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Alessandra Panicacci

Contact Details


Address: 26 Russell Square, Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, WC1B 5DQ

Project Title and Abstract

  • Project Title:
  • 'Speaking different', feeling different, becoming different?
    The interaction between self- and language perceptions, emotions, cultural orientation and personality traits in Italian migrants living in English-Speaking countries
  • Abstract:
  • This study examines the interaction between migrants' linguistic attitudes (L1/LX emotion expression, L1/LX dominance, sense of feeling different when using the LX), acculturation (L1/LX culture) and personality traits (Cultural Empathy, Flexibility, Social Initiative, Open-mindedness and Emotional Stability). Participants are 468 Italian migrants living in English (LX) speaking countries
  • Data gathered from questionnaires and interviews revealed that migrants' L1/LX use for expressing emotions and dominance reflect individuals' orientation towards L1 and LX culture practices. Nevertheless, participants' sense of feeling different when using the LX increased with lower levels of LX acculturation and Emotional Stability. Personality traits differently related to either L1 and L1 culture or LX and LX culture, providing evidence that cultures and languages can coexist in migrants' psyche.
  • These findings offered interesting cues to interpret migrants' linguistic and cultural hybridity, promoting the idea that culture and language orientations are bi-dimensional constructs and that linguistic attitudes, cultural orientation and personality traits mutually affect each others in migrants' experience.


Research Interests

  • My research interests are mainly focussed on emotions, acculturations, personality traits and migration experiences.
  • In particular, I am interested in emotion expressions and perceptions in foreign languages and individual differences related to it, emotion scripts, emotional acculturation, personality traits in acculturative processes, language shift and language dominance. I am also deeply interested in acculturation effects on personality, migrants’ identity construction and perception of multiple personalities when switching languages.

Publications and Media

  • Books
  • Book Review: Emotions from a Bilingual Point of View: Personality and Emotional Intelligence in Relation to Perception and Expression of Emotions in the L1 and L2, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Vol. XVII, I. 6, pp. 727-730.
  • L'applicazione del Natural Semantic Metalanguage alla comunicazione cross-culturale come possibilità di decifrazione di significati, identità e diversità, EAI, in press.
  • Journal Articles
  • Panicacci, A. “The effect of interlocutors and conversation topics on migrants’ ‘multiple selves’ perceptions when switching languages” – currently working on a journal paper on this topic. Conference paper, The 11th International Symposium of Bilingualism, 11-15 June 2017, University of Limerick, Ireland
  • Panicacci, A. “A voice from elsewhere”: acculturation, personality and migrants’ self-perceptions across languages and cultures.Conference paper, i-Mean Conference 2017, 6-8 Apr 2017, University of the West England, Bristol
  • Panicacci, A. & Dewaele, J-M (2017). “A voice from elsewhere”: acculturation, personality and migrants’ self-perceptions across languages and cultures. International Journal of Multilingualism, doi: 10.1080/14790718.2016.1273937
  • Panicacci, A. “Emotion expression, cultural orientation and personality traits in migrants’ experience.” Conference paper, The 2nd International Conference on the Sociolinguistics of Migration, 22-23 Sept 2016, Villa Queirolo, Rapallo (Genova), Italy – Universita` di Torino
  • “Speaking differently, feeling different, becoming different? Multiple selves, acculturation and personality traits in Italian migrants.” Conference paper, Bloomsbury Round Table on Communication, Cognition and Culture Multilingualism, Multiculturalism and Emotion, 13-14 June 2016, Birkbeck College, University of London