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BestThesisAward 2023

Awardees for The Stephen Evans Best Thesis Award and Best Paper Award 2023

Dr Xu Shaoxiong, our Postdoctoral Fellow, received The Stephen Evans Best Thesis Award 2023. His thesis's title is "Retraction Stigma Communication via Retraction Notices: A Corpus-based Multifactorial Investigation". Our PhD student, Aboh Sopuruchi Christian, received The Stephen Evans Best Paper Award 2023. His paper's title is "Nigerian students’ attitudes toward endonormative varieties of Nigerian English". More about The Stephen Evans Awards can be found on the website HERE.

20 Sep, 2023



New book on Theory and Practice from a Cognitive Perspective: Teaching English in Greater China

This new book by our Dr Renia Lopez, published under Springer Nature, integrates cognitive linguistics into existing classroom approaches, providing practical lesson plans. Developed by English teachers from China and Hong Kong, these plans offer step-by-step instructions, resources, and theory explanations. The lesson plans encourage teachers to be creative by adapting material to engage students. Although the target is English teachers, the theoretical principles apply to any foreign language, and the examples can be modified for other languages. It is not limited to Chinese contexts but appeals to those interested in embodied cognition as a teaching approach. It serves as a companion for teachers to reflect on their existing practices, to provide new ideas and to make them aware of the many factors affecting learning. More information about the book can be found on the website HERE.

20 Sep, 2023


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New book on Migrant Workers' Narratives of Return: Alienation and Identity Transformations

This new book by our Profssor Hans Ladegaard, published by Routledge, explores Indonesian and Filipina (domestic) migrant workers’ experiences of homecoming after years of work abroad, separated from their loved ones. Through 113 narratives, Prof. Ladegaard highlights the struggles faced by these workers in the diaspora, including abuse and exploitation leading to trauma. The book also delves into the challenges of coming home, with workers needing to reinvent themselves and navigate the difficulties of not 'fitting in.' Chapters reveal a major difference between the experiences of Filipina and Indonesian migrant workers, with Filipina returnees sharing mostly positive stories while Indonesian returnees uncover mostly negative stories. The book is not just an exploration of personal experiences but also sheds light on how research on disenfranchised groups like migrant workers can be used for social and political action. More information about the book can be found on the website HERE.

7 Sep, 2023


GES 2022

BA Graduate Employment Facts 2022

According to the 2022 PolyU Graduate Employment Survey, the average starting salary of graduates from our BA in English Studies for the Professions (BAESP) programme was HK$19,077 which is the highest among the three academic departments in the Faculty of Humanities. In addition, 94% of our graduates were employed full-time within their year of graduation or decided to pursue further studies. The Survey reported that our graduates were able to find jobs in over 10 employment sectors and the top 3 are: Education, Business Services/Real Estate, and Financial Institution/Insurance. This clearly shows they have a wide range of career paths. Our BA programme helps prepare students to become exemplary English language professionals ready for the demands of the 21st century. Our graduates are trained to be proficient and confident communicators and users of English, as preferred by many potential employers! >> Download leaflet  

22 Aug, 2023



New joint paper on practitioner accounts of end-of-life communication in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan: a systematic review

This new joint article by our Dr Margo Turnbull, Dr Carol Yu, and PhD student Ivy Wu, published in Patient Education and Counseling, an Elsevier journal under ScienceDirect, examines the knowledge gap in intracultural aspects of end-of-life (EOL) communication in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Taiwan. The article presents a synthesis of practitioners’ accounts of EOL communication in these three locations. The review was prospectively registered on PROSPERO and systematically searched using the terms 'communication', 'End-of-Life', 'Hong Kong', 'China', and 'Taiwan'. The research highlights several factors that influence EOL communication, including Chinese culture and philosophy, inadequate communication skills training and psychological support for practitioners, and legislative and organizational factors. The study concludes that education and training for practitioners and public education about the EOL needs to be strengthened. An enhanced understanding of cultural influences on EOL communication will improve service delivery and increase awareness in multicultural communities. The practical implications of this research include increasing practical and workplace-based support for EOL workers to facilitate meaningful communication practices, and considering the influence of culture and the readiness of patients and families to engage in communication. Open access to the article from HERE.

16 Aug, 2023



New joint paper on factors associated with cessation of smoking in health professionals: a scoping review

This new joint paper by our Professor Stefano Occhipinti, published in Global Health Action under Taylor & Francis, addresses the issue of how smoking health professionals hinder optimal implementation of cessation support, aiming to inform policy and future research to better support smoking health professionals to quit. Offering cessation support to health professionals who smoke to ensure optimal implementation of cessation support for patients is a key recommendation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 14 guidelines. However, direct efforts to support this population to quit are limited. The research team synthesised the existing literature on the predictors and processes informing attitudes and beliefs about smoking health professionals' own cessation. The initial search yielded 120,883 articles, with 27 selected for synthesis. Prevalence estimates and predictors of smoking behaviour have remained the primary focus of smoking health professional research. This study concludes that although cessation support is needed for health professionals who smoke, evidence for factors predicting quit success is limited. Future research should identify relevant predictors and test them using prospective research designs to clarify targets for change. Open access to the article from HERE.

16 Jun, 2023


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New book on Multimodal Chinese Discourse: Understanding Communication and Society in Contemporary China

In this new book published by Routledge, our Dr William Feng explores communication and society in contemporary China through systematic analysis of multimodal discourse at the national, institutional, and individual levels, as China experiences significant socio-political shifts and rapid development of new media. Dr Feng systematically investigates and discusses the new discursive features in relation to relevant socio-cultural contexts. The analysis and discussion provide researchers with a social semiotic perspective on various aspects of communicative and social changes in contemporary China. The book also contributes to the growing field of multimodality by developing a set of cross-disciplinary analytical frameworks to deal with complex discourse forms in print media, moving images, and new media. The research findings provide a unique Chinese perspective on a broad spectrum of issues such as discursive governance, nation branding, university marketization, and identity performance. The book is relevant not only to discourse analysis and multimodality, but also to other disciplines which will benefit from a systematic understanding of Chinese discourse, such as cultural studies, communication studies and area/China studies. More information about the book can be found on the website HERE.

6 Jun, 2023


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Outstanding Alumni Award 2023 of the Department of English and Communication of PolyU – Announcement of Awardees

We are delighted to share the list of the recipients of the Outstanding Alumni Award 2023 of the Department of English and Communication. The Department would like to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of four of our alumni in their fields. The four awardees listed below have all made significant contributions to PolyU, our Department, and society. The Alumni and Young Alumni awardees, in alphabetical order by family name, are: 1. Ms Candice LAU Lok Ying, Communication Officer, UNICEF Sudan (Graduate of 2019) Outstanding Young Alumni Award in Community Service Achievement Ms Candice LAU’s engagement with community service started when she was a student at PolyU, where she worked as a youth facilitator and programme assistant in several local NGOs. She joined UNICEF Vietnam after graduating in 2019 and was stationed in Hanoi as an Education Associate, where she worked to help ensure access to education for children. Her current role within UNICEF Sudan highlights her dedication to advocating for the rights of Sudanese children through her leadership in various campaigns. Ms Lau’s wholehearted devotion towards promoting the rights of various disadvantaged communities is truly commendable. Mr Paul Lee, Chair of the Departmental Advisory Committee and a member of the Judging Panel, said, “The essence of communication is to bring people together to hopefully achieve some meaningful objectives together. Candice, being a proud graduate of our department, has set a good example of doing meaningful things outside HK (i.e., in Vietnam and Sudan), bridging various communities around the world so those in need can be served. This is a great example of communication well lived and interpreted for the betterment of mankind!” "Receiving the Department’s Outstanding Award is an honour for me, especially given that young women are often less recognised for their contributions,” said Ms Lau. “I hope that this serves as a reminder that this award should celebrate diversity and challenge the definition of success, showing that the path to achievement is not limited to certain areas of work or demographics. This recognition has inspired me to continue my development and humanitarian work with the most vulnerable children, leading towards a more inclusive future". 2. Ms Doris LEUNG Shuk Yi, Co-Founder, Diamond Tech (Hong Kong) Limited, and Founder and CEO, Diamond Cab (Hong Kong) Limited (Graduate of 1993) Outstanding Alumni Award in Entrepreneurial Achievement Ms Doris LEUNG is an award-winning and pioneering social entrepreneur and founder of Diamond Cab, the first wheelchair-accessible taxi service company in Hong Kong. Over the past 12 years, Ms Leung’s work has inspired the taxi industry within Hong Kong to recognise the need for and to allow increased access to barrier-free taxis. Currently, with over 100 wheelchair-accessible taxis of different brands operating throughout Hong Kong, Diamond Cab has set the benchmark of running quality taxi services with empathy. Ms Leung’s work has demonstrated how commercial business can be improved by adopting a social mission, especially with the untapped need for ageing care. Professor Eric Friginal, Head of the Department and a member of the Judging Panel, said, “The innovative work of Ms Leung has contributed tremendously to supporting the social welfare and ageing care sectors, showcasing the potential for innovation and local ingenuity to bring about fundamental changes and policy shifts”. Ms Leung expressed it is a great honour to receive the award, and said, "I am grateful to have been empowered by the knowledge of Language and Communication at PolyU. I have practised what I have learnt to curate the social entrepreneurial journey of Diamond Cab with a long-lasting impact to make a better ageing world". 3. Dr Esterina NERVINO, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong (Graduate of 2018) Outstanding Young Alumni Award in Professional Achievement Dr Esterina NERVINO joined the retail industry after she completed her PhD studies within the Department. Dr Nervino went back to academia in 2021 and has incorporated her professional network and experience into her curriculum to benefit students by allowing them to interact with international corporations through their university studies. Dr Nervino is well recognised within luxury retail for her great contributions within the industry towards raising awareness about the role of discourse, particularly in discussions surrounding sustainability as a crucial component of corporate commitments, efforts, and achievements. Dr Amy Suen, Chairperson of the Department of English Alumni Association and a member of the Judging Panel, congratulated the success of Dr Nervino, “Your hard work, perseverance, and continuous pursuit of professionalism have led to excellence. By sharing your insights, you have inspired your fellow alumni to achieve their goals. Your invaluable perspective and positive mindset are truly an asset”. Dr Nervino felt honoured to be the recipient of this award and said, “I would like to express my gratitude to the Judging Panel and the staff of the Department of English and Communication for their nomination and support during my studies. Thank you also to all the people who have contributed to this achievement. This recognition further motivates me to pursue a greater integration between linguistics and marketing in my research and to strengthen the collaboration between academia and the business sector, highlighting the key role that discourse plays in society”. 4. Mr Phil WOO Pak Fai, Co-founder and Product Director, PREN (Graduate of 2008) Outstanding Young Alumni Award in Entrepreneurial Achievement Mr Phil WOO showcased his entrepreneurial acumen as Co-founder and Product Director of PREN by developing proprietary hardware and software solutions for multinational corporations and start-ups, achieving impressive financial results. Mr Woo co-invented ground-breaking products, such as an anti-infection waterless mobile toilet for caretakers and a smart toilet lid to facilitate primary healthcare, which have secured HK$700K in grants from the Hong Kong Government via the PolyU Maker Fund and Cyberport Creative Micro Fund. Mr Woo’s innovative ventures have not only driven growth and success in their respective industries but have also left a lasting impact on society as a whole. Dr Amy Suen said, “Your entrepreneurial achievements are shaped by your vision, determination, and hard work. We would also like to celebrate your positive disposition and the impact you have on others. Thank you for what you do. You are a shining example of an outstanding alumnus. Congratulations!” Mr Woo shared his excitement about receiving this award, “I am honoured to be recognised among such talented and accomplished fellows in our Department. This award will motivate more of us to continue pushing the boundaries of exploration and pioneering”. We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations again to this year’s awardees for their outstanding contributions and achievements!

1 Jun, 2023


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PolyU Taster Programme 2023: English Around You

We are happy that around 25 Secondary 4 to 5 students had a wonderful time participating in our two interactive workshops focused on the theme of "English Around You" at the PolyU Taster Programme 2023 on 13 April. The workshops were designed to help students grasp the versatility of the English language in various contexts. Through lively activities and discussions, participants gained practical communication skills that can be applied in their everyday lives. Additionally, they had the opportunity to meet our student ambassador and learn about the exceptional study experiences offered at PolyU and our programme. We hope they felt inspired to further explore English and Communication! Know more about our BA in English and Applied Linguistics (BAEAL)  

8 May, 2023



New joint article on regional varieties and diachronic changes in Chinese political discourse

This new joint article by our Professor Kathleen Ahrens, published in the journal of Humanities & Social Sciences Communications under Springer Nature, examines the political discourses in Hong Kong and Mainland China using the Menzerath-Altmann (MA) law to analyse the relationship between linguistic constructs. The study found that the parameters of the MA law can distinguish regional variants of political speeches and capture language changes over time. The results suggest that the law can account for the interaction of diachronic language change and synchronic variation in complex self-organising systems. Open access to the article from HERE.

4 May, 2023


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