Ken’s primary research interests lie in written discourse analysis, particularly in academic context. These interests are closely connected with his work in developing the academic literacy of graduate students and in teacher education. He is currently Professor of Applied Linguistics in Education in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia. He is an Honorary Professor and Chair of applied linguistics at the University of Hong Kong, Visiting Professor at Jilin University, Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick and a Foundation Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities.  His most recent research interests are on academic identity and academic publishing.  He published a book on the first with CUP in 2012 and one on the second with OUP in 2015.

Previous Teaching and Supervision:

I have taught undergraduate courses in Communication theory, Intercultural communication, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis.

My postgraduate teaching has included courses in materials design, classroom methods, Computer Assisted Language Learning, curriculum design, EAP, Discourse analysis, and research writing.

Supervised over 55 MA dissertations

PhD and MPhil completions
  • Audrey Habke: Statements of limitations in academic theses. PhD Institute of Education  2009
  • Alessandra Molino: Argument in Italian and English academic research articles. PhD Institute of Education  2008
  • Maki Ojima: Development and identity in four Japanese postgraduate students’ writing. PhD Institute of Education  2007
  • Wendy Lee: Teacher written feedback in undergraduate writing. MPhil,  City University of Hong Kong  2002
  • Kaisheng (Dick) Huang: A corpus study of Chinese EFL majors’ phraseological performance. PhD University of Hong Kong  2014
  • Althea Ha Ying-Ho: A corpus-based study of annual reports and earnings calls. PhD University of Hong Kong  2015
  • Ngai Bo Wan Jonathan: Evaluation in Newspaper Discourse: A Corpus-based Study. PhD University of Hong Kong  2016
  • Feng (Kevin) Jiang: Metadiscursive nouns in disciplinary writing. PhD University of Hong Kong  2017
  • Na (Laura) Luo: Writing support for Chinese scientists seeking to publish research articles in English. PhD University of Hong Kong  2017
  • Kim Chanhee: A corpus-based study on ‘evaluative that construction’ in academic and professional discourse. PhD University of Hong Kong  2018
  • Zhe (Victor) Zhang: Student engagement with feedback on their writing: Case studies of English majors in two Chinese universities. PhD University of Hong Kong  2018
  • Grace Lam: An examination of persuasion in the CEO’s letter of company annual reports. PhD University of Hong Kong  2018
Previous Work

Professor of Applied Linguistics (Personal Chair)                                                    2009-2017
Director of Centre for Applied English Studies
The University of Hong Kong

Professor of Applied Linguistics in Education (Personal Chair)                         2004-2009
Reader in Education
Head of the Centre for Academic and Professional Literacies                            2003-2004
Institute of Education, University of London

Associate Professor                                                                                                              1996-2003
Department of English & Communication
City University of Hong Kong

University Lecturer                                                                                                               1994-1996
English Department
Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Senior Lecturer and Head of Department                                                                  1991-1994
English as an International Language Dept.
International Pacific College, New Zealand

Lecturer in Language & Communication Dept.                                                        1988-1990
PNG University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea

Deputy Chairman of Science Reading Dept.                                                              1984-1988
King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah

Teacher in a Malaysian Secondary School                                                                  1980-1984
The Centre for British Teachers, London.

EFL teacher to Middle & Secondary students                                                            1978-1980
Riyadh Schools, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

EFL/Literature teacher at higher secondary school                                                1977-1978
White Nile Secondary School, Ed Dueim, Sudan