Skip to content
Start main Content

Dr. Ken Lau

Senior Lecturer

  • BA, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • MRes in Applied Linguistics, Lancaster University
  • PhD in Applied Linguistics, Lancaster University
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Linguists (FCIL)
  • MIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Chartered Linguist

Ken gained his first degree in Translation and Chinese from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He then furthered his education at Lancaster University, UK, where he obtained his Master of Research (MRes) and PhD, both in Applied Linguistics. He has published on a wide range of topics including the assessment of reflection and independent learning, English as a lingua franca, English learning experiences, genres, and ESP in key journals such as Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Higher Education, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, System and Oxford Review of Education. His other research interests include written discourse analysis, identities and roles in writing, social learning theory (particularly Community of Practice) and Systemic Functional Linguistics. With colleagues from CAES and two other universities, he has secured UGC funding for and successfully completed a collaborative project titled Online Project for the Improvement of University Speaking (OPTIMUS) (

At CAES, he is primarily responsible for teaching on the two MA programmes and supervising PhD students. He has taken up the coordinatorship of the MA in Applied Linguistics (MAAL) programme since July 2018 and has been the Chair of the Departmental Research Postgraduates’ Committee (DRPC) since September 2019. He was the Chair of the Publicity and Outreach Committee from 2010-2017.

He has also been awarded two Knowledge Exchange Grants to lead the development and evaluation of ProWriteHK (, a professional communication website for the general public.

Special Interest Groups:


In-House Committees:

Departmental Research Postgraduate,Director's Advisory Group

Professional Affiliations:

  • Chartered Institute of Linguists
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Other Major Administrative Roles:

  • Member, MATESOL Board of Studies

Selected Publications / Presentations:

  • Gardner, D., & Lau, K. (2019). One international university, two
    perspectives: The role of English as a lingua franca as perceived by Mainland
    and Hong Kong Chinese students. Compare:
    A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 49
    (2), 192-210. (SSCI)
  • Lau, K., & Gardner, D. (2019). Disciplinary variations in learning styles and preferences: Implications for academic English provisions. System80, 257-268. (SSCI)
  • Gardner, D., & Lau, K. (2018). Learning and using English: What
    experience and expectations do non-local Asian international students bring to
    their university studies in Hong Kong? Oxford Review of Education, 44(6), 755-770. Doi: 10.1080/03054985.2018.1448262. (SSCI)

Grants / Awards / Other Achievements:

  • UGC Language Collaborative Fund [HK$2,380,000]: Online Project for the Improvement of University Speaking (OPTIMUS) (Co-PI with D. Gardner)
  • (with David Gardner) Best Presentation Award and Excellent Paper Award by Chartered Institute of Linguists, Hong Kong Society for the paper “A new generation: Profiling Hong Kong tertiary English learners”
  • Knowledge Exchange Grants: ProWrite: One Click to Success (2014-2015); Engage, Empower & Enhance: An Evaluation of the Impact of ProWriteHK (2015-2016)

Office: Room 6.42

Telephone: 3917 2010

Email Address: