Dr Xiaofang Yao

Position: Lecturer, TESOL
Study area:
Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism
Berwick Campus, Building 901, Room 130E
03 5122 6281
ORCID ID:  0000-0002-7980-5391


Doctor of Philosophy – The University of Melbourne – 2021

Master’s in Applied Linguistics – The University of Melbourne – 2016

Master’s in Interpreting – University of Westminster – 2014

Bachelor’s in Management Sciences – Nanchang University – 2013



  • Master of Specialist Teaching
  • Master of Education Studies


  • Language Acquisition (EDBSP 1013/EDMST 6010)
  • Applied Psycholinguistics (EDBSP 2014/EDMSP 6014)
  • TESOL Methodologies, Language Learning and Technology (EDMST 6114)
  • Phonetics, Phonology and Oral Communication (EDBSP1023/EDMST 6113)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (EDMED 7056)
  • Professional Inquiry A/B (EDMED 7074/7075)
  • Minor Thesis (EDMED 7121/7122)


Xiaofang is an applied linguist working in the Institute of Education, Arts and Community. She joined Federation University Australia in 2022 and assumed the responsibility of Course Coordinator for Master of Education Studies and Master of Specialist Teaching since 2023. Previously, Xiaofang worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology. She is an Affiliate Researcher of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society. She is also a NAATI certified translator and interpreter (Chinese and English) practicing in both China and Australia.

Areas of expertise

Xiaofang works across a variety of areas in the fields of applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis. She has a special interest into the translanguaging practices of migrant communities, and the phenomenon known as Linguistic Landscape or Semiotic Landscape in multilingual societies.

Xiaofang has published in the areas of language and space/place, culture, identity and power especially with diaspora Chinese community in Victoria, Australia. Along with this, she has broad research interests in other facets of language use, including language learning and teaching, language assessment, translation and interpreting, and digital methods to analysing languages.

Having received training in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, she sees her research as situating at the intersection of language, culture and community. Her research monograph “Power, affect and identity in the linguistic landscape: Chinese communities in Australia and beyond” is under contract with Routledge and to appear in late 2024.

Research interests

  • Linguistic/semiotic landscape
  • (Critical) discourse analysis
  • Multilingualism/metrolingualism/translanguaging
  • Multimodal communication on social media
  • Chinese diaspora community
  • Interpreting and health communication


Available to supervise coursework and research students.

Shilpa Joy, “Bilingual education and its impact on children’s language proficiency”, PhD Thesis, Co-supervisor, 2023 - ongoing

Gillian Light, “The author within: Exploring factors impacting writing identity in Foundation to Year 2 classrooms”, Master’s Thesis, 2023

Katherine Maslen, “Berry Street Education Model: What impact does it have on teachers?”, Master’s Thesis, 2023


Refereed journal articles

Yao, X., & Nie, P. (2024). Implicit language policy and ethnic minority migrant community in urban China: The linguistic landscape of “Little Lhasa” in Chengdu. Language Policy. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10993-023-09685-0

Yao, X. (2023). Metrolingualism in online linguistic landscapes. International Journal of Multilingualism, 20(2), 214–230. https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2021.1887197

Yao, X. (2023). Commodification or shared ownership? A case study of Chinese communities in the linguistic landscape of Bendigo. Applied Linguistics Review, 14(3), 447-472. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2020-0045

Yao, X., & Xu, S. Z. (2023) (eds.). Crossing borders: A journey towards expanding linguistic landscapes in Asia and Oceania. Sociolinguistic Studies, 17(4), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.24675

Yao, X., & Gruba, P. (2022). Power through the semiotic landscape. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 43(5), 373–386. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2020.1737090

Nie, P., & Yao, X. (2022). Tourism, commodification of Dongba script and perceptions of the Naxi minority in the linguistic landscape of Lijiang: A diachronic perspective. Applied Linguistics Reviewhttps://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2021-0176

Wu, B., & Yao, X. (2022). Leisure Lives and Children’s Play: A Tale of Two Ideals. Leisure Scienceshttps://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2022.2126911

McCosker, A., Yao, X., Albury, K., Maddox, A., Farmer, J., & Stoyanovich, J. (2022). Developing data capability with non-profit organisations using participatory methods. Big Data & Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/20539517221099882

Yao, X. (2021). Face masks, materiality, and exclusion in the COVID-19 semiotic landscape. Social Semiotics. https://doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2021.2016032

Yao, X., & Gruba, P. (2020). A layered investigation of Chinese in the linguistic landscape: A case study of Box Hill, Melbourne. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 43(3), 302-336. http://doi.org/10.1075/aral.18049.yao

Yao, X. (2020). Material narration of nostalgia: The linguistic landscape of a rural township in Australia. Sociolinguistic Studies, 14(1-2), 7-31. https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.37218

Peer-reviewed publications in other languages:

Yao, X. (2021). 语言景观研究的理论框架和研究方法 [Theoretical frameworks and research methods of linguistic landscape studies]. Journal of Beijing International Studies University/北京第二外国语学院学报, 04, 101-115. https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.349

Yao, X., & Zhu, C. (2017). 中国学生在综合写作测试中的引用模式 [Chinese students' source use patterns in an integrated reading-to-writing test]. Overseas English/海外英语, 02, 84-87.

Book reviews

Davidson, L., Elder, C., Fan, J., Frost, K., Kelly, B., McNamara, T., Morton, J., Price, S., Storch, N., Thompson, C., Yao, X., & Diskin-Holdaway, C. (2022). Book Review: Language as symbolic power. Applied Linguistics, 43(3), 613–619. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amab027

Yao, X. (2020). Review of the book There isn’t only one way of being Chinese”: Language, culture, and identity in two Chinese community schools, by S. Ganassin. Language and Intercultural Communication, 21(1), 132-133. https://doi.org/10.1080/14708477.2020.1808426

Yao, X. (2020). Review of the book Posthumanist applied linguistics, by A. Pennycook. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 266, 143-145. http://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2020-2116

Yao, X. (2020). Review of the book Language and subjectivity, by T. McNamara. Sociolinguistic Studies, 14(3), 395–397. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108639606

Online publications

Yao, X. (2022, July 12). Creativity and exclusion in China’s COVID-19 linguistic landscapes. Language on the Move.https://www.languageonthemove.com/creativity-and-exclusion-in-chinas-covid-19-linguistic-landscapes/

Yao, X. (2019, October 24). Dialogues with ethnography, by J. Blommaert. Linguist List, 30, 4050.  https://linguistlist.org/pubs/reviews/get-review.cfm?SubID=36524919

Research reports

McCosker, A., Shaw, F., Yao, X., & Albury, K. (2022). A Data Capability Framework: For the not-for-profit sector. Swinburne University of Technology. https://doi.org/10.25916/h2s6-r178

Yao, X., McCosker, A., Albury, K., Maddox, A., & Farmer, J. (2021). Building data capacity in the not-for-profit sector: Interim report. Swinburne University of Technology. https://doi.org/10.26185/ey72-s303

Keynote speech

Gruba, P., & Yao, X. (2023, November). Moving theory into practice: From technology to linguistic landscapes in the language classroom. 2023 Victorian Chinese Language Teachers’ Conference, University of Melbourne

Invited lecture

Yao, X. (2023, June). Translanguaging practices and linguistic landscapes: Insights into physical and digital spaces. Online lecture delivered at the School of Humanities of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, China

Yao, X. (2022, June). Linguistic landscape studies: Examples from diaspora Chinese communities in Australia. Online lecture delivered at the School of Humanities of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, China

Chaired conference panel session

Yao, X., Phan, N., & Urribarrí, J. (2021, November). Linguistic landscapes: Languages, materialities and identities. Chaired Panel Session at Australian Linguistic Society (ALS) Annual Conference 2021, Australia.

Conference presentations

Yao, X., & Nie, P. (2023, September). Utopia and dystopia: Language policies and ethnic minorities in the Chinese linguistic landscapes. Paper presented at 14th Linguistic Landscape Workshop, Spain.

Yao, X. (2022, November). Affect in the linguistic landscape: A tale of two Chinese restaurants. Paper presented at LCNAU Seventh Biennial Colloquium, Australia.

Yao, X. & Nambu, S. (2021, September). Multilingual official signs in the linguistic landscapes of Japanese Brazilian communities. Paper presented at British Association of Applied Linguistics 2021 Conference, UK (online).

Yao, X. (2021, June). Translanguaging on public signs: The linguistic landscape of Melbourne. Poster presented at 6th Language for Specific Purposes and Professional Communication Conference (LSPPC6), Hong Kong (online).

Yao, X. (2021, June). Unsettling linguistic landscapes: Metrolingualism in the collapsed context of WeChat. Paper presented at Sociolinguistic Symposium 23, Hong Kong (online).

Yao, X. (2020, November). Exclusion in the ephemeral linguistic landscape. Paper presented at Australian Linguistic Society (ALS) Annual Conference 2020, Australia (online).

Yao, X. (2019, June). Power of Chinese assemblages: An ethnographic investigation of the linguistic landscape of Bendigo. Paper presented at XIScape: 11th Linguistic Landscape Workshop, Bangkok, Thailand.

Yao, X. (2018, September). Beneath the sign: The linguistic landscape of a rural township in Australia. Paper presented at 2nd International Conference on Sociolinguistics, Budapest, Hungary.

Yao, X. (2018, June). Journeys into the rural linguistic landscape. Paper presented at Ethnoforum, Melbourne, Australia.

Yao, X. (2017, September). Indexing identities: Bilingual messages in the linguistic landscape. Paper presented at Identities in Translation International Workshop 2017, Melbourne, Australia.

Professional Activities and Service

Editorial Broad Member for Journals

Australian Review of Applied Linguistics (Scopus Q1)

Peer Reviewer for Journals and Conferences

Applied Linguistics Review

Linguistic Landscape

M/C Journal

Asia Pacific Journal of Education


English Today

AAAL (American Association of Applied Linguistics) Conference

External Examiners for Thesis

Doctoral Thesis Examiner for Deakin University (Australia)

Master’s Thesis Examiner for the University of Edinburgh (UK)


  • Australian Linguistic Society
  • The Applied Linguistics Association of Australia
  • British Association for Applied Linguistics
  • Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators