School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Chongjun Liao

PhD Student in Interpreting Studies


Chongjun (Stephen) Liao


Dr. Fred Wu and Dr. Yalta Chen

Exploring Textual Factors Influencing Source Speech Difficulty: A Study on English-Chinese Simultaneous Interpreting

The proposed project tries to investigate what textual factors contribute to source speech difficulty in English-Chinese simultaneous interpreting (SI). Aiming at filling the gap in current interpreting studies/interpreter training practice where there seems to be no consensus in what criteria shall be used for choosing source speech in interpreting training/tests, this project looks at the textual factors that may induce source speech difficulty. Hopefully, a framework describing textual factors influencing source speech difficulty will be available upon project completion, which will contribute to both assessment (improved test reliability) and curriculum (sequenced speeches based on incremental difficulty) of interpreter training.

Research Interests

Interpreter training and assessment, corpus linguistics, cognitive psychology, qualitative and quantitative research methods


2014-2015, 2017- Postgraduate teaching assistant for MA interpreting programme, School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University, UK

2010-2014 Lecturer, School of Interpreting and Translation, Beijing International Studies University, China (CIUTI member institute)

Professional Background

Active conference interpreter since 2009. Provided simultaneous/consecutive interpreting service to more than 300 conferences in subject areas of IT, automotive, energy, environment, etc. Clients include the UN/EU missions in China, the Chinese central government, the British government, and various Fortune 500 companies.

Notable clients in the UK: Secretary of State, British Ambassadors to China, City Council leader of Manchester/Leeds, Office for Nuclear Regulation, Lord Mayor of London, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, etc.

Professional Qualifications

China Aptitude Test for Translators and Interpreters (CATTI):

Level-I (Interpreting), passed in 2013 (top-level accreditation for professional interpreters in China)

Level-II (Interpreting), passed in 2009

Level-II (Translation), passed in 2009


2015- Member, Chartered Institute of Linguists, UK


Z. Wei, C. Liao (2013). “A Corpus-based Analysis on Word Frequency and Collocation of Translation Students.” Shandong Foreign Language Teaching Journal (4):60-61.

C. Liao (2012). “A Study on Improving Communicative Competence in Consecutive Interpreter Training.” Examination Weekly (58):68-69.

Funding and awards 

2017- Full PhD Scholarship, China Scholarship Council

2017 The 29th CETRA Research Summer School Scholarship, KU Leuven, Belgium

2009 Runner-up, the 2nd China National Interpreting Competition (SI Group), Beijing, China


2014-2016 Master by Research in Translation Studies (with Distinction), School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University, UK

2008-2010 MA in Translation and Interpreting, Sichuan International Studies University, China

2004-2008 BA in English, Sichuan International Studies University, China