PhD students currently enrolled

Thomas Chan

Thomas Chan

Title of thesis
Interactional metadiscourse and citation use in rhetorical moves: A cross-paradigm comparative study of literature reviews in published research articles (Provisional)

Short abstract of thesis
Using a cross-paradigm approach, Thomas' current study aims to examine how interactional metadiscourse and citations are used in different sections (i.e., rhetorical moves) of literature reviews in published research articles following three epistemological paradigms. It is expected that the study can offer insights into how paradigms influence the two linguistic features in research writing.

Name of Supervisor
Dr Becky Kwan

Patrick Chen

Patrick Chen

Title of thesis
English Writing Development of Taiwanese Senior High School Novice Writers in Two Genres

Short abstract of thesis
The longitudinal project aims to trace the English writing development of senior high school students in Taiwan. The genres examined are narrative and argumentative writing. The project hopes to contribute to building a model of early L2 writing learning. 

Name of Supervisor
Professor Diane Pecorari

Jason Edward Collins

Jason Edward Collins

Title of thesis
From “Fair Use” to “Should Use": 
Toward a New Transtextual Poetics of the Novel

Short abstract of thesis
Jason Edward Collins’s book-length research project, From “Fair Use” to “Should Use": Toward a New Transtextual Poetics of the Novel, considers the diachronic and synchronic nature of influence in English-language novels, particularly dealing with modernist, postmodernist, and contemporary works of fiction at the intersection of law, culture, and criticism. 

Collins’s project aims to problematize current notions of authorship, originality, and legality in relation to contemporary fictional production. His primary research questions are: What has constituted and what now constitutes the fair use of another writer's ideas, themes, structures, and/or language? What has been and is now considered acceptable use? And what, ultimately, should be used now and going forward to make the novel novel, again, thus ensuring its competitive status with contemporaneous forms of cultural media? 

Collins posits that contemporary writers of fiction (literary fiction, genre fiction, popular fiction, fan fiction, et al) should continue to indulge themselves in the intertextual practices recently adopted by writers of all stripes; more importantly, contemporary writers should embrace a new transtextual poetics of the novel (founded upon homage, collage, and remixing) for their works to (1) standout from those of their peers and (2) survive alongside and compete with other cultural practices and artefacts.

Name of Supervisor
Dr Eric Sandberg

Sunny Huang

Sunny Huang

Title of thesis
The Perceptions of Engagement Practices in Clinical Communication: A Case Study of Nursing College Students in Mainland China

Short abstract of thesis
Qing's proposed thesis aims to explore college nursing students' perceptions of engagement practices in clinical communication in an ESP course in Mainland China. She investigates nursing students’ perceptions of engagement in nursing communication, identifies features of the spoken language and communication skills in their current engagement practice(s) by video-recording their role-play communication, and develops related teaching pedagogy that is intended to inform ESP pedagogy on engagement in Mainland China. .

Name of Supervisor
Dr Jack Pun

Belinda Ko

Belinda Ko

Title of thesis
The New Political Arena: a Critical Approach to the Discourse of a Demagogue Populist (Tentative)

Short abstract of thesis
This research also aims to take a critical approach to analyse the discourse of a demagogue populist in an attempt to find out the conflicts between America politics and what Americans want. This study attempts to synergise Fairclough's and Van Dijk's models of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), Political Discourse Analysis (PDA) and Public Discourse Analysis, and to find out a new political arena of the art of persuasion and public speaking in the 21st century. (Tentative)

Name of Supervisor
Dr Carl Ng

Maritza Ortega

Maritza Ortega

Title of thesis
Learner Corpus Creation and Interlanguage Analysis in a Chilean EFL Teacher Training Program

Short abstract of thesis
Maritza's study aims to compile the spoken interlanguage of pre-service EFL teachers in order to carry out a Computer-aided Error Analysis (CEA). This new approach to the analysis of learner errors will allow the researcher to gain new insights on the grammatical and lexical features of English that Chilean pre-service EFL teachers have problems with.

Name of Supervisor
Dr Christoph Hafner

Gavin Wu

Gavin Wu

Title of thesis
Learning in the Wild: A telecollaborative mobile community in the Greater China region

Short abstract of thesis
The study explores how Chinese learners exploit the potential of social networking in a mobile-enabled telecollaborative learning. Through multiple qualitative research methods, it is hoped that the study could contribute to the telecollaboration research in test-dominated societies.

Name of Supervisor
Dr Lindsay Miller

XIA Sichen

Sichen Xia

Title of thesis
The Dissemination of Scientific Knowledge in the Digital Era: A Multimodal Genre Analysis of TED Talk as a Popularization Genre

Short abstract of thesis
Popularization of scientific knowledge, namely, dissemination of obscure scientific knowledge among laypersons, has been extensively discussed by discourse analysts. Driven by the rapid development of Internet, online popularization, which has been playing a constructive role in spreading scientific knowledge, starts to attract researchers’ attention. However, most reviewed studies mainly focus on lexico-syntactic and structural features of popularization genres and few studies have paid attention to the multimodal features involved in popularizing science online. To fill the void, by integrating the procedural framework of genre theory with the analytical techniques provided by multimodal analysis, the current study aims to investigate how multimodal resources, altogether with textual resources (i.e. lexical, grammatical and structural resources), are manipulated in TED talk videos, to facilitate the popularization of science in the digital era. 

Name of Supervisor
Dr Christoph Hafner

Lorraine Yao

Qianwen Yu

Title of thesis
English as a Lingra Franca in Mainland China: An Analysis of Intercultural Business Communicative Competence (IBCC)

Short abstract of thesis
The rapidly-globalized economy of China has indicated that intercultural business communication (IBC) between people from China and the rest of the world has been broadened and deepened. In general, however, few empirical studies have been conducted on BELF in Mainland China, so that little is actually known on this issue. Under such circumstances, in response, her study aims to explore the nature of BELF used in business environment of Mainland China by analyzing Chinese business professionals?communicative competence for IBC.

Name of Supervisor
Dr Bertha Du-Babcock

Wenhao Zhang

Wenhao Zhang

Title of thesis
From Languaging to Learning: Examining Effects of Collaborative Learning on Chinese Undergraduates' Technical Vocabulary Learning in Preparing and Giving English-for-Specific-Purpose (ESP) Presentation at a Chinese University (Tentative)

Short abstract of thesis
Peer-peer interaction is pervasively perceived beneficial to language learning whilst under researched is whether and how collaborative learning mediates technical vocabulary learning. Addressing this gap, Wenhao's study explores how Chinese undergraduates collaborate with each other in preparing group and individual presentations and how collaboration affects students' technical vocabulary learning and use. It is hoped that his findings can contribute in ESP program design and technical vocabulary acquisition.

Name of Supervisor
Dr Lindsay Miller