Li Wei (linguist)

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Lǐ Wéi (李嵬) is a British linguist of Manchu-Chinese parentage. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (United Kingdom) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is currently Chair of Applied Linguistics at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London. Until the end of 2014, he was Pro-Vice-Master of Birkbeck College, University of London and Director of the Birkeck Graduate Research School. His research interests are in bilingualism and multilingualism.


Li Wei was born in Beijing, China, of Manchu-Chinese parents and was initially trained as an English language teacher at the end of Mao's Cultural Revolution. He worked as an English teacher for two and a half years before studying for a BA in English language and literature at Beijing Normal University. He went to Newcastle University to teach Chinese in 1986. He has an MA in English Language Studies and a PhD in Speech Sciences from Newcastle. His PhD supervisor was the sociolinguist Lesley Milroy with whom he worked on a number of research projects.

He became professor of applied linguistics at Newcastle University in 1998 and was Director of the Centre for Research in Linguistics between 1999 and 2002 and head of the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences between 2002 and the end of 2006. He joined Birkbeck College in January 2007. In January 2015, he took up the Chair of Applied Linguistics at University College London's Institute of Education.[1]


Amongst Li Wei's publications are the best selling The Bilingualism Reader, The Routledge Applied Linguistics Reader, "Applied Linguistics" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), "Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education" (with Ofelia Garcia, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and The Blackwell Guide to Research Methods in Bilingualism and Multilingualism which won the 2009 British Association for Applied Linguistics Book Prize.[2] He is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Bilingualism,[3] co-editor of Applied Linguistics Review, Global Chinese,Chinese Language and Discourse, and editor of the Wiley-Blackwell book series Research Methods in Language & Linguistics.


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