Dr Penny Ding BA MA PhD

Confucius Institute Deputy Director (UK) and Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies Languages, Cultures and Film


Research Overview

Dr Ding has expertise in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) in relation to student motivation and teacher enthusiasm. Her doctoral research, examining the culturally-bound role of teacher enthusiasm in the second language (L2) classroom and its impact on L2 students’ motivation, is specifically relevant to the challenges of delivering language education in international educational contexts. While her own research examines the manifestations and perceptions of teacher enthusiasm in English as foreign Language Classrooms, her research can also inform studies of and strategies for engaging non-Chinese learners of Mandarin through the effective adaptation and improvement of content, syllabus, teaching methods, classroom and extracurricular activities.

Her research interests expand across the disciplines of applied Linguistics and education, with a specific interest in second language acquisition in transnational higher education contexts and English Medium Instruction (EMI) environments. Her interest in the motivational impact of extracurricular activities in EMI contexts was the focus of a recently completed National Social Science Fund project funded by the Chinese Ministry of Education. The research findings indicate powerful direct and indirect motivational impacts of extracurricular activities upon L2 students, but also a transformation in students’ critical self-reflection and self-perception.

Her broader research interests include education and family language policy, bilingualism/multilingualism and sociolinguistics. She has published with Routledge, TESOL, Beijing Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press and Chinese Journal of Language Policy and Planning. She is a reviewer for international journals such as TESOL Quarterly and Language Teaching Research.