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Yongcan Liu

Position/Status

Senior Lecturer in Second Language Education

Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies in Education, Downing College

E-mail Address

yl258@cam.ac.uk

Phone

+44 (0)1223 767638

Qualifications

  • PhD in Education (University of Cambridge)
  • MPhil Research in Second Language Education (University of Cambridge)
  • MA Applied Psycholinguistics (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies)
  • BA English Linguistics and Translation Studies (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies)

Professional Bodies/Associations

  • International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA)
  • British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL)
  • Treasurer and Executive Committee Member of the Language Policy SIG of BAAL
  • Editorial/Advisory Board: Language and Education, Language Learning Journal, Thinking Skills and Creativity, Beijing International Review of Education

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Profile

Yongcan’s research interests mainly lie in two areas, one theoretical and one practical. On the theoretical side, he is keen to push the boundaries of knowledge to understand the social cognitive nature of second language teaching, learning and teacher development. This is done through two broadly defined sociocultural frameworks: (1) Lave and Wenger's Community of Practice (CoP) theory, focusing on the ideas of participation, distributed cognition and situated practice; (2) Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory (SCT) of mind, which deals with issues such as mediation, cognitive regulation and potential development.

On the more practical side, Yongcan has a long-standing interest in combining linguistic and social analysis in examining the schooling experience of bilingual migrant children and the professional knowledge base for teaching them. He has worked on a series of linked projects on EAL children's language development, social integration and educational achievement, funded by the Bell Foundation, and has served on its EAL Assessment Advisory Group. He is co-author of 'The EAL Assessment Framework for Schools', which won a British Council ELTons Award for Innovation in 2018. This work has been made an open-access tool to support planning and provision of EAL in primary and secondary schools across England. He is also co-investigator of an interdisciplinary policy project on multilingualism (MEITS) funded by AHRC's Open World Research Initiative, crossing the disciplines of arts, literature, linguistics, education, cognition and health.

Yongcan is founder and convener of Cambridge Research in Community Language Education Network (CRiCLE-Net), a university-school-community research partnership specialising in language, heritage and migration. He serves as Education Advisor to the UK Federation of Chinese Schools and as Treasurer of the Language Policy SIG of British Association of Applied Linguistics. Yongcan sits on the editorial board of several journals and is founding series editor of Routledge Chinese Language Pedagogy.

Yongcan trained in linguistics in China. A Chevening and a Dorothy Hodgkin Scholar, he completed his MPhil and PhD in Education at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. He has taught English/Chinese as a foreign language and linguistics/applied linguistics in China, UK and the United Arab Emirates.

Academic Area/Links


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Research Topics and Interests

Multilingualism and language learning in schools and communities

  • Languages of schooling and language-in-education policy in multilingual contexts
  • Community/heritage/minority language acquisition and education across the life span
  • Language teacher cognition and professional knowledge base in linguistically diverse contexts
  • Bilingual EAL children's language development, social integration and educational achievement
  • Evidence-based interventions in support of heritage speakers' education, integration and mobility

Doctoral projects: 'family language policy and linguistic capital', 'politics, practice and class experience of ESOL', 'pedagogical control in EMI language policy', 'Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) of EAL', 'mobility and transnationalism in heritage language maintenance', 'race and racism in language teaching', 'investment in African language learning and nation building'

Situated cognition and sociocultural theory of mind

  • Sociocultural theory in second language acquisition and education
  • Dynamic assessment for language development of disadvantaged children
  • The role of oracy in second language acquisition and thinking development
  • Oral and written corrective feedback as mediating tools for second language development
  • Distributed knowledge and pedagogical innovations in school and digital communities of practice

Doctoral projects: 'dynamic assessment for L2 reading development', 'dialogic mediation in concept-based instruction for L2 writing', 'transformative ELF-aware teacher education', 'rhetorical transfer in academic literacy', 'realist impact evaluation of NHS workplace learning', 'oracy for L2 creativity development'

I particularly welcome proposals that draw on Sociocultural Theory and Community of Practice to look at SLA. I am also interested in supervising projects on language and migration based on innovative methods (e.g. Social Network Analysis, mobile learning community, trajectory analysis across the life course, in relation to language learning).

Current Projects


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Course Involvement


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Selected Publications

Davidson, R., & Liu, Y. (2018). Reaching the world outside: Cultural representation and perceptions of global citizenship in Japanese elementary school English textbooks. Language, Culture and Curriculum. DOI: 10.1080/07908318.2018.1560460

Fisher, L., Evans, M., Forbes, K., Gayton, A., Liu, Y. (2018). Participative multilingual identity construction in the languages classroom: A multi-theoretical conceptualisation. International Journal of Multilingualism. DOI: 10.1080/14790718.2018.1524896

Liu, Y. (2018). Book review of 'Language across the Curriculum & CLIL in English as an Additional Language (EAL) Contexts, M. Y. Lin Angel, Springer International Publishing (2016). System, 78, 108-109.  DOI: 10.1016/j.system.2018.10.009

Liu, Y. (2018). Situated teacher learning as externalising and mobilising teachers' tacit knowledge through talk in a language teacher professional community. Research Papers in Education. DOI:10.1080/02671522.2018.1452956

Evans, M., Fisher, L, Forbes, K., Liu, Y. (2018). The form and functions of newcomer EAL students’ speech in English: Patterns of progression and communication in semi-structured interview dialogue. Language and Education. DOI: 10.1080/09500782.2018.1445756

Wang, T., & Liu, Y. (2018). Dynamic L3 selves: A longitudinal study of five university L3 learners’ motivational trajectories in China. The Language Learning Journal. DOI:10.1080/09571736.2017.1375549

Leung, C., Davidson, C., East, M., Evans, M. Green, T., Liu, Y., Hamp-Lyons, L., & Purpura, J. (2018). Using assessment to promote learning: Clarifying constructs, theories and practices. In J. Davies & J. Norris (eds.), Useful assessment and evaluation in language education. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.

Evans, M., & Liu, Y. (2018). The unfamiliar and the indeterminate: Language, identity and social integration in the school experience of newly-arrived migrant children in England. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 17(3), 152-167. DOI: 10.1080/15348458.2018.1433043

Liu, Y., Fisher, L., Forbes, K., & Evans, M. (2017). The knowledge base of teaching in linguistically diverse contexts: 10 grounded principles of multilingual classroom pedagogy for EAL. Language and Intercultural Communication, 17(4), 378-395. DOI:10.1080/14708477.2017.1368136

Duff, P., Liu, Y., & Li, D. (2017). Chinese heritage language learning: Negotiating identities, ideologies and institutionalisation. In O. Kagan, M. Carreira & C. Chik (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Heritage Language Education (pp. 409-422). London, New York: Routledge.

Chang, S., & Liu, Y. (2016). From problem-orientedness to goal-orientedness: Re-conceptualizing communication strategies as forms of intra-mental and inter-mental mediation. System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, 61, 43-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2016.07.009

Evans, M., Jones, N., Leung, C., & Liu, Y. (2016). EAL Assessment Framework for Schools. Cambridge: the Bell Foundation.

Liu, Y., & Evans, M. (2016). Multilingualism as legitimate shared repertoires in school communities of practice: Students' and teachers' discursive construction of languages in two schools in England. Cambridge Journal of Education, 46(4), 553-568.

Liu, Y. (2016). The emotional geographies of language teaching. Teacher Development, 20(4), 482-497. DOI:10.1080/13664530.2016.1161660

Evans, M. Schneider, C., Arnot, M., Fisher, L., Forbes, K. Hu, M., & Liu, Y. (2016). Language development and school achievement: Opportunities and challenges in the education of EAL students. Cambridge: the Bell Foundation.

Evans, M., Jones, N., Leung, C., & Liu, Y. (2015). EAL assessment and evaluation framework. NALDIC Quarterly, 15(4), 4-9.

Liu, Y. (2014). Book review of ‘Handbook of Conversation Analysis’. Discourse and Society, 25(3), 673-674.

Anot, M., Schneider, C., Evans, M., Liu, Y., Welply, O., & Davies-Tutt, D. (2014). School approaches to the education of EAL students: Language development, scoial integration and achievement. Cambridge: the Bell Foundation.

Liu, Y. (2013). The social organisation of talk-in-interaction at work in a language teacher professional community. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 2(3), 195-207.

Liu, Y. & Xu, Y. (2013). The trajectory of learning in a teacher community of practice. Research Papers in Education, 28(2), 176-195.

Liu, Y. & Xu, Y. (2011). Inclusion or exclusion?: A narrative inquiry of a language teacher’s identity experience in the ‘new work order’ of competing pedagogies. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(3), 589-597.

Liu, Y., & Fisher, L. (2010). ‘What have we learnt after we had fun’: An activity theory perspective on the cultures of learning in pedagogical reforms. In V. Ellis, A. Edwards & P. Smagorinsky (Eds.), Cultural-historical perspectives on teacher education and development: Learning teaching (pp. 180-195). Oxon: Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

Xu, Y., & Liu, Y. (2009). Teacher assessment knowledge and practice. TESOL Quarterly, 43(3), 493-513.

Liu, Y. (2007). From teacher group to learning community: Towards an integrated framework for college English teachers’ professional development. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 30(5), 75-85.

Liu, Y., & Fisher, L. (2006). The development patterns of modern foreign language student teachers’ conceptions about self: Three cases. Teacher Development: An International Journal of Teachers’ Professional Development, 10(3), 339-355. DOI: 10.1080/13664530600922203