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Picture of Yu, Carol
Yu, Carol
PhD Student (FT)

B.A. (Hons) in English Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
M.A. in English Studies, Lancaster University, U.K.

Room No.AG415
Tel2766 5601
EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Chief Supervisor:
Prof. Hans J. Ladegaard


Research areas:

Professional communication
Language and Intercultural Communication
Communication and Culture in Organizations
Language, Culture and Society
Discourse Analysis
Critical Discourse Analysis

Title of thesis:

Communications and Interpersonal Dynamics in Virtual Team Meetings: An Applied Linguistics Perspective

Description of thesis research:

Globalized workplaces increasingly communicate virtually using computer-mediated discourse (CMD) to get their work done and meet team members across the world, where there is a diversity of languages and cultures. In these virtual multicultural meetings language is the essence of the exchange and yet we know little about the language, the multilingual and the multicultural meanings made in these virtual meetings. Virtual team meetings (VTMs) in multinational companies (MNC) often use English as the lingua franca. Some of these meetings may incorporate video-conference but more often they are purely telephonic conferences and in both instances language and English language is a key resource for meaning making. It is also estimated that new employees will attend most of their meetings virtually without the affordance of face –to-face interaction. However, little, if any, applied linguistic work has been completed in this area. Within the field of business management studies have been investigating technology, leadership skills, intercultural differences and notions of trust as factors affecting the success of virtual team meetings.

Adopting a critical discourse analytical (CDA) perspective and systemic functional linguistics (SFL), I investigate how interpersonal meanings may create solidarity, dominance and power within a sample of virtual team management meetings. In relation to this, Discursive Psychology (DP) will also be adopted as an analytic approach in order to reveal issues such as identity, interpersonal and intergroup relationships. The proposed study will focus on the individual’s construction of power and agency within the context of VTMs. By revealing the role of language in construing interpersonal relationship in VTMs, the findings may lead to an enhanced self- awareness amongst all members in virtual teams, and reveal how language plays a crucial role in engaging or disengaging the members during a meeting. This may provide relevant insights for tertiary educators and students, as well as workplace employers and employees as to how virtual work is mediated by language. Ultimately, this study will contribute to the existing body of knowledge in the fields of business communication, computer-mediated discourse, applied linguistics and the value of research for the industry and community.

Involvement in research groups, networks and projects:

Research Associate for research project titled: ‘The Expression of “Care” in Call Centre Communication: Negotiation of Interpersonal Relationship in Bilingual Healthcare Contexts’

Research Associate for research project titled: Parental Support in Children’s English Language Literacy Development

Research Associate for research project titled: Call Centre Quality Assurance


Journal article:

Lam, M. & Yu, C. (2013) English and Cantonese in a bilingual call centre in Hong Kong. World Englishes. 32 (4), 521-535.

Conference Presentation:

‘The Expression of “Care” in Call Centre Communication: Negotiation of Interpersonal Relationship in Bilingual Healthcare Contexts’ at the 36th International Systemic Functional Congress, TsingHua University, Beijing. July 2009.

Seminar Presentation:

Joint Presentation with Dr. Jane Lockwood: ‘Digital and Virtual Workplace Communication’ at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. April 2018.


Courses taught at the Department of English, PolyU

English for the Media
English for Public Relations
Fundamentals of Organizational Communication
English for Administration
Discourse, Culture and Management
Fundamentals of Media and Communication
Critical Language and Cultural Studies
Practical Communication Strategies

Courses taught at the Centre for Applied English Studies, HKU

Core University English
Academic English for Social Sciences Students
Professional English for Arts Students
English for Dentistry Students

Courses taught at The Hong Kong Community College

English for Academic Studies