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Dr Robert McKenzie

Senior Lecturer

Department: Humanities

I received my first degree (Scottish MA) in Psychology from the University of Glasgow and then taught in Hong Kong, Italy, France, Spain and Poland. 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.

Robert McKenzie

0191 227 3122

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, language attitude change, speech perception, language ideology and identity, the social psychology of language spread and quantitative research methods in sociolinguistics.

In 2010, I published a research monograph entitled 'The Social Psychology of English as a Global Language' (Springer). As a result of a 2020-21 British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship Award (Sole PI, £137,078.50) (MD20/20009), I am currently writing a further monograph, detailing the results of a large-scale sociolinguistic study, entitles 'Implicit and Explicit Language Attitudes: Mapping Accent Discrimination and Attitude Change in England' (Routledge, under contract) (with Dr Andrew McNeill).

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. 21 Oct 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. 1 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

  • 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 Date: 10/01/2011 End Date: 01/06/2018
  • Chisato Danjo A Critical Ethnographic Inquiry into the Negotiation of Language Practices among Japanese Multilingual Families in the UK: Discourse, Language Use and Perceptions in the Hoshuko and the Family Home Start Date: 04/10/2011 End Date: 07/01/2016
  • Theng Ong The Construction of Malaysian Airlines Tragedies MH370 and MH17 in Malaysian and British Newspapers: A Multidisciplinary Study Start Date: 01/03/2015 End Date: 07/03/2019
  • Kingsley Ugwuanyi English Language Ownership Perceptions of Speakers of Nigerian English Start Date: 01/10/2016 End Date: 24/03/2021
  • Daniel White English, and International Cross-Cultural Attitudes in China, Japan and South Korea Start Date: 01/10/2010 End Date: 24/07/2014
  • Chaglar Davutoglu Variation and change of the use of deixis as a relative clause between Cypriot Turkish generations. Start Date: 01/03/2019
  • Suhang Xiao Start Date: 01/03/2018 End Date: 01/08/2020
  • Chaglar Davutoglu Start Date: 01/03/2019 End Date: 01/08/2020
  • Judith Taylor An exploration of language attitudes towards forms of Northern Englishes Start Date: 07/10/2014 End Date: 01/08/2020
  • Suhang Xiao Digital Technology and Second Language Teaching and Learning: Mobile-assisted oral feedback using WeChat instant messaging to improve KS2 Native English learners’ proficiency in Chinese pronunciation Start Date: 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 Date: 07/10/2014 End Date: 04/11/2021
  • Rachid Khoumikham Wandering in the desert of Algeria: Attitudes of Algerian Arabic speakers towards nomadic society known as 'Ouled Nail' Start Date: 01/10/2018
  • Chaglar Davutoglu Start Date: 01/03/2019 End Date: 29/01/2021
  • Sameeha Al Ahmadi The Effect of Gender on the Nativisation and Lexical Density of Tweets by Saudi Bloggers: A Corpus Based Study Start Date: 01/02/2016 End Date: 01/10/2021


  • Linguistics PhD December 12 2006
  • Applied Linguistics MSc September 01 1996
  • Psychology MA (Hons) July 03 1989
  • Individual Member International Association of Language and Social Psychology (IALSP) 2015
  • Individual Member British Association of South Asian Studies (BASAS) 2014

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