School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Dr Sara Ganassin

Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & Comm



I was appointed Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Communication at Newcastle University in January 2019 having previously worked as a Research Associate.


In 2017, I completed a PhD in Education at Durham University with a thesis entitled: ‘Mandarin Chinese community schooling in England: language, culture and pupils’ identities’. In Durham, I have worked as a Research Associate and co-published with Dr Prue Holmes developing research on internationalisation in higher education in Europe and China, and on multilingual research theory and methodology.

I have experience of delivering different aspects of European Commission funded projects (LLP and ERASMUS ) on themes related to internationalisation, interculturality, and the development of learning and teaching resources. 

After graduating in Chinese culture and language from the University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice, and completing a master’s degree in International Cooperation and Development, I worked for seven years in the voluntary sector (North of England Refugee Service and Oxfam UK Poverty Programme) in the UK as project staff and researcher working with migrant and refugee women and young people. 

Qualifications and Awards

•            2008 – 2009    Master’s degree in International Cooperation and Development, The Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), Milan, Italy.

•            2005 – 2007    Master’s degree in Languages and Civilisations of Eastern Asia (Chinese linguistics and history), Ca’ Foscari, University of Venice, Italy.

•            2001 – 2004    BA in Languages and Cultures of Eastern Asia (Mandarin Chinese language), Ca’ Foscari, University of Venice, Italy.

•            Associate Fellowship of The Higher Education Academy.

•            Durham University Faculty of Social Sciences and Health Postgraduate Publication Bursary 2017

Peer Review Experience 


I act as a reviewer for the following academic journals:

  • International Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • Journal of International and Intercultural Communication
  • Language and Intercultural Communication
  • The Language Learning Journal
  • Journal of Language, Identity & Education
  • Frontiers of Education in China

SCOPUS: Click here.


I research intercultural education and communication, with a particular interest in the interplay of language, culture, and identity in mobility and migratory contexts. I am particularly interested in the intercultural dimension of Chinese language education and in the phenomenon of Chinese community schooling.

I would welcome applications from potential doctorate students on the following topics:
  • The Intercultural Dimension of Foreign Language Education 
  • Internationalisation of Chinese Higher Education
  • Chinese Language Education
  • Language Policy & Planning in Greater China and in South-East Asia
  • Minority, Migrant & Refugee Communities (construction of language, culture, and identity)
  • Multilingualism & Multilingual Research (theory and methodology)

Current project (funded by H&SS bid preparation fund) in collaboration with School of English, Harbin Institute of Technology (PRC) :

Enhancing Internationalisation of Chinese Higher Education Institutions: An Intercultural Approach


I was co-investigator on the following Erasmus funded project (October 2017-August 2019)

Critical Skills for Life and Work (CSLW): Developing the Professional Intercultural Communicative Competence of Highly Skilled Refugees, 2017-2019: [Erasmus Key Action 2 Adult Education 2017-1-UK01_KA204-036667]


I am module leader for:

  • ALC8037 Multilingualism, language planning, policy and identity
  • ALC8003 Research Methods

In 2018/2019 I was module leader for: 

  • ALC8002 Sociolinguistics