About Me

Photo credit: Vancouver Sun


Zoe Lam teaches Cantonese language courses at UBC Asian Studies. She is also a faculty associate of UBC Language Sciences and UBC Hong Kong Studies Initiative. Having received her B.A. in Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies and M.Phil. in Linguistics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, she had taught a variety of language-related subjects at post-secondary institutions. To fulfil her interest in speech perception and heritage language maintenance, she completed her Ph.D. in Linguistics at UBC, where she investigated how heritage speakers of Cantonese in Canada perceive tones. With a strong passion to make academic research accessible to the general public, she won the UBC Three-Minute Thesis Competition and represented UBC in the Universitas 21 global competition in 2015, where she won Second Place. Watch her award-winning speech here.

As an advocate of knowledge mobilization, Zoe works closely with community members, and is the instructor of a Cantonese Saturday School held at the historic Mon Keang School in Vancouver Chinatown. She and her community collaborators received the BC Heritage Award in 2020 for excellence in programming that advances the appreciation, understanding, and practice of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. She was an invited keynote speaker in numerous public talks, seminars, and panel discussions, including the International Mother Language Day, the UBC Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference, and public programs of the Chinese Canadian Museum. Zoe often speaks about her Cantonese-related academic and community work at local and international media outlets, including CBC Radio, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Metro News, Fairchild Radio, South China Morning Post, and Singtao Daily.

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