Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Language and Speech Sciences (BALSS) (2-year articulation programme)

The subject list is subject to revision. Offering of subjects is subject to the availability of teaching staff and viable enrolment number. The Department has the discretion on the offering semester and class quota, which is limited by classroom capacity.

 

Total credits requirement for BALSS is 66 credits# + 3 training credits (WIE):
Students are required to take at least 30 credits of level-4 subjects.

 

  1. General University Requirement (GUR)
    1. Cluster Areas Requirement (CAR) (6 credits)
      • CBS1A01P Fun With Language (with CR/CW) plus another CAR subject from other Cluster Areas that fulfils both the English Reading and Writing (ER/EW) and China Studies Requirement (CSR); OR
      • Two CAR subjects from different Cluster Areas fulfiling the Chinese Reading and Writing (CR/CW), English Reading and Writing (ER/EW) and China Studies Requirements (CSR) 
    2. Service-Learning (3 credits)
      • CBS3S01 Service Learning through Helping Primary Students with Specific Reading Difficulties; OR
      • other service learning subjects that are offered by other departments.
  2. Work Integrated Education (WIE)
    1. CBS4946 Work Integrated Education (3 training credits)
  3. Discipline-Specific Requirement (DSR)
    1. Capstone project (6 credits): CBS4999 Project in Language and Speech Sciences
    2. BALSS discipline-specific subjects (51 credits)

BALSS Discipline-specific subjects (51 credits)

 

Compulsory subjects* (30 credits)

 

Subject Code
Subject Title
No of Credits
Linguistic Knowledge Foundation
CBS3403
Structure of Modern Chinese
3

This subject aims to help students to describe lexical items, phrases and sentence types in Modern Chinese in a systematic way. Another purpose is to provide students with the necessary critical and analytical skills to detect Chinese forms, especially in written genres, that are not regularly used and collocations that do not reflect normal logic. Lastly, this subject seeks to enable students to apply the subject knowledge and generic skills to other subjects in the programme, and more importantly, to enable them to justify their understanding and to defend their interpretation of sentences in Modern Chinese in their future career. 

CBS3404
Language, Cognition and the Brain
3

Language is a most important trait that distinguishes humans from animals. What biological factors make human language possible? What neural processes underlie language processing? Which part of the brain supports the production and comprehension of language? How do disorders disrupt these processes?

This subject provides an overview of the cognitive and neural processes that are critical for the production and comprehension of language, and the influence of language disorders on those processes. It will help students to develop an understanding of diverse topics including brain models of language processing, language development, and language disorders. An emphasis will be placed on the Chinese language such as Cantonese and Mandarin.

CBS3408
Language Acquisition
3
Humans are born with an innate capacity to learn language. Can animals learn language? How do children learn their mother tongue? What happens when children learn two languages at the same time? Why are some learners more successful than the others in learning a second language? The objective of this subject is to introduce to students how linguists and psycholinguists address questions such as the above in the area of language learning and development. The subject is also geared towards the local community -- Hong Kong context, covering topics such as: (i) learning Cantonese as a first language; (ii) learning Cantonese and English as two first languages; and (iii) learning English and Mandarin as second languages.
CBS3943
Sounds of Language
3
This subject aims to provide students with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to pursue further study in phonetics and phonology. It will introduce students to the basic concepts in articulatory phonetics, acoustic phonetics, and speech perception with special reference to the sounds of English, Cantonese, and Putonghua. Students will also have hands-on experience with transcribing with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), analyzing speech sounds using computer softwares, and doing linguistic analysis with the sound system of a language.
CBS4901
Contrastive Analysis of Chinese and English
3
The primary goal of this subject is to provide you with an overview of the basic principles of contrastive analysis and the linguistic differences between Chinese (Putonghua and Cantonese) and English so that you can practically apply this subject knowledge and analytical skills to solving linguistic problems related to these languages.
Foundation Knowledge of Communication Disorder
CBS4945
Analysis of Language Samples: Clinical Implications
3

This subject aims to:

  1. offer a comprehensive introduction to the clinical models in the analysis of language samples;
  2. equip students with the necessary analytical and technical skills to collect, transcribe and analyze language samples of normal developing children as well as those with communication disorders;
  3. enable students to describe and identify the linguistic features of normal developing children and those with communication disorders.
CBS4949
Child Communication Disorders and Special Education Needs (DSLR English)
3

This course will introduce to participant the causes and profiles of individuals with different communication disorders in children with special education needs. The course will introduce (1) speech delay and disorders; (2) developmental language and literacy disorders; (3) specific language impairments; (4) management of communication disorders in children with special education needs.

This course also aims at training students to master high accuracy English academic writing, including but not limited to literature review with proper citations, reporting data in scientific way, and interpretation of findings with reference to literatures.

CBS4950
Communication Disorders Across the Life Span
3

This course will introduce to participant the causes, profiles and management of individuals with different communication disorders across the life span. The course will introduce (1) the biological basis of the hearing function; (2) language disorders secondary to hearing impairment, cleft lip and palate, and cerebral palsy; (3) voice disorders; (4) neurogenic communication disorders.

CBS4952
Language and Speech Production: Anatomical and Physiological Perspectives
3
By completing this subject using a systemic and regional approach in teaching and learning, students will be able to demonstrate a systematic understanding of the structure and function of the human body.
Language Skills
CBS3407
Chinese Academic Writing in Language and Speech Sciences (DSLR Chinese)
3

This subject aims at fostering students’ academic language skills and logical thinking abilities through trainings in reading, writing and speaking in professional contexts of linguistics and speech sciences. The subject also provides students with the knowledge of various kinds of research methodology and helps them with capstone project planning.

# The Language and Communication Requirements (LCR) is normally not required. Only those students not meeting the equivalent standard of the Undergraduate Degree LCR (based on their previous studies in AD/HD programmes and their academic performance) will be required to take LCR subjects on top of the normal curriculum requirement. CBS will refer to the guidelines provided by the Language Centres (ELC and CLC) to determine whether a new student has met the equivalent standard, with special reference to academic writing ability.

  1. ENGL2000 English for Effective Communication (3 credits)
  2. ENGL2001 English for Professional Communication (3 credits)
  3. CBS2901 Chinese for Language Professionals (3 credits)

* Under normal circumstance, there is no prerequisite for the Compulsory Subjects. However, for students who have no formal training in language sciences, CBS1900 Introduction to Language (3 credits) is required.

Elective subjects (21 credits)

Students are required to take at least two subjects under “Professional Skills”.

 

Subject Code
Subject Title
No of Credits
Academic Knowledge Foundation
CBS3402 1
Psycholinguistics
3
Psycholinguistics studies the psychological and neurobiological factors that allow humans to acquire, understand and produce language. In this subject you will survey common techniques used in psycholinguistics and the kinds of research questions that are under investigation in this field. A major focus on the subject is on the interpretation, design, and implementation of psycholinguistic experiments; over the course of the semester you will discuss real psycholinguistic experiments and plan and carry out your own experiments.
CBS4940 2
Varieties of Written Chinese
3
This subject aims to help students to apply their linguistic knowledge to solve problems in the use of written Chinese, with particular reference to the Hong Kong situation. With Hong Kong’s biliteracy and trilingualism as the background, students will study language use in Hong Kong written media and examine the vocabulary, the sentence pattern and the discourse of Hong Kong written Chinese. They will also examine the linguistic differences between the written Chinese in mainland China and that in Hong Kong.
CBS4941 2
Analysis of Cantonese
3
This subject introduces students to the linguistic structures of Cantonese including phonetics/phonology, syntax, and semantics in a principled manner. It enables students to make generalizations from complicated natural Cantonese data and utilize their language intuition to make logical judgment. The subject also develops students’ awareness and understanding of the socio-cultural aspects embedded in the language that enhance their global outlook and cultural appreciation.
CBS4943
Language and Society
3
This subject provides a comprehensive introduction to sociolinguistics, with special focus on language variation and language change in multilingual and multicultural societies. The first part of the subject deals with language variation according to users, covering topics such as regional and social dialects as well as variation by gender and age. It further explores the factors that contribute to language change. The second part of the subject deals with language variation according to use. Topics include face and politeness, language and cognition, stylistic variation, and language attitudes.
Professional Skills
CBS3947
Programming and Data Analysis for Language Studies
3

This subject introduces the use of programming and data analysis techniques in language studies. Students will learn about the fundamentals of text processing with open-source packages in Python and the general ideas of major NLP (natural language processing) tasks. Students will also be familiarized with the conceptualization and compilation of linguistic corpora, as well as the use of corpora in computational linguistics. Furthermore, the course will also introduce R (and RStudio) as tools of data analysis and visualization, with a special focus on the analysis and reporting of language data.

CBS4951
Therapeutic Processes of Language Intervention
3

By completing this subject using a systemic and regional approach in teaching and learning, students will be able to demonstrate a systematic understanding of the principles behind management of with speech and  language disorders and other communication problems, one of the commonly seen SEN types.

CBS4953
Techniques in Language Sciences
3

Language is not only a system of abstract symbols and grammatical rules. With proper techniques, language can be observed in real time during the production and perception of individuals.

This subject provides an overview of the techniques and instruments that can be used to capture and describe the articulation, physical properties, perception and brain activities of language in real time. It will introduce the students to diverse techniques and software (e.g., Electroglottograph, Nasometer, Praat, E-Prime and Electroencephalograph) and how to apply these techniques and software to the study of language. Students will be offered hands-on experience of learning to use these techniques.

CBS4954
Statistics for Language Studies
3

Statistical methods are used in the subfields of linguistics extensively, which helps linguists to discover language structures and patterns in processing languages. This is an introductory course to statistical analysis used in language studies. This course includes fundamental concepts in statistics, methods of descriptive and inferential statistics with application in analyzing quantitative linguistic data and solving linguistic problems.

In particular, we focus on experimental designs, simple linear regression, hypothesis testing and statistical modeling of linguistic data. It offers hands-on experience with statistical analysis software, and provides students with theoretical background in statistics enough to understand the software output, and make a critical review of the results in a qualitative study. Students are also trained to report statistical results of linguistic data for their own projects.

CBS4955
Deafness and Sign Language
3

Listening through the auditory channel is one of the important communication skills. However, loss of hearing can have a negative effect on one’s communication. Under these circumstances, and particularly to children with hearing loss at various degrees, sign language becomes a vital language to support their communication, paving the way for their oral language, cognitive and socio-emotional development, as well as pursuit of education. 

This subject provides an overview of hearing loss from two perspectives: the medical perspective (e.g., mechanism of hearing, causes and classification of hearing loss, assistive hearing technology like hearing aids and cochlear implants) and the linguistic and cultural perspective (e.g., sign language, bimodal bilingualism, Deaf culture).

Language and Communication
CBS3401
Symbolic Communication Across Languages
3

This subject aims to provide a conceptual grounding for students in sign-mediated communication (SiMC) with special reference to its within-culture and between-culture variation as well as its application in corporate communication. Specifically the subject aims to (1) give them a general orientation about the human species as homo symbolicus, (2) develop among them a basic understanding of the nature and the workings of major cultural icons, indices and symbols, from communicative, semiotic perspectives. Wherever appropriate, exemplification will be done with cases taken from the corporate sector in Chinese, and non-Chinese cultures so that students’ cultural outlooks may be broadened and their understanding of the connection between the matter of this subject and corporate communication may be strengthened.

CBS3440
Bilingual Workshop for Verbal and Non-verbal Communication
3
In the corporate world of Greater China often messages are addressed to audiences of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, as well as audiences of a different linguistic and cultural mix. This workshop prepares students for the common corporate practice of delivering verbal messages on identical topics to such audiences in the region with appropriate verbal and non-verbal norms. Through a process of practice, review and feedback, students will acquire a better awareness of the within-culture and between-culture variations in verbal and non-verbal communicative norms in Greater China and in its international cities respectively, and develop the necessary skills in addressing different audiences in the region with appropriate norms and without inappropriate inter-cultural, inter-lingual transfers.
CBS3442
Functions of Corporate Communication
3
This subject, to be delivered in tandem with bilingual workshops that are focused on skills pertaining to corporate communication (CC) functions, aims to provide a conceptual grounding for students who plan to develop a career in communication-related fields in general or in CC in particular. Specifically the subject aims to develop among students a basic understanding of the niche of CC units in the corporate world, and give them an overview of major CC functions, including those of a strategic nature such as corporate identity development and branding.
CBS3444
Bilingual Workshop for Internal Corporate Communication
3

For Corporate Communication professionals in Hong Kong, it is a common practice that the same message has to be presented in the appropriate language to readers and/or audiences who are either Chinese monoglots, or English monoglots, or Chinese-English bilinguals. This subject is one of the four in the Bilingual Communication Workshop series that attempts to prepare students for this mode of communication in the workplace. It has its primary purpose, in conjunction with the other three workshops and foundation subjects such as ‘Individual and Societal Bilingualism’, in developing students’ appreciation of respectively within-culture and between-culture variation in communicative norms in the corporate context of Greater China particularly, as well as providing them with a quasi-workplace environment in the form of a workshop to put into practice observations that appropriateness in linguistic usage is culture-bound, that communicative norms vary across recipient types, and that negative-transfer of lexical, discourse and syntactic styles will occur if such variations are not observed.

CBS3445
Bilingual Workshop for External Corporate Communication
3

For Corporate Communication professionals in Hong Kong, it is a common practice that the same message has to be presented in the appropriate language to readers and/or audiences who are either Chinese monoglots, or English monoglots, or Chinese-English bilinguals. This subject is one of the four in the Bilingual Communication Workshop series that attempts to prepare students for the verbal aspect of this mode of communication in the workplace.

It has its primary purpose, vis-à-vis the other three subjects and foundation subjects such as ‘Individual and Societal Bilingualism’, in developing students’ appreciation of respectively within-culture and between-culture variation in communicative norms in the corporate context of Greater China particularly, as well as providing them with a quasi-workplace environment in the form of a workshop to put into practice, particularly in oral communication, observations that appropriateness in linguistic usage is culture-bound, that communicative norms vary across receipt types, and that negative-transfer of lexical, discourse and syntactic styles will occur if such variations are not observed. Specifically, students will conduct corporate communication functions such as community liaison, media relations, mediation between corporate personnel of different cultural backgrounds and identity-promotion projects that demand a high level of sophistication in bilingual communication skills, especially trilingual abilities.

CBS3801
Introduction to Translation
3
This subject will orient students to translation practice in relation to translation principles. Through guided discussions and translation practice, it will equip students with the knowledge and skills applicable to translating various types of texts intended for a general readership, thereby forming the basis for students to develop into specialized areas during their second and third years. Students will also identify the translation problems in relation to cultural issues and learn how to solve these problems.
CBS3802
Introduction to Interpreting
3
The purpose of this subject is to train students to undertake simple interpreting tasks. This subject is also designed to help students build a foundation for the development of essential skills in interpreting between English and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin).
CBS3840
Translation for Business and Commerce
3
This subject aims to train students in the practice of translation for business and commercial purposes. Students will be introduced to basic concepts and principles relating to business and commercial translation. Through a variety of hands-on tasks, students will acquire and apply specific strategies and techniques on translational problems in various types of texts in the business/commercial domain. Students will also learn to think critically about ethical issues that professional translators face in the industry.
CBS3841
Translation for the Media
3
The aim of this subject is to familiarize students with the register and discourse characteristics of the relevant language variety in both English and Chinese media, and to develop and reinforce the skills and techniques required for their translation for the mass media. Specifically, the subject is intended to train students in translating international and local news, magazine articles, promotional materials and advertisements in the print format. They will also learn the principles, techniques and procedures for the translation of subtitles. Emphasis will be laid upon the development of students’ abilities in tackling different forms of translation involving mass media.
CBS3842 3
Consecutive Interpreting
3
This subject is designed to consolidate the basic interpreting skills learnt in CBS3802 “Introduction to Interpreting” and further develop students’ interpreting abilities by training them to be able to undertake consecutive interpreting (CI) tasks on general topics in the workplace. In this subject, students will learn some essential CI skills such as note-taking, deverbalization, coping tactics, discourse analysis and comprehension etc. in order to behave professionally in CI. Practice will focus on CI tasks on various contemporary topics between Chinese (Mandarin/ Cantonese) and English.
CBS3903
Media Language and Communication
3

This subject presents and explores patterns and issues of media language and communication in relation to the development of modern and pluralistic societies, utilizing conceptual resources from bilingualism and multiculturalism. The students are encouraged to reflect and generalize the use of language and languages in media discursive practice and to apply and extend their critical thinking capacity as well as their bilingual knowledge through analyzing the development of local and foreign media in Hong Kong and the related Cultural China regions.

CBS4442
Persuasive Communication in Greater China
3
Greater China is a political plurality and is multicultural, with policies and practices of communications varying from polity to polity. This subject will provide students with survey, practice, and analysis of various persuasive genres that are relevant to corporate communication in the region. Conceptual resources from persuasion theory as well as comparative discourse studies will be utilized, with focus on the between/within-culture variations in persuasive communication in the region.
CBS4444
Cultural Signs and Corporate Communication
3
This subject builds upon what students have learned in ‘Individual & Societal Bilingualism’, ‘Symbolic Communication across Languages’ and ‘Functions of Corporate Communication’ and aims to strengthen students’ grip of sign-mediated communication and its application in strategic corporate-communication functions such as corporate-identity development. Specifically, within a multilingual and cross-cultural framework, students are introduced to how skilled use of corporate names, slogans, logos, sophisticated construction of corporate stories and other non-verbal culture cues and signs may help establish and/or enhance corporate image and identity.
CBS4445
Intercultural Communication
3
This subject offers a general introduction to the key theories of the field of intercultural communication, language and communication professionals working at the focal point of inter-regional and international encounters. Through an overview of the development of the critical reflections on the functioning of different human societal and professional cultures together in a rapidly globalizing world, our students should become aware of the methods of rational resolution of conflicts and problems as well as acculturation strategies across a wide range of intercultural and socio-cultural contexts. Relevant authentic cases in intercultural communication issues are used for exemplification and for assisting students to learn to come to grips with these issues with the aid of the conceptual resources covered in this subject.
CBS4801
Translation Studies
3
This subject aims to equips students who have the ability to understand the factors involved in communication across two languages; who have an awareness of the different levels of meaning in a text; who can use this awareness to evaluate both source texts and their translations; who have an awareness of basic issues concerning translation as a profession. It will also assist students to examine texts and analyze the linguistic and socio-linguistic issues underlying communication across cultures.
CBS4840
Translation for Science and Technology
3
This subject is intended to combine the study of scientific discourse, culture and translation under one roof, so that students can, on the basis of their general translation competence, be prepared for future challenges in specialized translation of scientific and technical texts. It also aims to help students apply general translation theories and techniques to the translation of popular science literature. It acquaints students with the lexical, syntactical and stylistic features of scientific and technical writings in Chinese as opposed to their counterparts in English. The subject cultivates students’ understanding and awareness of the research methodologies embedded in the writings of science as a genre across a variety of disciplines.
CBS4841
Translation for Legal Work
3

This course is intended to:

1. initiate students to the scope and functions of Chinese-English and English-Chinese translation in the Hong Kong legal framework;

2. acquaint students with the terminology, dictions, formats, and styles usually employed in common legal writings;

3. help students identify the legal meanings of common words in the legal context;

4. enable students to understand the characteristics of legal language; and

5. familiarise students with and help them to grasp the basic principles, strategies, methods and techniques for legal translation, and to enable them to generate acceptable translations of legal documents for the local legal sector.

CBS4842
Introduction to Literary Translation
3

This subject introduces various methods of translation appropriate to a wide variety of genres, including drama, fiction, and nonfiction prose. Subject activities include the evaluation and comparison of published translations; original translation of various texts; and discussion and revision of student translations.

Texts for translation will include classic stories and poems, and also some contemporary work.

The subject introduces both Chinese-English and English-Chinese literary translation, aiming to improve bilingual competency

CBS4843 3
Simultaneous Interpreting
3
This subject will provide students with an understanding of the nature of simultaneous interpreting (SI) as a profession and equips them with basic skills of performing SI between Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) and English.
CBS4844
Machine Aided Translation
3

This subject aims to help students acquire fundamental knowledge and useful skills in the application of computer tools and resources for Chinese, English and multilingual translation. In addition to computer assisted human translation, students will also learn to take advantage of automatic computer translation by effective editing of source and target texts. More attention is given to advanced translation technology rather than elementary and general-purpose computer skills.

1 Pre-requisite subject: CBS1900

2 Pre-requisite subject: CBS3403

3 Pre-requisite subject: CBS3802

 

General University Requirement (GUR)

 

Starting from September 2012 with the commencement of the new 4-year curriculum, all PolyU undergraduate students need to fulfill the comprehensive General University Requirements (GUR):

  1. Language and Communication Requirements (LCR)
    The LCR is normally not required. Only those students not meeting the equivalent standard of the Undergraduate Degree LCR (based on their previous studies in AD/HD programmes and their academic performance) will be required to take degree LCR subjects on top of the normal curriculum requirement. CBS will refer to the guidelines provided by the Language Centres (ELC and CLC) to determine whether a new student has met the equivalent standard, with special reference to the ability for academic writing.

    English
    All students must successfully complete two 3-credit English language subjects as stipulated by the University.
    The default LCR English replacement subjects for BALSS students are:
    ENGL2000 English for Effective Communication; and
    ENGL2001 English for Professional Communication

    Chinese
    All students must successfully complete one 3-credit Chinese language subject as stipulated by the University.
    The default LCR Chinese replacement subject for BALSS students is:
    CBS2901 Chinese for Language Professionals

    Reading Requirement
    All students must, among the CAR subjects they take, pass one subject that includes the requirement for the reading of an extensive text in English and one subject with the requirement for the reading of an extensive text in Chinese. A list of approved CAR subjects for meeting the Writing Requirement (with a “W” designation) and for meeting the Reading Requirement (with an “R” designation) is shown at:

    https://www.polyu.edu.hk/ogur/GURSubjects/


    Writing Requirement
    In addition to the LCR in English and Chinese explained above, all students must also, among the Cluster Areas Requirement (CAR) subjects they take (see section (b) below), pass one subject that includes the requirement for a substantial piece of writing in English and one subject with the requirement for a substantial piece of writing in Chinese.

  2. Cluster Areas Requirement (CAR)
    To expand students’ intellectual capacity beyond their disciplinary domain and to enable them to tackle professional and global issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, BALSS students are required to successfully complete 6 credits in TWO of the following four Cluster Areas:
    • Human Nature, Relations and Development
    • Community, Organization and Globalization
    • History, Cultures and World Views
    • Science, Technology and Environment

    A list of CAR subjects under each of the four Cluster Areas is available at: https://www2.polyu.edu.hk/as/Polyu/GUR/index.htm

    Applications for waiver of ER/EW, CR/CW and CSR
    Applications for waiver of English Reading and Writing Requirements (ER/EW), Chinese Reading and Writing Requirements (CR/CW) and China Studies Requirement (CSR) should be submitted to the programme host department for approval, with supporting documents which demonstrate the level of accomplishment for the requirements as follows:

    Reading and Writing Requirements (R/W)
    In order to fulfil the “Reading” requirement, a subject must include the reading of an extensive text (100,000 words or 200 pages). In order to fulfil the “Writing” requirement, a subject must include an extensive piece of writing (2,500 words for English and 3,000 characters for Chinese).

    China Studies Requirement
    A subject with more than 60% China-related content.

  3. China Studies Requirement (CSR) 
    Of the 6 credits of CAR described in (b) above, BALSS students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 3 credits on CAR subjects designated as “China-related”. The purpose is to enable students to gain an increased understanding of China (e.g., its history, culture and society, as well as emerging issues and challenges).

    A list of approved CAR subjects for meeting the China Studies Requirement is available at:

    https://www.polyu.edu.hk/ogur/GURSubjects/



  4. Service-Learning (SL)
    All BALSS students can take “CBS3S01 Service Learning through Helping Primary Students with Specific Reading Difficulties” to fulfil the service-learning requirement of the University. In the subject, students are required to (1) participate in substantial community service or civic engagement activities that will benefit the service users or the community at large in a meaningful way; (2) apply the knowledge and skills acquired from their Major or other learning experiences at the University to the community service activities; and (3) reflect on their service-learning experience in order to link theory with practice for the development of a stronger sense of ethical, social and national responsibility.

    Students can also take other service-learning subjects that are offered by other departments of the University to fulfil the service-learning requirement of the University.

    A list of eligible subjects for meeting the service-learning requirement is available at:

    https://www.polyu.edu.hk/ogur/GURSubjects/