Brad is currently completing his doctoral thesis. He aims to demonstrate that phonological skills can transfer between languages.
Brad developed an innovative programme teaching children phonics in either English or Cantonese. Without any further teaching, children were able to acquire the phonological skills in another language. The successful training results provide strong evidence that phonological skills are transferable across languages. Children develop the phonological skills for a new language by transferring their previous learning, instead of acquiring the skills anew.
In Brad’s research, he tailor-made a set of toys and storybooks for children to enjoy the learning experience. He has also constructed and validated a phonological test that measures children’s phonological awareness of English and Cantonese in parallel. Over 180+ kindergarteners have been individually trained and assessed by Brad using his teaching and assessment materials.
Brad is interested in research related to language development in early childhood. He is specialised in intervention studies using randomised controlled trial design and quantitative methods (e.g. structural equation modelling).
Brad holds a BEd in English Education (First Class Honours) from The University of Hong Kong and an MSc in Child Development and Education (Distinction) from The University of Oxford. Prior to his doctoral study, he has worked for NGOs serving underprivileged students.
Title of Thesis
Cross-linguistic transfer of phonological awareness in Chinese Children Receiving English Instruction: An Intervention Study
Chan, YWB., & Gao, X. (2014). Pre-service English teachers’ perceptions of newly arrived children from Mainland China. Journal of Education for Teaching, 40(2), 140-154.