School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Professor Tony Young

Professor of Applied Linguistics and Communication



I was an English language teacher, Director of Studies, curriculum advisor and Head of School for the British Council and the Bell Education Trust, among others, and worked in the UK, USA, Spain, Italy and Malaysia between 1984 and 2002.  I lectured in applied linguistics and the social psychology of communication at Birkbeck, University of London between 2002 and 2004. I also did an MA in Applied Linguistics (Distinction, 1999) and a PhD (Intercultural Communicative Competence and the Teaching and Learning of English as a Foreign Language, 2007), both part time, at Birkbeck.  I joined Newcastle University in September 2004.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Professor of Applied Linguistics and Communication 2020 - present
  • Reader in Applied Linguistics and Communication 2017 - 2020
  • Director of Excellence in Learning and Teaching, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences between 2015 and 2018.
  • Head of the Applied Linguistics Section of the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences between 2010 and 2015.
  • Senior Lecturer in Language and Communications, Chair of Board of Studies and Senior Tutor for the MA in Cross Cultural Communication (MACCC) programmes, and Degree Programme Director for the MACCC International Relations and MACCC Education. 
  • Founding convenor of the British Association for Applied Linguistics Intercultural communication Special Interest Group in 2010.
  • Between 2012 - 2015 I was an elected member of the University Senate.

Area of expertise

  • Intercultural and intergroup communication
  • The social psychology of communication


  • PhD University of London, 2007
  • MA (with Distinction) in Applied Linguistics, Birkbeck, University of London, 1999
  • Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults, Waltham Forest College, London, 1989
  • B.A.(Hons) English, University of Sussex, 1984


  • International Association of Language and Social Psychology
  • International Communication Association
  • Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (Europe)
  • British Association for Applied Linguistics

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Research Interests

My research interests relate to critical perspectives on intercultural, intergroup and interpersonal communication and the social psychology of language and communication.

My recent work has focussed on:-

 Intercultural communication and competence among professionals (teachers, language learners, health care providers, medical trainers).

The 'International' student experience and the internationalisation of Higher Education worldwide.

Communication and disability, especially dementia.

Current Work

1.  With Dr Navaporn Snodin, Kasetsart University in Thailand I have a Newton Advanced Fellowship to investigate internationalisation and the staff and student experience in Thai higher education.  This is a multiregional investigation and is jointly funded by the British Academy and the Thailand Research Fund. Until 2019.

2.  I am Principal Investigator of an Erasmus  (Horizon 2020) Project 'Critical Skills for Life and Work:  Developing the Professional Intercultural Competence of Refugee Professionals'. This is an international,  multiagency project funded by the European Commision which runs from 2017 to 2019.

3.  I am Principal Investigator of a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to co-design and develop assistive communications technology for people living with dementia and their carers in the UK and Malaysia.  

3.   I am Principal Investigator on a project medical undergraduates attitudes towards dementia care and communication with people with dementia, collaborating with  Newcastle University's Institute for Ageing and Health, the Newcastle University Medical School (NUMED) in Malaysia, and the University of Malaya.  Supported by the Global Excellence and International Partnership Funds.

4. I am leading a multiprofessional and lay team in the development of a conceptual framework and toolkit to optimise communication between professionals, carers and people living with dementia (with Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust and Alzheimer's Society, UK).

Other recent work

Which English - Investigating 'non native' speaking teachers' beliefs, attitudes and practices regarding appropriate models of English (English as a Lingua Franca, English as an International Language, 'Native speaker' varieties).  Funded by the British Council (2014 - 16).

Esteem Indicators

My work on communication and dementia won the James J Bradac Prize from the International Association of Language and Social Psychology for its outstanding contribution to the field in June 2010.

I was elected President of the International Association of Language and Social Psychology and served between 2014 and 2016.

I was elected founding convenor of the Special Interest Group in Intercultural Communication for the British Association for Applied Linguistics in 2010, serving until 2012.




Postgraduate Teaching

I am module leader for:-

The Social Psychology of Communication ALC8001

 Culture, Interculturality and Identity ALC8010

I also teach and supervise projects on Research Methods in Cross-Cultural Communication, Research Methods in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Professional Communication and AGE2000 Newcastle University Ageing Generations Education (NU-AGE).

I supervise a number of PhD projects investigating aspects of internationalisation in Higher Education worldwide and approaches to intercultural and intergroup communication in various contexts and countries.