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Dr Ruth Kircher

0151 291 3021
Arts and Humanities

I studied at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in Germany (MA), the University of Durham (MA), and Queen Mary University of London (PhD). Before joining Liverpool Hope, I taught at a number of different colleges of the University of London (Queen Mary, SOAS and Birkbeck) as well as the University of Birmingham. Here at Liverpool Hope, I teach a range of undergraduate modules, including History & Development of EnglishLanguage & Society and The Social Psychology of Language, as well as the postgraduate modules Language Variation & Change and Language, Identity & Migration. I also teach Research Methods at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

My research interests are in the fields of sociolinguistics as well as applied linguistics and the social psychology of language. My work focuses on societal multilingualism and language contact situations, and especially phenomena such as social identities, language attitudes, language practices, and language policy and planning. I am particularly interested in indigenous and migrant minorities, including the endangerment of their languages, their linguistic integration, and their motivations for language learning. I use both experimental and quantitative survey research to investigate these issues.

Much of my previous research has focused on the impact of past language planning measures on the language attitudes held by immigrants and non-immigrants of different mother tongues in Montreal. (This work was funded by Queen Mary University of London, the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the Wingate Foundation, the International Council for Canadian Studies, and the Quebec Government Office.) I have also investigated how the language attitudes and social identities of immigrants in Montreal were affected by the proposal of the Quebec Charter of Values. (This project was funded by a Liverpool Hope Individual Research Grant.) One of my current projects looks at the social identities and language attitudes held by individuals of different mother tongues and different migration backgrounds in all of Quebec, and the implications of such social identities and language attitudes for future language planning in the province. (For this work, I received further funding from the Quebec Government Office and I was awarded an Eakin Fellowship, which allowed me to spend five months at McGill University.) Another current project, which is a collaboration with Susan Fox from the University of Bern, investigates social identities and language attitudes as well as feature salience with regards to Multicultural London English. 

I have presented my work at public lectures, invited talks, and numerous national as well as international conferences. These include Multilingual Individuals and Multilingual Societies in Hamburg (2010), the International Symposium on Bilingualism in Oslo (2011), the International Conference on Language and Social Psychology in Leeuwarden (2012), Multidisciplinary Approaches to Language Policy and Planning in Calgary (2013), the Sociolinguistics Symposium in Jyväskylä (2014), Ambiguous Encounters: Anglophone-Francophone Relations in Quebec in Quebec City (2015), the Sociolinguistics Symposium in Murcia (2016), and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Language Policy and Planning in Toronto (2017).  

I also disseminate my research findings to non-academic audiences. For example, I have given an interview on C'est la vie, a radio programme on Canada's main broadcaster CBC which informs non-francophones about life in French-speaking Canada.

I welcome applications from prospective doctoral students wishing to work on topics related to any of my research interests.

Research publications:
R. Kircher (2016) Language attitudes among adolescents in Montreal: Potential lessons for effective language planning in QuebecNottingham French Studies – UK Perspectives on Francophone Canada 55, 2: 239-259.

R. Kircher (2016) Montreal’s multilingual migrants: Social identities and language attitudes after the proposition of the Quebec Charter of Values. In Vera Regan, Chloe Diskin and Jennifer Martyn (eds) Language, Identity and Migration. Bern: Peter Lang. pp. 217-247.

R. Kircher (2016) The matched-guise technique. In Zhu Hua (ed.) Research Methods in Intercultural Communication: A Practical Guide. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. pp. 196-211.

R. Kircher (2014) Thirty years after Bill 101: A contemporary perspective on attitudes towards English and French in Montreal. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics 17, 1: 20-50.

R. Kircher (2014) Quebec’s shift from ethnic to civic national identity: Implications for language attitudes amongst immigrants in Montreal. In David Evans (ed.) Language and Identity. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 55-80.

R. Kircher (2012) How pluricentric is the French language? An investigation of attitudes towards Québec French compared to European French. Journal of French Language Studies 22, 3: 345-370. 

Kircher, R. (2009) Language Attitudes in Quebec: A Contemporary Perspective. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Queen Mary University of London.

Book reviews:
R. Kircher (2016)  Review of Richard Y. Bourhis (ed.) (2012) Decline and Prospects of the English-Speaking Communities of Quebec. Reviewed for English World-Wide 37, 3: 350-355.

R. Kircher (2012) Review of Michael A. Morris (ed.) (2010) Canadian Language Policies in Comparative Perspective. Reviewed for British Journal of Canadian Studies 25, 2: 304-305. 

Organisation of academic events at Liverpool Hope:
English Language Research Seminar Series 2016/17
English Language Research Seminar Series 2015/16 
LingLunch Research Meeting Series   

Departmental service at Liverpool Hope: 
Co-ordinator of the 1st year of the BA in English Language
Administrator of the English Language at Hope facebook page 
Former ethics co-ordinator for the Department of English

Faculty service at Liverpool Hope:
Chair of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Research Ethics Committee
Member of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Research Committee 

University service at Liverpool Hope:
Member of the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team for Gender Equality
Member of the University Research Ethics Committee

Disciplinary service:
Elected council member of the British Association for Canadian Studies
UK correspondent for Sociolinguistica
Ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, the Journal of Language and Social Psychology, and the International Journal of the Sociology of Language

I am also the lead organiser for the 2018 conference of the Centre for Quebec and French-Canadian Studies, whose theme is  Language and Identity in Francophone Canada. This conference will take place in London on 5th and 6th July (preliminary programme).

Professional affiliations: 
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Member of the Association for French Language Studies
Member of the Association Internationale des Études Québécoises
Member of the British Association for Applied Linguistics
Member of the British Association for Canadian Studies
Member of the Canadian Linguistic Association
Member of the International Association of Language and Social Psychology

I am on a career break during the 2017/18 academic year.