Xin's background is in second language learning and teaching. She gained a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from Ji Lin University, China, a Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching English for Academic Purposes (PGCTEAP) and a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Nottingham.
Xin is a Course Leader for the MA Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL), the only Masters in the country that prepares foreign language teachers of Chinese. Also, she is an Academic Misconduct Officer, MA TESOL (web-based) dissertation supervisor and MA TESOL (face-to-face) tutor in the School of Education.
Xin is currently module convenors of Exploring TCSOL in Context and Understanding L2 Chinese Learning & the Learner, and teaching Materials and Technology in Language Education for both… read more
Xin's opportunities to get involved in the higher education sector both in China and in the UK have provided her with a stimulus as well as a laboratory for her research work.
As one of the pioneering staff at the Nottingham Ningbo campus, she developed and conducted various research projects (e.g. A longitudinal investigation on Chinese students' beliefs about language learning in a hybrid immersion context; developing EAP materials for Chinese learners; Tracking students' performance in the first year at the university). This research informed the Center's service of preparing international students with academic English and study skills.
Xin contributed to a range of internally and externally funded research project as analyst, co-investigator and lead researcher, including an ESRC project on Pedagogical quality and social inequity at the undergraduate level, Enhancing students' cross campus integration between the University of Nottingham's UK and international campuses, Investigating the academic literacy demands of disciplines and students' literacy needs, Developing a teaching and learning guide for managing multi-cultural group discussion, Shared walk - supporting the elderly with visual communication, and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in Chinese higher education: Issues and directions.
More recently, she was a co-investigator and lead researcher for the School's Teaching Transformation 'Sandpit' project Exploring the TCSOL/TESOL/TEAP international alumni teacher experience through case study and narrative inquiry, and the Strategic Research and Knowledge Exchange project on Integration and church-based English language provision in the UK: Investigating refugee communicative demands and training needs of teachers of English as a second language in the church context.
She is currently co-supervising three PhD students and four more successfully completed.
GAO, X and LU, Z. S, 2013. EAP issues in a Chinese university and their implications In: The BALEAP conference, Nottingham, UK.
LU, Z. S. and GAO, X., 2012. Short-term study abroad: What implications for EAP? In: The 8th International Symposium on Teaching English at Tertiary Level and the 17th Conference of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, Beijing, China.
GAO, X., 2011. English Language Education in China Nottingham China Reference. 2, 23-26
THONDHLANA, J and & GAO, X., 2009. Investigating academic demands and students’ communicative needs in a globalised university of the 21st Century: Reflections on a needs analysis Journal of the English for Specific Purposes SIG. 33, 10-15
Xin is currently module convenors of Exploring TCSOL in Context and Understanding L2 Chinese Learning & the Learner, and teaching Materials and Technology in Language Education for both face-to-face and web-based MA TESOL programmes.
She taught Fundamentals in Research Methods (- as module convenor) at the undergraduate level and Research Methods in Teaching and Learning Languages at the postgraduate level. She offered research trainings of Further Qualitative Research for the Graduate School.