Weeks 127 and 128: My fourth conference

I returned to the UK on Saturday evening after a 12-hour KLM flight from Hong Kong (transferring at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport). I had little time to recuperate before I was back at work on Monday.

Before flying to Hong Kong, Week 127 was spent preparing teaching materials for teachers who agreed to cover my classes during my absence. I really appreciated my colleagues’ support and wanted to make sure that I prepared everything they would need to cover my classes, hoping that it would reduce my colleagues’ preparation time.


Conference in Hong Kong

This eight-day conference trip was full of fun, new experiences, learning, delicious Cantonese meals, meeting scholars in the field of linguistics and seeing friends both old and new! I want to write about so many things, but first of all, I would like to sum up what I did and learnt at the conference.



It was the largest international conference I’ve ever attended in my PhD life, in terms of the number of attendees and parallel sessions.

The previous conferences I attended in the UK were dedicated to applied linguistics and clinical communication. Relatively speaking, they were smaller, with researchers numbering in the hundreds. This conference on Pragmatics had a thousand researchers and scientists from a variety of fields and primarily from Asian countries.

I decided to attend the conference because one of the panels focused on health communication in Asian contexts, and one was on pragmatic aspects of the Japanese language. Other panels were dedicated to political discourse, corporate discourse, etc. One of my supervisors also attended and gave a talk. I presented my poster. The parallel sessions included many interesting topics, and I was so indecisive about which ones to go to!

I also talked to many researchers whom I had met at previous conferences. We immediately recognised each other.


My poster session

The main reason I decided to take part in the poster session was that there might be more chance to present my research to busy scholars and to have a deeper discussion with someone.

Making an academic poster wasn’t easy at all. I struggled to design my qualitative analysis in a limited space. I made it as concise as possible, but I still regret not spending more time revising and checking it and getting feedback from my supervisors.

During the 105-minute poster session, I talked non-stop. Many people spoke to me before reading my poster, saying, “Could you explain your work?” I tried not to repeat the same sentences as those in the poster. My supervisors had given me some advice: “Please don’t read your poster aloud.”

Overall, I liked my first poster experience. My expectations proved right: I was able to have more in-depth discussions with people from different backgrounds and gain much advice and suggestions for further analysis. Any comment I receive at conferences is always helpful and makes me appreciate a new angle.



What I particularly liked about the conference programme was the diversity of the approaches. Discussing different methodologies and the difficulties researchers experienced was fantastic. A professor said that the study of health communication, which is relatively new, is in its “adolescence”. There is so much room for improvement in the study field, and we also accept that many methods fit some contexts beautifully.



Post-conference cocktail, Singapore Sling!


My achievements in Weeks 127 and 128

  • presented my research poster at the conference
  • enjoyed my stay in HK and had quality time with my friends

Goals for Week 129

  • check the first proof of my article for an online journal
  • work on a section of the methodology chapter