Center Information

Director’s Welcome

The Center for Language Education (formerly the Language Center) was established on 1 July 2012 within the School of Humanities and Social Science in recognition of the increasing importance of language and communication within contemporary university education.

The core mission of the Center for Language Education (CLE) is the delivery of the University’s language enhancement programs. These include twelve compulsory credits of English and three credits of Chinese within the new Four-Year Degree structure and a range of English courses for Research Postgraduates (RPGs), including thesis-writing workshops. The Center also offers courses in Third Languages, including modern European and Asian languages, plus classical Latin and Greek. All CLE courses are taught by highly qualified and experienced staff with proven expertise in second language teaching at university level. Most students agree that success in language learning is usually associated with effective teaching. In order to ensure the highest teaching quality, all CLE courses are subjected to stringent quality assurance mechanisms.

In preparation for the introduction of the Four-Year Degree in 2012, the University’s language programs have undergone extensive redevelopment, with the creation of many new courses in English and Chinese. The Center has also re-structured its informal language curriculum, with a view to providing students with a coherent and effective language experience, in which the formal credit-bearing courses are complemented by a system of exciting informal activities, workshops and language-learning resources.

In the Four-Year Degree, students take six credits of English during their first year as part of the University Common Core. These Year 1 courses focus on academic literacy and the development of English proficiency. Students take the Center’s English test, English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA), at the beginning and end of their first year and are expected to reach particular English targets before proceeding to Year 2. The English courses taken from Year 2 onwards are discipline-related and are intended to support the study of the students’ major subject(s) through the medium of English.

Students select Chinese courses according to their level of Chinese proficiency and individual interests. Separate programs are offered to native and non-native speakers of Chinese. Courses in Cantonese are also available.

Some courses offered by the Divisions of Humanities and Social Science include English essay-writing workshops taught by CLE staff. These courses provide students with valuable, additional opportunities to acquire competence in academic writing.