Higher-degree research being undertaken by Hideo Watanabe




Professor Brian Paltridge and Associate Professor David Hirsh

Thesis title:

A critical discourse analysis of English-medium newspaper editorials on disputed islands in the East China Sea in the Chinese and Japanese press



Project description

The Chinese and Japanese governments both claim sovereignty over islands in the East China Sea, called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese. The dispute over the islands has become intense since the Japanese government purchased the islands from a private owner in 2012. Newspapers in the two countries have played an important role in appealing to not just domestic readers, but also international readers in this topic. This project aims to identify how Chinese and Japanese online newspaper editorials construct their arguments on the disputes islands in English from a linguistic perspective. To do this, the project explores text structure, evaluative language, and visual images in the editorials of the Chinese and Japanese newspapers, using genre, appraisal and multimodality frameworks developed within systemic functional linguistics. This project also adopts corpus techniques for selecting and analysing samples.

Hideo Watanabe is a full-time PhD student. Before he started a PhD degree, he was an English language teacher at high schools in Japan for 10 years. At the high schools, he worked as the head of the English department and developed English language courses. In 2014, he received a Master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Sydney.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award (2015-2018)
  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (2015-2018)
  • Trevor Miller Memorial Scholarship (2016)
  • Dean's award for the most outstanding dissertation (2014)


  • Watanabe, H. (2017). An examination of written genres in English language textbooks in Japan. Journal of Asia TEFL, 14(1), 64-80.
  • Watanabe, H. (2016). Genre analysis of writing tasks in Japanese university entrance examinations. Language Testing in Asia, 6, 1-14.

Conference presentations