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From Hong Kong to London

Dr Taehee Choi, a former PhD student at the School of Education, Communication and Society (ECS), recently visited King’s to forge academic networks between London and Hong Kong.

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Dr Taehee Choi, a former PhD student at the School of Education, Communication and Society (ECS), recently visited King’s to forge academic networks between London and Hong Kong.

Since completing her PhD in 2013 under the supervision of Dr Nick Andon and Dr Martin Dewey, Taehee has worked at the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK). In the Department of Education Policy and Leadership (EPL) at EdUHK, Taehee heads up a research cluster on education policy which was formed as part of an internationalisation initiative.

Taehee’s visit, supported by the Faculty of Education and Human Development (FEHD) at EdUHK, enabled her to connect with academics in two of ECS’s research groups; the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication, and the Centre for Public Policy Research. Her main role as leader of the Hong-Kong based research cluster is to build research networks between colleagues at home and scholars from outside of Hong Kong. During her stay in London, Taehee also collated information about research management at ECS, due to its outstanding performance in the last round of REF. Taehee stresses the importance of global collaboration:

“Collaboration with colleagues from different contexts helps critically review my assumptions, which I think is one of important starting points for creating new knowledge, which, in turn, will help me establish myself as a scholar. I also feel that what we can learn from publication and from talking with people who ‘live’ a topic or a field are very different. Some changes happening in England, for instance, which I felt rather detached from, including those around community libraries, academies, youth services, now feel much closer to me.”

During her stay, Taehee also visited the sights of London, taking the opportunity to re-charge before she embarks on a new project funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC). She recently secured a 3-year grant amounting to around £120,000 for a project concerning the drivers and processes of privatisation of English education for Speakers of Other Languages, and their implications on student learning and teacher professionalism. It is a mixed-method, comparative study involving 15 other colleagues from Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Greece. Taehee says of her time in London:

“I think pausing and celebrating an achievement helps enjoy the challenges awaiting.”

Biography

Dr. CHOI Tae Hee is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Policy and Leadership at the Education University of Hong Kong, and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. She served as the President of the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong from 2016-2018. Taehee received her MA degree in Second Language Studies at University of Hawaii at Manoa, US, and her PhD in Education from King's College London, UK.

Her current research focuses on the process and impact of educational policies/reforms in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly concerning language-in-education, and those reflecting neoliberal agendas. For more details of her research visit ResearchGate.

Her scholarship and expertise in the field is recognised through international awards (e.g., Young Scholar Best Paper Awards, The Asia Pacific Educational Research Association) and advisory-seeking (e.g., Asia Productivity Organisation of The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; Cambridge University Press).

She has produced about thirty EFL learning and teaching resources with Korean and international publishers, in addition to academic publications.

Acknowledgements

 “Through this opportunity, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to those who have helped me complete my official tasks. Thank you, David, Ellie, Peter (Kutnick), Constant, Sharon, Ben Day and Beatrice, for generously sparing time to help me understand research management in the school. And thank you to those who expressed interests in possible collaboration with my colleagues in Hong Kong, Ayo, Diego, Ellie, David and Anwar. I also would like to thank those who have helped me personally in revising my paper in the pipeline (John, Diego and Anwar), and Chris Richardson for inviting me to share my upcoming project with the journal of EAL. Last but not the least, thank you for inviting me to the lovely chats over teas and meals (Ursula, Ayo, Mili, Martin and Nick).”

Dr CHOI Taehee

Some changes happening in England, for instance, which I felt rather detached from, including those around community libraries, academies, youth services, now feel much closer to me.– Dr Taehee Choi