Associate Professor Ming Li staff profile picture

Contact details +6449793545

Associate Professor Ming Li PhD, MA

Associate Professor

Doctoral Supervisor
School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

I am originally from Kunming, China. I taught English language and literature at Yunnan Normal University, from 1980 to 1995. I was awarded a doctoral degree in intercultural communication by Latrobe University, Australia in 1999. I have taught a number of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels since my arrival in New Zealand in 2000: International Language and Business Communication, Business Communication, Cross-Cultural Communication, Introduction to Human Communication, Global Communication, and Managing Communications Technology. My research interests centre around international education, intercultural communication, migrant studies, and media and information literacy.


Contact details

  • Ph: ##64 4 801 5799 Ex 63525
    Location: 14, Block 5
    Campus: Wellington


  • Doctor of Philosophy - La Trobe University (1999)
  • Master of Arts - Yunnan Normal University (1987)

Certifications and Registrations

  • Licence, Supervisor, Massey University

Research Expertise

Research Interests

International education, intercultural communication, migrant studies, and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)

Research Opportunities

  • The acculturative experience of non-native English-speakiing doctoral students in New Zealand universities  (01/01/2013) The project investigates the acculturative experience of non-native English-speakiing doctoral students in New Zealand universities, the challenges and pedagogical approaches.


21st Century Citizenship, Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Asian Cultural Studies (200202): Cultural Studies (200200): Cultural Theory (200204):
Education (130000):
English as a Second Language (200303): Globalisation and Culture (200206): Language Studies (200300): Languages, Communication And Culture (200000): Migrant Cultural Studies (200208): Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies (200209)


International education

Intercultural communication

Migrant studies

Teaching English as a second/foreign language

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 4

Completed Projects

Project Title: Academic Acculturation: NESB Doctoral Students' Perceptions of Their Academic experience in New Zealand

The project investigated the major challenges non-native English speaking (NNES] doctoral students experienced in the process of academic acculturation in New Zealand universities. This study took a qualitative approach through in-depth semi-structured interviews with ten doctoral supervisors and twenty NNES doctoral students who were studying or had recently completed their doctoral studies in social science, humanities, and communication at New Zealand universities. The study found that the key challenges facing NNES doctoral students involved academic acculturation in the writing games, including norms and conventions, sets of rules, inconsistencies, ambiguities, mismatched expectations, formation of disciplinary identity, and advisor-advisee relationships. Most NNES doctoral students and supervisors believed that language, though an issue in academic acculturation, was not a major barrier as perceived by some other scholars. The study concludes that to be accepted into the academic community, NNES doctoral candidates need to understand the rules and conventions and skillfully play the writing games. Supervisors play a critical role in developing NNES doctoral candidates' skills in playing such games.
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Date Range: 2013 - 2013

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Project Title: Elderly Chinese Immigrants in New Zealand

This study examines the acculturative experiences, filial responsibilities and intergenerational communication between the elderly Chinese immigrants and their adult children in Wellington, New Zealand. Thirty-two elderly Chinese immigrants from mainland China participated in semi-structured interviews in late 2008 and early 2009. The study found that the levels of economic feasibility, acculturation and self-support for Chinese elderly immigrants determined the probability and desirability of living arrangements in the form of co-residence or independent living. Changes in economic and social status, roles, intergenerational boundaries and the changed socio-cultural environments challenged the Chinese traditional concept of filial piety and weakened the ties and bonds between the elderly migrants and their adult children. A large majority of the participants lived independently in state houses in spite of their old age, language and cultural barriers, social isolation, poor health and feelings of abandonment. Separate living arrangements and the effective government financial and housing support and services helped them regain their self-identity, self-worth, independence, and freedom to manage their own life, finance, and social activities. The study highlights the importance of care for the general wellbeing and the quality of life of the elderly Chinese immigrants in New Zealand.
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Date Range: 2008 - 2009

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Consultancy and Languages


  • Mandarin and English
    Last used: English and Mandarin
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching Statement

Business communication

Intercultural communication

Courses Coordinated

  • 219.303 Organisational Communication
  • 219.304 Cross-Cultural Communication
  • 219.704 International and Intercultural Communication

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Main Supervisor 2 0
Co-supervisor 1 1

Current Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • Zhidan Zhou - Doctor of Philosophy
    Cultural Learning Approach to Acculturation: Teaching and Learning between Native English-Speaking Teachers and University English Majors in Yunnan, China
  • Liping Xu - Doctor of Philosophy
    WHEN EXPECTATIONS MEET REALITY. Exploring Chinese tertiary graduates’ post-study transitional experience and migratory outcomes in New Zealand

Co-supervisor of:

  • George Ding - Doctor of Philosophy
    Have the lessons been learned? Exploring intercultural crisis communication issues in Chinese-New Zealand dairy trade

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2016 - Min Wang - Doctor of Philosophy
    Homecoming: Foreign-educated Returnees' Experience of Reentry into Chinese Universities in Yunnan Province, China

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