Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Hong Kong PhD Candidate Visits Queen's to Work with Dr. Cheng


Xu Jian

Xu Jian, a PhD candidate from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has come to Queen’s to work with Dr. Liying Cheng on his dissertation that focuses on language testing, assessment, and learning motivation.

Queen’s was a place Mr. Xu had long dreamed of coming to because of the University’s strong reputation and “excellent courses that are extremely useful for [his] doctoral research.” He was also drawn by the opportunity to work with Dr. Liying Cheng whom Mr. Xu shares many research interests with. Mr. Xu was particularly intrigued by Dr. Cheng’s innovate ideas about washback studies and classroom assessment.

The central aim of Mr. Xu’s research is to look at the mediating effect of listening metacognitive awareness between listeners’ affective factors (listening test anxiety and listening test taking motivation), and listening test performance. Mr. Xu is hoping his research will inform language testing researchers on the relationships among test taking motivation, listening metacognitive awareness and listening test score and also shed light on the score interpretation and the appropriate use of score, as well as providing the empirical support to expectancy-value theory of test taking motivation in language testing research.

Mr. Xu is finding the experience of working with Dr. Cheng very enjoyable. “Whenever I have academic questions, Dr. Cheng is always there giving me instant and useful feedback. I have learnt a lot from Dr. Cheng on how to be a researcher and how to solve problems regarding academic research throughout meetings.”

Since arriving at Queen’s, he has benefited immensely from the variety of academic activities organized by the Assessment and Evaluation group, events like the RBJSE and from talking with graduate students and professors in the Faculty.

He says he “enjoys the tranquility and peace” of Kingston in addition to the “beauty of Lake Ontario” and is confident he made the right choice in coming to Queen’s.