Winner of the President's Award for Excellent Performance and Achievement in Teaching 2009/10

  Dr Dechao Li

Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies



Dr Dechao Li, Assistant Professor of the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies, joined The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2008. Earlier, he began his teaching career at City University of Hong Kong in 2005.

He is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Research Excellence (2009), the Faculty of Humanities’ Award for Outstanding Performance/Achievement (2010), and the President’s Award for Outstanding Performance and Achievement in Teaching 2009/10.

In his classes, Dr Li introduces a philosophy that emphasises the importance of empowering students to autonomously raise questions and search for answers. He always encourages his students to develop their ability to self-reflect, to challenge predominant values, and to articulate counter views while considering the social and cultural conditions in which they find themselves. Dr Li always tailors his teaching materials to suit the needs of his students, prepares carefully for every lesson, and gives timely feedback to students on their progress.

His teaching philosophy also emphasises the use of authentic assessment practices. To precisely understand students’ progress, Dr Li uses a formative assessment scheme, in which tests are given to students every two weeks to gauge their mastery of the skills and achievement of the intended learning outcomes. Each student’s performance is carefully reviewed, summarised and shared with the student. The students’ test results at different learning phases also enable Dr Li to adjust his teaching plans to meet their learning needs.

To familiarise students with different subject matters that they are required to interpret, and to keep them up-to-date with current affairs, Dr Li includes in his teaching materials recent speeches in English, Putonghua and Cantonese on a variety of topics including economics, cooperation and exchange, education, and foreign policies. This practice not only motivates students to learn, but also enriches their general knowledge and expands their vocabulary. Dr Li’s flexible teaching plus his lively teaching style and encouraging attitude make his lectures among the most popular in the department.

Apart from teaching, Dr Li also actively engages in research in teaching and learning. Currently, he is the principal investigator of several research projects devoted to improving the efficiency of the teaching and learning of translation and interpreting subjects. Over the past five years, he has continuously published quality articles in journals on teaching and learning, thus enabling scholars worldwide to share his educational philosophy and experience in teaching.