Social Science Events & Activities

Seminar
The Daodejing and Ecclesiastes on the Meaning of Life (Wednesday 27 May 2020)

Abstract: The current study is a comparative research on the Daodejing (道德經) and Ecclesiastes with the aim of answering the question of the meaning of life. The focus of the study is on the two texts especially the content related to the two terms xu (emptiness 虛)and hebel (vanity) in the Daodejing and Ecclesiastes respectively. It starts with a miniature demonstrating the framework of the current study based on the comparison of the two terms xu and hebel. It then follows by six chapters from the Xu and Hebel Comparison to the Meaning of Life Reflection. It finds that emptiness is the common ingredient of xu and hebel in Chapter 3. It suggests that Socrates is the hidden protagonist of Ecclesiastes in Chapter 4. It offers the possibility of seeing the trueness of one’s life through xu in Chapter 5. It discovers the similarities of the two texts which lie under their very different appearances and backgrounds in Chapter 6. It ends with the findings in Chapter 7 that one lives a harmonious life freely, truly and positively; works for the goodness of all people continuously with the objective of having all humans living peacefully and healthily in an ordered society as the final answer to the question of the meaning of life. The answer is based on the results of the previous chapters which are the process of analyzing and comparing the two texts. The answer ends the current research on the meaning of life through a comparative research on the Daodejing nd Ecclesiastes.

Speaker(s)
Ms. Hoi-shan CHONG
Date
May 27, 2020 (Wednesday)
Time
14:00
Venue
Zoom Meeting: https://hkust.zoom.us/j/97902392928
Language
English
Remarks
Meeting ID: 979 0239 2928

Research Seminar
Adult migrant language education: A social justice perspective (Monday 27 Apr 2020)

Abstract: In this presentation I examine the practices and policies relating to the language education provided for, and experienced by, adult migrants who are settling in English-dominant countries. Over the past two decades in the UK, the US and elsewhere in the English-dominant west, the English language has become central to debates and policies about migration, citizenship, nationality and belonging. English language education has thus become tightly linked to immigration and citizenship policy. With this in mind, I note two current concerns. First, language education for migrants as currently conceived – in policy circles and in established curricula – is associated with a powerful ideology of ‘one nation one language’. This monolingual stance disregards that people develop competence in English as part of a multilingual repertoire – and that language education practice has a role in in supporting their multilingualism. Second, bracketing language education with social integration betrays an understanding of integration as being primarily the responsibility of the newcomer, instead of recognising settlement and belonging as issues for everyone. Drawing on recent research in urban multilingualism, language education policy formation and studies of practice, I outline principles for an alternative social justice-informed approach to adult migrant language education, appropriate for conditions of mobility and times of change. Biography: James Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, University of Leeds, UK. His research interests lie in the teaching and learning of English for Speakers of Other Languages, in migrant language learning and arts practice, and in the sociolinguistics of mobility. His work involves the critical analysis of linguistic practices relating to identity and belonging, language diversity, language pedagogy, language policy and literacy. His books include Translanguaging as Transformation (Multilingual Matters, 2020, edited with Emilee Moore and Jessica Bradley), Voices and Practices in Applied Linguistics (White Rose Press, 2019, edited with Clare Wright and Lou Harvey), Adult Language Education and Migration: Challenging Agendas in Policy and Practice (Routledge, 2015, edited with Anne Whiteside), The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics (Routledge, 2011), and ESOL: A Critical Guide (OUP, 2008, with Melanie Cooke). He manages the discussion forum ESOL-Research, and is Chair of MESH, a charity supporting adult migrant language education.

Speaker(s)
Dr. James SIMPSON,
Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Leeds
Date
April 27, 2020 (Monday)
Time
4:05 pm
Venue
The research seminar will be conducted via ZOOM
Language
English
Remarks
Meeting ID: 916 6185 1748

Research Seminar
Innovations and Challenges in Language Aptitude Research (Friday 24 Apr 2020)

Abstract: The concept of language aptitude refers to the specific abilities that allow us to adequately predict or explain why some people can learn a foreign/second language more efficiently and effectively than their peers. Since its inception in the 1950s and 60s, language aptitude research has undergone both popular and marginalized periods in the past six decades. This seminar aims to provide the audience with a critical review and analysis of major language aptitude models and test batteries. It will begin with the classic model of John Carroll, to be followed by some innovative cognitive aptitude models and test batteries proposed by scholars from multiple disciplines of psychology, neuroscience, and SLA. Towards the end, I will tease out the remaining challenges and highlight future directions to further advance language aptitude theory construction, test development, and pedagogical applications. Biography: WEN Zhisheng (Edward) is currently an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macao Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Wen has over 20 years of teaching experience at universities and his research interests include second language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and task-based language teaching & learning. His current research foci are language aptitude and working memory from an interdisciplinary perspective. He has published extensively in top-notched journals and volumes. His research monograph Working memory and second language learning was published by Multilingual Matters (2016) and reprinted by FLTRP in 2018 (Beijing). Dr. Wen is the leading editor of Working memory in second language acquisition and processing (Multilingual Matters, 2015), Language aptitude (Routledge, 2019), and Researching L2 task performance and pedagogy (John Benjamins, 2019). His forthcoming books include “Cognitive individual differences in second language acquisition” (de Gruyter Mouton) and “Cambridge handbook of working memory and language” (Cambridge University Press).

Speaker(s)
Dr. Edward Zhisheng WEN
School of Languages and Translation Macao Polytechnic Institute
Date
April 24, 2020 (Friday)
Time
3:15pm
Venue
The research seminar will be conducted via ZOOM
Language
English
Remarks
Meeting ID: 922 1834 8118