Professor Lawrence Zhang

PhD, MA (Hon), PGDipELT (Distinction), BA


Dr Lawrence Jun Zhang is Professor of Linguistics in Education (Applied Linguistics & TESOL) in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Associate Dean (AD) International Partnerships for the Faculty of Education and Social Work. His research programme spans cognitive, linguistic, sociocultural and developmental factors in reading/ biliteracy development, critical reading awareness in language education, metacognition, self-regulated learning (SRL) and reading development in L1 and L2 contexts, bilingual/biliteracy acquisition and bilingual/biliteracy education in primary and secondary schools, and learning and teaching English as a second/foreign language at university settings, the effects of self-regulated reading and writing instruction on bilingual/biliteracy development, and teacher identity and cognition in language teacher education.

Dr Zhang was a Post-Doctoral Visiting Fellow (Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition) at the University of Oxford Department of Education. He was the sole recipient of the TESOL Award for Distinguished Research 2010-2011 awarded by the TESOL International Association, USA, for his paper published in an SSCI-indexed journal of the field, TESOL Quarterly, 44(2), “A dynamic metacognitive systems perspective on Chinese university EFL readers.” As one of the leading scholars in the field of TESOL, he has served the profession as an editorial board member for several international SSCI-indexed journals, including TESOL Quarterly, System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, Applied Linguistics Review, Metacognition and Learning, and Journal of Second Language Writing, as well as other international journals of repute: Writing and Pedagogy, RELC Journal, and Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics. He has also been a frequently invited manuscript reviewer for leading journals in the field: Reading Research Quarterly, Review of Educational Research, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Applied Linguistics, Modern Language Journal, Language Learning, Language Teaching, Foreign Language Annals,  English for Specific Purposes, Instructional Science, Research Papers in Education, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Asia Pacific Education Researcher, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Language Teaching Research, European Journal of Psychology of Education, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Journal of Teacher Education, and Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology, Language, Culture & Curriculum,  and Assessing Writing, among others. He was Principal Investigator of a Singapore MOE-funded research project (200K NZD equivalent), Co-PI of three other MOE-funded projects (500K NZD). His most recent research grant is An Ethnographic Study of Chinese Scholars’ Experiences in Writing and Publishing Academic Works in English: An Intercultural Rhetoric Approach, RMB 200,000 or NZ$42,000), with Shanghai Maritime University professor Dr John Mu as the Principal Investigator (the National Social Sciences Fund of China) (April 2014 - April 2017).

Research | Current

Research Projects

Externally Funded Research Projects

Research Work/Reports Completed

Recent publications and conference papers/addresses


Postgraduate supervision

Supervision of Doctoral Research Theses

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at UoA, as Primary Supervisor

  • Kenneth K. W. Ong (graduated July 2014): Incidental EFL Vocabulary Learning through Codeswitched Reading Tasks, co-supervisor: Professor Judy M. Parr (short-listed for the Christopher Brumfit Best PhD/EdD Thesis Award 2015, through Language Teaching (journal), Cambridge University Press)
  • Sophie L. Teng (graduating in January 2016)Co-supervisor: Associate Professor Martin East
  • Chengsong Yang (graduating  in March 2016) : Co-supervisor: Professor Judy M. Parr
  • Hua Geng (graduating in May 2016): Co-supervisor: Dr Rosemary Erlam, School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts
  • Muhammad Rahimi (graduating in May 2016): Co-supervisor: Professor Judy M. Parr
  • Paul P. Sun (graduating in July 2016) : Co-supervisor: Dr Susan M. Gray
  • Mazlin Mokhtar (graduating in July 2016): Co-supervisor: Dr Mei Lai
  • Baker Q. Sun (graduating in October 2016): Co-supervisor: Dr Constanza Tolosa
  • Chunrong Bao (graduating in November 2016): Co-supervisor: Associate Prof Helen Dixon
  • Shan Chen (graduating in December 2016): Co-supervisor: Professor Stuart McNaughton

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with Overseas Universities, as Co-supervisor

  • Mehrdad Yousefpoori-Naem, Shahid Beheshti University, Iran, main supervisor: Associate Professor Sasan Baleghizadeh .
  • Eric Yuan, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (graduated 2015), main supervisor: Professor Icy Lee.
  • Yao Yao, Hunan University, China, main supervisor: Professor Xiaoxiang Chen.
  • Liping Wang, Renmin University, China, main supervisor: Professor Hongyun Wu.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at UOA, as Co-supevisor

  • Vincent Greenier: Main supervisor: Dr Tan Bee Tin, School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts
  • Helen Y. Liu:  Main supervisor: Professor Stephen May  
  • Anne L. Jiang: Main Supervisor: Professor Stephen May
  • Linlin Xu: Main Supervisor: Associate Professor Barbara Grant
  • Gervazio Tschesa: Main Supervisor: Dr Natsuko Shintani

PhD Past (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

  • Justina Ong: Effects of Planning and Revising on Chinese EFL Learners’ Quality in Written Production (runner-up in 2010 for the Christopher Brumfit Best PhD/EdD Thesis Award, through Language Teaching (journal), Cambridge University Press)
  • Qing Ni: Raising Students’ Awareness of the Quality of Translation through Linguistic Function Analysis: An Appraisal Study
  • Steven Tan: English Reading Strategies of Primary Pupils in Multimedia-Mediated Environments: An Exploratory Factorial Study
  • Yuhang Wang: Assessing the Vocabulary Growth of Chinese EFL Learners
  • Limei Zhang: Analysis of Reading Comprehension Processes and Strategies Used by Test-Takers in the College English Test –Band 4 in China: A Mixed-Methods Study

MEd Current at UoA (MEd-by-Research 120-point Thesis)

  • Emily Wu: Researching Learner Anxiety in Foreign Language Learning: Expanding the Theoretical Bases (until Dec 2012)
  • Katherine Huggard: Teachers' Attitudes towards Grammar and Their Pedagogical Practices in Delivering Written Language Programmes in Upper Primary Schools in New Zealand (2014), Co-supervisor Maree Jeurissen
  • Chao Zheng: A Comparative Study of Foreign Language Anxiety of Chinese First Year College Students in China and Those Learning in New Zealand (2014), Co-supervisor Dr Kane Meissel

MA Past (Applied Linguistics), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

  • Carol Debarera: The Impact of Metacognitive Scaffolding and Monitoring on Reading Comprehension Tasks, graduated in 2012
  • Dayu Jiang: Analyzing the Effectiveness of Multimodal Courseware Design from the Perspective of Cognitive Load Theory, graduatd in 2012
  • Yi Zeng: An Investigation of Authority Construction through the Use of Reporting Clauses in Discussion Sections of Chinese Students’ MA Dissertations in Singapore and China, graduated in 2012
  • Sulasni Rahman: Effects of Metacognitive Strategic Reading Instruction on Primary School Pupils’ Reading Improvement, graduated in 2008
  • Dongping Liu: An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Online Writing Assessment System in ETAS, graduated in 2007
  • Kenneth Ong: Functional-Lexical Code-Paired Norms of Mandarin-English Bilinguals, 2006
  • Fadila Binte Mohmed: Strategies in Reading Comprehension: Case Studies of Good and Poor Upper Primary School Readers, graduated in 2006
  • Jean Chen: Student Perspectives on Reticence in the ESL/EFL Classrooms: Comparing High and Low Proficiency PRC Tertiary Students, graduated in 2005



Current: Service to University of Auckland, New Zealand
- School of Curriculum & Pedagogy Executive (Jan 2015 - present)
- University Discipline Committee, University of Auckland (Jan 2015 - present)
- Senate, University of Auckland (Jan 2015 - present)
- Faculty Staffing Committee, Faculty of Education (Jan 2015 - present)
- Faculty Postgraduate Awards-subcommittee, Faculty of Education (Jan 2014 - Oct 2015)
- Faculty International Working Group, Faculty of Education (Jan 2013 - present)
- University International Committee, University of Auckland (Feb 2012 – Dec 2014)
- Faculty Postgraduate Committee, Faculty of Education (Feb 2012 -  Feb 2015)
- Faculty International Committee, Faculty of Education (Feb 2012 – Dec 2012)
- Faculty Education Committee, Faculty of Education (Feb 2012 – Dec 2012)
- Faculty Equity Committee, Faculty of Education (Feb 2012 – Feb 2013)
- Faculty Admissions Sub-Committee, Faculty of Education (Feb 2012 – Feb 2013)
- Faculty Research Committee, Faculty of Education (March 2012 – Dec 2012)

Previous: Service to National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
- Co-Chair, NIE’s Postgraduate Programs Core Team under the TE21 Implementation Program (2011-2012)
- Chair, English Language & Literature Seminar Committee (2005-2012)
- Chair, the 13th International Conference on English Language in Southeast Asia (ESEA 2008) Organizing Committee (2007-2008)
- Chair, Committee on the Development of the Advanced Diploma in English Language Study (2005-2006)
- Chair, English Language & Literature Academic Group’s Program Coordinators Committee (2004-2006)
- Advisor, Postgraduate Diploma in English Language Teaching Program (2000-2008)

- NIE’s Postgraduate Programs Core Team under the TE21 Implementation Program (2009-2010)
- NIE’s Academic and Administrative Systems Teaching Functions Committee (2008-2009)
- Organizing Committee of the International LangScape Conference 2006: Exploring Ways of Teaching English Language & Literature (2005-2006)
- ELL Academic Group’s Faculty Search/Hire Committee (April 2011-Feb 2012)
- ELL Academic Group’s Faculty Re-appointment Committee (Oct 2010-Feb 2012)
- NIE’s Head Search Committee appointed by Dean of Faculty Affairs of NIE for the Asian Languages and Cultures Academic Group (Feb 2011-Dec 2011)
- ELL Academic Group’s Research Ethics Committee (Jan 2011-Feb 2012)

External Service to the Ministry of Education, Singapore

- Consultant to the English Language Syllabus 2010 (Primary & Secondary (Express/ Normal [Academic])

Service to Other Institutions (Doctoral Thesis External Examiner)

- University of Otago, NZ
- University of Canterbury, NZ
- Auckland University of Technology, NZ
- Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
- Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong SAR
- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
- Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
- University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
- University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
- University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
- University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia

Areas of expertise

  • Second language acquisition and learning / TESOL
  • Bilingual-biliteracy acquisition/learning
  • Cognitive manipulation on the quality of L2 writers' composition
  • Codeswitched texts for learning vocabulary and reading comprehension
  • Self-regulated learning (SRL) and metacognition in language learning
  • Vocabulary, reading, and writing development in children and adult learners
  • Pedagogical grammar and grammar pedagogy
  • Second and foreign language teaching and learning
  • Language teacher professional development
  • Teacher identity, cognition and change

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Service for International Refereed Journals as an Invited Editorial/Advisory Board Member

Service for Regional Refereed Journals as an Invited Editorial/Advisory Board Member

Service for International Refereed Journals as Invited Manuscript Reviewer/Referee

Service as an Invited Reviewer/Referee for Edited Volumes and Authored Books


  • SAAL Quarterly (Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics, Singapore), (Aug 2005 - Jan 2009)
  • TESOL Quarterly (Brief Reports and Summaries) (TESOL International Association, USA, Wiley-Blackwell), (Dec 2012 - present) (SSCI-indexed)

Invited Reviewer for Professional Organisations

  • Invited Reviewer for Proposals to the AERA Annual Meeting: 2013, 2014, 2015, American Educational Research Association, USA.
  • Invited Reviewer for the BAAL Book Prize, British Association of Applied Linguistics (2008-2009), UK.
  • Invited Reviewer for Proposals, TESOL International Association's Annual Convention, USA: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 (Toronto, Canada), 2016.
  • Invited Reviewer for Proposals, AILA (International Association of Applied Linguistics), 2008 (Germany), 2011 (China), 2014 (Australia).
  • Invited Reviewer for the LangScape Conference on Teaching English Language and Literature, 2006, Singapore.
  • Invited Reviewer for the  American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Annaul Meeting, USA: 2012, 2013, 2015 (Toronto, Canada), 2016. 

Professional Association Memberships


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Zhang, L. J., Aryadoust, V., & Zhang, D. (2016). Taking stock of the effects of strategies-based instruction on writing in Chinese and English in Singapore primary schools. In R. E. Silver, W. Bokhorst-Heng (Eds.) Quadrilingual Education in Singapore: Pedagogical Innovation in Language Education (pp. 103-126). Singapore: Springer.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Donglan Zhang
  • Liu, Y., Zhang, L. J., & May, S. (2015). A corpus-based study on cultural representations in College English textbooks. Foreign Language World, 171, 85-93.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yanhong Liu
  • Mu, C., Zhang, L. J., Ehrich, J., & Hong, H. (2015). The use of metadiscourse for knowledge construction in Chinese and English research articles. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 20, 135-148. 10.1016/j.jeap.2015.09.003
  • Rahimi, M., & Zhang, L. J. (2015). Exploring non-native English-speaking teachers' cognitions about corrective feedback in teaching English oral communication. System, 55, 111-122. 10.1016/j.system.2015.09.006
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Muhammad Rahimi
  • Qi, F, & Zhang, L. J. (2015). A critical review of 40 years of contrastive rhetoric studies into L2 learners’ written discourse overseas and in China. Foreign Languages in China, 12 (6), 48-57.
  • He, X, & Zhang, L. J. (2015). A critical review of two decades of research on bridging inferences. Journal of Foreign Languages, 38 (6), 98-107.
  • Yang, C., & Zhang, L. J. (2015). Methodological considerations in second language writing research: A critical appraisal of the think-aloud technique. Second Language Learning Research, 1 (1), 41-50.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Chengsong Yang
  • Zhang, L. J., & Zhang, D. (15/7/2015). Enhancing Teachers' Professional Competence through Research Engagement. Paper presented at The 17th Biennial International Conference of the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (ISATT), Auckland, New Zealand. 13 July - 17 July 2015.


Contact details

  • Media Contact

Office hours

8.30 am - 5.30 pm, Monday through Friday

Primary location

Level 5 , Room 559A
New Zealand

Web links