Mattia Zingaretti (Laurea, MSc, AFHEA)

Thesis title: The dynamics of late bilingualism: First language change in adult language learners


Mattia Zingaretti is an AHRC-funded PhD Researcher in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh, investigating the changes that occur in the first language as a result of learning and speaking a second language (i.e. first language 'attrition'), using psycholinguistic methods. His research interests include first and second language acquisition, linguistic/cognitive effects of bilingualism, and links between bilingualism and other phenomena (such as hate speech and education). As a passionate Higher Education instructor, he has been teaching various pre-honours and honours courses in linguistics and language acquisition in the Linguistics and English Language department, and courses in Italian in the Department of European Languages and Cultures. He is Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Mattia also volunteers for Bilingualism Matters, collaborating regularly on different events and projects which aim to bridge the gap between research and the wider public.


  • PGCert in Academic Practice (Higher Education), University of Edinburgh (2020-ongoing)
  • PhD in Linguistics and English Language, University of Edinburgh (2018-ongoing)
  • MSc in English Language, University of Edinburgh (2016-2017)
  • BA (Laurea con Lode) in English and German, University of Rome La Sapienza (2013-2016)

Undergraduate teaching


  • LEL (PPLS): Tutor in First Language Acquisition (Honours) [SEM1] and Second Language Acquisition (Honours) [SEM2]
  • DELC (LLC): Tutor in Foundation Italian Language 1 [YR] 


  • LEL (PPLS): Tutor in First Language Acquisition (Honours) [SEM1] 
  • DELC (LLC): Tutor in Foundation Italian Language 1 [YR] and Italian 1 [YR]


  • LEL (PPLS): Tutor in First Language Acquisition (Honours) [SEM1], Second Language Acquisition (Honours) [SEM2] and Child Bilingualism: Language and Cognition [SEM2]; Guest Lecturer in Second Language Acquisition [SEM2]


  • LEL (PPLS): Tutor in Linguistics and English Language 1A [SEM1], Linguistics and English Language 1B [SEM2], First Language Acquisition (Honours) [SEM1], Second Language Acquisition (Honours) [SEM2], and Linguistics and English Language 2D: Cross-Linguistic Variation - Limits and Theories (marking only) [SEM2]

Current research interests

Psycholinguistics; first/second language acquisition; first language attrition; bilingualism and cognition; bilingualism and hate speech; bilingualism and education; teaching and learning in Higher Education

Past research interests

English varieties and dialects; English as a lingua franca; English language teaching and learning

Knowledge exchange

  • Social Media Ambassador (research-focus) for Linguistics and English Language, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (September 2018-September 2020)
  • Volunteer at Bilingualism Matters (2017-ongoing)

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

  • AHRC/SGSAH-funded PhD research investigating second language acquisition and first language attrition in adult bilingual speakers, with Prof A Sorace, V Chondrogianni and D R Ladd
  • A Linguistic Investigation of Hate Speech (ALIHAS): Una Europa-funded project analysing hate speech from a linguistic perspective ( - involved in research on the link between bilingualism and hate speech perception, with Prof A Sorace and Dr Maria Garraffa
  • Teacher Education about Multilingualism (TEAM): Erasmus+ funded project aiming to educate pre-service & in-service teachers about multilingualism ( - involved in the creation of materials on second language acquisition and first language attrition with Prof A Sorace and R Spelorzi
  • PPLS-funded research project exploring the linguistic and cognitive effects of an intensive online language learning course of Italian, with Prof A Sorace and R Spelorzi

Current project grants

PhD Studentship: Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (AHRC DTP), managed by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities (SGSAH).

Invited speaker

  • Zingaretti, M. (2020, October 21). Every translator is bilingual, but is every bilingual a translator? The role of bilingualism in translation. Edinburgh University Translation Society, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.


  • (2019, June 4-7). University of Edinburgh Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Papers delivered

  • Spelorzi, R. and Zingaretti, M. (2021, September 17). A week abroad from the comfort of your home: Preliminary results of an intensive online language course [Paper presentation]. The Third Year Abroad Conference - The Year Abroad: Reimagined, jointly organised online by Keele University and Regent's University London, United Kingdom.
  • Zingaretti, M. and Spelorzi, R. (2021, May 25). The challenges of inclusive education in times of distance learning [Paper presentation]. Learning for Citizenship Conference - Supporting Migrant Students Through the Pandemic, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
  • Spelorzi, R., Zingaretti, M. and Przybycien K. (2021, June 15-17). Rethinking participation for multilingual learners in hybrid teaching [Paper presentation]. University of Edinburgh Learning and Teaching Conference, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
  • Zingaretti, M. (2019, September 21). Between acquisition and attrition: First language change in late second language learners [Poster presentation]. Bilingualism Matters Research Symposium, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
  • Zingaretti, M. (2019, April 16–18). When a foreign language interferes with your native language: The relationship between L2 acquisition and L1 attrition in English-Italian and Italian-English bilingual adults [Poster presentation]. Experimental Methods in Language Acquisition Research XV, Utrecht, Netherlands. 

In the press