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Cong Xia Li

Cong Xia Li profile picture
  • Language Lead for Mandarin Chinese

  • Language Lead for Russian


Miller 104

Building location

Miller building

Areas of interest

Teaching interests:

  • Beginner’s Chinese to Advanced Chinese
  • Intercultural Competence and Identity
  • Chinese history (post 1949) and contemporary Chinese literature
  • Pre-U Chinese
  • A Level Chinese
  • GCSE Chinese

 Research interests:

  • Teaching Chinese as a Foreign (Second) language
  • Foreign language teaching and acquisition
  • Intercultural Competence 


I teach and convene all Mandarin Chinese modules offered at the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP):

  • LA1PC1 Mandarin Chinese Stage 1
  • LA1PC2 Mandarin Chinese Stage 2
  • LA1PC3 Mandarin Chinese Stage 3
  • LA1PC8 Mandarin Chinese Fast Track (Not run this year)

I also contribute to a 40-credit Identities module run by the School of Literature and Languages.

Research centres and groups

Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)

Research projects

Developing Intercultural Competence of Mandarin Learners through Task-Based Learning Approach


I have been teaching Mandarin Chinese at the University of Reading since 2007. Since 2013 I have been the Coordinator for Mandarin Chinese, overseeing the smooth running of the Mandarin Chinese provision at the IWLP. Apart from teaching at IWLP, I have offered lessons at the School of Continuing Education, Admissions and Outreach events at the University. 

In addition to my experience at the HE sector, I also worked at secondary schools including St Paul’s Girls School, Eton College and the Abbey School for 8 years (and was the Head of Chinese at the Abbey School for 4 years).

Academic qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Reading)
  • EdD candidate (Reading)
  • MA (Reading)

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Member of British Chinese Language Teachers Society (BCLTS)
  • Member of European Association of Chinese teaching (Association Europeene De l' Enseignement Du Chinois)

Conference presentations

  • “Virtual Exchange and Teaching Chinese as a foreign language”, Open University 2022, Annual BCLTS conference
  • “Opportunities and Challenges of Implementing Virtual Exchange Programme”  Innoconf 2021, University of Reading
  • “Differentiation in teaching mixed class with Chinese Heritage and L2 students”. University of Dublin 2019, 2nd Internal Symposium of the European Association of Chinese Teaching, European Association of Chinese Teaching Conference
  • “Teaching mixed class with Chinese Heritage and L2 students”, Lancaster University 2019. The 17th BCLTS International Conference
  • “Technology enhanced teaching in Chinese Classroom and beyond”, co-presenter, University of Reading 2018, IWLP Showcase
  • “Differentiation and its application in Chinese classrooms”, University of Southampton 2017, the 15th BCLTS International Conference
  • “Differentiation and its application in Chinese classrooms”, University of Reading 2016, IWLP Staff Showcase