Dr Isobel Kai-Hui Wang

Programme Director: MSc TESOL / Lecturer in Language Education

Background

My research and teaching expertise lies in the areas of language learner strategies, second language vocabulary learning and teaching, intercultural communication, and language learner/teacher psychology.

I joined the University of Edinburgh in August 2021. Previously, I was Senior Research Fellow at the University of Graz (Austria) and undertook teacher training. I had also lectured in Applied Linguistics at the University of Nankai (China). Regarding my experience in English language teaching, I have taught English as a foreign or second language in China and Canada.

I have a longstanding interest in international students’ intercultural experiences and strategy use for building vocabulary. My book (2018), Learning Vocabulary Strategically in a Study Abroad Context (published by Palgrave Macmillan) applies a close-up lens to the process of strategic vocabulary learning in study abroad contexts and offers novel insights into the flexibility and adaptability of strategy use within and across situations. I work with my colleague Andrew Cohen on a series of projects on the functions of language learner strategies, strategies for vocabulary fine-tuning, and vocabulary strategy instruction for academic writing.

I am currently developing new interests in the psychological dimension of language learning and teaching, especially learner engagement, self-regulation, and teacher wellbeing. Additionally, working with my colleagues at the University of Graz and partners in the UK, Netherlands, Italy and Germany, I was involved in an Erasmus+-funded project about the integration of global citizenship and plurilingual pedagogies. I have been invited to review book proposals for Routledge and Springer and articles for journals, such as System, Language and Intercultural Communication, and Teaching and Teacher Education.

Qualifications

  • Ph.D in Applied Linguistics (2010-2013), University of Warwick.
  • MA in English Language Teaching (2009-2010), University of Warwick.
  • BA in History, Heritage and Education (2006-2009), University of Birmingham.

Postgraduate teaching

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

Yes

Areas of interest for supervision

Topics of interest: vocabulary learning strategies, language learner strategies, strategy-based instruction, vocabulary learning and teaching. 

Research summary

  • Language learner strategies

  • Second language vocabulary learning and teaching

  • Intercultural adjustment

  • Study abroad

  • Learner engagement

  • Teacher wellbeing

  • ELT materials adaptation 

Current research interests

I am currently exploring a) learner engagement in vocabulary strategy instruction for academic writing and b) language teachers' intercultural adjustment and professional wellbeing.

View all 11 publications on Research Explorer

Conference details

Strategizing – Investigating the Dynamic Use of Strategies (together with Prof. Andrew Cohen) |  A Symposium for the 4th Conference on the Psychology of Language Learning  | 23-25 June 2022

How strategies actually combine in the performance of language tasks (together with Prof. Andrew Cohen) |  A Symposium for the AILA virtual conference  | 15-21 August, 2021

How learners actually process strategy instruction (together with Prof. Andrew Cohen) | Poster presentation| AAAL virtual conference | 20-23 March, 2021

Training teachers for global citizenship education and plurilingual pedagogies: Teacher educators' insights (together with Prof. Sarah Mercer, Sonja Babic, and Johanna Gruber) | Presentation  | Multilingualism on My Mind | University of Bergen| 18-19 March, 2021

Fine-tuning word meanings through online and mobile app technologies (together with Prof. Andrew Cohen) | Presentation | 3rd SSU conference |Osaka, Japan | 14 October, 2019

Research by teachers for teachers | Workshop| Doctoral School | Strobl, Austria | 09 June, 2019

Fluctuation in the functions of vocabulary strategies (together with Prof. Andrew Cohen) | Presentation | AAAL conference |Chicago | 24-27 March, 2018

International Chinese students’ cross-cultural experiences in UK higher education

Presentation | 15th IALIC Conference | University of Peking, China |28 December, 2015

Dialogic strategy clusters for vocabulary learning

Presentation | SSU conference | Alpen-Adria University, Austria | 16 October, 2015

Invited speaker

Strategizing – Investigating the Dynamic Use of Strategies (together with Prof. Andrew Cohen) |  A Symposium for the 4th Conference on the Psychology of Language Learning  | 23-25 June 2022

How strategies actually combine in the performance of language tasks (together with Prof. Andrew Cohen) |  A Symposium for the AILA virtual conference  | 15-21 August, 2021