Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the English Language Centre
As a sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist, I see language as a window to the understanding of human social relationships. My research has focused on the discourse and application of mindfulness, language ideologies and identities, multilingualism and transnationalism, as well as language and gender. See my research profile for more.
My teaching specialities include sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, bilingualism, World Englishes, English linguistics, language and gender, qualitative research methods, academic research writing and speaking, and teacher training. Previously I taught at the School of English of the University of Hong Kong, and at the Department of Linguistics and the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, I trained international PhD students to be English-medium instructors of diverse disciplines at the University.
PhD & MA Linguistics, University of Michigan
MPhil & BA (Hons) English, University of Hong Kong
My research fields are sociocultural linguistics and linguistic anthropology. I investigate the social meaning of language use or “language as social action”, in other words, what interaction/discourse means to the speakers and why. Often the concepts of discrimination and stereotype, identity, and societal ideologies are involved because these are crucial to the understanding of what language means to the social participants and the worlds they are in. My current research focus is on the discourse and application of mindfulness.
A message to prospective PhD students: I welcome strong candidates who are interested to include mindfulness in their research agenda. Please email me for advice.
Organizing Committee member: Sociolinguistics Symposium (HKU); AAA Society of Linguistic Anthropology Inaugural Spring Conference (U Penn); Sociolinguistics of Globalization (HKU); New Ways of Analyzing Variation (U Mich); Michigan Linguistic Society annual meetings (U Mich).
Grant proposal reviewer: Hong Kong RGC
Routledge book proposal reviewer
Former associate editor of Journal of Language, Culture, and Society by John Benjamins.
Journal reviewer: Language in Society, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics, International Journal of Bilingualism, AILA Review, Multilingua, World Englishes, Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, Springer Encyclopedia of Language and Education, Sage Ethnicities, UCLA Issues in Applied Linguistics.
Chen, K (2018) Ideologies of Language Standardization: The Case of Cantonese in Hong Kong. In James Tollefson and Miguel Pérez-Milans (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Language Policy and Planning. UK: Oxford University Press.
Chu, S., Zhang, Y., Chen, K., et al. (2017) The effectiveness of wikis for project-based learning in different disciplines in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education. Vol 33, pp. 49-60. The Netherlands: Elsevier. SJR Q1.
Chen, K (2016) The transnational journey and multilingual repertoire of an Indonesian Chinese couple in Hong Kong: the story of one family, three places, and multiple languages. In Li Wei (ed.) Multilingualism and the Chinese diaspora, pp. 237-254. UK: Routledge.
Chen, K (2015) Styling bilinguals: Analyzing structurally distinctive code-switching styles in Hong Kong. In Gerald Stell and Kofi Yakpo (eds.) Code-switching at the crossroads between structural and socio-linguistic perspectives. pp.163-183. Germany: Mouton de Gruyter.
Chen, K & Kang, A (2015) Demeanor indexicals, interpretive discourses and the “Kong Girl” stereotype: Constructing gender ideologies in social media. The Journal of Language and Sexuality. Issue 4:2. pp. 193-222. USA: John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Kang, A. and Chen, K. (2014) Stancetaking and the Hong Kong Girl in a shifting heterosexual marketplace. Sage: Discourse & Society. 25(2) pp. 205-220. SJR Q1.
Chen, K. (2008) Positioning and repositioning: Linguistic practices and identity negotiation of overseas returning bilinguals in Hong Kong. Multilingua 27 (1-2), pp. 57-75. SJR Q1.