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Six FH Nominees Awarded the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship 2024/25

Six FH nominees were offered the highly competitive Hong Kong PhD Fellowship to pursue PhD study at our departments, four at CBS and one each at CHC and ENGL. The Fellowship Scheme was established in 2009 by the Research Grants Council to support the best and brightest students around the world to pursue their PHD studies in Hong Kong universities. For further details about the Scheme, please visit More about FH research areas

16 Apr, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities


Call for Nominations: Outstanding Alumni Award of PolyU Faculty of Humanities 2024

We are pleased to announce that the Faculty of Humanities(FH) is now calling for nominations for the Outstanding Alumni Award of PolyU Faculty of Humanities 2024. The award aims to give public recognition to FH graduates for their diverse accomplishments and contributions. Award Categories There are four award categories: Professional Achievement Entrepreneurial Achievement Scholarly Achievement Community Service Achievement Candidates who are aged under 40 by the end of the award year (i.e., 31 December 2024) can be considered for the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Faculty awardees of the current year may be nominated for the Outstanding Alumni Award at the University level. Eligibility The nominated candidate must be a graduate of the Faculty of Humanities* who has successfully completed a full-time or part-time programme offered by PolyU (or its forerunners: Hong Kong Government Trade School, Hong Kong Technical College, and Hong Kong Polytechnic) which led to academic award accredited by the respective Institution. The Outstanding PolyU Alumni Award has three levels, namely Department, Faculty and University levels. The nominees for the Faculty Award should be recipients of the Departmental Alumni Award or graduates of the Faculty level programmes, such as Doctor of Applied Language Sciences and BA(Hons) in Language Studies for the Professions. The proposer can be PolyU graduates, Honorary Graduates, University Fellows, PolyU staff, current PolyU Council and Court members and current Advisory Committee members. There is no limit to the number of nominations to be submitted by each proposer. However, the proposer cannot be the candidate himself/ herself or a direct relative of the candidate. *including graduates from the former Faculty of Communication Nomination Deadline 13 May 2024 Award Details and Nomination Form Completed forms shall be sent to by the nomination deadline. Contact Us Email: Tel.: +852 3400 8212

12 Apr, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities


CBS MATI Student and Lecturer Win Prizes at National English Reading and Writing Competitions

Our CBS MATI student, Mr Zhou Zhihao, won First Prize in the 2023 "Bilingual Chinese Stories" English Writing Competition (Group A) and Third Prize in the BETT National College Student English Reading Competition (Finals) . Our Lecturer, Dr Li Wenjing, who served as the instructor for Zhihao, has also been recognised with the “Excellent Instructor” award. Both the "Bilingual Chinese Stories" and the BETT series cover a number of national competitions for college students, including English reading, writing, as well as application and translation of foreign languages.

11 Apr, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities


First Yuen Ren Chao Prize in Language Sciences Announced

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) Faculty of Humanities is pleased to announce the laureates of the first Yuen Ren Chao Prize in Language Sciences. The Prize is initiated and hosted by the Faculty of Humanities to recognise distinguished contributions to language science research. The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded in equal shares to two esteemed scholars, Prof. Peter Hagoort and Prof. William Shiyuan Wang (in alphabetical order of last name). Their research findings have led to major breakthroughs and have far-reaching impacts in the field around the globe, owning them the reputation as pioneering and inspiring leaders in language sciences.   Prof. Peter Hagoort is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (since November 2006), and the Founding Director of the Donders Institute, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN, 1999). In addition, he is a Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Radboud University Nijmegen. His own research interests relate to the domain of the human language faculty and how it is instantiated in the brain. In his research, he applies neuroimaging techniques such as ERP, MEG, PET and fMRI to investigate the language system and its impairments as in aphasia, dyslexia and autism. Prof. Hagoort is a recipient of the Spinoza Prize and the Heymans Prize. He is an elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy, the Academia Europaea, and the US National Academy of Sciences.   Prof. Hagoort was the first to identify and characterise the P600 (note: a measurable response in the brain) as a marker of syntactic processing (Hagoort & Brown, Language and Cognitive Processes, 1993). Using multimodal methods (EEG, fMRI), he demonstrated that world knowledge is immediately integrated into sentence comprehension, challenging the standard assumption that sentence meaning is first determined and then its truth value is assessed (Hagoort et al., Science, 2004). Most recently, he found that catecholamine-related neurotransmitters can influence language processing (Tan & Hagoort, Cerebral Cortex, 2020) – this is the first study to show a neuropharmacological effect on semantic processing during sentence comprehension. He has also led the field in theorising about the neurobiology of language and developing testable models. He developed influential theories aimed at solving the difficult binding problem for language, proposing that the left inferior gyrus plays a critical role in unification (Hagoort, TICS, 2005) and demonstrating that this unification process and neurobiological models of language processing must move beyond the classical Wernicke-Lichtheim-Geschwind model (Hagoort, Frontiers in Psychology, 2013; Hagoort, Science, 2019). His MUC (memory, unification, and control) model has been highly influential. He has also moved the field forward by urging researchers to investigate the operation of language “in its full glory” such as co-speech gestures, conversational interactions. Prof. Hagoort receives the Yuen Ren Chao Prize in Language Sciences for his distinguished contributions to the interdisciplinary studies in cognitive neuroscience and the understanding of human language processing in the brain.   Prof. William Shiyuan Wang was born and grew up in China. He received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Michigan. He served as a Professor of Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley for more than 30 years, where he supervised over 30 PhD dissertations. He was the first to initiate a course on the biological foundation of language. He was also the first to use computers to compile a large database to study the historical development of Chinese dialects. He founded the Journal of Chinese Linguistics in 1973 and served as its Editor-in-Chief until 2018. He was elected President of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics when it was founded in 1992 in Singapore. He has served as a visiting professor in India, Italy, Japan, and Sweden. After relocation to Hong Kong, he taught as Chair Professor of Language Engineering at the City University of Hong Kong, and as Research Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has served as member of several panels at the Hong Kong Research Grants Council. He is now Chair Professor of Language and Cognitive Sciences in the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Professor Emeritus of the University of California at Berkeley, and Academician of Academia Sinica.   Prof. Wang’s early interest in evolutionary theory, both biological and cultural, provided the basis of a theory of lexical diffusion, according to which variants of a language compete at different levels, and surviving variants persist into future generations. Recently, his interests have extended to the cognitive neuroscience of language across the lifespan, especially ageing. His honours include awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, resident fellowships for advanced studies at Stanford, Bellagio (Italy), Kyoto; Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America; Lifetime Achievement Award from the Shanghai Anthropological Society, Honorary Professor of Peking University, among others, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Chicago, and Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities honoris causa from University of Macau. Prof. Wang receives the Yuen Ren Chao Prize in Language Sciences for his distinguished contributions to the interdisciplinary studies in Chinese linguistics, evolutionary linguistics, and the cognitive neuroscience of language and ageing. We would like to express our deepest congratulations to both Prof. Hagoort and Prof. Wang for their exceptional contributions to the field of language sciences. Their work has significantly advanced the development of language sciences. Both Laureates will deliver a public lecture on 10 May 2024. Interested parties are invited to join the lectures through the registration links below. Participants of 2024 International Symposium of Language Sciences (ISLS) need not register again. Click here to register for Prof. Peter Hagoort’s lecture Click here to register for Prof. William Shiyuan Wang’s lecture There were no suitable candidates who have met the high standard for the Early Career Contribution Award this year. Nonetheless, we encourage young researchers to continue their hard work and we look forward to recognising their significant contributions in the future. Faculty of Humanities, PolyU April 2024

3 Apr, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities


ENGL Received EDB Funding to Run a Gifted Education Programme on English Language and Digital Literacies in 2023/24

Our Department of English and Communication is set to unveil a gifted education programme, "Cultivating English Language and Digital Literacies for Future Leaders". This programme is funded by the Gifted Education Fund of the Education Bureau (EDB) of the HKSAR Government. This year-long programme is meticulously designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of gifted secondary school students in Secondary 4 and 5 (2023/24 school year) in three key areas: academic, digital, and professional workplace literacies. The programme is led by Dr Christy Qiu and Dr Jenifer Ho from the Department. The Academic Literacies course will provide students with the tools to excel in academic writing and reading and effective communication. The Digital Literacies course will equip students with the skills to navigate the digital world, including interpreting and creating digital content. The Workplace Literacies course will prepare students for the professional world, focusing on business communication and presentation skills. To consolidate their knowledge, students will undertake a research project under the mentorship of an academic. This project will not only allow students to apply what they have learned but also foster their creativity, independent and critical thinking skills. We will be recruiting gifted students for this transformative programme between 1 March and 19 April 2024. This is a unique opportunity for secondary schools in Hong Kong to empower their students and prepare them for a future where English language and digital literacy skills are paramount. Stay tuned for more information on our ENGL website and social media.

28 Mar, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities


Polyu Research Reveals Significant Effects of Instructors Onscreen During Video Classes in Aiding Student Learning

Online learning has become “the new normal” of education since COVID-19 severely disrupted face-to-face teaching activities. Researchers from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have conducted a study to analyse whether and how the instructor’s presence in online video lectures affected student learning and learning outcomes. The results reveal that students are more motivated to perform socio-emotional and cognitive processing when an instructor, human or animated, is present onscreen, hence facilitating more effective learning. The study findings have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Previous studies have indicated that socio-emotional cues, such as human facial expressions and gestures, help students understand and stay focused on learning content. Led by Prof. Ping LI, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Sin Wai Kin Foundation Professor in Humanities and Technology at PolyU, the research team studied how learners respond to virtual learning with different types and levels of interaction by examining multimodal data of students’ learning performance, brain activity and eye movement, as well as the correlation between these measurements. Eighty-one PolyU students participated in the experiment where some of them watched video lectures with a human instructor accompanying the lecture slides, some watched the same video lectures with an animated instructor, and still some watched the lectures with no onscreen instructor and only the lecture slides. This was followed by a set of assessments of how effectively they had learned. Compared with the no-instructor group, students with an onscreen instructor performed significantly better in the post-course assessments, while the exact embodiment of the instructor—real vs animated—did not affect the overall scores. The results provide strong and important evidence that the instructor’s image, human or animated, improves educational outcomes in the virtual setting. The researchers examined the impact of instructor’s image on learning through a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and eye-movement tracking of the students as they watched the lectures. While students with an instructor performed better, the eye-tracking results, surprisingly, showed that the human instructor may actually distract the students from the slides, as more time was spent by students looking at the slides when the instructor was absent or was an animation. A deeper analysis of the eye-tracking data resolved this contradiction. Crucially, the correlation of eye movements—the extent to which the students shifted their gaze in unison—was higher in instructor-present groups than in the no-instructor group, and better-performing students also displayed more correlated eye movements than the lower performers. This suggests that although an instructor’s image may distract students from the slides, it is also more likely in guiding them to pay attention to the appropriate parts of the onscreen content. In other words, students with an instructor tend to focus on the same places, while those without an instructor are more random in their focus. The fMRI results, which identified the specific brain regions students used most, aligned with the eye-tracking data. Just as their eye movements were synchronised, so did the students with an instructor show greater synchrony in the activity of brain regions crucial for learning, including regions involved in working memory and mentalising. This alignment can be attributed to the higher level of cognitive and socio-emotional processing motivated by the onscreen instructor that served as a social cue. Under this condition, learners follow the visual content in the video more closely, allocate attention more proactively and ultimately learn better. As the data suggest that an onscreen instructor’s image entails both socio-emotional benefits and attentional distraction unrelated to learning, the researchers further propose a trade-off hypothesis suggesting learning outcome depends on whether the benefits can outweigh the costs brought by the distraction. While the trade-off also relies on a learner’s ability to leverage socio-emotional processing and attention control for learning, it explains the individual difference in student learning under the same virtual setting. Prof. Li remarked, “Although the pandemic has subsided, online learning through the use of multimedia instructional videos continues to shape education. Our findings suggest that an onscreen instructor—even an animated one—can make up for some deficits of the online learning setting, where socio-emotional cues are less salient and cognitive engagement is harder to sustain. This contributes to the development of an evidence-based instructional design for multimedia learning, thereby enhancing student’s learning experience and outcome.” Prof. Li was interviewed in CRHK’s programme Education Forum broadcast on 30 March about the study. Check out the interview at: (00:17 - 14:15) (subscription required)

25 Mar, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities

DALS Graduate Won Second Prize in Provincial Award_2000x1050

DALS Graduate Won Second Prize in Provincial Award for a Paper Co-authored with Prof. Hu Guangwei

Dr Wang Qian, a graduate of our Doctor of Applied Language Sciences programme, won Second Prize in the 2023 Philosophy and Social Science Outstanding Achievement Award of Shaanxi Province for a paper co-authored with Associate Dean Prof. Hu Guangwei. The paper, published earlier in Lingua, is entitled “What surprises, interests and confuses researchers? A frame-based analysis of knowledge emotion markers in research articles”. The Award is initiated and established by the Shaanxi Provincial People’s Government. It is awarded biennially and represents the highest honour and level of research in the field of philosophy and social sciences in Shaanxi province. With a history of over 30 years, the award categories span across monographs, papers, and consulting reports, with 318 achievements honored out of nearly 3000 submissions from across Shaanxi Province. Click HERE to read the paper.

19 Mar, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities


PolyU Launches Chinese Culture Festival Empowering Younger Generation with Cultural Confidence and Promoting Vibrant Traditions of Chinese Culture

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is committed to promoting the rich traditions of Chinese culture and, to this end, last year established the Research Centre for Chinese History and Culture to facilitate promotion of Chinese history and cultural education on campus. This year, the University is organising the “PolyU Chinese Culture Festival” to showcase the beauty and significance of various aspects of Chinese culture, cultivate a deeper appreciation of Chinese heritage, strengthen a sense of pride and belonging to the Nation among the younger generation, and contribute to the development of Hong Kong into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange. As part of the celebratory events commemorating the 30th anniversary of PolyU achieving university status, the University today hosted the Opening Ceremony of the PolyU Chinese Culture Festival. The Ceremony was officiated by Dr CHOI Yuk-lin, Secretary for Education of the HKSAR. She was joined by Dr LAM Tai-fai, PolyU Council Chairman; Prof. Jin-Guang TENG, PolyU President; Prof. Ben YOUNG, Vice President (Student and Global Affairs); and Prof. LI Ping, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. Representatives from the co-organisers of the PolyU Chinese Culture Festival, including Ms SHEN Jiang, Secretary of the Party Committee at Tiangong University; Prof. YU Chuang, President of the Zhejiang Industry & Trade Vocational College; and Dr Louis NG, Museum Director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, also joined them to kick off the Festival. Dr Choi Yuk-lin emphasised the significance of higher education as a crucial vehicle for inheriting cultural heritage and driving ideological and cultural innovation. It is also an important foundation for upholding the unity of the country and the Nation. Learning, comprehending and inheriting Chinese culture can enhance the youngsters’ national identity, cultural confidence and their sense of belonging to the Nation. The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China report underscored the imperative to reinforce the dissemination and influence of Chinese civilisation, fostering cultural confidence and strength. Additionally, our country’s “14th Five-Year Plan” supports Hong Kong in developing into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange. She mentioned that PolyU hosts the Chinese Culture Festival and co-organises various exciting activities in collaboration with the Hong Kong Palace Museum, mainland institutions and other arts and culture organisations, providing an invaluable platform to promote mutual cultural learning and exchange. As well as making a contribution to the development of Hong Kong into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange, these efforts aim to ignite a passion for Chinese culture among PolyU faculty members, students, alumni and the broader community, strengthening their sense of belonging to the Nation and cultural confidence. There will be a series of activities focusing on pottery lacquerware, embroidery, Chinese music, Chinese classics recitation and more. Distinguished scholars, experts and artists will be invited on campus to exhibit the unique artistic charm of Chinese culture through exhibitions, lectures, workshops and musical performance. Dr Lam Tai-fai stated that guided by its motto “To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind,” PolyU was committed to nurturing students who possess a strong sense of national identity and a positive mindset. The University would continue to promote Chinese culture and contribute to the development of Hong Kong into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange, while providing full support to the City in integrating itself into the overall development of the Nation. Prof. Jin-Guang Teng said, “The ‘Chinese Culture Festival’ is a profoundly significant endeavour for us in terms of nurturing graduates with both ability and moral integrity. It aims to deepen the understanding of Chinese culture among the younger generation and wider society, to foster their pride and sense of belonging to the Nation, as well as to bolster their cultural confidence and patriotic sentiments.” Prof. Ben Young, who also serves as Chairman of the PolyU Chinese Culture Festival, thanked the broader community for their support of PolyU. He hoped that through the series of stimulating activities, students could deepen their knowledge and understanding of Chinese culture. During the next two weeks, until 27 March, PolyU will be collaborating with Tiangong University’s International Innovation Centre of Chinese Traditional Culture and Artistry Inheritance to co-organise an exhibition on campus showcasing intangible cultural heritage from Tianjin. Eight artists from Tianjin have been invited to exhibit their artworks, including HuLian Art Studio (Prof. Zheng Yong’s Studio), the City’s three unique intangible cultural heritages: Clay Figurines Zhang, Tianjin Kite Wei and Yucheng Hao New Year Painting, as well as other intangible cultural heritages at national, provincial and municipal levels such as Hezhen Handmade Incense, Guanzhao Xuan Ceramic Painting, Zhao’s Gourd-making and Tianjin Musical Instruments Zhang. The exhibition will also highlight a collection of selected works of Wenzhou embroidery, which is also recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage. In addition to the large-scale exhibition, there will be expert lectures, workshops and guided tours, all of which will be open to PolyU students, staff, alumni and the public free of charge. After the Opening Ceremony, Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed between PolyU and Tiangong University to reinforce academic exchange and collaboration on scientific research projects. Witnessed by Dr Lam Tai-fai and Ms Shen Jiang, the MoU were signed respectively by Prof. Li Ping and Prof. JIANG Yaming, Dean of the School of International Education and Director of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs Office of Tiangong University, as well as Prof. Erin CHO, Dean of the School of Fashion and Textiles; and Prof. GONG Jixian, Associate Dean of the School of Textile Science and Engineering of Tiangong University. To find out more about the PolyU Chinese Culture Festival, please visit: (Chinese only). For details about the activities in March, please click here (Chinese only). Activity Highlights (March and April)

15 Mar, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities


Prof. William Shi-Yuan Wang Celebrated as the Pride of Chinese Scholars in Local Magazine

Prof. William Shi-Yuan Wang, Chair Professor of Language and Cognitive Sciences, was recently profiled in a feature article of Hong Kong Economic Journal Monthly. The writer lauded Prof. Wang for his transdisciplinary knowledge and approach in research, quoting from him that “only by identifying new links between various disciplines can knowledge be advanced.” The late Prof. Yuen Ren Chao, who is widely regarded as the Father of Modern Chinese Language Studies, and the Yuen Ren Chao Prize in Language Sciences organised by the Faculty were also covered in the article. Click HERE to read the article.

14 Mar, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities

Dr Louis Ng Appointed as Honorary Professor at CHC

Director of Hong Kong Palace Museum Dr Louis Ng Appointed as Honorary Professor at CHC

The Faculty is honoured to welcome Dr Louis Ng Chi-wa, Director of Hong Kong Palace Museum, to join us as Honorary Professor in our Department of Chinese History and Culture with effect from 1 February 2024. In his position, Dr Ng will provide guidance to the Department in the areas of History and Museum Studies. Dr Ng is appointed under the Honorary Professorship scheme which aims to enable the University to seek expert advice from renowned scholars in other institutions or eminent practitioners in related professions.

2 Feb, 2024

News Faculty of Humanities

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