Year 4 Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) student Chen Zhengzheng won the Best Student Paper Award at the Fifth International Conference on Linguistics and Language Studies (ICLLS 2019) in Hong Kong during 25 and 26 June 2019.

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Chen Zhengzheng wins the Best Student Paper Award

Around 40 linguists and language practitioners around the world gathered at this Conference to present their latest research findings. UIC sent a delegation consisting of DHSS Associate Professor as well as Programme Director for English Language and Literature Studies (ELLS), Dr Edith Yan, in addition to TESL students, Chen Zhengzheng, Wang Yichen and Sun Jingzhang.

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UIC delegates with Dr Francis Lee (Chair of the conference organiser, 1st from right) on the second day of the conference

Chen Zhengzheng's paper titled, ‘Cross-Cultural Differences in the Refusal Strategies Employed between English Native Speakers and Chinese EFL Learners’ was commended for well-written research scope, clear and solid findings and implications.

This was the fourth time that TESL students presented their final-year project papers at ICLLS. Their research abilities and presentation skills were well-recognised by the conference organising committee.

The conference papers of these young promising researchers have been published in the conference proceedings, which are downloadable from

During the Q&A sessions and any free time, these young researchers exchanged views about their research and language education with other conference participants. Below were their perspectives about the conference.

Chen Zhengzheng: It is really my great honour to attend the fifth ICLLS conference as a graduate student and share the results of my final year project with so many experienced scholars in this field. Within two days of this unforgettable experience at the conference, these presenters inspired me to think about the essence of education, and how to combine theoretical knowledge with practice in the practical teaching situation. As for receiving Best Student Paper Award, I would like to express my deepest thanks to my supervisor Dr Yan, who had provided me with her keen and forceful academic help during the whole process of conducting this project.

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Chen Zhengzheng presenting her research paper

Wang Yichen: It is my honour to be able to attend ICLLS 2019 and present my research paper at the conference. One year ago when I attended the conference rehearsal by the previous cohort of TESL students for ICLLS 2018, I made up my mind that I would go there the year after. Now I have done it! The conference experience was very interesting and exciting. In this conference, I met many innovative and passionate scholars from different countries and listened to their studies as well. Their studies in various areas of linguistics and language studies and gave me many insights for my future. Besides, I am very thankful for the professors in my programme, especially my supervisor. I couldn’t have been accepted to present in the conference without their support and encouragement.

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Wang Yichen answering questions from the audience during the Q&A session of his presentation

Sun Jingzhang: It is my great honour to attend a conference like ICLLS, which was related to education and linguistics. It was my first time to present my own study in front of many linguists. They provided me some suggestions to review my research. Some of their comments also assisted me to delve deeper into the field of education. In addition, I had the opportunity to listen to the presentations of other studies, some of which were relevant to my study. It was a very meaningful experience. I think I might keep attending more academic conferences in the future. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor Dr Edith Yan and Miss Monica King for their guidance during my preparation.

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Sun Jingzhang presenting his research paper

Reporters: Edith Yan, Sun Jingzhang (TESL)
Photos supplied by ELLS-TESL Programme
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He (MPRO)