by  Jade Du

  1. Q: Hi, Janny, thank you for sparing time to do the interview. To begin with, can you tell us something about your background?
  2. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and am an alumna of HKU. I also worked briefly as a Research Assistant in the HKU School of English (Department of English then) before leaving for Cambridge to do my postgraduate studies.

  3. Q: Why did you choose to become an academic? Before you joined the School of English, have you taken up any job before?
  4. Before I did my PhD I worked as a journalist for an English newspaper, covering mostly local news. I have also taught at HKUST and in other tertiary programmes, and done freelance work in language and photography-related fields.

  5. Q: What do you enjoy most in your current job?
  6. I have the nicest colleagues, seriously. Senior colleagues have been particularly supportive. The flexible hours and independence are also important aspects of the job for me. As for teaching, I find it rewarding to see positive changes in students, as people as well as learners. In research I like seeing the evolution of ideas. And of course, the sea view in the new campus is also very enjoyable.

  7. Q: I know that you have done research in different fields, such as, language and law, second-language acquisition and translation. Can you share with us sources of your inspirations and tips on publishing outstanding academic papers? 
  8. My research is all about real-world problems, and I believe knowledge knows no disciplinary boundaries. I have gained multiple perspectives from my various sorts of training. I also think researchers are active thinkers, and that logical reasoning is underrated, in that people too often follow the well-travelled paths in their thinking and stop asking questions.

  9. Q: Can you introduce some research projects that you have conducted or you are working on currently?
  10. My latest research question is how having two or more official languages impacts on the delivery of justice. Hong Kong is one of the youngest jurisdictions in the world that has adopted a bilingual legal system, so it makes an especially good case study.

  11. Q: I have learned that you will be a visiting scholar at Harvard University in the coming year. Can you tell us your plan during your stay there?
  12. Following on from my last answer, I aim to complete a book on legal bilingualism while I am there. Also hoping to sit in as many lectures as possible and immerse myself in the intellectual environment of the place.

  13. Apart from work, what do you usually do in your spare time? How do you relax and handle pressure?
  14. I enjoy photography and travelling. I have been to 48 countries and I particularly like visiting developing countries. These days I try to play with my nieces every week, which I find is a particularly good way of relieving stress.

Thank you very much for your time. We sincerely wish you great success in your work and life.


Published on: May 2, 2013 < Back >