Ruth Kircher

Dr. Ruth Kircher is a sociolinguist with a specialisation in multilingualism and minority languages. She is particularly interested in phenomena relating to minority language endangerment, maintenance, and revitalisation as well as intergroup relations between majority and minority communities. Ruth`s work focuses on three interrelated strands:          (1) language attitudes, language ideologies, and their influence on linguistic/social behaviour; (2) language policy and planning at the societal level; as well as (3) family language policy and intergenerational language transmission. Her research experience comprises a range of contexts in Europe and North America, and she has received funding from research councils, foundations, and governmental bodies in Canada, Great Britain, and the Netherlands.

In addition to publishing widely about her research, Ruth has authored several publications regarding research methods, and she recently co-edited the volume Research Methods in Language Attitudes (Cambridge University Press, 2022). Knowledge translation and the dissemination of research results to non-academic audiences also constitute an important part of Ruth’s work. This is exemplified by her recent work in Fryslân, where – based on the findings from her project New Speakers of West Frisian: Promoting Language Learning and Use to Foster Revitalisation – she developed materials to improve intergroup relations between traditional and new speakers of West Frisian (e.g., here) and co-designed a campaign (e.g., here) to promote minority language use.

At the ECMI, Ruth works as principal researcher in the research cluster “Danish-German Minority Issues”. Her current projects focus on issues relating to two main research strands: Minority Languages in the Border Region and Intergroup Relations in the Border Region. Before joining the ECMI, she was an Eakin Fellow at McGill University in Montreal as well as working at the University of Birmingham, Liverpool Hope University, and the Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning / Fryske Akademy. Ruth holds degrees from the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (MA), the University of Durham (MA), and Queen Mary University of London (PhD).

Ruth is an affiliated Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University. She is also an affiliated member of the Canadian Centre for Studies and Research on Bilingualism and Language Planning (CCERBAL) – part of the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) at the University of Ottawa.

Selected publications



  • Kircher, R. & Kutlu, E. (2023). Multilingual realities, monolingual ideologies: Social media representations of Spanish as a heritage language in the United States. Applied Linguistics, online ahead of print: (non-paywalled preprint:
  • Bayat, Z., Kircher, R., & Van de Velde, H. (2023). Minority language rights to education in international, regional, and domestic regulations and practices: The case of Frisians in the Netherlands. Current Issues in Language Planning, 24(8): 81-101. (open access)
  • Quirk, E., Brouillard, M., Ahooja, A., Ballinger, S., Polka, L., Byers-Heinlein, K., & Kircher, R. (2023). Quebec-based parents’ concerns regarding their children’s multilingual development. International Journal of Multilingualism, online ahead of print: (non-paywalled preprint:
  • Kircher, R. (2022). Intergenerational language transmission in Quebec: Patterns and predictors in the light of provincial language planning. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 25(2): 418-435.
  • Kircher, R., Quirk, E., Brouillard, M., Ahooja, A., Ballinger, S., Polka, L., & Byers-Heinlein, K. (2022). Quebec-based parents’ attitudes towards childhood multilingualism: Evaluative dimensions and potential predictors. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 51(5): 527-552. (open access)
  • Ahooja, A., Brouillard, M., Quirk, E., Ballinger, S., Polka, L., Byers-Heinlein, K., & Kircher, R. (2022). Family language policy among Québec-based parents raising multilingual infants and toddlers: A study of resources as a form of language management. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, online ahead of print: (non-paywalled preprint:
  • Ballinger, S., Brouillard, M., Ahooja, A., Kircher, R., Polka, L., and Byers-Heinlein, K. (2022). Intersections of official and family language policy in Quebec. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 43(7): 614-628. (non-paywalled preprint:
  • Fibla, L., Kosie, J. E., Kircher, R., Lew-Williams, C., & Byers-Heinlein, K. (2022). Bilingual language development in infancy: What can we do to support bilingual families? Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 9(1): 35-43. (open access)
  • Schukking, A. F. & Kircher, R. (2022). Professional intercultural communicative competence and labour market integration among highly-educated refugees in the Netherlands. European Journal of Applied Linguistics, 10(1): 31-56. (open access)

For the complete list of publications, see here 

Selected conferences/talks/guest lectures



  • 26th May 2023: Montreal Bilingualism Initiative, McGill University; Montreal, Canada
    Title of talk: “The attitudes and ideologies that motivate multilingual parenting in Quebec”


  • 29th June 2023: International Symposiumon Bilingualism; Sydney, Australia
    Title of presentation: “New speakers and the safeguarding of linguistic diversity” – with E. Kutlu & M. Vellinga (online)
  • 21st June 2023: International Conference on Minority Languages; Carmarthen, Wales
    Title of presentation: “Promoting minority language use to foster revitalisation: Insights from new speakers of West Frisian” – with Ethan Kutlu & Mirjam Vellinga (online)
  • 4th May 2023: Canadian Centre for Studies and Research on Bilingualism and Language Planning (CCERBAL) conference; Ottawa, Canada
    Title of presentation: “The beliefs that motivate multilingual parenting in Quebec” – with Erin Quirk, Melanie Brouillard, Alexa Ahooja, Susan Ballinger, Linda Polka, & Krista Byers-Heinlein


  • 17th April 2023: Section d’anglais, Université de Lausanne; Lausanne, Switzerland
    Title of lecture: “Attitudes towards Multicultural London English” (online)


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