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Associate Professor from China visits Queen’s to Research Language Classroom Assessment

Professor Wang outside Duncan McArthur Hall

Dr. Weiqiang Wang, an Associate Professor at the School of English for International Business, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) in Guangzhou, China, has come to Queen’s to conduct collaborative research with Dr. Liying Cheng on language classroom assessment in the Chinese and Canadian contexts.  

Dr. Wang’s research was inspired by Dr. Cheng in 2007, shortly after he completed his master’s and was teaching an English as a Foreign Language writing course at GDUFS. At that time, Dr. Cheng was a visiting scholar at GDUFS and Dr. Wang attended one of her lectures on assessment for learning. As a result:

“I realized that conducting research in this area would help my professional practice as a instructor and benefit my students. In turn, lessons learned and new or novel ideas generated in the classroom would inform the research and lead to a continuous cycle of research, teaching, and learning. This planted the seeds for my PhD research. Consciously or unconsciously, Dr. Cheng guided me to choose this course of research.”

In 2009, Dr. Wang started his PhD and he again crossed paths with Dr. Cheng, who started her first term as a prestigious visiting professor at his University in 2011. She read the research proposal for his dissertation and again served as an inspiration. Dr. Wang admitted that he was “quite nervous” when he handed his proposal to her, but then found her to be extremely supportive. He stated:

Dr. Cheng encouraged me to continue to do good research, to broaden my horizons by participating in international conferences and to consider coming to Queen’s to conduct research.”

Dr. Wang heeded her advice and began to attend international conferences before he finished his dissertation, entitled The Impact of Self- and Peer-Assessment on Chinese Learners’ EFL Writing: Students’ Perceptions and Draft Revision, in 2013. He continued to present and publish his research, for instance at the World Congress of Applied Linguistics and the Language Testing Research Colloquium. He also worked on as postdoctoral fellow on the Research and Professional Development Project of Assessment as Learning in the Writing Classroom in the Key Learning Area of English Language at Key Stage Two to Three at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from July 2014 to February 2015. 

As he was working full-time as an instructor and researcher, and juggling family commitments, Dr. Wang’s proposed visit to Queen’s was “postponed, postponed and postponed again.” Dr. Wang was further encouraged to complete a sabbatical at Queen’s by his Vice President, Dean and his PhD supervisor in 2015, as they were also personally interested in the research as well as further developing the University’s international partnerships. 

Dr. Wang is grateful for the “precious opportunity.” He explained that “few teachers in China get to do a sabbatical at Queen’s, and fewer can do it with a supervisor who shares the same research orientation.

Dr. Wang has enjoyed the warm welcome he has received since arriving in Kingston a little over a week ago. He explained that he has enjoyed the natural environment Kingston has to offer from his first days here: 

“I walked around West campus, and down Union Street, and by Lake Ontario. I was amazed by blue sky and white snow, how clean the air is, and how Kingston is spacious and sparsely populated. It is serene and peaceful.” 

Dr. Wang also noted that he wasn’t sorry that he missed the recent cold-spell in Kingston and that many people have told him he is here for the best of the weather, from March until September. 

Thanks to Dr. Wang for sharing his story and, once again, a warm welcome to Queen’s!

Professors Cheng and Wang