Ms Alisa Tian

Ms Alisa Tian

Associate Lecturer

BA (Linguistics & Advanced Chinese Studies), UNSW Sydney; MTI, Western Sydney University, MPhil (Translation pedagogy) UNSW Sydney

NAATI Certified Professional Interpreter & Translator (Chinese-English, both directions)


Arts, Design & Architecture
School of Humanities & Languages

Alisa is an Associate Lecturer in translation and interpreting at the School of Humanities and Languages, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture at UNSW. She has a Master of Philosophy degree in translation pedagogy from UNSW, a Master of Translation and Interpreting degree from Western Sydney University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Advanced Chinese Studies from UNSW.

Alisa is a passionate translation/interpreting practitioner, teacher, and researcher. She has extensive practical experience in T&I since 2006, including translation and interpreting in different contexts. She specialises in legal interpreting and subtitling. She has worked in trials and hearings at different courts and tribunals, including several high-profile trials featured in the news. She also provides expert opinions to court and private law firms. She is a subtitler and translation quality checker for SBS Australia working on programs of various genres, including comedy drama The Family Law (Seasons 1-3), documentary Australia in Colour (Seasons 1-2), and a range of Chinese variety shows, dramas, and documentaries. She currently works on SBS's renowned current affairs programs Dateline and Insight

She has taught across a range of translation and interpreting courses at UNSW since 2010, including Legal Interpreting and Media Translation, as well as Personalised English Language Enhancement (PELE) offered to students across different disciplines at UNSW. With consistently positive feedback from students, she has achieved high levels of student satisfaction rates that surpass the school, faculty, and university averages, including 100% student satisfaction rates (MyExperience) for several courses she taught and coordinated. She has been awarded one of the inaugural Casual Staff Teaching Awards from the School of Humanities and Languages at UNSW in 2021.

She is also a PhD candidate at UNSW, working on translation pedagogy under the supervision of Associate Professor Mira Kim. Her research interests focus on translation pedagogy and systemic functional linguistics (SFL). After receiving a prestigious award for her MPhil thesis, her PhD project builds upon the MPhil research by establishing a wider scope, aiming to bridge the gap between translation theory and practice in the classroom. 




Office 269, Morven Brown Building

Casual Staff Teaching Award (2021) issued by the School of Humanities and Languages, ADA, UNSW

The Most Outstanding MA Thesis (2022) by CIUTU (Conférence internationale permanente d'instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes)

Highly Commended Award - 3-Minute Thesis Faculty Heat Competition (2021)

2020 Invited Speaker, Interpreting in the courtroom - an Australian practice, Universitas Indonesia, Depok. 

2022 Invited Speaker, Teaching long sentence translation with a systemic functional linguistics perspective, East Asian Translation Pedagogy Network Advance, University of Leeds, UK. 

MPhil project: Tackling the translation of long sentence in the classroom - an investigation of the usefulness of a systemic functional linguistics-based approach in teaching long sentence translation from English to Chinese 

PhD project (current): Developing a toolbox for translation students based on systemic functional linguistics 

Member and UNSW's representative to the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT)'s Education Committee 

Co-author of Community Translation Style Guide (English-Chinese Translation) - AUSIT (2021)

My Teaching

Legal Interpreting (MODL5101)

Community Interpreting (MODL5102)

Media Translation (MODL5103)

Specialised Translation (MODL5104)

Text Analysis for Translation (MODL5106)

Certification in Translation (MODL5108)

Certification in Interpreting (MODL5113)

Personalised English Language Enhancement (PELE, ARTS5505/HUMS1005)