Professor Li Wei

    • Dip TEFL, BA (Beijing Normal), MA, PhD (Newcastle)
    • Chair of Applied Linguistics
    • Fellow, Academy of Social Sciences, UK (FAcSS)
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  • Overview:
    • I studied English language and literature and taught English in schools in Beijing, China. I also taught Chinese in Newcastle upon Tyne in the mid-80s before I got my PhD in Speech Sciences. I worked with Professor Lesley Milroy on a series of sociolinguistic projects on code-switching and language shift in the Chinese community in the North East of England. I was made Professor of Applied Linguistics at Newcastle University in 1998. I was Director of the University's Centre for Research in Linguistics between 1999 and 2002 and first Head of School of Education, Communication & Language Sciences between 2002 and December 2006. Between January 2007 and December 2014, I was Professor of Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck College, University of London, where I was also Pro-Vice-Master for Postgraduate Studies and Director of the Birkbeck Graduate Research School. I became Professor of Applied Linguistics at UCL Institute of Education in January 2015.

      My main research interest is in the broad area of bilingualism and multilingualism, which includes language and cognition, Bilingual and Multilingual First Language Acquisition (BAMFLA), child second language acquisition (CSLA), speech and language disorders of bilingual and multilingual speakers, the pragmatics of codeswitching, bilingual education, and intercultural communication. My current work focuses on the creativity and criticality of multilingual speakers.

      I am Principal Editor of the International Journal of Bilingualism (Sage; SSCI), Co-Editor of Applied Linguistics Review (De Gruyter; SCOPUS; with David Block and Christina Higgins), Chinese Language and Discourse (Benjamins; with Hongyin Tao and KK Luke), and Global Chinese (De Gruyter, with Diao Yanbin). I am book series editor for the Guides to Research Methods in Language and Linguistics (Wiley-Blackwell), and co-editor of Studies in Chinese Language and Discourse (Benjamins) and Language Policies and Practices in China (De Gruyter). I was series editor for Child Language and Child Development (Multilingual Matters) until 2010.

      I was an assessor on the Education sub-panel of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE), UK, and a member of Panel A (Psychology, Education, Linguistics) of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) research grants assessment panels between 2010 and 2014. I am Chair of the University Council of General and Applied Linguistics (UCGAL), UK. I am co-investigator on the AHRC project 'Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities, (£1,973,527, 2014-18. AH/L007096/1) with colleagues in Birmingham, Birkbeck, Cardiff and Leeds.

  • Research:
Professor Li Wei

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