Dr James McLellan


Senior Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences



James McLellan is a senior lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Brunei Darussalam (from 2011 to present, and formerly from 1990-2002). Current teaching responsibilities include

Language Issues in Brunei

Workplace Communication

Media Ethics

Analysing Talk

and Bilingualism

His PhD is from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia, on the topic of Language Alternation in two Brunei online discussion forums.

He previously taught languages (French, German, English) at secondary and tertiary levels in the UK, France, Malaysia, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and in Brunei Darussalam. His major research interests include: Malay-English code-switching, especially in electronically-mediated discourse; language maintenance and shift in the context of Borneo with particular reference to the Bidayuh community in western Sarawak; language policy and planning in multilingual societies, and South-East Asian varieties of English, including English as a lingua franca (ELF). He is preparing a sole-authored book entitled "Explorations in Interlingual Dynamics" which will challenge the notion of language as self-contained autonomous systems.


B.A. University of Cambridge, 1974
M.A. University of York,1985
PhD. Curtin University of Technology, 2005


Language Alternation (Malay-English code switching; Bahasa campuran; ‘Bahasa rojak’), especially in written and online contexts, Multilingual Education in Borneo, and in Timor-Leste: policies and classroom practices, Southeast Asian Englishes: Asian lingua franca English, especially idiomatic expressions, Borneo Indigenous languages, especially varieties of Bidayuh


Media discourse of reports on the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement: A comparative analysis of UK and Malay World newspapers. (Dr Andrew Kythreotis, PI, Dr Sharifah N Alkaff Dr Siti Mazidah Mohamad Dr J McLellan

4 key research questions: 1. What concerns about anthropogenic climate change are revealed through how the media in the UK and the Malay World framed the Paris Agreement? 2. To what degree are the three main frameworks for responding to climate change, catastrophism, gradualism and scepticism, revealed in this corpus? 3. Did the respective reporting of the Paris Agreement lead to any changes in government climate policy in the countries covered in the project over a timeframe of 6 months? 4. How can the project findings assist His Majesty’s Government with respect to future policy trajectories related to national and international climate change commitments and Wawasan 2035 in Brunei Darussalam?

Applications Invited

Scopus Publications

Scopus Publications


Najib Noorashid & McLellan, J. (2018). Teaching and Learning an Ethnic Minority Language at University Level: The Case of Dusun in Brunei. GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies,
18(1), 217-233.
Sharifah Nurulhuda Alkaff & McLellan, J. (2017). Same news, different stances’? A comparative media discourse investigation of hard news texts in the New Straits Times and Berita
Harian'. Pertanika: Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 25(2), 511–540.
McLellan, J., & Chin, G. V. S. (2016). Introduction: English in Brunei Darussalam. World Englishes, 35(4), 492–496.
Nurdiyana Daud & McLellan, J. (2016). Gender and code choice in Bruneian Facebook status updates. World Englishes, 35(4), 571–586.
McLellan, J., & Chin, G. V. S. (2016). A research bibliography for Brunei English. World Englishes, 35(4), 612–617.


McLellan, J., & Jones, G. (2015). Maintaining and revitalising the indigenous endangered languages of Borneo: Comparing 'top-down' and community-based policy initiatives and
strategies. In M. Jones (ed.), Policy and planning for endangered languages (pp. 18–30). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
McLellan, J., & Campbell, Y. M. (2015). Bidayuh as a subject at pre-school and primary levels. Towards a greater role for a Borneo indigenous language in the Malaysian education
system. In C. Volker & F. Anderson (Eds.), Education in languages of lesser power: Asia-Pacific perspectives (pp. 131–151). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
McLellan, J. (2015). Borneo language revitalisation: What should communities aim to revitalise? Languages, varieties, or subvarieties? In A. Clynes, M. Boutin & P. Sercombe (Eds.),
Advances in linguistic and cultural research in Borneo: Studies in memory of Peter W. Martin, (pp. 57–77). Phillips, ME: Borneo Research Council.
Noor Azam Haji-Othman, & McLellan, J. (2014). English in Brunei: Challenges and future directions. World Englishes, 33(4), 486–497.
Barnard, R., & McLellan, J. (Eds.) (2014). Codeswitching in university English-medium classes: Asian perspectives. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.


‘Doctor-patient communication in initial consultations in Brunei outpatient clinics: Language choice and interaction patterns’
James McLellan, Dr Hjh Fazean Irdayati Hj Idris, Dr Hjh Hashmet Parveen Ghouse & Dr Hjh Dyg Fatimah Hj Awg Chuchu
01/04/2013 - 31/03/2014

'Language choice and use among foreign woorkers in Brunei Darussalam
James McLellan & Dr Hjh Dyg Fatimah Hj Awg Chuchu
$10,000 - Seed funding
29/04/2012 - 30/09/2014

'A multidisciplinary investigation of media texts in Malay and English in Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia'
Dr Hjh Sharifah Nurulhuda Alkaff, James Mclellan,Dr Hjh Dyg Fatimah Hj Awg Chuchu
06/01/2014 - 05/01/2016


Yes, provides consultancy


Has industry experience


All my research, published and unpublished, has social and academic benefits. Some may have commercial benefits.