Muhammad Afzaal

  • Associate Professor

  • Research: Corpus Linguistics, Discourse Analysis

  • Office: Building 5 # 154

  • Tel: +86-21-67705197

  • Email: afzaal AT shisu DOT edu DOT cn

  • Profile

  • Publications

  • Project

  • Teaching

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Dr. Muhammad Afzaal joined the institute of Corpus Studies and Applications, Shanghai International Studies University, China after gaining his PhD at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China and extensive research fellow experience at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, and seven years teaching experience at Foundation University Islamabad, Pakistan. His PhD research includes a corpus-based analysis of discourses on the Belt and Road Initiative . He received the Yang Yong research award from Shanghai Jiao Tong University's graduate school in China. Afzaal’s research interests include topics in the areas of corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, translation studies, and, more particularly the merging of language sciences with NLP and big data.Research interestsCorpus linguistics and discourse analysis, corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS)Language use in media discourseLanguage and big dataLanguage and politicsTranslation studies Note: Currently, I am working on the representation of China’s BRI in texts published in the last decade by using deep learning and sentiment analysis. If anyone interested, he/she can contact me.


2022 Forthcoming Publications

  • Muhammad Afzaal & Swaleha Bano Naqvi (2022) How strategic representations together with geo-political and economic dynamics are mediating the global image of Chinaʻs Belt Road Initiative, Asia Pacific Business Review, DOI: 10.1080/13602381.2022.2040179

  • Afzaal., M (2022). A Review of Digital Humanities, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things (IoT) in Applied Linguistics' to the International Journal of Applied Linguistics. International Journal of Applied Linguistics

  • Huang., B. & Afzaal., M. A Review of Conducting Sentiment Analysis by Lei Lei and Dilin Liu Cambridge University Press: 2021. 96 pp. International Journal of Applied Linguistics. International Journal of Applied Linguistics., INJAL. SSCI

  • Peng., Z & Afzaal., M. (2022). Review of Integrating Gestures: The Dimension of Multimodality in Cognitive Grammar. Review of Cognitive Linguistics.20(2).

  • Huang., B. & Afzaal., M. (2022). A Review of Conducting Sentiment Analysis by Lei Lei and Dilin Liu Cambridge University Press: 2021. 96 pp.

  • Afzaal, M. Peng, & Yu. (2022). Discursive shifts in mediatisation of Donald Trump’s memes in the context of US-China economic relationships: A multimodal critical discourse analysis. Social Semiotics.

  • Afzaal, M., Swaleha & Hammad. (2022). Misrepresentation of ‘Corona Virus’ in Donald Trump’s Media Talks: A Critical Discourse Analysis. VFAST.

  • Academic Publications:


  • Muhammad Afzaal & Swaleha Bano Naqvi (2022) How strategic representations together with geo-political and economic dynamics are mediating the global image of Chinaʻs Belt Road Initiative, Asia Pacific Business Review, DOI: 10.1080/13602381.2022.2040179

  • Afzaal, M., Zhang, C., & Chishti, M. I. (2022). Comrades or contenders: A corpus-based study of China's Belt and Road in US diplomatic discourse. Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, 20578911211069709.

  • Afzaal, M., & Liu, K. (2022). Review of Kramsch’s Language as symbolic power. Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics (ARAL). Doi:

  • SIU, B. W., & Afzaal, M. (2022). Introducing English for research publication purposes. John Flowerdew and Pejman Habibie. Routledge, p. 157. ISBN: 978‐0‐367‐33059‐0, $55 (hardcover). International Journal of Applied Linguistics. DOI: 10.1111/ijal.12413. SSCI

  • Du X, Afzaal M and Al Fadda H (2022) Collocation Use in EFL Learners’ Writing Across Multiple Language Profciencies: A Corpus- Driven Study. Front. Psychol. 13:752134. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.752134


  • Liu, Y., & Afzaal, M. (2021) A Review of 100 Years of conference interpreting: A legacy. Edited by Kilian G. Seeber, Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Newcastle upon Tyne, Price:£ 64.99, 242 pp. ISBN: 1‐5275‐6719‐2.

  • Afzaal, M., & Ilyas M., (2021). Exploring Image of China in the Diplomatic Discourse: A Critical Discourse Analysis. Journal of Development and Social Sciences DOI:

  • Liu. K, & Afzaal, M., (2021), Syntactic Complexity in Translated and non-translated texts: A Corpus-based study of Simplification, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0253454 (PLOS ONE), SSCI WOS Indexed Journal. IF. 3.240, Q1.

  • Afzaal, M. & Liu, K., (2021) Complexity thinking in translation studies methodological considerations, Asian Journal of Communication, SSCI, IF. 1.89 DOI: 10.1080/01292986.2021.1990369

  • Liu. K, & Afzaal, M. (2021). Translator’s Style through Lexical Bundles: A Corpus-driven Analysis of Two English Translations of Hongloumeng, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.633422.  Frontiers in Psychology, SSCI, IF. 2.990, Q1.

  • Liu, C., & Afzaal, M. (2021). Liang, X. (2019). A Discourse Analysis of News Translation in China . Routledge.: Book review. Linguistica Antverpiensia, New Series – Themes in Translation Studies, SSCI.

  • Afzaal, M. (2021). China’s Belt and Road Initiative: challenges, doubts and legal implications. Asia Pacific Business Review, 1-14., DOI: 10.1080/13602381.2021.1978239. WOS, SSCI, Q1 IF 2.361.

  • Afzaal, M. (2021). Prospects for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): implications, assessment and challenges. Asia Pacific Business Review. WOS, SSCI, Q1 IF 2.361doi:

  • Afzaal, M. Chishti, Chao and Zhang. (2021) Metadiscourse in Chinese and American Graduate Dissertation Introductions. Manuscript DOI: 10.1080/23311983.2021.1970879 Journal: Cogent Arts & Humanities, Q2. SCOPUS. Taylor and Francis.

  • Liu, K., & Afzaal, M. (2021). Academic Writing with Corpora: A Resource Book for Data-Driven Learning. International Journal of Applied Linguistics. doi:10.1111/ijal.12342. . WILEY, WOS, SSCI, Q1 IF 1.15.

  • Naqvi, S. B., Afzaal, M., & Mushtaq, H. (2021) A study of teacher induction and development within a UK adult ESOL educational setting. Pakistan Journal of Society, Education and Language (PJSEL), 7(2), 274-283. Retrieved from

  • Afzaal, M., Mushtaq, H., & Naqvi, S. B. (2021). GENDERED DISCOURSE ON WOMEN'S IDENTITY: A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF'OUR LADY OF ALICE BHATTI'. Pakistan Journal of Society, Education and Language (PJSEL), 7(1), 308-317.

  • Jabeen, S., Afzaal, M., & Akhtar, A. (2021). Collaborative Teaching: Bringing Language Teaching to the English Content Classroom. Int J Edu Sci, 32(1-3), 12-23.

  • Liu, K., & Afzaal, M. (2021). Review of Capan, dos Reis & Grasten (2021): The Politics of Translation in International Relations. Journal of Language and Politics. doi: WOS, SSCI, Q1 IF 0.8999.

  • Liu.K, Afzaal, M., Alalwi, F. (2021), Pedagogical Approaches and Instructional Variations: A Comparative Curriculum Analysis of Master Translation Programs in China, Hong Kong and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Psychology and Education, Vol 57, Issue 9, Scopus Indexed.

  • Baoqin, W., & Afzaal, M. (2021). The pragmatics of text messaging making meaning in messages: Critical Discourse Studies, 18(2), 301-303.

  • Afzaal, M., & Liu, K. (2021). Gender, discourse and ideology in Italian: Authored by Formato, Federica,(2019), Palgrave Studies in Language, Gender and Sexuality, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN Hard 978-3-319-96556-7, Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-07213-1 Price, 93, 59€ pp. 299. Gender, Place & Culture A Journal of Feminist Geography.. doi: WOS, SSCI, Q1.

  • Li, W., & Afzaal, M. New Directions in Second Language Pragmatics (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs). Félix‐Brasdefer CJ, and Shively R.(2021). De Gruyter Mouton. International Journal of Applied Linguistics. doi: WILEY, WOS, SSCI, Q1, IF 1.15.


  • Imran, M., Afzaal, M., Almas, N., & Mushtaq, H. (2020). Thematic Parallels in Shakespeare and the 19th Century Urdu Poetry: A Comparative Study. Revista da Anpoll, 51(3), 84-95.

  • Khan Z, Changgang, G. & Afzaal, M. (2020) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at the Cross Intersection of China, Central Asia and South Asia: Opportunities for Regional Economic Growth, The Chinese Economy, 53:2, 200-215, DOI:10.1080/10971475.2019.1688005

  • Afzaal, M. (2020). Belt and Road: A Chinese world order. Asia Pacific Business Review. doi: WOS, SSCI, Q1 IF 2.361.

  • Khan, Z., Changgang, G., Afzaal, M., Ahmad, R., & Aron Issack, S. (2020). Debunking criticism on the China-Pakistan economic corridor. The Chinese Economy, 53(6), 477-487.

  • Imran, M., Afzaal, M., Akhtar, S., & Ahmad, S. (2020). Igualdad de género y disposiciones sobre cuotas: un desarrollo sostenible en la participación de las mujeres en la política en Pakistán. Dilemas contemporáneos: Educación, Política y Valores.

  • Haberman, P., Afzaal, M., Ghaffar, A., & Alfadda, H. (2020). Various Roles in the Development of EFL Learners' English Skills. International Journal of Instruction, 13(4), 609-622.

  • Zhang, H., Afzaal, M., & Liu, C. (2020). American Populism in Digital Era: Strategies of Manipulation in Donald Trump’s Election Tweets. Revista Argentina de Clínica Psicológica, 29(3), 1273-1280.

  • Tingyu, L., & Afzaal, M. (2020). Attitude and Identity Categorizations: A Corpus-based Study of Chinese Animated Movie of Ne Zha Zhi Mo Tong Jiang Shi. International Journal of Future Generation Communication and Networking, 13(4), 2001-2020.

  • Qiuhan, L., Afzaal, M., Alaudan, R., & Younas, M. (2020). COVID 19 pandemic and online education in Hong Kong: An exploratory study. International Journal on Emerging Technologies, 11(5), 411-418.

  • Afzaal, M. (2020). Book review: Kennet Lynggaard, Discourse Analysis and European Union Politics (Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics). Discourse Studies, 22(issue 5). doi: WOS, SSCI, Q1 IF 1.91

  • Afzaal, M., Liu, K., Wu, B., Sayyida, R., & Naqvi, S. B. (2020). An Investigation of Abstract and Discussion Sections in Master’s Dissertations. International Journal of English Linguistics, 10(1), 220-229. ESCI, WOS Indexed Journal.

  • Akhtar, A., Liu, K., Jabeen, T., & Afzaal, M. (2020). Tweaking Harassment Through Tweets: A Critical Discourse Study of# MeToo. International Journal of English Linguistics, 10(1), 157-165.

  • Wu, B. Q., Afzaal, M., Ghaffar, A., & Naqvi, S. B. (2020). A Comparative Study of Cultural Values in Chinese and American Parenting Reflected in The Joy Luck Club. International Journal of English Linguistics, 10(2), 244.

  • Baoqin, W., & Afzaal, M. (2020). Emotion and cause: Linguistic theory and computational implementation: by Sophia Yat Mei Lee, Singapore, Springer Nature Singapore Pvt. Ltd, 2019, 74.96€(hardcover), 151 pp. Chinese Journal of Communication, 13(2), 235-237 doi: IF 2.714, Q1.

  • Alfadda, H., Fatima, M., Ghaffar, A., & Afzaal, M. (2020). Critical Thinking Perspective in ESL New English Textbooks: A Case Study of Pakistan. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 9(2), 2431.doi: IF 2.582, Q1.

  • Jadoon, A. U. R., Chishti, M. I., Afzaal, M., & Afzal, T. (2020). Challenges Faced by Newly Inducted Teachers Implementing Revised English Curriculum in Pakistan. English Language Teaching, 13(7), 52-66. doi:0.5539/elt.v13n7p52

  • Younas, M., Afzaal, M., Noor, U., Khalid, S., & Naqvi, S. (2020). Code Switching in ESL Teaching at University Level in Pakistan. English Language Teaching, 13(8), 63-73.

  • Afzaal, M. (2020). The China-Pakistan economic corridor of the Belt and Road Initiative concept, context and assessment: by Siegfried O. Wolf, Switzerland, Springer, 2020, 404 pp.,£ 88 (hardback), ISBN 978-3-030-16198-9. Asia Pacific Business Review, 26.  Wdoi: WOS, SSCI, Q1 IF 2.361

  • Afzaal, M., & Chishti, M. I. (2020). Chris Shei (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Discourse Analysis. Journal of Language and Politics, 19(1), 196-200.

  • Afzaal et al. (2020). Artificial Intelligence, Context, And Meaning Making in Language: A Rationalization Approach, International Journal of Future Generation Communication and Networking. Vol. 13, No. 3, (2020), pp. 115 – 122, ESCI, WOS Indexed Journal.

  • Afzaal, M. (2020). Silk Road to Belt Road: reinventing the past and shaping the future: edited by Md. Nazrul Islam, Singapore, Springer, 2019, xiii+ 404 pp., RRP£ 100 (hardback), ISBN 978-9-81132-997-5. Asia Pacific Business Review, 26(1), 104-107. doi: WOS, SSCI, Q1 IF 2.361

  • Afzaal, M., & Xiangyi, J. (2020). Book review: Ken Hyland and Feng (Kevin) Jiang, Academic Discourse and Global Publishing: Disciplinary Persuasion in Changing Times. Discourse Studies, 22, (Issue 3). doi: WOS, SSCI, Q1 IF 1.91

  • Al Fadda, H., & Afzaal, M. (2020). International Standards for E-Learning ESL Programs: A Comparative Study. Revista Argentina de Clínica Psicológica, 29(5), 174. doi:10.24205/03276716.2020.1018 WOS, SSCI. Q2.

  • Al Fadda , Afzaal, M., Phillip J. Haberman (2020). Dynamic Assessment in Education: A Case-Study of Chinese-Speaking EFL Classroom. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 8(12), 6967 - 6977. DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2020.081264.


  • Afzaal, M., (2019) Mapping China’s ‘one belt one road’ initiative, Asia Pacific Business Review, 25:3, 454-457, DOI: 10.1080/13602381.2019.1614375, SSCI, WOS Indexed Journal. IF. 2.361, Q1.

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