Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain: Academic details

Current Academic Position:

I am a Professor of German and Applied Linguistics in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies. I have been teaching at the University of Alberta since 1997.


I was educated in the United States, receiving bachelor's degrees in German and Linguistics at Michigan State University in East Lansing and a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Germanic Linguistics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, USA. I taught German for six years at the University of Michigan during my graduate education before coming to the U of A.


I mostly teach courses on German linguistics and applied linguistics, though sometimes I also teach German language courses. I also teach a introductory undergraduate course in English called Language and Power. I teach at all levels, from beginning undergraduate to advanced graduate, and I have supervised both honours undergraduate and graduate students working on all sorts of languages. (If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies under my supervision, please make sure to read this before contacting me about applying.)

Past Research:

Although the bulk of my work has been on German, I have also done quite a bit of research on English, and continue that alongside my work on German. I have also done work on Dutch. While I have worked within many different topic areas, methodologies and sociolinguistic traditions, and several different languages and dialects, a major interest that unifies everything I've done is the link between language use and larger societal phenomena like ideology, identity, and globalization.

Besides my doctoral dissertation on the perception of language variation in post-unification Germany, my past projects have included work on "Canadian raising" in the U.S. city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, the sociolinguistic distribution of and attitudes toward the discourse marker and quotative 'like' in U.S. English, language use among migrants from western to eastern Germany, code-switching in the advanced foreign-language classroom, and language, identity, and space among German-Canadians (the last three of these were joint projects with Dr Grit Liebscher from the University of Waterloo). My most recent completed project was a study of the differential use of English within online conversations of German youth on the one hand and Dutch youth on the other, and what these differences can tell us about language and globalization. The culmination of this project was a book entitled Trans-National English in Social Media Communities that was published in Palgrave MacMillan's Language and Globalization series in 2017.

Current Research:

My main current project, also a joint project with Dr Liebscher, is concerned with language ideologies both in and about the linguistic landscape of two cities in Germany, one in the west and one in the east. It is entitled "Language ideologies and the linguistic landscape." I am also currently part of an international research group led by Dr Ulrike Schröder of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil), which received a Research Development Fund grant from the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) for collaborative work and scholarly exchange in 2019. That project is entitled "International communication in interaction: multimodal approaches." Closer to home, I am also part of the organizing team for the University of Alberta Faculty of Arts' Signature Area of Research and Creative Collaboration on Language, Communication, and Culture, which serves as a local U of A research network and collaboration incubator.

For more information, see my full curriculum vitae.

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