Academic Background of Lam, Ho Cheong, PhD

Lam, Ho Cheong 林浩昌

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education, the Hong Kong Institute of Education. I enjoy my administrative work and have previously served as the Chair of Teaching and Learning Committee and Associate Head of the department. Born in Hong Kong, I grew up in Wah Fu Estate. My academic qualification includes a fair mix of two disciplines - Education (Orthographic Awareness for Learning Chinese Characters) and Computer Science. I graduated in 1991 with first class honors in Computer Science from the University of Hong Kong, awarded with the Hong Kong University Alumni Prize. I then received an M.Phil. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where I was bestowed a certificate of merit of excellent teaching. Then, for eight years, I had been working for the Faculty of Education in HKU and meanwhile I completed a Master of Education awarded with distinction. I then studied full time for my PhD on my most favorite area of children's learning of Chinese characters, for which I received the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund Fellowship for Postgraduate Research Students and Award for Outstanding Research Postgraduate Student.

林浩昌,現任香港教育學院幼兒教育學系助理教授。樂於系內的行政工作,曾任教與學委員會主席、副系主任。生於中國香港,在華富h長大。曾接受兩個學科的訓練:教育(漢字學習的字形覺識)計算機科學。一九九一年香港大學電子計算機科學系甲級榮譽學士畢業,獲香港大學校友奬;香港中文大學哲學碩士,獲優秀助教教學;曾八年任職於香港大學教育學院;兼讀教育碩士,獲優異成績;及後攻讀全日制哲學博士學位,研究兒童漢字學習,獲尤德爵士紀念基金研究生獎學金,以及傑出研究生奬。主要研究範圍包括:漢字學習、現象圖析學、教學軟件設計 、教師資源網絡。

More specifically, my expertise centers on the following three areas (Full list of publication):

Learning Chinese Characters. My research draws on Ference Marton's phenomenography and variation theory to investigate children's learning of Chinese characters. Thus my research contributions are two-fold. On one hand, using variation theory, I would like to explore what makes effective teaching of characters. On the other side, from the case of learning Chinese characters, I would like to foster discussion toward further improvement of the variation theory. Beside this, I also have great fond of learning other Asian languages, including Japanese and Korean, and the history of Chinese characters.

林浩昌 (2012)學前字、詞教學:現象圖析學分析。華語文教學研究,9(3)47-73
Lam, H.C. (2012). On generalization and variation theory. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, DOI:10.1080/00313831.2012.656277.
Lam, H.C. (2012). Elaborating the concepts of part and whole in variation theory: The case of learning Chinese characters.
Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, DOI: 10.1080/00313831.2012.732604.

Designing Software for Learning. My believe is that the design of instructional software should take into account children's experience in learning specific content such as what kinds of errors children commonly make in learning such content. Effective instructional software should then focus the attention of the children exactly, i.e. no more and no less, on the important variations in learning the content (I call this variation affordance). Putting this into practice, since the widely-distributed shareware Han in 1991, I have over a decade of experience, especially from the Dragonwise Projects 現龍系列, in designing and developing software for children to learn Chinese characters, which are now well received by the primary school teachers in Hong Kong.

Lam, H.C., Ki, W.W., Chung, A.L.S., Ko, P.Y., Lai, A.C.Y., Lai, S.M.S., Chou, P.W.Y. & Lau, E.C.C. (2004), Designing learning objects that afford learners the experience of important variations in Chinese characters, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20(2), 114-123.
Lam, H.C., Ki, W.W., Law, N., Chung, A.L.S., Ko, P.Y., Ho, A.H.S. & Pun, S.W. (2001). Designing CALL for learning Chinese characters. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 17, 115-128.
Lam, H.C., Ki, W.W., Chung, A.L.S. & Ko, P.Y. (2000). Experience in designing databases for learning Chinese characters. International Journal of Computer Processing of Oriental Languages, 13(4), 351-375.
Lam, H.C., Pun, K.H., Leung, S.T., Tse, S.K. and Ki, W.W. (1993). Computer-assisted-learning for learning Chinese characters. Communications of COLIPS: An International Journal of Chinese and Oriental Languages Information Processing Society, 3(1), 31-44.

Teacher Resource Network. I believe that teachers' understandings of the purposes of using teacher network mainly are to find ready-to-use teaching resources and to look for opportunities to professional development. For five years, I have been involved in the development of the CMI network 母語教學教師支援網站, which supports school teachers in Hong Kong to teach various subjects using Chinese as the medium of instruction. Besides this, I have also served the HKU Computer Science Alumni Association from 2001 to 2003 in building up a community of alumni.

Lam, H.C. (unpublished). Studying Teachers' Sense of Purpose of Using Teacher Resource Networks and Its Implication on Network Development. Master of Education Thesis, supervised by Ki, Wing Wah, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Nov 2001.
Ki, W.W., Tse, S.K., Shum, M.S.K. & Lam, H.C. (2003). The introduction of a computerised network to support educational change in Hong Kong. Education and Information Technologies, 8(2), 147-164.