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Dr Lisa Mcentee-Atalianis

  • Overview



    Before joining Birkbeck in 2009, I worked at the Universities of Bristol, Cyprus, Reading and Queen Mary, University of London. I spent some years working and living abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus and New York, USA. I’ve researched and published in various fields of Applied Linguistics: Language Pathology (Aphasia), Sign Language/Deaf Studies and Sociolinguistics. In recent years my research has focussed on two main areas: issues of ‘identity’ at micro- and macro-discursive/linguistic levels and organisational language policy and planning in supra/international organisations. My breadth of interest in identity is evidenced in my recent book: ‘Identity in Applied Linguistics Research’ (Bloomsbury), and articles over many years which have focussed on different sites and communities, including the ethnolinguistic vitality of the Greek-Cypriot communities in Cyprus and London; the autochthonous Greek-Orthodox community of Istanbul, Turkey; the Hapa community in Japan and the discursive construction of European identity by NGO members, and the United Nations. I have under-taken an ethnographic and sociolinguistic investigation of language policy, planning and practice at the United Nations, with a special interest in the International Maritime Organization, London (an agency of the United Nations) and UN Headquarters, New York. I am a member of the Study Group on Language and the United Nations, New York ( I am keen to support the Organisation in finding ways to successfully implement its multilingual policy.


    • Book publication: McEntee-Atalianis L.J. (2019) Identity in Applied Linguistics Research. London: Bloomsbury.

    • Activities: led workshop for Multilingual Focal Points (Secretariat) at UN Headquarters New York: Implementation of Multilingualism and Applicable Challenges Facing the United Nations. 8 May 2019.

    • Recent publications: 
      McEntee-Atalianis, L. J. & Vessey, R. (2020, online first). Mapping the Language Ideologies of Organisational Members: A Corpus Linguistic Investigation of the United Nations’ General Debates (1970-2016). Language Policy.

      Shepherd, E. & McEntee-Atalianis, L.J. (2020, online first). Constraints of Hierarchy on Meso-Actors’ Agency: Evidence from Vietnam’s Educational Language Policy Reform. Current Issues in Language Planning.

    • ‘Lives in Translation’ event:
      Organised with Birkbeck Applied Linguistics Society (BCALS). The event won two awards – BBK Student Union Award and the national ‘WhatUni’ award for ‘Giving Back’.


    • BA (Hons) Applied Linguistics, University of Wales, 1989
    • PhD, University of Newcastle, 1993

    Administrative responsibilities

    • Head of Department/Assistant Dean
    • Co-Director of Education (ALC)
    • Director & Admissions Tutor: MA Applied Linguistics & Communication

    Professional activities

    Reviews Editor: Language Problems & Language Planning ISSN 0272-2690|E-ISSN 1569-9889.

    (2016-present) Annual Symposia of the Study Group on Language and the UN, New York.

    Professional memberships

    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2007-present). 

    • Member of British Applied Linguistics Association (BAAL) 

    • Member of the Study Group on Language and the United Nations.

    • Member of the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL)


  • Research


    Research overview

    Current research project: Implementation of Multilingualism and Applicable Challenges Facing the United Nations 

    (This work is being undertaken in collaboration with Prof Francis Hult, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC))

    Current edited book project: Language and Sustainability (De Gruyter)
    (co-edited with Prof Humphrey Tonkin)

    Research Centres and Institutes

    • Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research
    • Centre for the Study of Internationalism
  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students who are interested in undertaking research in any of my areas of research interest.

    Recently completed doctoral studies, under my supervision, have included:
    (2015) ‘The Discursive Construction of Europeanness: A Transnational Perspective’
    (2018) ‘A Comparative Discourse Analysis of Deaf and Jewish Identity’ (Co-supervision with V. Williams, University of Bristol).
    (2019) – 'The construction of Erasmus student identity: a discourse historic approach’ 
    (2020) - 'Narratives of Infertile Muslim Women: The Construction of Personal and Socio-Cultural Identities in Weblogs' 

    Current studies:
    - ‘Stance-taking and Discourses of Professionalism in the Local Negotiation of Professional Identity Among Further Education Lecturers’
    - ‘Narratives of Haafu Identity’
    - ‘Exploring the role of meso agency in the language policy context of Vietnam’


    I convene and contribute to a number of modules including:

    Approaches to Language; Investigating Language; Identity in Applied Linguistics Research; Introduction to Applied Linguistics; and
    Empirical Research Workshops. I also supervise a number of BA and MA projects/dissertations in the area of Sociolinguistics.

  • Publications




    Book Section

    Conference Item

  • Business and community

    Business and community


    'Lives in Translation':