November, 2022: LSPPC webinar (click here to register)
From E-commerce to Social Commerce: Analysing Multimodal Professional Discourse in the Chinese Context
Speaker: Dezheng (William) Feng, Department of English and Communication, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Date: Wednesday, 16 November 2022
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)
As discourse and communication in various professional contexts have become increasingly multimodal, it is important for analysts to investigate how meaning is realised through the deployment of a wide range of semiotic resources. In this talk, I will introduce how a social semiotic approach to multimodality can contribute to the analysis of professional discourse in the Chinese context, with reference to my forthcoming book Multimodal Chinese Discourse: Understanding Communication and Society in Contemporary China. Against the background of the rapid digital transformation of business and widespread consumerism in contemporary China, I will focus on two emerging professional discourse types in business, namely, branding in e-commerce and social commerce. A prominent feature emerging from the analysis is the blurred boundary between professional discourse and personal discourse. E- (and social) commerce has facilitated the decentralization of discourse production and allows laypersons or quasi-professionals to create professional practices that are different from the traditional institutional discourse in business. E-shop representatives and wanghong women have created new and hybrid forms of identity that transcend professional boundaries through their interdiscursive performance. They navigate between an expert identity and a peer identity through tactical appropriations of multimodal semiotic resources. The findings provide new understandings of professional discourse in the multimodal new media context.
Dezheng (William) Feng, PhD, is Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Research Centre for Professional Communication in English at the Department of English and Communication, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research focuses on the analysis of various media and communication practices from the perspectives of pragmatics, discourse analysis and multimodality. His recent publications have appeared in journals such as Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Teaching and Teacher Education, Discourse and Communication, and Visual Communication. He serves as Book Review Editor of Journal of English for Academic Purposes and editorial board member of international journals such as Multimodality and Society and Designs for Learning. His monograph Multimodal Chinese Discourse: Understanding Communication and Society in Contemporary China is to be published by Routledge in 2023.
September, 2022: Department of English, CityU / LSPPC Joint Webinar
This webinar is jointly presented with Department of English, City University of Hong Kong.
Corpora and Language Policy in Intercultural and Multimodal Workplaces
Speaker: Eric Friginal, Department of English and Communication, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Date: Monday, 26 September 2022
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)
In this presentation, I argue for the important role of applied corpus linguistics as a methodological approach in language and social research, contributing linguistics-based explications of workplace discourse with critical language policy implications. Over the past two decades, I have been exploring real-world, recorded, and transcribed texts from domains such as outsourced customer service call centers, healthcare, tourism and hospitality, global aviation, international maritime industry, and talk in multi-cultural and multimodal workplaces. My theoretical and analytical framework emphasizes the identification of discursive practices from corpora across socio-cultural structures and task dimensions of talk in these settings, focusing especially upon speakers’ understanding of role-relationships, discoursal goals and objectives, cultural and racial identities, and power dynamics at work (Baker, 2021; Friginal, 2020; Egbert, Biber, & Gray, 2022; Vine, 2020). Applied corpus linguistics is understood to include the use of corpus resources, techniques, and tools in order to, for example, examine patterning in public discourses so as to obtain novel understandings of how language is used and construed in specific contexts (Thompson & Friginal, 2020). I will share results of interrelated studies exploring corpus distributions and their macro and micro societal and policy implications, especially highlighting emerging mismatches between linguistic realities (i.e., from corpora) and industry expectations.
Eric Friginal is Professor and Head of Department of English and Communication at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before moving to Hong Kong, he was Professor and Director of International Programs at the Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL at Georgia State University. He specializes in applied corpus linguistics, quantitative research, language policy and planning, technology and language teaching, sociolinguistics, cross-cultural communication, discipline-specific writing, and the analysis of spoken professional discourse in the workplace. His recent publications include The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Approaches to Discourse Analysis (2020), co-edited with Jack Hardy; Advances in Corpus-based Research on Academic Writing: Effects of Discipline, Register, and Writer Expertise, co-edited with Ute Römer and Viviana Cortes (2020); English in Global Aviation: Context, Research, and Pedagogy, with Elizabeth Mathews and Jennifer Roberts (2019); and Corpus Linguistics for English Teachers: New Tools, Online Resources, and Classroom Activities (2018). He is the founding co- editor-in-chief of Applied Corpus Linguistics (ACORP) Journal (with Paul Thompson).
April, 2022: LSPPC webinar
A conversation with Henry Widdowson
Date: Thursday, 14 April 2022
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)
This online conversation features Henry Widdowson, Professor Emeritus, University of London Institute of Education and Honorary Professor, University of Vienna. In this conversation, Prof. Widdowson will address prominent themes in the fields of LSP and Professional Communication, prompted by questions to be submitted by the audience in advance.
LSPPC Conversations adopt an interactive webinar format that aims to engage participants in conversation with an expert in LSP & Professional Communication. The format will typically consist of a 15-20 minute orientation to a topic(s) by the invited guest(s) followed by 40-45 minutes of discussion.
Your questions for Prof. Widdowson by March 24, 2022
Please send questions about prominent themes on relevant LSP and Professional Communication topics by entering your questions in this online form. Selected questions will be addressed in the webinar. Please note that it may not be possible to address all questions in the time available.
February, 2022: LSPPC webinar
Exploring and Illuminating the Leadership Conceptualization Process (click here to view the webinar recording)
Speaker: Kevin Knight, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan
Date: Tuesday, 22 February 2022
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)
What is leadership? How do you capture leadership and bottle it? What are the challenges that you might have while trying to do so? In this webinar, I try to answer some of those questions as I share my account of exploring and illuminating the leadership conceptualization process. Under the guidance of Christopher Candlin, I have argued that a key to understanding leadership is to recognize that leadership is itself a conceptualization drawing on a number of positions, experiences, practices, and ideologies (Knight, 2015; Knight & Candlin, 2015). Leadership conceptualizations are co-constructed and contextually bound. In a study in which my research objective was to investigate how leadership is discursively constructed, without defining leadership a priori but allowing it to emerge from the data, my underlying motivation was to empower my English as a second-language (L2) learners in Japan to create and tell their own leadership stories (Knight, 2015). Two prompts in Knight (2015) used in the semi-structured interviews of 20 leaders in the public, private, and academic sectors were adapted to create the ESP Project Leader Profiles, which include the stories of 55 featured leaders about their leadership communication in their ESP projects around the globe (Knight, forthcoming). In a work in progress, I have been using a different theoretical lens as I explore leadership as an empty signifier and reflect on how my role as a researcher has influenced the leadership conceptualization process itself, and in Knight (forthcoming), as an insider and leader in the ESP community of practice in TESOL International Association, my aim has been to illuminate the context in which the profiles were created and written, and also how the leadership conceptualization process was designed in the profiles, for the professional development of ESP practitioners worldwide. I would like to argue that such illumination (including the influence of the researcher) is necessary to understand the leadership conceptualization process.
Knight, K. (2015). Analysing the discourses of leadership as a basis for developing leadership communication skills in a second or foreign language. (Identifier: mq:42732) [Doctoral dissertation, Macquarie University]. http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1055529
Knight, K. (forthcoming). English for specific purposes project leader profiles: The leadership communication of 55 ESP project leaders. Hong Kong: Candlin & Mynard.
Knight, K., & Candlin, C. N. (2015). Leadership discourse as basis and means for developing L2 students into future leaders. In P. Shrestha (Ed.), Current developments in English for academic and specific purposes: Local innovations and global perspectives (pp. 27–50). Reading, UK: Garnet.
Dr. Kevin Knight (PhD in Linguistics, MBA, MPIA, BA) is Professor in the Department of International Communication (International Business Career major) and has also worked in the Career Education Center of Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. In the English for Specific Purposes Interest Section (ESPIS) of TESOL International Association (TESOL), he has served as Chair, English in Occupational Settings (EOS) Representative, and ESPIS Community Manager. He is currently editor of ESP News (the ESPIS newsletter). He was also a member of the Governance Review Task Force (GRTF) appointed by the TESOL Board of Directors. In addition, he has been a TESOL blogger in the area of English for Specific Purposes (ESP). In 2021, after being nominated by the leaders of the ESPIS, he was selected as the recipient of the 2022 D. Scott Enright TESOL Interest Section Service Award. In the Asia-Pacific LSP and Professional Communication Association (LSPPC), he is a member of the Executive Committee and has taken on the leadership role of Outreach Officer. He has more than 30 years of professional experience working for private, public, and academic sector institutions including Sony and the Japan Patent Office (International Affairs Division). His doctoral research on leadership communication (i.e., discourse) as a basis for leadership development was under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Christopher Candlin and Dr. Alan Jones.
December, 2021: ISGS Hong Kong / LSPPC Joint Webinar
This webinar is jointly presented with International Society for Gesture Studies - Hong Kong.
Multimodal Conduct in the Legal Order
Speakers: Gregory Matoesian (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Kristin Enola Gilbert
Date: Thursday, 2 December 2021
Time: 9:00 – 10:00 am HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)
Researchers in language and law or what is now referred to as forensic linguistics rarely, if ever, mention the role of multimodal conduct in legal settings such as trials, plea bargains, police training evaluations and so on. By the same token, despite the proliferation of gesture studies over the past several decades researchers rarely, if ever, mention their role in the legal institution. Our work demonstrates in concrete detail the role of multimodal conduct in the law, and how both gesture studies and forensic linguistics may benefit by looking at multimodal conduct in legal settings. Our talk will cover our recent publication from Cambridge University Press, Multimodal Conduct in the Law, as well as the even more recent Multimodal Performance and Interaction in Focus Groups (John Benjamins) and our work in progress tentatively titled (in honor of Michael Silverstein) “Practicing Linguistics (and Embodied Conduct) Without a License: Multimodal Oratory in Legal Ritual.”
Gregory Matoesian is a Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is author of Reproducing Rape: Domination through Talk in the Courtroom (1993, University of Chicago Press), Law and the Language of Identity (2001, Oxford University Press), co-editor (with Elizabeth Mertz and William Ford) of Translating the Social World for Law (2016, Oxford University Press), co-author (with Kristin Gilbert) of Multimodal Conduct in the Law: Language, Gesture and Materiality in Legal Interaction (2018, Cambridge University Press) and co-author (with Kristin Gilbert) of Multimodal Performance and Interaction in Focus Groups (2021, John Benjamins).
Kristin Enola Gilbert received her Ph.D. from the Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her current work focuses on language and multimodal conduct in focus group evaluations of community policing training. She is co-author (with Gregory Matoesian) of Multimodal Conduct in the Law (2018, Cambridge University Press), co-author (with Gregory Matoesian) of Multimodal Performance and Interaction in Focus Groups (2021, John Benjamins) and has published peer-reviewed articles in Gesture, Multimodal Communication, Narrative Inquiry, and Discourse and Communication.
Accounting for Interdiscursivity in Covid-19 Discourse (click here to view the webinar recording)
Speaker: Vijay K Bhatia, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Date: Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)
In this webinar, I would like to focus on some of the key aspects of interdiscursive appropriation across numerous disciplinary, ideological, commercial as well as economic perspectives in Covid-19 discourse prompting a range of competing and often confusing narratives making it almost impossible to interpret on the part of its intended audiences, including medical practitioners, healthcare workers, government agencies, political leaders and especially ordinary citizens. It seems that the current pandemic crisis has given rise to discourses that are increasingly complex in terms of interdisciplinarity, multidimensionality and hybridity. Drawing on the concept of Interdiscursivity as defined in Critical Genre Theory (Bhatia: 2017), I would like to argue that any satisfactory analysis to account for such interdiscursive complexity would essentially require a multiperspective and multidimensional analytical framework.
Bhatia, Vijay K (2017): Critical Genre Analysis: Interdiscursive Performance in Professional Practice, London, Routledge.
Vijay Bhatia retired as Professor from City University of Hong Kong and is now Adjunct Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Visiting Professor at the Hellenic American University in Athens (Greece). Some of his research projects include Analyzing Genre-bending in Corporate Disclosure Practices, and International Arbitration Practice: A Discourse Analytical Study, in which he led research teams from more than 20 countries. His research interests include, (Critical) Genre Theory, Analysis of academic and professional discourses, particularly in legal, business, promotional, and new media contexts; ESP and Professional Communication; simplification and easification of legal and other public documents. Three of his monographs on genre analysis, Analysing Genre: Language Use in Professional Settings (1993), Worlds of Written Discourse: A Genre-based View (2004), and Critical Genre Analysis: Interdiscursive Performance in Professional Practice (2017) are widely used in genre theory and practice.
March, 2021: HAAL/LSPPC joint webinar
This webinar is jointly presented with the Hong Kong Association for Applied Linguistics.
Feedback and doctoral student writing
Speaker: Brian Paltridge, Department of English, City University of Hong Kong
Date: Thursday, 11 March 2021
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)
Feedback is an important way through which doctoral students learn the expectations of writing at their particular level of study. It is also through feedback that students are inducted into the community of practice of their discipline. This feedback is provided by the student’s supervisor/s during their period of study as well as by examiners on completion of the degree. While a number of studies have examined supervisor feedback and examiner feedback, a matter that is still underexplored is how supervisors and examiners ask students to make changes to their work and the language they use do this. This presentation examines the feedback that doctoral students get on their work from both supervisors and examiners. In particular, it examines features of this feedback that students might find difficult to interpret and, as a result, respond to.
Brian Paltridge is a visiting professor in the Department of English at the City University of Hong Kong. He is author of Discourse Analysis (third edition, Bloomsbury, 2021), The Discourse of Peer Review (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and, with Sue Starfield, Thesis and Dissertation Writing in a Second Language (second edition, Routledge, 2020) and Getting Published in Academic Journals (University of Michigan Press, 2016). He is currently writing a book with Sue Starfield titled Change and Stability in Thesis and Dissertation Writing to be published by Bloomsbury and, with Matthew Prior, editing The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Discourse. He is an editor emeritus for the journal English for Specific Purposes and a former editor of TESOL Quarterly.