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English Cultural Literacy Project (ECLP)

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The Open University of Hong Kong

School of Arts & Social Sciences

 

The Open University of Hong Kong

English Cultural Literacy Project (ECLP)

 
About Us

About Us

 

The English Cultural Literacy Project (ECLP) is a branch of the School of Arts and Social Sciences at the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). The ECLP offers a repertoire of English classes designed to foster English language learning through a variety of contexts. Classes also emphasize the different cultures of English-speaking countries. Launched during the 2008-2009 academic school year, the ECLP offers a wide range of classes; previous classes include English in Media and Pop Culture, British and American Short Stories, and Hong Kong Literature. All ECLP classes are electives courses that welcome students from all disciplines. Currently, three staff are involved in teaching ECLP courses. The ECLP is under the direction of the Dean of the School of Arts and Social Sciences at OUHK.

                                                                                                                

 

 
Our Aims  
What is Cultural Literacy  

Courses Offered

 
Comments from Students  

Our Extra-curricular Activities

    Outing to the Hong Kong History Museum

    London Study Tour 2010

 
Free Movie Shows  
Teaching Staff and Contact  
 

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School of Arts & Social Sciences

Our Aims

 

The English Cultural Literacy Project (ECLP) aims at equipping students with:

(1) Good English language skills

(2) Cultural awareness in the globalized world

 

The aims will be achieved through:

(1) Learning English as a global language

(2) Using English as a means of international communication

(3) Having a solid grasp of the culture(s) in English.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Cultural Literacy?

 

Introduction

There has long been a correlation between cultural literacy, or the ability to understand, communicate, and operate in any given culture, and language learning.

 

As a vehicle of expression, language is both form and content. Language experts have come to see the importance of cultural awareness in language learning, particularly in a second or foreign language context. There is a high correlation between cultural literacy and language proficiency. Through the courses, students will learn the English language alongside the study of the culture(s) of its dominant varieties.

 

Cultural Literacy from Different Perspectives

 

"Knowledge of history, contributions, and perspectives of different cultural groups, including one's own group, necessary for understanding of reading, writing, and other media."

by Dictionary.com

 

"Cultural Literacy is about reading... in its widest sense. It is about understanding the meaning of words based on a background of common knowledge that enables one to make sense of what is read."

by The Literacy Company

 

"Cultural Literacy refers to the concept that citizens in a democracy should possess a common body of knowledge that allows them to communicate effectively, govern themselves, and share in their society's rewards."

by E. D. Hirsch Jr. on Cultural Literacy in the United States

 

 

 

Courses Offered

 

English Elective Courses

 

1)   ENGL A102F Classic American Films 經典美國電影

Credits: 5 

Level: Foundation 

 

This course introduces students to American film art and culture through the study of great films. Through the course, students gain knowledge regarding the basic elements in Film Art and the relationship between film and culture.

 

2)   ENGL A103F British and American Short Stories 英美短篇小說

Credits: 5 

Level: Foundation 

 

Students will study British and American short stories by great masters such as Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence and Amy Tan. Film adaptations from selected stories will be viewed in class, followed by discussions on topics related to the story, its themes and socio-cultural background.

 

3)   ENGL A104F World Englishes and Cultures 世界英語及文化

Credits: 5 

Level: Foundation 

 

This course introduces students to the different diversities of English and examines the linguistic and cultural development of the English language around the world. Its teaching materials include short stories, films and videos.

 

4)   ENGL A105F Hong Kong Literature in English 英語香港文學

Credits: 5 

Level: Foundation 

 

This course introduces students to English literary works written by Hong Kong writers. Discussion will be made regarding the relationship between language and identity. The trends of localization and globalization will also be examined.

 

5)   ENGL A106F English in Media and Popular Culture 英語傳媒及文化 

Credits: 5 

Level: Foundation 

 

This course introduces students to the role of English in different media systems around the world. Students will study the relationship between media and cultural identity. The trends of localization and globalization will also be analyzed.

 

6)   ENGL A107F Children’s Literature in English 英語兒童文學 

Credits: 5 

Level: Foundation 

 

This course aims to examine methods of reading, understanding and appreciating masterpieces in Children’s Literature through the perspectives of children and intellectuals. The influence of Children’s Literature upon culture will also be evaluated. Works from Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carroll and Roald Dahl will be studied.

 

7)   ENGL A108F English and Popular Song Lyrics 英語流行歌歌詞 

Credits: 5 

Level: Foundation

 

This course aims to introduce students to the development of English-language popular music. The influence of popular music on formation and expression of identity and pop music as a form of social commentary will be explored. Some of the featuring topics include the rise of rock and roll, women in popular music, hip hop and minority cultures in pop music.

 

8)   ENGL A131F Introduction to English Fiction 英語小說導論

**Blended-learning Mode**

Credits: 5 

Level: Foundation 

 

This course aims to introduce methods of reading, understanding and appreciating literary works from the genre of fiction. Students will study various forms of fiction by great masters such as Henry James, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf and Doris Lessing.

 

9)   ENGL A132F Introduction to English Drama and Poetry 英語戲劇及詩歌導論

**Blended-learning Mode**

Credits: 5 

Level: Foundation

 

This course aims to introduce methods of reading, understanding and appreciating literary works from the genres of drama and poetry. Students will study drama and poetry by great masters such as William Shakespeare, Bernard Shaw, T.S. Eliot and Derek Walcott. Texts will be studied with the help of audio-visual materials.

 

10)  ENGL A203F Hitchcock Films 希治閣電影

Credits: 5 

Level: Middle

 

This course introduces students to the works of Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense and psychoanalysis in film. Students will learn English and culture while they study films. Through this course, students improve their knowledge related to film art, history, society, culture and language use.

 

11)  ENGL A204F Modern British and American Drama 現代英美戲劇

Credits: 5 

Level: Middle

 

This course introduces students to major works of British and American drama from the late 19th century to the 20th century. Students will study plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest, Pygmalion, A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman.

 

12)  ENGL A231F English Literature in the Modern World 現代世界英語文學

**Blended-learning Mode**

Credits: 5 

Level: Middle

 

This course introduces the major concepts in modern literature through the study of fictions and plays. These works will be analyzed in five main aspects: Identity and the Crisis of Civilization; Multiculturalism; The Uncanny and the Absurd; Gender and Literature; and Modern Values. Its teaching materials include literary texts, film adaptations and online videos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments from Students

 

ENGL A131F Introduction to English Fiction 英語小說導讑

Notes are clear and useful.

  

ENGL A102F Classic American Films 經典美國電影

“I liked the introduction of American culture through different films.”

“I liked the movies chosen for this course. It’s helped me understand more about American culture.”

 

ENGL A103F British and American Short Stories 英美短篇小說

"I can understand both British and American literature by these stories. Moreover, we can also learn foreign cultures."

"Atmosphere (learning) is wonderful."

"The presentation of the lecturer is clear and very funny."

 

ENGLA104F World English(es) and Cultures 世界英語及文化

“The atmosphere in class is great […] interaction between teachers and students create a nice environment for students to learn”

“I learned about different types of English and their own features.”

“Lectures and tutorials are fun and interesting.”

 

ENGLA105F Hong Kong Literature in English 英語香港文學

“I enjoy the way the lecturer and tutor teach us. They don’t dump information on us. Instead, they explain the works effectively with everyday examples.”

 

ENGLA106F English in Media and Popular Culture 英語傳媒及文化

“I liked that I learned many new things regarding pop culture and English. It has been highly informative and enjoyable.”

“It covers various aspects of popular culture we face every day. The lecturer and tutor are nice, well-prepared and patient.”

 

ENGL A107F Children's Literature in English 英語兒童文學

"The content and teaching style is very suitable for undergraduate to know more about children's literature."

 

ENGL A108F English and Popular Song Lyrics 英語流行歌歌詞

"The performance of the lecturer + tutor are great. Adequate use of visual aids + other materials."

 

ENGL A203F Hitchcock Films 希治閣電影

"Discover the enjoyment from Black and White movie."

"Useful support from both lecturer and tutor even after class. They welcome us and provide kind support."

 

ENGLA204F Modern British and American Drama 現代英美戲劇

“There were quite a few plays to read but the teachers helped by making the concepts clear.”

“I liked the acting practice during tutorial.”

“I liked the use of videos to explain the plays.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Extra-curricular Activities

 

We believe that extra-curricular activities will encourage students from different programs to interact with each other and to learn English through interactive means. If funding is allowed, we hope that students who have attained a high level of competence at the end of the academic year could join a summer study tour to an English-speaking country as field work that consolidates what they have learnt.

 

1)   Outing to the Hong Kong History Museum

 

       Date: 19 February 19, 2010 (Friday)

       Time: 11:30am-3:00pm

       Venue: Hong Kong History Museum and Red Box at Tsim Sha Tsui

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview

 

On Friday, February 19, 2010, nine students joined the four ECLP teachers on an outing to the Hong Kong History Museum. They were given a brief English tour of the second floor of the museum; after the tour, students completed a photo scavenger hunt in teams of three. The museum visit was followed by lunch at Red Box, due to extremely cold weather. Over lunch, we introduced three English songs, which students sang with us while Chase, one of our ECLP teachers, played guitar.

 

 

 

 

 

Educational objectives

 

On this outing we aimed to have students:

       1)    Practice English with teachers and classmates outside of a classroom setting

       2)    Learn and apply specific English vocabulary in relation to Hong Kong history

       3)    Interpret English through the completion of the photo scavenger hunt

       4)    Evaluate  the cultural context of three popular English songs

       5)    Review vocabulary, phrases, and literary devices through song lyrics

 

 
 

Conclusion and thoughts for next time

 

Through a museum outing, scavenger hunt, and singing, students who participated in our ECLP Outing got to learn, practice, and use English in fun ways. The outing showed students that using English is not just limited to classroom settings with workbooks and exercises; it can extend into real-life, with stimulating situations. However, students hoped for a longer excursion next time, as they wished to have spent more time at the museum. Some also suggested going “somewhere more exciting (not museums),” and hoped we “can find other special places for us to visit.” Thus, we will work hard to see if we can continue to find educational opportunities in non-traditional formats and venues.

 

 

2)    London Study Tour 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview

 

In May 2010, 12 students and two staff members departed for London, England on the ECLP UK Study Tour. The seven-day tour was sponsored by the Hong Kong Chiu Chow Chamber of Commerce, Ltd. – Winnie Ko Student Exchange Fund.

 

The trip was an extension of classroom learning from the previous academic year. All students were enrolled in at least one ECLP course, such as World English(es) and Cultures and Hitchcock Films. Therefore, hearing different varieties of British English and watching the West End adaptation of The 39 Steps, a Hitchcock film, reinforced their classroom studies.

 

Students also had to practice their spoken English through interviewing five strangers in London. The interviews covered different topics, such as politics, customs in dating and marriage, and daily life in London. Through these interviews, students heard about London from an insider’s perspective while gaining more confidence in their own speaking skills. In addition, students practiced their written English by blogging their reflections on the trip over the course of the week.

 

The trip itinerary was filled with visits to cultural sites in London. Highlights include a tour of the Egypt rooms at The British Museum, watching Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the restored Globe Theatre, touring the backstage of the National Theatre, and creating modern art at a workshop in the Tate Modern.

 

Students described the trip as “an unforgettable experience of my university life” and something “that will be etched in my memory forever.” The students were chosen from a pool of 26 applicants by anonymous essays and individual interviews.

 

 

 

 

Free Movie Shows

 

Students are encouraged to learn English through movies. During term time, free movie shows are also provided in the multi-purpose study room in the library at 2 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays.

 

 

 

 

Teaching Staff and Contact

 

Ms. Garfield Lau: cslau@ouhk.edu.hk

 

Mr. Chase Ma: clma@ouhk.edu.hk

 

Ms. Rebecca Mahoney: rmahoney@ouhk.edu.hk

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

About Us

What is Cultural Literacy

Courses Offered

  

Our Extra-curricular Activities

   Outing to the Hong Kong History

Museum

   London Study Tour 2010

Free Movie Shows

Our Aims Comments from Students Teaching Staff and Contact
 

Maintained by: School of Arts & Social Sciences ( as@ouhk.edu.hk )
Modified Date: Oct 21, 2014