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Andrew Sewell

Associate Professor

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 2616 7782

  • Biography

    Andrew Sewell’s research in applied linguistics and sociolinguistics focuses on various aspects of English as an international language, including local varieties of English, intelligibility issues in international communication, pronunciation teaching and testing, metalinguistic discourse, and language ideologies. His work has appeared in journals such as World Englishes, System, International Journal of Applied Linguistics and the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation. His first book, English Pronunciation Models in a Globalized World, was published by Routledge in 2016.

    He began his teaching career with VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas, a British development organisation) and spent two years as the only foreign English teacher in a small town in China’s Shaanxi province. After working in South Korea for another two years he taught Tibetan students on an English teacher training programme at Qinghai Normal University (funded by Trace Foundation, a US-based development organisation). He also worked in the UK and Macau before arriving in Hong Kong in 2005.

  • Academic & Professional Qualifications
    • PhD (Lingnan)

    • MA (Leicester)

    • RSA/Cambridge Cert. TEFL

    • BSocSc (Birmingham)

  • Teaching Experience
    • Associate Professor, Department of English, Lingnan University (2017-present)

    • Assistant Professor, Department of English, Lingnan University (2011-2017)

    • Senior Teaching Fellow, Department of English, Lingnan University (2005-2011)

    • Trainer in English for Specific Purposes, MPI-Bell, Macau (2003-2005)

    • Teacher of English and English for Specific Purposes, Bell School of Languages, Norwich, UK (2002-2003)

    • Teacher of English, Nationalities College, Qinghai Normal University, China (1999-2002)

    • Teacher of English, Wonkwang University, South Korea (1997-1999)

    • Teacher of English, Ankang Teachers’ College, China (1995-1997)

  • Areas of Interest
    • Applied linguistics (the teaching and testing of English pronunciation, intelligibility issues in international communication, English language teaching)

    • Sociolinguistics (accent variation and language attitudes/ideologies, metalinguistic discourse, World Englishes, English as a lingua franca, language and globalization)

  • Courses Taught
    • ENG2102 Practical Phonetics

    • ENG3271 English Phonology

    • ENG4301 Final Year Project

  • Selected Publications

    Books and edited volumes

    • Archibald, J., O’Brien, M. G., and Sewell, A., eds. (2022) L2 Phonology Meets L2 Pronunciation (Research Topic collection and e-book). Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA.
    • Sewell, A. (2016) English pronunciation models in a globalized world: Accent, acceptability and Hong Kong English. London and New York: Routledge.

    Journal articles and book chapters

    • Ho, J., and Sewell, A. (2023). Exploring mediated representations of migrant domestic workers in the Chinese-language media in Hong Kong. Ethnicities. (ahead of print)
    • Sewell, A. (2022). The Hong Kong English accent continuum: insights from implicational scaling. Asian Englishes, 1-21.
    • Sewell, A. (2021) 'Functional load and the teaching-learning relationship in L2 pronunciation'. Frontiers in Communication 6.
    • Sewell, A. (2019) 'Whose English(es)?: Naming and boundary-drawing as language ideological processes in the global English debate'. In Worldwide English language education today: Ideologies, policies and practices (A.AI-Issa & S.-A. Mirhosseini, eds). London and New York: Routledge, 1-17
    • Sewell, A. (2019) ‘”Late dividends of the British Empire”: Language ideologies and the native/non-native question in online newspaper comments.’ Journal of English as a Lingua Franca 8/1, 125-153.

    • Sewell, A. (2017) ‘Functional load revisited: Reinterpreting the findings of “lingua franca” intelligibility studies.’ Journal of Second Language Pronunciation 3/1, 57-79.

    • Sewell, A. and Chan, J. (2016) ‘Hong Kong English, but not as we know it: Kongish and language in late modernity.’ International Journal of Applied Linguistics 26/3, 1-12.

    • Sewell, A. (2016) ‘Pronunciation assessment in Asia’s world city: Implications of a lingua franca approach in Hong Kong.’ In Second language pronunciation assessment: Interdisciplinary perspectives (T. Isaacs and P. Trofimovich, eds). Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 237-255.

    • Sewell, A. (2015) ‘The intranational intelligibility of Hong Kong English accents.’ System 49, 86-97.

    • Sewell, A. (2015) ‘Variety and community: a conceptual challenge for English in the world.’ In The Future of English in Asia: Perspectives on language and literature (M. O’Sullivan, C. Lee and D. Huddart, eds). London and New York: Routledge, 57-74.

    • Setter, J., Sewell, A. and Ryder, C. (2014) ‘The Hong Kong English accent: judgements by listeners in Britain.’ Concordia Working Papers in Applied Linguistics 5, 650-666.

    • Sewell, A. (2013) ‘Language testing and international intelligibility: a Hong Kong case study.’ Language Assessment Quarterly 10/4, 423-443.

    • Sewell, A. (2013) ‘English as a Lingua Franca: ontology and ideology.’ ELT Journal 67/1, 3-10.

    • Li, S., and Sewell, A. (2012) ‘Phonological features of China English.’ Asian Englishes 15/2, 80-101.

    • Sewell, A. (2012) ‘The Hong Kong English accent: variation and acceptability.’ The Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics 13/2, 1-21.

    • Sewell, A. (2010) ‘Research methods and intelligibility studies.’ World Englishes 29/2, 257-269.

    • Sewell, A., and Chan, J. (2010) ‘Patterns of variation in the consonantal phonology of Hong Kong English’ English World-Wide 31/2, 138-161.

    • Sewell, A. (2009) ‘World Englishes, English as a Lingua Franca and the case of Hong Kong English.’ English Today 25, 37-43.‘‘

  • Recent Conference Presentations

    Keynote and plenary lectures

    • (2017) ‘The end of innocence: applied linguistics and boundary-drawing in the new age of nationalism.’ Plenary lecture at DRAL/ESEA (Doing Research in Applied Linguistics 3 / 19th English in South-East Asia Conference 2017), King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Bangkok, June 23rd.

    Invited talks

    • (2018) ‘English is a lingua franca: a lingua franca perspective on business English and its implications for language testing in an age of mobility’. Symposium at the Language Testing Research Colloquium, University of Auckland, July 3rd.

    • (2015) ‘Intelligibility and World Englishes: Three phases of studies.’ Moscow State University, April 27th.

    Other recent presentations

    • (2016) ‘English accents of the world: investigating intra-speaker and inter-speaker variation in the Speech Accent Archive.’ New Sounds 2016: 8th International Conference on Second-Language Speech, Aarhus University, June 11th.

    • (2015) ‘Decentering, recentering and the Hong Kong English dictionary.’ The Sociolinguistics of Globalization: (De)centring and (de)standardization, The University of Hong Kong, June 4th.

    • (2015) ‘Unboxing language: English is a lingua franca.’ Changing English: Integrating Cognitive, Social and Typological Perspectives, University of Helsinki, June 9th.

  • Media Activities


    • (2015) ‘Don't believe all the hype about HK's falling English standards.’ South China Morning Post, 10 October.

    • (2017) ‘China should choose its English teachers based on skill, not country of origin.’ South China Morning Post, 23 November.


    • (2015) 'How Hong Kong became a hub ... for hubs.’ South China Morning Post, 26 July.

    • (2015) '”Kongish”' speaks to hearts of Hong Kongers. Straits Times, 14 December.

  • Professional Activities
    • External examiner for PhD by Li Yuting, ‘Early Cantonese Transliterations as the Phonological Basis for Modern Hong Kong English’, Hong Kong Baptist University (2019)

    • Tenure reviewer for Zayed University, UAE (2019)

    • Book proposal reviewer for Cambridge University Press (2018)

    • Manuscript reviewer for journals including Language Learning, Applied Linguistics, TESOL Quarterly, System, World Englishes, and Multilingua.

  • Funded Research Projects
    • The 'falling standards' debate: Metalinguistic discourse, language ideologies and stories of English in Hong Kong. Funded by Hong Kong RGC GRF, HK$326,620 (2020-21)