Department of Education

Tinya Yu

DPhil Student

College Affiliation: St Anne's College

Tinya is a DPhil candidate whose research focuses on English reading comprehension among Hong Kong students.

Prior to returning to Oxford for her DPhil, Tinya was the Panel Chairperson of the English Department at her alma mater, a prestigious Hong Kong primary school, where she taught for five years. She has an MPhil in English and Applied Linguistics from Cambridge, an MSc in Education (Child Development and Education) from Oxford, and a BEd (Honours) (Languages) from the Hong Kong Institute of Education. She is a winner of the IELTS Prize 2015.

‘If everyone has a brain, then why some people cannot think?’ This question, raised by one of her six-year-old students, exemplifies the creative and inquisitive nature of children. Tinya’s experience in teaching convinced her that every child is uniquely educable, and that it is the teacher’s mission to help each student reach their potential. A desire to improve language learning in her native Hong Kong, particularly in facilitating research-informed policy, is also a major driving force behind her work.

In her DPhil research, Tinya aims to explore how the gap in demands on English reading comprehension at primary and secondary level can be bridged. Of considerable interest to her is how the medium of instruction in primary school, i.e. Cantonese or English, can impact both English language learning and subject learning through English in secondary school. The ultimate goal of her research is to improve students’ ability to learn through reading.

Tinya is interested in research related to children’s literacy and language development, and enjoys spending time with schoolchildren. In her leisure, Tinya enjoys tea making, reading, taking walks, music and has recently started practising her Traditional Chinese handwriting.

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