An internationally recognised linguistics academic has joined Edge Hill University.

Richard Xiao, formerly with the University of Central Lancashire, has been appointed programme leader of a new honours degree in English and Chinese Studies.

Richard, 42, will be instrumental in shaping and launching the new programme, which starts in September this year.

Richard comes with a highly impressive career record during which he has also held academic posts at Lancaster University and Zhejiang and Ningbo universities in China as well as working as a translator and interpreter in the Chinese shipping industry.

His research work into Chinese and English Linguistics has been prolific and earned him worldwide recognition. 

His most recent work, A Frequency Dictionary of Mandarin Chinese: Core Vocabulary for Learners aims to help students focus their language studies effectively rather than attempt to learn all 80,000 characters that exist in Mandarin.  His research involved studying some 70m Chinese characters and 50m Chinese words to determine which were used the most frequently and were therefore a priority to learn.

Richard is also an assessor for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), both in the UK, and for the Research Grants Council (RGC) in Hong Kong, National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).  

Richard said:

“Edge Hill has made an astute decision to get ahead of the game by offering a programme in Chinese Studies – and I am thrilled to be leading this.

“As China’s rise as a global power and emerging economy surges ahead, this course will allow students to develop linguistic and cultural competence in Chinese while also pursuing modules in English Language and/or Literature. “

Richard is married to Lyn and has a 15-year-old daughter, Yina.

Edge Hill is also offering a programme in Chinese Studies and Business aimed at students planning to work for UK companies in China or for UK businesses dealing with China.

For details on the BA (Hons) English and Chinese Studies programme or the BA (Hons) Chinese Studies and Business programme visit

To request a prospectus please contact our enquiries unit on Freephone 0800 195 5063 or

China awaits for the savvy student >>