I am sociolinguist and member of the Sociolinguistic Lab at the Universität Duisburg-Essen (Germany), with training in language documentation and conservation from the Linguistics program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (2017). My main research interests are language attitudes and ideologies, language documentation and conservation, and the general sociolinguistic issues in my geographic of expertise, East Timor. My PhD used survey and interview data to describe attitudes toward Tetun Dili, East Timor’s national language.

My background in linguistics, multilingualism, and education were essential in Australia, where I provided academic support to the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme working with Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay and Dhurga students in the Master’s of Indigenous Language Education program at the University of Sydney; instructional support for such courses as Structure of English, Language and Society, Cross-cultural Communication, and Language and Social Interaction at the Australian National University; and research support on such projects as the Ku Waru Child Language Socialization Study (Alan Rumsey, PI-ANU), the Kiriwina Dictionary (Andrew Pawley, PI-ANU), and Phonetic Variation in Central Vanuatu (Rosey Billington PI-University of Melbourne).

Please visit my website for full CV, conference slides, teaching materials, and more.


Universitätsstr. 12
45141 Essen
R12 S04 H24


  • Wiss. Mitarbeiterinnen/Mitarbeiter, Anglistik: Linguistik II - English Linguistics & Language History

2017 Ph.D. Linguistics, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Dissertation Title: Attitudes toward Tetun Dili, A Language of East Timor

2016, Recipient of the Bilinski Educational Foundation Dissertation Award

2015, TESOL Advanced Certification, American TESOL Institute

2014, Recipient of the William J. Fulbright-Hillary Rodham Clinton Fellowship in Public Policy

Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Ministry of Education

2012 M.A. Linguistics, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Track: Language Documentation and Conservation

2007 B.A. Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin

Major: Linguistics; Minors: Geology, Classical History

  • Language Attitudes and Ideologies
  • Multilingualism
  • Linguistic Landscapes
  • Language Policy and Planning
  • Language Advocacy


Ross, Melody. 2018. Attitudes Toward Tetun Dili. New Research on Timor-Leste: Proceedings of the 5th Timor-Leste Studies Association Conference 2017, Hawthorn: Swinburne Press.

“Not constitutionalised... or whatever” Situating Language Attitudes and Language Ideologies Presentation at the Sociolinguistic Symposium 22, University of Auckland, New Zealand


Ross, Melody. 2017. New Research in East Timorese Sociolinguistics. DOTG Newsletter, Ed. Janina Pawelz & Christian Wollnik. 02/2017. Köln: Deutsche Osttimor Gesellschaft e.V.

“Attitudes Toward Tetun Dili” Presentation at the Timor-Leste Studies Association Conference 2017, Dili, Timor-Leste


“MTB-MLE in East Timor and Its Bidirectional Relationship with Language Ideologies” Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Association of Applied Linguistics, Orlando, FL, USA

“What is a Linguist? Asking the Right Questions in Research” Presentation to the East-West Center Education Program Seminar Series


Ross, Melody. 2015. Perceptions of Language Use in East Timor. University of Hawaiʻi Working Papers in Linguistics. Vol. 46:4. Honolulu: HI.

“Planning for Assessment in Language Programs: A Practical Tool” Presentation at the 4th International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation, Honolulu, HI

“Developing Critical Thinking Skills in English Language Learners” Presentation to the Conference for English Language Teachers in Timor-Leste, Ntional University of Timor Lorosa’e in association with the Timor-Leste English Language Program


“Mapping and Metalinguistic Knowledge in Dili, Timor-Leste” Presentation at the 13th Annual East-West Center International Graduate Student Conference on the Asia Pacific Region, Honolulu, HI


“Language Attitudes and Multilingual Education in Timor-Leste” Presentation at the 4th International Conference on Language and Education: Multilingual Education for All in Asia and the Pacific – Policies, Practices and Processes, Bangkok, Thailand