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LSPPC Webinars

January, 2024: Department of English, CityU / LSPPC Joint Webinar (register here up to 24 hours before the webinar)

This webinar is jointly presented with Department of English, City University of Hong Kong.


The language service competitiveness of Chinese Hong Kong: Evaluation and suggestions

Speaker: Wang Lifei, Beijing Language and Culture University

Date: Monday, 29 January 2024

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)


This lecture adopts detailed data and comprehensive index evaluation methods to evaluate the language service competitiveness of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The results show that the environment of the language service industry in the Greater Bay Area is good. The total output value of language services in the Greater Bay Area reached 12.45983 billion yuan in 2022. Hong Kong plays an important role in language service industry. Finally, several suggestions are put forward to promote language service capabilities in the Greater Bay Area.


Wang Lifei is professor of School of Translation and Interpreting, and Dean of Academy of International Language Services, Beijing Language and Culture University, China. He is Chairman of Professional Committee for Business English of China Shippers’ Association, and a committee member of LSPPC. He published extensively in business language, language service and language education.

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December, 2023: LSPPC Webinar

Academic publishing and the Attention Economy (click here to view the webinar recording)

Speaker: Ken Hyland, Honorary Professor at the University of East Anglia

Date: Wednesday, 6 December 2023

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)

With the explosion of information and constant bombardment of news, advertising and social media, the ‘Knowledge Economy’ has given way to the ‘Attention Economy’, which treats human attention as a scarce commodity. In the digital age, moreover, papers are products competing for readers’ limited attention in a context of massively greater competition. This is particularly relevant for academics as attention can function as currency as well as capital when its qualitative value is turned into measurable units. This is, in essence, the role played today by publication and citation. Propelled by metrics-driven career incentives, scholars are constantly pushed to gain the attention, and approval, of reviewers, editors, readers, funders and promotion boards and this means rhetorically promoting our work to be as noticeable as possible. In this review paper, I elaborate this point and argue, through the examination of recent research into academic discourse, how the attention economy has come to dominate how research is presented. 

Ken Hyland is an Honorary Professor at the University of East Anglia. He has published 295 articles and 29 books on writing and academic discourse with 83,000 citations on Google Scholar. According to the Stanford/Elsevier analysis of the Scopus database, he is the world’s most influential scholar in language and linguistics. A collection of his work, The Essential Hyland, was published in 2018 by Bloomsbury.  He is the Editor of two book series with Routledge and Bloomsbury, is a visiting professor at Jilin University and a Foundation Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities. He was founding co-editor of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes and co-editor of Applied Linguistics.  


October, 2023: LSPPC Webinar: Best Paper Award Winners 

This year, the Asia-Pacific LSPPC Association presented the inaugural Christopher N. Candlin Award for the Best Paper by Early Career Scholars. The winners were Anoud Abusalim and Sichen Xia. In this webinar, the two winners will present their work.


Speakers: Anoud Abusalim, Sichen Xia

Date: Tuesday, 3 October 2023
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)


Coloniality and ERPP Practices in the Global South

Speaker: Anoud Abusalim, American University of Sharjah


The talk discusses some of the effects of coloniality on social sciences research writing and publishing in the Arab World by employing the empirical accounts of 11 EAL and 11 NES scholars in social sciences (SS) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines about their ERPP practices. The talk answers critical questions about the ERPP challenges EAL and NES academics face when writing about their local issues. The talk asserts the necessity of critically approaching the buzzing conversation on decolonization in ESP and ERPP scholarship by recognizing the experiences of EAL and NES scholars with decoloniality.


Anoud Abusalim is a senior instructor in the English department at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), UAE, with a PhD in Educational Research from Lancaster University. Anoud has been teaching writing courses, in English, for multilingual students, primarily Arabic-speaking students, in addition to teaching professional writing and communication courses for more than 10 years at the American Unversity of Sharjah (AUS). Her research investigates English for Research Publishing Purposes (ERPP) practices for EAL and NES academics and knowledge production practices in the Global South. She has published on the experiences of Arabic-speaking academics in publishing their research in English and the disparities in the global research scene. 

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Explaining science to the non-specialist online audience: A multimodal genre analysis of TED talk videos

Speaker: Sichen Xia, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen



Digital technologies have impacted scientific communication by facilitating developments in forms of expression for scientific genres and contributing to a diversified audience. Recently, various digital scientific genres that target both specialists and non-specialists have emerged, requiring authors to recontextualize scientific knowledge to meet the needs of a wider audience. One such genre is the TED talk video. In this talk, I will present an exploratory study of the genre and illustrate how science is explained to the non-specialist online audience through generic and multimodal resources in the digital multimodal genre.


Dr. Sichen Xia is Lecturer at the School of Humanities and Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. Her research interests include genre analysis, multimodality, popularization, and digital literacy. She has published on these topics in journals such as English for Specific Purposes, RELC Journal, and Ibérica. Her research monograph Popularizing Science in the Digital Era is published with Routledge Multimodality Series.

April, 2023: LSPPC webinar

Impact of digital genres on genre theory (click here to view the webinar recording)

Speaker: Sujata Kathpalia, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Date: Wednesday, 12 April, 2023
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)


This talk will explore the impact of digital genres on the concept of genre. The observations related to genre theory will be based on the analysis of print and digital media genres and supported by related research in genre studies. At first, a conventional two-tier analysis of genre analysis will be presented as it focuses on basic issues related to generic integrity and text-internal features at the functional, semantic, and rhetorical levels of analysis. Following this, the challenges in genre theory related to text-external factors will be addressed and explained, such as the problem of genre identification based on communicative purposes, erosion of the genre move construct, and the complex phenomena of genre bending, embedding, and mixing that are characteristic of genres in the real world. Finally, an attempt will be made to explain how the concept of gene needs to be extended to study and explain new media genres which are an outcome of web-based technology. To summarise, a multidimensional and multiperspective genre analysis of internet genres will be recommended for future studies to build on existing research and to keep pace with the new internet technology and software developments.


Sujata S. Kathpalia is a senior lecturer at the Language and Communication Centre at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She has designed several foundation and advanced English for Specific Academic Purpose (ESAP) courses using the genre-based approach and she teaches these ESAP courses to both undergraduates and postgraduates. Her research interests include genre analysis, academic writing, code-switching, and English language teaching, and she has published extensively in journals such as Asian ESP Journal, Educational Studies, English World-Wide, ESP Today, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, RELC Journal, System, and World Englishes. She is the co-editor of a special issue in World Englishes titled ‘World Englishes and Cross-cultural Advertising’ (2019). Her recent publication is a Routledge book titled ‘Persuasive Genres: Old and New Media’ (2022).

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February, 2023: LSPPC webinar

A Conversation on Research and Practice in English for Business Purposes

Panel Conveners: Catherine Nickerson, Clarice Chan

Date: Wednesday, 22 February, 2023
Time: 4:00 – 5:30 pm HKT (UTC/GMT + 8)

This online conversation features a panel of experts in English for Business Purposes, led by Prof. Catherine Nickerson (Zayed University) and Dr. Clarice Chan (University of St Andrews). It brings together scholars and practitioners and aims to encourage a dialogue on how best to incorporate research findings into the classroom. The full panel includes:

Catherine Nickerson (Zayed University)

Clarice Chan (University of St Andrews)

Peter Davidson, Senior Instructor, Zayed University

Julio Gimenez, Principal Lecturer, University of Westminster

Anne Kankaanranta, Senior University Lecturer, Aalto University

Lisa Leopold, Freelance Editor and EAP/ESP Practitioner

Uma Tadema, Business English Trainer, English in Emden

Zuocheng Zhang, Senior Lecturer, University of New England


Prof. Catherine Nickerson


Dr. Clarice Chan

The panel will address prominent themes in Research and Practice in English for Business Purposes, prompted by questions to be submitted by the audience in advance.


LSPPC Conversations 
LSPPC Conversations adopt an interactive webinar format that aims to engage participants in conversation with experts in LSP & Professional Communication. The format will typically consist of a 10-15 minute orientation to a topic(s) presented by the invited guest(s), followed by discussions for the rest of the session.

Your questions for the panel by February 15, 2023
Please send questions about research and practice in English for Business Purposes 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.

November, 2022: LSPPC webinar

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.

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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). 

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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.

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LSPPC Conversations 
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].

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.

October, 2021: LSPPC webinar

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. 

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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

2021-03-11 Brian Paltridge profile photo
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