Honglin Chen’s research to date has focused on advancing understanding of how all students, native English speaking and second language, in school and tertiary contexts, can raise their literacy and language achievements. Her program of research traverses three interconnected areas in language and literacy education: literacy and language development; teacher knowledge and practice; and curriculum development and enactment. This work has been supported by ARC and industry supported grants generating in excess of $1.5M.
Through conceptual and empirical work, Honglin’s research has generated novel insights into how best to enable school-age children to become confident, autonomous, and agentive writers of the future. The theoretical contribution of her work has been extended through a timely edited book entitled: “Developing writers across the primary and secondary years”. The book provides an interdisciplinary approach to addressing a critical literacy need for the teaching of writing across different stages of writing development. This is pertinent work given the increasing concerns about standards of achievement in writing by school age children.
Honglin’s research in language and literacy has had major policy and practical impacts. Her ARC Discovery project titled “Understanding the development, interpretation and implementation of disciplinary knowledge”, with Harris (Uni SA), Derewianka, Kervin, McKenzie and Turbill, shaped and informed the development of the first national Australian Curriculum: English. Her current work focuses specifically on working with teachers as co-researchers to develop pedagogical innovations that can develop transferable and enabling thinking skills integral to successful writing and deepening knowledge through the years of secondary schooling.
Honglin is a Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (2020). Her leadership and scholarship have been recognised by a large number of awards and citations at the university, national and international levels, including the UOW Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning (2012), and a national Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Citation for Outstanding Contribution (2012).