Associate Professor Mark Antoniou (Program Leader - Speech and Language)

Research Program: Speech and LanguageResearcher Profile


Research Program Leader - Speech and Language

Roles / Position Responsibilities

Dr Mark Antoniou leads the Speech & Language research program within The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University.


Antoniou holds a PhD in Psychology and is an expert in bilingualism and language learning.

He was awarded a PhD in 2010 from Western Sydney University. From 2011-2014, Antoniou worked with Patrick Wong, first at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University, and then in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In September 2014, he joined The MARCS Institute to work with Anne Cutler and they remain close collaborators.

Antoniou’s research encompasses cognitive, neuro-scientific, and developmental aspects of language learning and use, including bilingualism. Funded by research grants from the Australian Research Council, Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, and Health and Medical Research Fund of Hong Kong, Antoniou is exploring the potential benefits of foreign language training in older adults to promote healthy brain function, counteract age-related cognitive decline, and halt the progression of neuro-degenerative disease such as dementia.

In 2015, Antoniou was awarded an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award in which he examined the combination of factors that predict successful language learning. He discovered that these predictors could be used to tailor training proactively to maximise learning outcomes.

Antoniou’s work on the effects of language learning is frequently featured in media articles, including:
The New York Times (opens in a new window), The Washington Post (opens in a new window)The Conversation (opens in a new window)Lifehacker (opens in a new window)Quartz (opens in a new window)Scimex (opens in a new window)SBS News (opens in a new window)Essential Baby (opens in a new window)ABC Australia Plus (opens in a new window)ABC Radio Australia (opens in a new window)Early Childhood Australia (opens in a new window)Early Learning Review (opens in a new window)SBS World News (opens in a new window), SBS Greek Radio (opens in a new window)Kinderling Radio (opens in a new window)Radio 2SER (opens in a new window) (opens in a new window)South China Morning Post Young Post (opens in a new window), and Bottom Line Personal (opens in a new window).

Antoniou is an affiliate member of the ARC Centre of Excellence in the Dynamics of Language (opens in a new window).

Research Interests

  • Effects of language learning on the brain
  • Role of cognitive systems in language learning
  • Individual differences in language learning success
  • Language interaction in bilinguals
  • Customising language training to improve learning outcomes

Qualifications and Honours

  • 2019 - Australian Research Council, Discovery Project, Do cognitive effects of language learning depend upon language typology? (AU$421,000), Chief Investigator
  • 2018 -  Health and Medical Research Fund, Hong Kong, Improving cognitive functions in mild cognitive impairment via mobile-app foreign language learning (HK$1.06 million), Co-Investigator
  • 2016 -  Western Sydney University Research Impact Competition ($2,000), Runner-up
  • 2015 -  Western Sydney University Researcher Development Strategic Initiative Funding, Early Career Researcher Award, Pinpointing the contribution of cognitive resources to spoken language processing (AU$20,000), Chief Investigator
  • 2015 - Australian Research Council (ARC), Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, Cracking the code of successful language learning (AU$365,000), Chief Investigator
  • 2013 - Health and Medical Research Fund, Hong Kong, Foreign language learning as potential treatment for Mild Cognitive Impairment (HK$950,000), Co-Investigator
  • 2013 - Research Grants Council, Hong Kong, Language learning in older adults as preventive therapy for cognitive impairments (HK$1.04 million), Co-Investigator
  • 2010 - Ph.D. (Psychology), MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University
  • 2005 - B.A. (Psychology), Honours Program, Western Sydney University


  • Research Program Leader - Speech and Language
  • Affiliate Member, ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language


For a full listing of my publications, please see my Google Scholar profile (opens in a new window) page.

Contact Mark

Phone +61 2 9772 6673
Location Western Sydney University Bankstown campus (Bullecourt Ave, Milperra)
Room 3.G.65