Ruth Kircher

Dr. Ruth Kircher is a sociolinguist with a specialisation in multilingualism and minority languages in intergroup situations. Her work focuses on three interrelated strands: (1) language attitudes, language ideologies, and their influence on linguistic/social behaviour; (2) policy and planning to promote the transmission and maintenance/revitalisation of minority languages; as well as (3) policy and planning to reduce the stereotyping and discrimination of linguistic minorities. Ruth is interested in autochthonous as well as allochthonous minorities. 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”. 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. & Zipp, L. (Eds.) (2022). Research methods in language attitudes. Cambridge University Press.



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)


The full list of publications can be downloaded here

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