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Words from alumni
Peter Tai
Graduate of 2017/18

I happily express my profoundest gratitude to all the teachers at MALS for their unfailing support, enlightenment and thought-provoking advice whilst I was taking courses in the past two years. Thanks are also due to Ms Bonnie Lai for her constant and kindly administrative support.
Lecturers at the programme offered detailed and perceptive criticism on the study of language, in the most constructive spirit; I have greatly benefited from their fruitful lectures. Special thanks are owed to Dr. Vinton Poon who has given me invaluable help throughout the process of writing my dissertation. Vinton’s insightful comments have been indispensable in helping me enhance skills of academic writing and of presentation. Last but not least, I sincerely appreciate all the scholars in MALS that lead me to the Linguistics firmament.
Diane Chen
Graduate of 2017/18

I have much gratitude to the teachers and my classmates, all of whom have changed me and gave me new dreams throughout the year. I have become more confident and independent, because they let me know everything is accepted and worth trying. Teachers often gave us new thoughts in class, which were often antithetical to what we had believed before. I treasured every class, because I knew that’s a process of to being acquainted to a new world or accepting teachers’ brain "washing". I got many new skills, hiking, camping, swimming, painting, etc. thanks to my teachers, who told me enriching yourself is the best investment. For me, the teachers are the best!
Xu Ying
Graduate of 2017/18

Studying in MALS is one of the most memorable experience that has ever happened in my life. I have never imagined I could meet so many wonderful people, and have the chance to know how they think critically, how they learn in a better way, and how they live their colorful life. I want to express my gratitude to the teachers who show me an interesting world of linguistics and set role models for me with their passion in work and life. It is a spiritual journey for me and I experienced the process of being a better me in many ways. I become more confident to say hello to the future-me.
Derrick Hu
Graduate of 2016/17

I am genuinely grateful to all the teaching and administrative staff in this program. In the course of interacting with my teachers, I not only learnt the knowledge about modern linguistics but knew more about myself as well. I think that is the essence of education. And that is exactly what make this journey so meaningful. Furthermore, teachers in MALS show us what traits the qualified educator should possess, it is quite inspiring for those students who want to engage in teaching in the future. All of these unforgettable experiences will be invaluable treasures in my whole life. Once again, thank you, MALS.

Doris Zhao
Graduate of 2016/17

Being a student of MALS program is one of the best parts of my life, I really appreciate both the academic and administrative support from every knowledgeable and distinctive professors and super-nice Bonnie. The things I learn from MALS let me have a more comprehensive and deeper understanding of English and help me a lot in my work. As I work in an English training institution and am mainly responsible for teaching IELTS and TOFEL, all the courses that I took have enabled me to explain English well from all aspects. E.g.: the use of corpus, language change, sentence structures, phonological systems, the reasons for using certain language in certain situations; different learning motivations and teaching methods, etc. All these are precious treasures to me. Thanks MALS. It’s an honor to be your alumna.
Francois Wolfaardt
Graduate of 2015/16

As I grew up in a multilingual community I’m particularly interested in Sociolinguistics. Class discussions on issues like language choice, change and variation made this my most enjoyable subject.
I had little interest in the required course on phonology and semantics, but Dr Wee’s theatrical classes made this a very entertaining subject. He helped me realise that, just like chess positions require meticulous examination, language is better appreciated when examined in finer detail.
The highlight of the programme was the dissertation. This laid the foundation to a PhD, and enabled me to do research in L2-English acquisition, a field I’ve worked in for eight years.
HU Jialing
Graduate of 2015/16

MALS has been the warmest, most enlightening, rewarding, and life-changing programme for me in both learning, professional and daily life experiences.

MALS's comprehensive and exceptional specialties in Generative Linguistics (semantics, syntax and phonology), Discourse Studies, Language & Education, and Liberal Thinking in a small-classroom setting have thoroughly catered for all my academic and professional needs. Studies in Generative Linguistics have given me a world-view to see things universally, to focus on what we all have in common, meanwhile respect and embrace our individual differences; Discourse Studies have taught me that, with an attentive mindset and careful observations, there are always underlying and unexpected ideologies arising from any given written or oral discourses that are seemingly causal or unintentional; From Language & Education, I've learned that a good and reasonable learning context would be the one that emphasises on students' autonomy development, caters for students' individual needs, and overcomes the power struggle between teachers and students; Liberal Thinking always humbles me and enables me to think outside the box, to overcome my insecurities, and to bravely explore all the wonderful possibilities while it seems a dead end.

I am currently working in an information consulting company, which specializes in investigating the production and sales of goods that infringe intellectual property rights. Professional linguistic skills have helped me significantly in writing, translating and reviewing the reports. Furthermore, the inquiring spirit to be facts and truth-oriented, the evolving organised and meticulous mindset, and the developing emphatic intelligence have enabled me to genuinely collect, organize and analyse relevant information. All these either professional or intelligence competences have been developed and improved substantially by the most valuable learning experiences in our MALS programme.

Deep gratitude surely and genuinely goes to Lian Hee. With his profound wisdom, generous time, and persistent guidance, I've gradually learnt how to be facts-oriented, how to develop a logical, critical but open mindset, how to be as simple as possible, and further how to cultivate a careful discipline. These guiding principles have been very helpful in observing, presenting and addressing linguistics puzzles. Thanks to these, I could understand and cultivate myself with a conscious mind. Every decision-making process has seen them as well. I paid closer attention to what to eat, what to wear, and what to buy etc. I would like to be informed as much as possible, so that I can make a conscious, kind and compassionate choice which causes no possible harm to any other voices or voiceless but sentient beings. Most importantly, the pursuit of simplicity enables me to peacefully and joyfully see what's truly essential in lives, which further helps me focus my time and efforts on what I could not live without.

Sincerely, all the unique, warm and lovely efforts from the whole MALS programme with a strong commitment in student services and expecting nothing in return have made me feel at home indeed.
Natalie Lau
Graduate of 2014/15

Studying with all the language lovers at MALS is one of the most fruitful and rewarding experiences of all. It provides me a proper intellectual training, and most importantly it shows me a different world through the window of Linguistics. I especially enjoyed classes related to World Englishes and liberal thinking, they completely opened up my mind. With the solid foundation provided by MALS, I am ready to move on and explore more, perhaps by researches and further studies. More than that, all professors show their passion in language and teaching, and as a language lover, they have definitely set perfect role models for me.
David Cai
Graduate of 2014/15

Studying the MALS program has been a turning point in my life. It is this program that makes me believe there are possibilities I have never dreamed of. It is also this program that broadens my horizons and nurtures my critical thinking.

I enjoyed the every moment of having discussions, giving presentations and doing group projects. This program not only provides me with the sound theoretical training, it also motivates me to explore the magic world of language study. People usually move on for a reason and the MALS program is definitely the right one!
Jason Zhou
Graduate of 2014/15

Looking backward,
Fear, tear,cheer;
Looking forward,
Anticipation,competition,completion.
Time to depart,
Remember where I start
Open my wings of language;
Set my sails of knowledge,
Be MALSer, the foregoer of the age.

Sincere gratitude to all the teachers and staff for their intellectual guidance and hard work. I have accomplished so much and learned an incredible amount. Now I feel like I become a language person rather than just an English major. I really enjoy my learning in MALS, which will be one of the most beautiful memories in my life.
Jack So
Graduate of 2014/15

Before enrolling in MALS programme, I had exceedingly little knowledge on Linguistics insomuch as I was the Business-major in my undergraduate studies. However, it is the MALS programme that is the gateway leading me to the Linguistics world, which is very interesting and appealing. Not only does this programme proffer me the solid foundation of Linguistics concepts and knowledge, but it also nurtures me to be an independently thinking person.

I am much obliged to the professors teaching us with sincerity. My heartfelt gratitude also extends to the administrative staff since they are amiable, helpful and supportive.

To me, MALS programme is one of the best, if not the best, Linguistics programmes offered in Hong Kong. Should you be interested in the wonderful world of Linguistics, do join the programme. Never is the MALS programme your second choice.
Stella Cong
Graduate of 2014/15

I am obliged to the entire MALS teaching and administrative staff for making my learning experience memorable and joyful. I couldn’t hope to adequately express my debt to either of them. Special thanks go to Professor Lian-Hee Wee. He knows everything about everything, understands everything. When we co-authored a paper concerning argument structure, Professor Wee provided not merely a proving ground for various modes of explanation and pedagogical strategies, but also theoretical insights, empirical observations, pointers to literature, and perspectives about how to conceptualize big-picture questions that changed my thinking about many issues. That paper laid solid foundations for my first comprehensive paper during the pursuit of my linguistics PhD.

Had MALS professors not been so generous to open their lab, their classes and their offices to me, I would almost certainly be on a less desirable path now. I am currently doing a PhD in linguistics at the USA, and I have received a scholarship. MALS laid the solid foundation to that. My MA thesis advisor, Professor John Wakefield, warrants special mention. I received particularly extensive, helpful, and insightful written comments about the MA thesis from Professor John Wakefield. I took one of my first linguistic classes with Professor Yueyuan Huang, and from there she led me into the areas of theoretical linguistics. Professor Vinton Poon has given me help and encouragement when my spirit is low. Professor Tony Hung’s World Englishes class impressed us, enlightening us to embrace language varieties. Professor William Littlewood is an exceptional mentor. He lets me know language studies is way more than a pursuit of a MA/doctoral degree that stresses you out. Instead, doing research is fun, linguistics is fun, and to be a lifelong learner can be just fantastic. Pedagogically, the way MALS professors handle the class and fit their argumentation into the fields also benefits me in the long run. Last, but not the least, nothing would have ever been possible without the help from the MALS staff. Ms. Bonnie Lai always looked out for our emotional and mental well-being. That was something I really appreciated when things got tough. Hearty thank you Bonnie for doing the behind-the-scenes work for all of us in the program.

The training in MALS is invaluable in that it navigates me to construct my own academic persona. Crucially, it would have taken me forever to get adjusted to the intense graduate school life in the states if I had not received the strict TA/RA training in MALS, which was tough but undoubtedly rewarding. All in all, MALS excels in her wide varieties of language studies courses, amiable learning environment, and stellar linguistics faculty. Again, thank you MALS. You make me become a better person and I wish everybody a great future.

Bella Yang
Graduate of 2014/15

I am a graduate of 2014/15 in MALS, my name is Bella, YANG RUIQIAN. I am presently a Year-2 EdD student at The Education University of Hong Kong (EDUHK). My research focuses on the e-learning strategies of Chinese learners in English language learning in teacher education comparing Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Doctoral learning period is difficult but fantastic for me. Although it is very hard for me when I was freshly enrolled in August 2016, I am hopeful and staunch at present. I had a gap year from June of 2015 to July of 2016 before I undertook the EdD program. During that gap year, I worked as a Mandarin tutor and assistants in a small company. However, I missed the learning time at the university and felt that I needed more than a one-year master’ s learning. I desire to learn in Hong Kong and. Thus, I resigned from the job and applied to the EdD program at EDUHK.
The most valuable things I learnt from MALS are carefulness in approach, adaptability of mindset and humility. I am so surprised and moved when I received the assignments marked by Professor Littlewood. He had carefully picked up each mistake and showed very detailed comments and suggestions for everyone in class. I learnt a lot. Each classmate respected him very much because of his useful advice on how to be a good L2 teacher and because of his dedication to his job. I still remember the course on Liberal Thinking by Dr. Poon. We had a lot of group discussions from the philosophy perspectives. It was too tough for me since I had not thought like a philosopher before. After we finished that lecture, I learn that some things just look complicated but in fact they are simple when you change your thinking ways. He inspired us and shared his passion. I love his logical thinking ways and expressions which I really learnt from him. When I write assignments or research papers, I always ask myself if I have been logical but simple enough to show my ideas. On humility, I learnt from the whole academic journey with MALS. It is important for me how to be a qualified student with the good academic performance in Hong Kong, which is dramatically different from my learning experiences in Mainland China.
Thank you very much. I really love the learning experience in Hong Kong and I am very proud of being one of the MALSers.
Viggo Cheng
Graduate of 2013/14

My experience in MALS was pleasant and inspiring. The programme provides a large variety of courses for students to choose from, which ranges from theoretical and applied linguistics to sociolinguistics. What I appreciate most is how the lecturers focus on cultivating students' critical thinking skills rather than plain memorisation and blind acceptance of facts and theories. The small class size is definitely an advantage to encourage frequent discussions and interactions between students and teachers. In short, MALS is an excellent programme with professional academics and supportive staff for everyone who is interested in pursuing in-depth knowledge in linguistics.
Laura Yang
Graduate of 2013/14

The experience in MALS Programme was very rewarding, with numerous professional academics and adorable administrative staff, who helped me a lot during my campus life. It was true that students here felt freer to express their ideas and emotions than students of many other institutions, which was good for cultivating their critical thinking skills and fostering their independent capabilities. Besides, the dissertation was another gift given to me. Admittedly, the process of composing dissertation was painful. Fortunately, under the guidance of the excellent professor, I have completed it and learnt a lot from it. Thus, I strongly recommend the MALS Programme to those who are interested in language studies or those who want to further their studies in language. This will be your right choice ever.
Cai, Ailing
Graduate of 2013/14

Before I took the programme, I had little interest in linguistics. I didn't think I would be eager to learn. It’s the professors who brought me into the fantastic world of language. They are patient, inspiring and professional. They are always with students on the road of learning. What’s more, I met a group of interesting people and it’s my honour to do interesting things with them. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21).” I think I found my heart and treasure here.
Candice Ma
Graduate of 2013/14

The nearly one year’s study in MALS programme was fulfilling and enjoyable. I feel honored to meet so many knowledgeable lecturers who are always willing to discuss and share their experience with us and also the administrative staff who are kind and helpful. The study schedule was arranged quite well and flexible: the core courses guided us to the basic branches of language studies and the elective courses gave us the chance to study specific aspects that we were interested in. Studying language broadened my perspectives and let me see things critically. I am deeply grateful for the encouragement, invaluable guidance and assistance of all the professors and staff of the Department. Thus, I strongly recommend this programme to those who want to do a memorable and rewarding study in linguistics.
Kwan Yu Hang
Graduate of 2013/14

I am indebted to the entire MALS teaching and administrative staff for making our learning experience enlightening and joyful. The courses were highly practical, up-to-date and professionally-delivered, in that they not only enriched our understanding of various fields of language studies and current research trends substantially, but also introduced pertinent issues relevant to everyday language use such as pragmalinguistic awareness. One of the most rewarding aspects of the programme was the dissertation, which was a rigorous intellectual training and an eye-opening opportunity strengthening my ability to conduct linguistic research. MALS helped me lay the foundations of my future academic advancement.
Fong Yiu Tung James
Graduate of 2005/6

The Master of Arts in Language Studies Programme of Hong Kong Baptist University has been enjoying an enviable reputation as one of the best MA degree programmes in language studies in Hong Kong.

Jointly taught by the English Department and the Language Centre, the programme only enrols around 30 students annually and adheres to small class teaching. This teaching policy is a luxury rarely available nowadays with the rapid expansion of postgraduate education which results in expanding postgraduate class size.

Indeed I benefited a lot from taking this programme. Not only did I build up friendly relationships with the professors but also widen my academic horizons which paved the way for my current pursuit of an MPhil. To tell you the truth, the programme also supported me to broaden my international exposure. During the second year of my studies, I took on the United Nations Development Programme internship upon the professors’ strong recommendation.

So I have no hesitation in recommending this MA programme to you.
Victor Ho
Graduate of 2002/3

Every one of the alumni and current students of the BU’s Master of Arts in Language Studies program will agree that doing this program is one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. With a team of renowned and experienced professors specialized in various fields of linguistics, we’re guaranteed a substantial amount of quality linguistic knowledge in every one of the well-planned and professionally delivered lectures and seminars. We’re not only introduced to the most updated knowledge and research trend in the field of language studies, but also stimulated and guided to explore the language world in the way which fits us most. Whatever our career is, we find the program highly relevant – language is the tool with which we get things done. Had it not been the strong foundation of linguistic knowledge built and the inspiration provided by the professors of the MALS program, I wouldn’t be able to pursue a PhD in linguistics program now.
Franki Yip
Graduate of 2000/1

I am a graduate of year 2001. The MALS study is an unforgettable part in my study life. It enriched my language background (Chinese and English) and upgraded my language teaching skill. Some years passed, scenes of classrooms in those days still flash in my mind every now and then. Cheer, hot discussion, school news, and homework sharing, all mixed together. I really hope such caring and learning atmosphere can be generated in my own classroom in school. I am learning and experiencing.
Parkson Kwok
Graduate of 2000/1

I enjoyed the small group learning environment. Teachers are professional and sincere to teach. The MA course has allowed students to pursue subjects that are of their own interest while relevant to the course content.
Helen Yeh, EdD
Graduate of 1998/9

I found the MA programme inspiring and fruitful to both my intellectual thinking and my academic advancement. The modules not only equipped me with necessary and up-to-date linguistic knowledge but also kept challenging my thoughts and reasoning. The dissertation further strengthened my ability in devising effective task-based teaching and student-centered learning. It’s really a great programme I have ever had.
Shirley Chan, PhD (HKU)
Graduate of 1993/4

I will never forget the challenge of balancing the demands from work, family and study. The long travelling from Kowloon campus to home in Tuen Mun was still vivid in the mind. Yet, the programme helped me lay a good foundation on my academic pursuit in language study. I am grateful for the opportunity given fifteen years ago.
Chow Yee Ling Belle
Graduate of 1993/4

The MA course has helped me refresh my past learning experience and upgraded my life long career in language teaching. Professors are caring teachers and knowledgeable facilitators. With their professional supervision, I was able to study and learn independently. I must thank the MALS course team, both teaching and supporting members, for their whole-hearted effort in making the course a successful one.
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