Professor Li Wei FBA

Language contact; bilingualism and multilingualism; language learning, and language education

Elected 2021

Headshot of Li Wei
Fellow type
UK Fellow
Year elected

Professor Li Wei is a linguist working in the interdisciplinary fields of language contact, bilingualism and multilingualism, language learning, and the education of bilingual and multilingual children. He has led numerous research projects funded by ESRC, AHRC, Leverhulme and Nuffield as well international funding agencies, including the British Academy special project on the cognitive benefits of language learning. He has won the British Association of Applied Linguistics Book Prize twice. He was Chair of the University Council of General and Applied Linguistics (UCGAL) between 2012 and 2015. He is currently Editor of the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism and Applied Linguistics Review.

Professor Li Wei is of Manchu-Chinese heritage, and received an MA in English Language Studies (with Distinction) and PhD in Speech Sciences at Newcastle University where he worked for over twenty years. He was the first Head of School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle between 2002 and 2006. He held a number of leadership roles at Birkbeck College, University of London between 2007 and 2014, including being Pro-Vice-Master for Research and Postgraduate Studies. He joined UCL in 2015 and was Director of the ESRC UBEL (UCL, Bloomsbury and East London) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), as well as Chair of the Bloomsbury Colleges Research Committee (UCL IOE, Birkbeck, SOAS, LSHTM and RVC) until 2021. He was a member of the Education sub-panel for REF2014.

Past appointments

Birkbeck College, University of London Pro-Vice-Master

2011 - 2014

Birkbeck College, University of London Chair of Applied Linguistics

2007 - 2014

University of Newcastle upon Tyne Head of School

2002 - 2006

University of Newcastle upon Tyne Professor of Applied Linguistics

1998 - 2006

University of London Birkbeck College,

Institute of Education, University College London Director and Dean

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