Personal profile



My research interests reside in the intersection between sociocultural dimensions of second language learning, sociolinguistics and intercultural communication, although I trained to be familiar with second language learning and pedagogy. I am particularly interested the following three areas: (1) the relationship between language learning and teaching and intercultural understanding, with the focus on how foreign language learning can help develop critical cultural awareness and promote intercultural communication; (2) the development of interculturality and intercultural education within the context of multilingualism, cultural diversity and migration; (3) heritage language education in multilingual and multicultural settings. I also have a keen interest in understanding the role of culture in learning and teaching, identity making and negotiation in the context of border crossing and transnational space.     


I am currently a professor of multilingual and intercultural communication at the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies and Brussels Centre for Language Studies (BCLS) in the Faculty of Languages and Humanities, VUB. I hold a BA in English (Yunnan Normal, China, 1994), an MA in TESOL (La Trobe, Australia, 2000) and a PhD in Linguistics/Applied Linguistics (La Trobe, Australia, 2005). I have had extensive professional and intercultural experiences that spanned China, Australia and Belgium. Before joining the VUB in 2011, I worked at different universities in Flanders teaching in academic English for researchers and collaborating with colleagues on academic English language assessment. At the VUB I have taught on a range of modules on English sociolinguistics, English as a lingua franca in the global context, multilingual practices (English and Chinese), Chinese culture analysis, Chinese linguistics, academic English and writing, and communication for university teaching in BA, MA programmes as well as the support programme for academic staff.   


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