Evaluating the SLATE project


  • Ahmar Mahboob University of Sydney
  • Angela Chan University of Hong Kong
  • Jonathan J. Webster City University of Hong Kong




academic writing, feedback, genre pedagogy, grammatical metaphor, project evaluation


This paper presents a broad evaluation of the Scaffolding Literacy in Academic and Tertiary Environments project (SLATE) drawing from a range of sources, including (a) feedback from some of the key stakeholders involved, and (b) an analysis of student work. First, the paper presents data collected on students’ perceptions of some of the courses supported by the SLATE team. This data is discussed in relation to some of the issues raised in feedback collected from the course lecturers and the SLATE tutors. The paper then shifts its focus and evaluates the project in terms of how the students benefited from the project. This is done by examining how frontloading and supported independent construction helped students in (developing) their use of grammatical metaphor. The findings of this project evaluation have been used to identify issues that need to be considered in developing similar programmes in the future.

Author Biographies

  • Ahmar Mahboob, University of Sydney

    Ahmar Mahboob is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. His research interests include educational linguistics, language teaching, language policy, teacher education, and World Englishes.

  • Angela Chan, University of Hong Kong

    Angela Chan is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. She worked as Senior Research Fellow at City University of Hong Kong when the LCC/SLATE evaluation study was conducted. She is interested in conversation analysis, interaction in social and workplace settings, and language learning and teaching. She has published in these areas in Language in Society, Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of Politeness Research, Journal of Asia Pacific Communication and Asia Pacific World.

  • Jonathan J. Webster, City University of Hong Kong

    Jonathan J. Webster is Professor, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, and Director, The Halliday Centre for Intelligent Applications of Language Studies at the City University of Hong Kong. He is also the General Editor of the Equinox journal Linguistics and the Human Sciences and the editor (with Ruqaiya Hasan and Christian Matthiessen) of the two volume Continuing Discourse on Language: A Functional Perspective (Equinox, 2007).


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How to Cite

Mahboob, A., Chan, A., & Webster, J. (2013). Evaluating the SLATE project. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 7(1-3), 125-139. https://doi.org/10.1558/lhs.v7i1-3.125