cultural research study on the use of vocabulary items among secondary and tertiary students in four Asian cities, and production of a series of English radio programmes which will be broadcast on Radio 4, RTHK to help promote students' interest in English language.
Processing of all applications received during the fifth call for applications have been completed. A total of 31 projects have been approved in the fifth call. SCOLAR's Chinese Language Sub-committee and English Language Sub-committee will meet shortly to discuss a fresh batch of applications received during the sixth call for applications.