With an increasing number of students of ethnic minority in the Education University of Hong Kong, a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for learning spoken Cantonese was designed in 2020 and was completed in 2022. The platform aimed at providing additional support to Non-Chinese Speaking (NCS) students. The researchers were the principal project leaders. An exploratory study was conducted to examine the challenges encountered and the solutions implemented. It was comprised of three parts: a self-reflective study, a questionnaire survey and an in-depth individual interview. It was found that there were five main challenges: learners’ difficulty in learning Cantonese as a tonal language (Chan & Li, 2000), a diversity of their ethnicities, a wide gap of learning differences, a low level of motivation, and finally a limited budget and labour for the creation of the MOOC (Barak et al., 2016). To address those issues, a bundle of solutions was implemented. Topics and learning objects were plotted on a scale of difficulty. After students had practiced pronunciation of items ranging from mono-syllabic words to poly-syllabic words or phrases, they had to practise multi-levelled tasks in different real-life situational contexts. Motivation was enhanced by the use of visuals, audios, learning videos and a scoring mechanism incorporated in the platform. During the production of the learning videos, students also played the roles of characters and hence provided them with more guided and authentic learning experiences. It was concluded that those methods were mostly effective in addressing the challenges.
Yuet Wai Wong, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Chun Yip Tse, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
About the Presenter(s)
Mr Yuet Wai WONG is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at The Education University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong
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