Dr. Li’s diverse research interests fall broadly within the fields of Applied Linguistics, Interpreting and Translation Studies, lexicography and Second Language Acquisition. Her doctoral research focused on comparative studies in Translation and Lexicography, working with English, Chinese and Danish. She has recently published a book with Cambridge Scholars Press:To Define and Inform – An Analysis of Information Provided in Dictionaries Used by Learners of English.
Currently, She is involved in four research projects:
1. A Study of Learning Chinese as a Second Language making use of Eye-Tracking technology. This interdisciplinary research investigates how different graphic systems might be a variable factor in second language acquisition (SLA). Most SLA research ignores writing systems: this research examines how learners of Chinese, who are familiar with the Roman alphabet, respond to and negotiate an alien script. By combining eye-tracking technology — which has yielded data impossible to come by in any other way — with more established research procedures, of controlled experiments and statistical analysis, she is investigating a hitherto unacknowledged barrier for all western learners of Chinese.
2. A study of food labels and the possibility of inter-cultural confusion; differing expectations of accuracy and detail in the description of what’s in the jar; and some of the commercial and ethical issues raised by this extremely important but little-studied field of translation and cultural exchange.
3. Global English Communication Gap: this research investigates how Chinese business persons use English and tests whether the use of English by non-native English speakers is always effective — in accuracy, in rhetoric, in idiom — in business negotiations.
4. A socio-linguistic study of the bilingual policies implemented by the Chinese Government in the Xinjiang region. This is a volatile region, politically and socially, with tension between the Han Chinese and the Uighur (Muslim) population. It is a region that she knows well. The research aims to find out whether the current bilingual policy leads to greater social harmony (as is its intention) or whether it fuels the tension by creating suspicion and resentment of policies imposed from Beijing. This project involves comparative study of other societies and nations in which bilingualism is official policy.
PGT/PGR Translation Training Symposium in Your Subject in the Digital Age for Non-Linguistics/Non-Languages researchers - HEA-AHRC symposia series on interculturalism and translating cultures
PI: Dr Saihong Li
Funded by: Higher Education Academy
Eye Tracking Study of Learning Chinese as Second Foreign Language
PI: Dr Saihong Li
Funded by: Universities' China Committee in London (UCCL)