Alexander von Humboldt Professorship 2025

Ingrid Piller

Ingrid Piller has had a lasting influence on applied linguistics. Her research into linguistic diversity and intercultural communication radiates well beyond her specialist field and has an impact on disciplines such as sociology, history and educational science.

  • Nominating University: Universität Hamburg
Porträt von Ingrid Piller
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Language and democracy are closely related. People who don’t feel linguistically represented in a society, lose the desire to engage with it. The linguistics scholar, Ingrid Piller, is particularly interested in the interaction between language, culture and society. She investigates how linguistic practices influence participation and integration in multicultural communities. She also explores how people use different languages to express their identity and position themselves in various social environments.

Ingrid Piller has studied the impact of language on educational performance and social mobility, especially amongst minority groups and migrants.
In this undertaking, she focuses on the social dimension whilst also addressing the issue of communication – for instance, how authorities communicate with migrants. Piller actively campaigns for the recognition and promotion of linguistic diversity and advocates the development of inclusive language policies and practices. In a unique way she combines theoretical development and databased research, indicating ways in which educational science and linguistics can act in a socially networked fashion.

In Hamburg, Ingrid Piller is invited to head the Literacy in Diversity Settings research centre (LiDS) that was established in 2021. The university wants to develop it into a cross-faculty centre and reinforce its focus on linguistic diversity yet further. Ingrid Piller’s international expertise is set to fill the gap in the field of informal and life-long learning.

Brief bio

Ingrid Piller is the Distinguished Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where she was also the director of the Adult Migrant English Program Research Centre. Before moving to Australia she conducted research, amongst others, in the United States, in Switzerland and in Germany. She completed her doctorate in Dresden in 1995. She is an elected member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and was granted the Humboldt Foundation’s Anneliese Maier Research Award in 2018.

Ingrid Piller has been selected for a Humboldt Professorship and is currently conducting appointment negotiations with the German university that nominated her for the award. If the negotiations end successfully, the award will be granted in 2025.