Dr. Joseph Alvaro

Dr. Joe Alvaro holds a Ph.D. in critical discourse studies from the City University of Hong Kong, an MSc. in Teaching English (TESOL) from Aston University in the UK, and an Advanced TESOL Honours Diploma. Joe is interested in the role of critical literacy in English for Academic Purposes, rhetoric and composition, cross-cultural communications, and the development of World Englishes (a branch of socio-linguistics). As a Catholic, he is thrilled to be teaching English 110 to undergrads at Corpus Christi College and is looking forward to working with his new students.

Joe’s academic research focuses on the critical analysis of mediatized discourse at the intersection of language, ideology, and power. His articles have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Discourse & Society and World Englishes, as well as in the Encyclopaedia of Applied Linguistics. His guest editorials on human rights have appeared in the widely read Hong Kong Free Press. Originally from Vancouver, Joe has recently moved back and now lives with his family in the mid-town district of Kitsilano.




  • PhD in English at City University of Hong Kong, HK
  • MSc in TESOL at Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  • Advanced TESOL Diploma, Sprott-Shaw College, Vancouver, BC
  • TESL Certificate, ESL Teacher Training Centre, Vancouver, BC

Previous Appointments

University Canada West, Vancouver (2018—2020). Courses taught: English for academic purposes; Business Communications

Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar (2016—2018). Courses taught: English for academic purposes

City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong | Department of English (2009—2016). Courses taught: Freshman Composition; World Englishes

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, at S. China Normal University, Guangzhou | English Department (2006—2007). Courses taught: Academic English for Writing and Reading; Listening in Academic Lectures.


Journal articles

Alvaro, Joseph James (2015) Analyzing China’s English-language media. World Englishes 34(2): 260–277. DOI: 10.1111/weng.12137.

Alvaro, Joseph James (2013a) Discursive representations of a dissident: the case of Liu Xiaobo. Discourse & Society 24(3): 289–314. DOI:10.1177/0957926512471760.

Alvaro, Joseph James (2013b) Political discourse in China’s English-language press. World Englishes 32(2): 147–168. DOI: 10.1111/weng.12006.

Alvaro, J. (2004) Face-negotiation and politeness systems in an intercultural workplace. Chinese English Language Education Journal (CELEA) 27(5).


Alvaro, Joseph James and Bolton, Kingsley (2016) Political Discourse and World Englishes. In Carol A. Chapelle and Lia Plakans (Eds.) The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. John Wiley & Sons. DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal1462.

Media articles

Alvaro, J. (2018) As soft power fails, China turns to sharper measures. Hong Kong Free Press (3 March 2018). Available at: https://hongkongfp.com/2018/03/03/better-loved-feared-soft-power-fails-china-turns-sharper-measures/.

Alvaro, J. (2017) Death of Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is a reminder that the road to democracy is a long one. Hong Kong Free Press (14 July 2017). Available at: https://hongkongfp.com/2017/07/14/death-peace-prize-winner-liu-xiaobo-reminder-road-democracy-long-one/.

Alvaro, J. (2017) Human rights and Chinese culture. Hong Kong Free Press (10 September 2017). Available at: https://hongkongfp.com/2017/09/10/human-rights-chinese-culture-nation-stood-individual-far-not/.

Conference and seminar papers

Alvaro, Joseph James (2013) Mob Organizer: How China’s state-media portrays dissent. Research Seminar, City University of Hong Kong.

Alvaro, Joseph James (2013) Re-imagining the Chinese Hero. Imagining Globality Conference (2013), China Institute, University of Alberta at Edmonton, Canada.

Alvaro, Joseph James (2012) Harmonious Society? Political Terms in China’s English Press. World Englishes Conference (2012), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Alvaro, Joseph James (2011) The Discourse of Legitimization in China’s English Press: Notes on Theory and Practice. Research Seminar, City University of Hong Kong.

PhD Thesis available at: http://www.isfla.org/Systemics/Print/Theses/ALVARO-2014-phd.pdf. Alvaro, Joseph James (2014) The Language of Ideology in China’s English Press: Representations of Dissent. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of English, City University of Hong Kong.

Professional Societies

  • AILA (Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée)
  • SLS (Second Languages Studies)
  • Languages Canada
  • International Systemic Functional Linguistics Association

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