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Research expertise


Chinese is the new world language. Massey is researching how it is learnt and understood in a global and digital world.


Critical language and discourse studies

This research examines language, interaction and discourse in a range of contexts, drawing on the methods and theory of sociolinguistics and discourse analysis.



Historically, culturally, linguistically and politically, the French nation, people and language have played a role on all continents. Massey researches this ongoing multi-faceted presence.



Massey has experts in the development of Japanese fluency through extensive reading, and the interface of poetry and diary writing with medieval Japanese cultural processes.


Language in multilingual contexts

Research on language learning and use in diverse and multilingual contexts where dynamic and fluid linguistic practices challenge traditional notions of language as a monolithic entity.


Language learners on the move

Our research focuses on the experiences of learners who engage with language study in context where their first language is rarely spoken.


Language learning and teaching (educational linguistics)

Our research explores learning and teaching processes in contemporary educational settings, and how these are shaped by and interact with the expectations of stakeholders (parents, communities, administrators) and tools (pedagogy, assessment, educational policy).


Pacific languages: documentation, description, support

Descriptive and documentary linguistics focusing on the Pacific and Aotearoa. We aim to create lasting, multipurpose records of language use in context, supporting community members to access their linguistic and cultural heritage.



A new and vibrant research programme that strengthens the cultural and business ties between New Zealand and the Portuguese-speaking world. Our research focuses on second language acquisition, cross-linguistic influence and how language competence brings cultures and societies closer.



Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Our research captures the vibrancy and diversity of its cultural, artistic and literary expressions.


Research projects

Student research

Research centres

    Joint Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics

    The centre is a joint venture between Massey University and Beijing Language and Culture University to research distance language acquisition of Chinese in digital environments.

    Contact Cynthia White

    W.H. Oliver Humanities Research Academy

    The academy fosters a vibrant, creative and responsive research culture among humanities scholars, to anticipate and addresses current and future research challenges.

    Find out more

    Departments and staff

    Find out more about the departments and staff involved in languages and linguistics research at Massey.