Dr Xiaofang Yao

Position: Lecturer, TESOL
Study area:
Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism
Berwick Campus, Building 901, Room 130E
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 (TESOL)
  • Master of Education Studies
  • English and Academic Preparation Program
  • English Language Support Service


  • Language Acquisition (EDBSP 1013/EDMST 6010)
  • Professional Inquiry A (EDMED 7074)
  • Ways of Researching (EDMED 7073)
  • Analysis and Inquiry: Reading and framing the research (EDMED 7038)
  • International Student English for Academic Purposes suite of courses (ISEAP)
  • English Language Studies B: Phonetics, Phonology and Communication (EDMST 6113)


Xiaofang is an applied linguist working in the Institute of Education, Arts and Community. She joined Federation University Australia in 2022. 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 to appear in the Routledge Studies in Sociolinguistics series.

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.

Kim Lanigan, “Views and experiences of Victorian Catholic primary teachers on feedback to develop practice and performance” (Professional Inquiry project), 2022

Lau Kit Man, “Effectiveness of mindfulness activities for children with hyperactive symptoms” (Professional Inquiry project), 2022

Avinash Kaur, “Impact of cooperative learning on student engagement and academic scores in mathematics in a secondary school setting” (Professional Inquiry project), 2022


Refereed journal articles

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.

Yao, X. (2021). Face masks, materiality, and exclusion in the COVID-19 semiotic landscape. Social Semiotics.

Yao, X. (2021). Commodification or shared ownership? A case study of Chinese communities in the linguistic landscape of Bendigo. Applied Linguistics Review.

Yao, X. (2021). Metrolingualism in online linguistic landscapes. International Journal of Multilingualism.

Yao, X., & Gruba, P. (2020). Power through the semiotic landscape. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.

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.

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

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.

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., Diskin-Holdaway, C., Elder, C., Fan, J., Frost, K., Kelly, B., McNamara, T., Morton, J., Price, S., Storch, N., Thompson, C., & Yao, X. (2021). Review of the book Language as symbolic power, by Claire Kramsch. Applied Linguistics.

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.

Yao, X. (2020). Review of the book Posthumanist applied linguistics, by A. Pennycook. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 266, 143-145.

Yao, X. (2020). Review of the book Language and subjectivity, by T. McNamara. Sociolinguistic Studies. 14(3), 395–397.

Yao, X. (2019, October 24). Review of the book Dialogues with ethnography, by J. Blommaert. Linguist List, 30, 4050.

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.

Conference presentations

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.

Invited talks

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, Nanchang, China


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