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Language Centre

Photo of Dr Yan Wen-Thornton

Dr Yan Wen-Thornton

Senior Lecturer in Mandarin Chinese (E&S)


01392 725759



Senior Lecturer (E&S)


PhD in Manamgement ( Entrepreneurship)

MA in International Business Management

Other responsibilities and roles:

Coordinator(Team leader) for Asian languages ( Chinese, Japanese and Korean) 2013- present

Leading organizer for Open Days and OHVDs events 2013- present


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Research projects and research interests:

Dr Yan is the first PhD researcher, who studied the longitudinal study of Chinese women entrepreneurs that focused specifically on the Chinese governments three decades economic reform period from 1980s-2000s. Her research has made a significant contribution to women entrepreneurship and to discover how Chinese culture, government policy and massive domestic market demand have influenced and affected Chinese womens’ entrepreneurial identity and their motivation to start-up new companies. Furthermore, Dr Yan is interested in Gender, literature and Psychology studies, she was awarded a qualification in Psychology studies by Oxford University.

Key conferences and workshops:

  • Attended the “Intercultural Competence and Global Citizenship “Online National Conference , hosted by the University of Exeter. July 2023

  • Attended and contributed to the 8th LanGW4 Colloquium on Transition and Transgression, hosted by Cardiff University’s School of Modern Language. June 2023

  • Organised and led the Higher Education Young Talent Alliance (HEYTA) annual summit  hosted by the university of Exeter and supported by Tsinghua University and awarded  The Outstanding Advisor & Outstanding organiser by the UK-China Humanities Alliance (UKCHA). Sept.2022
  • Attended and contributed to the workshop on Teaching and Learning Chinese through Students' and Teachers' Perspectives organised by Macmillan Education and the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes University, July 2022
  • Paper title “The approach of intercultural competence in learning Chinese characters for Beginners “ , presented on  The 18th International Conference on Teaching and Learning Chinese in Higher Education, Organised by the British Chinese Language Teaching Society (BCLTS), hosted & co-organised by the Confucius Institute and Bangor University, July 2021
  • Organised  and led the event “East Asian Food Tasting to Celebrate New Year.( Due to Covid-19, we had to cancel it in the last minute. However, we had received more than 100 students and staff registered), Feb.2020
  • Paper title “How to apply Drama techniques to enhance speaking skills and motivation in the Advanced Chinese classroom”, presented  on International Symposium on Intercultural Communication and Chinese Language Teaching, hosted by King’s College London, June 2019.
  • Attended and contributed to the national conference “Reconsidering the Uniqueness and the Commonalities of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language”, hosted by Warwick University and Coventry University. July 2018
  • Attended the national conference Colloquium on Innovation in Modern Languages Education, hosted by Cardiff University. June 2017
  • Attended and contributed to the workshop “Subject expert panel for Modern Foreign Languages – Panel meeting for AS and AL, hosted by Cambridge International Examinations. Sept. 2015
  • Attended and contributed to the international conference -Association of University Language Centres in the UK and Ireland, hosted by The University of Cambridge. Jan. 2014
  • Organised and presented “A taste of Chinese language and culture “summer courses for international  students events hosted by international office, University of Exeter. 2011-2013
  • Involved and delivered  short courses for TESOL at INTO 2010-2012


Book: Years in the UK -《留英歲月》published by China 四川教育电子音像出版社 2021


Co-supervisor for MA Translation studies in Dissertation 2009-2011

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External impact and engagement

  •  External Examiner for University of Hertfordshire 2023-2027        
  • Project manager and Head academic manager for the Higher Education Young Talent Alliance (HEYTA) annual conference hosted by the University of Exeter and supported by Tsinghua University between June- Sept. 2022 
  • External Examiner for Oxford Brookes University 2016-2020
  • External Examiner for Keele University 2015-2019
  • External Examiner for York St John University 2015-2019
  • Co-founder (2005), Director & Senior Consultant in Education between China and Britain for Sino-British Consultants Ltd.

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