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Learning about teaching: CUHK’s Swedish partnership in STINT


CUHK welcomes a visiting fellow, Prof. Thomas Lavelle, Head of Center for Modern Languages, from the Stockholm School of Economics, under the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT). Since 2012, CUHK has received four STINT fellows for teaching exchange. Prof. Lavelle, who is hosted by the Department of English, is teaching a course on effective communication of research findings in the first semester.


Prof. Lavelle talks about his experience at CUHK:


The exchange is unfolded along several dimensions. First and foremost, I have an opportunity to learn through the experience of teaching CUHK students. Students in Hong Kong are delights to work with. In some ways, they resemble my students in Stockholm, who are also ambitious, digital-native learners. However, they differ as well. Most are more deferential than European students and their individual learning styles seem to favour more out-of-class preparations and less Socratic dialogue during our lessons. I regularly share my impressions of teaching experience with faculty members at the English Department. Beyond that, as most academic teachers recognise, departmental life is an ongoing conversation about the joys and challenges of successful teaching and learning.


In addition, I have presented my research results on the study of Swedish university professors and their dispositions towards students’ written assignments, stimulating discussion at both the Department of English and the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU). At the ELTU, I also take chances to discuss the unit’s curricular innovations and its relevance to broad-based English-language teaching in Swedish universities.


As a visiting fellow, Prof. Lavelle resides in Morningside College, which also provides him with a living example of CUHK’s holistic approach to higher education.




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