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Dr Robert McKenzie

Senior Lecturer

Department: Humanities

I returned to Scotland and taught at the University of Edinburgh for 2 years and completed an MSc in Applied Linguistics. In 1996 I began working at the University of Glasgow. During this time I completed a PhD in Sociolinguistics at the University of Edinburgh. In 2009 I left the University of Glasgow and joined the Department of Humanities at Northumbria University.

Read more about my research on the Northern Englishes Project webpage.

0191 227 3122


  • Linguistics PhD December 12 2006
  • Applied Linguistics MSc September 01 1996
  • Psychology MA (Hons) July 03 1989
  • Individual Member British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) 2014
  • Individual Member British Association of South Asian Studies (BASAS) 2014

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research is focussed mainly in the areas of variationist sociolinguistics, folklinguistics and the social psychology of language.

I have a particular interest in folk perceptions of and attitudes towards spoken language variation, especially the ways in which individuals’ attach social meanings to language varieties and how linguistic diversity is indexed within given speech communities. In turn, I also investigate the ways in which non-linguists’ perceptions of language variation impact upon communities of speakers more widely.

My recent research has been relatively wide-ranging in scope and has focussed on implicit and explicit public attitudes towards language variation, speech perception, language ideology and identity, university internationalisation and linguistic diversity the social psychology of language spread and quantitative research methods in sociolinguistics. 

Recent publications include articles, detailing the results of large-scale empirical sociolinguistic studies, in International Journal of Applied Linguistics (2017), International Journal of the Sociology of Language (2015), Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development (2016, 2018), Discourse and Communication (2019) and Language Awareness (2015). In 2010, I published a widely-cited  research monograph entitled The Social Psychology of English as a Global Language (Springer). 

My research findings have featured in a large number of newspapers and online media inside and outwith the UK and I have been invited to discuss a range of sociolinguistic issues on both radio and television.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • The social psychology of English as a global language: attitudes, awareness and identity in the Japanese context, McKenzie, R. Sep 2010
  • Implicit–explicit attitudinal discrepancy and the investigation of language attitude change in progress, McKenzie, R., Carrie, E. 2018, In: Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
  • “The people who are out of ‘right’ English”: Japanese university students' social evaluations of English language diversity and the internationalisation of Japanese higher education, McKenzie, R., Gilmore, A. Mar 2017, In: International Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • American or British? L2 speakers’ recognition and evaluations of accent features in English, Carrie, E., Mckenzie, R. 2018, In: Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
  • The competence and warmth of Thai students’ attitudes towards varieties of English: the effect of gender and perceptions of L1 diversity, McKenzie, R., Kitikanan, P., Boriboon, P. Aug 2016, In: Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
  • UK university students’ folk perceptions of spoken variation in English: the role of explicit and implicit attitudes, McKenzie, R. 10 Oct 2015, In: International Journal of the Sociology of Language
  • The sociolinguistics of variety identification and categorisation: free classification of varieties of spoken English amongst non-linguist listeners, McKenzie, R. 16 Apr 2015, In: Language Awareness
  • Social factors and non-native attitudes towards varieties of spoken English: a Japanese case study, McKenzie, R. Mar 2008, In: International Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • The Role of Variety Recognition in Japanese University Students’ Attitudes Towards English Speech Varieties, McKenzie, R. 2008, In: Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
  • That which we call a rose by any other name would sound as sweet: folk perceptions, status and language variation, McKenzie, R., Osthus, D. 15 Dec 2011, In: Applied Folk Linguistics: AILA review

PGR Supervision

  • Suhang Xiao Start: 01/03/2018
  • Chaglar Davutoglu Start: 01/03/2019
  • Judith Taylor An exploration of language attitudes towards forms of Northern Englishes Start: 07/10/2014
  • Kingsley Ugwuanyi English Language Ownership Perceptions of Speakers of Nigerian English Start: 01/10/2016
  • Suhang Xiao Start: 01/03/2018
  • Judith Taylor Language Attitudes, Stereotypes and Ingroup Membership: Examining Young People’s Perception of their Speech Community in Newcastle-upon-Tyne Language Attitudes, Stereotypes and Ingroup Membership: Examining Young People’s Perception of their Speech Community in Newcastle-upon-Tyne Start: 07/10/2014
  • Rachid Khoumikham Start: 01/10/2018
  • Chaglar Davutoglu Start: 01/03/2019
  • Sameeha Al Ahmadi The Effect of Gender on the Nativisation and Lexical Density of Tweets by Saudi Bloggers: A Corpus Based Study Start: 01/02/2016
  • Theng Ong The Construction of Malaysian Airlines Tragedies MH370 and MH17 in Malaysian and British Newspapers: A Multidisciplinary Study Start: 01/03/2015
  • Mumtaz Ali Investigating Pakistani university students’ level of Willingness to Communicate (WTC) in English as foreign language: A case study of students from Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Sindh (SALU) Start: 10/01/2011

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