Confucius Institute Chinese Cultural Event


Emotional and Experiential Responses to Choral Singing in a Second Language

About this project

This set of research projects aims to investigate a range of phenomena and practices, in two distinct cultural settings (initially Hull/UK and Tianjin/China) emerging in response to creative artefacts and experiences rooted in music and Chinese language(s). 

Emotional and Experiential Responses to Choral Singing in a Second Language

Scope: Music Psychology, Cultural Studies, Second Language Acquisition

This project aims to investigate the emotional experiences of music performers learning a second language through the medium of singing. The research will build upon previous research about listeners’ responses to music (e.g. Juslin & Sloboda 2001; 2011) and strong experiences with music (SEM) (e.g. Gabrielsson 2011) as well as reports on the socio-emotional benefits of group singing (e.g. Page 2014). It will also contribute to second language learning theories (e.g. Mitchell et al. 2013) and issues about context and culture in language learning (e.g. Byram & Grundy 2003). The successful PhD candidate will contribute to addressing one or more of the following research questions:

  1. What emotional experiences are reported by singers when rehearsing and performing songs in a non-native language?
  2. How do these experiences change as the repertoire and language become more familiar during the learning (rehearsal) process?
  3. How does this pedagogic approach (i.e. learning a language through singing) impact upon second language acquisition (SLA) and language for specific purposes (LSP)?

Emphasis will be given not only to the experiential use of song in second language learning, but also to singing as a means of enculturation. The researcher will develop innovative interdisciplinary research methodology as part of the project as well as promote satellite clusters for research in translanguaging, SLA/LSP pedagogy, emotions and creativity.


You are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor and to discuss your research proposal, well before you submit an application. Please refer to the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education research pages and the Confucius Institute website.

If you have any queries, please email Professor Marina Mozzon-McPherson.

Next steps


To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a 2.1 or 1st-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in either Music and/or Chinese Studies or related discipline (e.g. Translation, Psychology, Applied Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition) and a Masters degree (preferably with Distinction or equivalent) and/or relevant experience. Some knowledge of Chinese might be an advantage.

How to apply

Applications for scholarship consideration at the University of Hull should be made through the Postgraduate Application system.

On the second page of your application, please select “Graduate Scholarship” as the type of scholarship you are applying for. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to first identify and contact a potential supervisor.

Apply now

Application deadline: Monday 19 February 2018


Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress. PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.