Linguistics at Goldsmiths


Linguistics at Goldsmiths is a vibrant research community engaged in exploring the relationship of language, society and culture, and, at the same time, offering a solid theoretical understanding of how language works.


The Linguistics BA programme in English Language and Literature covers a wide range of subjects, including introductory level linguistic analysis as well as the study of language learning, language and the media, language and gender, professional and social media language.

At postgraduate level we are particularly keen on approaching linguistics from an interdisciplinary perspective. The MA in Sociocultural Linguistics offers a qualitative, discourse analytic approach to the study of language in its sociocultural context and the MA in Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education draws on teaching and expertise in both linguistics and Educational Studies to examine multilingual and intercultural education settings. MA modules focus on topics such as the study of language and identity, English as a Lingua Franca, intercultural communication, and discourse and ideology, among others.

Understanding of actual language use and practices is central to what we do at Goldsmiths, so most of our modules encourage students to collect and analyse samples of written and spoken language from a range of contexts as well as promote engagement with language practices in a wide range of private and public settings.

Research Areas

Digital Media Discourse

Our research in Digital Media Discourse explores digital genres as sites of identity construction, social engagement and collaboration, as well as aggression and conflict. Examples of recent projects include the study of impoliteness and language ideological debates in a teachers’ forum; public participation in political debates on Twitter; and the construction of translocal workplace identities in digital narratives.

English as a Lingua Franca

cover of Analysing English as a Lingua Franca by Alessia Cogo and Martin DeweyResearch on English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) concerns sociolinguistic description and conceptualisation, as well as the ways that intercultural users construct language ideologies and identities in various situations, including digital communication. One particular area of research concerns the communication strategies of intercultural speakers in different contexts and across different communication areas, including workplace, migration and educational contexts.




Language structure

We do research into how language is structured and how it works: for example, we research English grammar and uses, compound tenses and verbal aspect. Although we are primarily concerned with dialects of English, we also compare English to other languages, and are interested in exploring the multilingual experiences of our students.

Language and Gender

Our research on Language and Gender explores the construction of gender identity in everyday spoken interaction, focusing in particular on the interplay of gender with other sociocultural and situational practices and identities. The mostly self-recorded, spontaneous conversational data are explored from cross-disciplinary perspectives, combining tools from linguistic discourse analysis and sociocultural linguistics with insights from cultural studies, anthropology, sociology and social psychology.

Language and Identity

We examine the relationship between language and identity in a wide range of different contexts, including friendship talk of adolescents in their bedrooms or at school, or the spontaneous talk of young lovers in their own home, among others. This research explores a wide range of topics, including linguistic indexicality, processes of authentication and identification; it draws on a wide range of methodological frameworks, including sociocultural linguistics, linguistic ethnography, interactional sociolinguistics, and conversation analysis.


Research in Multilingualism concerns various aspects from a broad sociocultural and sociolinguistic perspective. The latest research concerns multilingual phenomena, such as translanguaging practices, the speakers’ construction of identities through these practices and how this research challenges traditional notions of ‘language’, ‘code’, ‘variety’, etc.

Professional and Academic Discourse

Our research explores professional and academic discourse as a social practice in a global context. We are interested in intercultural, cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary studies of rhetorical practices in academic writing, drawing on corpus-based, discourse analytic and ethnographic approaches. Current projects focus on the politics of academic knowledge production and evaluation in the field of business and management. We are also engaged in research looking at discourses of business professionals in intercultural and transnational contexts.

All of our teaching benefits from the specialist expertise and research of our teaching staff.


The Goldsmiths Linguistic Seminar, or GoldLingS, is a series of seminars on various topics from formal linguistics, sociolinguistics and applied linguistics given by renowned academics, members of staff and post-graduate students. It was launched in 2014/15 and it has so far attracted a good audience and generated interesting discussion and debate. You can read more about GoldLingS and find out about future events on the GoldLingS page.

Hayley Davis Prize

The Hayley Davis Prize is awarded annually for the best dissertation in linguistics. It was launched in 2009 as a tribute to former ECL linguistics lecturer Hayley Davis and has been awarded to a selection of outstanding pieces of work in linguistics that demonstrated originality and independent thinking as well as in-depth critical understanding of linguistic theory and research.