Dr Bettina Beinhoff

Course Leader, BA (Hons) English Language and Linguistics;

Senior Lecturer, Applied Linguistics and English Language

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Language and linguistics

Courses taught: English Language and Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Intercultural Communication

Bettina's research looks at how language contributes to how we perceive people and react to them; she is particularly interested in intercultural communication and developments related to globalisation. She is Co-Director of the Anglia Ruskin Research Centre for Intercultural and Multilingual Studies (ARRCIMS).

Twitter: @linguistika

Email: bettina.beinhoff@anglia.ac.uk


Bettina's main research interests are at the crossroads of sociolinguistics and second language acquisition, and specifically in the areas of attitudes towards accents and the negotiation of identities in cross-cultural and intercultural settings.

She is currently working in two main areas; one in which she looks at the intelligibility and comprehension of second language accents in English, and the interrelation of production and perception in acquiring second language speech. The other project investigates the complex connections between language and identity at the individual and social level.

Bettina also does research on constructed languages (or 'conlangs', such as Esperanto, Lojban, Dothraki or Klingon) as a cultural, artistic and linguistic phenomenon.

Research interests

    • Second language speech development
    • The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
    • Attitudes, stereotypes and identity in language
    • Intercultural, transcultural and cross-cultural communication
    • Sociolinguistics aspects of constructed languages

Areas of research supervision

Bettina is happy to supervise students in any of her areas of research interest, and is currently supervising PhD students in the following areas:

  • Language maintenance and language attitudes in migrant communities
  • Language and identity in multilingual settings
  • Identity and self in second language acquisition
  • Influence of L1 phonologies on L2 pronunciation


  • PhD Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge
  • MPhil English and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge
  • PGCert Teaching at Higher Education Level

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of the executive committee, British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL)
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Member, EuroSLA
  • Member, Philological Society
  • Individual affiliate, Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Bettina has just completed the project "Comprehension in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Mapping perceptive abilities to proficiency levels" which was supported by a research grant from the British Academy.

She is also advising start-up companies; at the moment she is particularly involved with Tribalingual.

Selected recent publications

Beinhoff, B. and Rasinger, S., 2016. The future of identity research: Impact and new developments in sociolinguistics. In: Preece, S. (Ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity. London: Routledge, pp. 572-585.

Beinhoff, B., 2015. Why are Alien Languages Inherently Human? Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 122, pp. 5-19.

Beinhoff, B., 2014. What is acceptable? The role of acceptability in English non-native speech. In: Solly, M. and Esch, E. (Eds.). Sociolinguistic Issues in Language Education. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.155-174.

Beinhoff, B., 2014. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: A European framework for foreign language speech development? Language Value 6(1), pp.51-73.

Beinhoff, B., 2014. Perceiving intelligibility and accentedness in non-native speech: A look at proficiency levels. Concordia Papers in Applied Linguistics (COPAL), 5, pp.58-72.

Beinhoff, B., 2013. Perceiving Identity through Accent – Attitudes towards Non-Native Speakers and their Accents in English. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Outhwaite, B., Wagner, M. and Beinhoff, B. (Eds.), 2013. Scribes as Agents of Language Change. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Beinhoff, B. (2008). Looking for the 'real' native speaker: The perception of native and non-native English accents by non-native speakers of English. In: Waniek-Klimczak, E. (ed.). Issues of Accents in English. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 120-139.

Recent presentations and conferences

Recent keynotes

“How to make aliens talk?”. June 2015. Keynote lecture at the alumni event of the Boehringer-Ingelheim funds, Castle Gracht, Germany.

“Attitudes towards accents”. December 2013. Keynote lecture at the Exhibition Lexicon-Leksikon on regional bilingualism, Leeuwarden, Netherlands.

Selected recent conference presentations

“The CEFR: a European Framework in Asia?” Paper presented at the Faces of English conference in June 2015 at the University of Hong Kong, China.

“Attitudes towards conlangs and natlangs - a comparison" Paper presented at the 6th Language Creation Conference (LCC6) of the Language Creation Society in April 2015 in Horsham, UK.

“Global encounters: Languages, attitudes and the impact of linguistic research on public debate” Paper presented at the iMean4 conference in April 2015 at the University of Warwick, UK.

“Second language speech perception and the Common European Framework for Languages” Paper presented at the BAAL 2014 conference in September 2014 at the University of Warwick, UK.

“Why are alien languages inherently human? An experiment” Paper presented at the ‘Diversity in speculative fiction’ academic programme at the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Loncon 3) in August 2014 in London, UK.

“Intelligibility in non-native accents of English: The role of L1-influence and listeners’ proficiency levels” Paper presented at the BAAL 2013 conference in September 2013 in Edinburgh, UK.

“Perceiving intelligibility and accentedness in non-native accents of English: A look at proficiency levels” Paper presented at the “New Sounds 2013” conference in May 2013 in Montreal, Canada.

“Perceived intelligibility and accentedness in spontaneous non-native English speech” Paper presented at “Experimental Approaches to Perception and Production of Language Variation (ExAPP)” in March 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“Attitudes and perceived variation in non-native speaker accents of English”. Paper presented at “EuroSLA 21” in September 2011 at Stockholm University, Sweden.

“How to sound intelligent? Accent variation and attitudes towards non-native speakers of English”. Paper presented at the “Sociolinguistic Symposium 18” in September 2010, University of Southampton, UK.