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Personal profile


Bent Preisler

Professor Emeritus, English Language and Sociolinguistics

Dr.Phil. (Dr.Habil.)


Bent Preisler resides at 

Pallisvej 44, 8220 Brabrand, Denmark

E-mail address: preisler@ruc.dk

Tel. +45 2335 5545


Personal research and research-related activities

- Author and co-author of internationally published books and articles on aspects of the English language, including grammar, pronunciation, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, language pedagogy, and English as a foreign and international language. Among other things, contributed by invitation to the Routledge debate volume on Standard English with Jenny Cheshire, James Milroy, Lesley Milroy, Peter Trudgill and Dennis Preston, among others (Routledge, 1999; see bibl.).

- Associate editor of the international journal English Studies since 2003.

- Writer for the Danish National Encyclopedia, on linguistic topics, 1993-2001.

- In recent years a main topic of BP's has been language and educational policies regarding English as a foreign language in Denmark, as reflected by his bibliography. He was the founder and director of the CALPIU Research Center (see below) until his retirement in 2012.



Born 1945 in Aarhus, Denmark.

Education and affiliations

2012   Professor Emeritus affiliated with Dep. of Culture and Identity, R.U. Has since his retirement kept up with research-related activities, authoring and co-authoring articles and co-editing books.

2009-2012    Director of the CALPIU Research Center (Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the International University), funded by the Danish Research Council for Culture and Communication.

ca. 2002-2012 Director of the SCALPS Research Group (Sociolinguistics, Conversation Analysis, Language Pedagogy and Sociocultural issues).

2000            Visiting Scholar, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (Spring Semester).

1992-2012    Professor of English Language and Sociolinguistics, Roskilde Univ., Denmark.

1989-1992    Reader (docent) in English Language, University of Aarhus.

1987             Dr. Phil. (habilitation), University of Aarhus.

1984             Visiting Professor, State Univ. of New York, Binghamton (Spring Semester).

1974-1989    Assistant/Associate Professor in English Language, University of Aarhus.

1973             Awarded the Otto Jespersen Memorial Award.

1973             Magister Artium in English, University of Aarhus.

1965             Artium in modern languages, Fredericia Gymna­sium (Denmark).

1962-63        Exchange Student U.S.A.


Research grantee

- 2008. As Director of CALPIU, awarded DKK 7,000,000 by the Danish Research Council for Culture and Communication.

- 2007. As Director of CALPIU, awarded DKK 500,000 by the Danish Research Council for Culture and Communication.

Research grantee several times previously, e.g. in connection with a large-scale project on the use of, and attitudes toward, the English language in Denmark (Danish Research Council for the Humanities).


Selected publications

- 2015 (as co-author, with Hartmut Haberland). The position of Danish, English and other languages at Danish universities in the context of Danish society.  Ch. 2 of F. Xavier Vila-i-Moreno (ed.)Lingua academica: Language policy in Higher Education. Challenges for Medium-Sized Language Communities. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

- 2014. Lecturing in one’s 1st language or in English as a Lingua Franca: Communicating authenticity. Acta Linuistica Hafniensia 46(2) 2014.

- 2014 (co-editor, with Anne Fabricius). Transcultural Interaction and Linguistic Diversity in Higher Education: The Student Experience. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

- 2011 (as co-editor, with Ida Klitgård and Anne Fabricius), Language and Learning in the International University: From English Uniformity to Diversity and Hybridity. Bristol: Multi­lingual Matters.

- 2010. The Influence of English in Scandinavia: three studies of language attitudes and change. In Kristensen, Tore, og Helge Sandøy (eds.) “The linguistic consequences of globalization: The Nordic countries”. Special Issue of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, July 2010, no. 204. Mouton de Gruyter. 161-172.

- 2009. Complementary Languages: The national language and English as working languages in European universities. Harder, Peter (ed.) "Global English, language policy and the universities", special edition of Angles on the English-Speaking World. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. 10-28.

-  2008a. Teaching in a foreign language: Linguistic performance and academic authority in the international university. In Haberland, Hartmut, et. al. (2008b) 103-122.

- 2008b. Haberland, Hartmut, Janus Mortensen, Anne Fabricius, Bent Preisler, Karen Risager, Susanne Kjærbeck (eds.) Higher Education in the Global Village. Roskilde Universitetscenter: CUID. 182 pp.

- 2005a. Deconstructing ‘the domain of science' as a sociolinguistic entity in EFL societies: The relationship between English and Danish in higher education and research. In Preisler, Bent, et al. (2005b) 238‑248.

- 2005b. Preisler, Bent, Anne Fabricius, Hartmut Haberland, Susanne Kjærbeck, Karen Risager (eds.). The Consequences of Mobility: Linguistic and Sociocultural Contact Zones. Roskilde University. Internetpublikation http://www.ruc.dk/cuid/publikationer/publikationer/mobility/. 294pp. (ISBN 87-7349-651-0).

- 2003. English in Danish and the Danes' English. In Kristiansen, Tore, and Normann Jørgensen (eds.) "The Sociolinguistics of Denmark and Danish." Special issue of The International Journal of the Sociology of Language (No. 159). 109-126.

- 1999. Functions and forms of English in a European EFL country. In Bex, Tony, and Richard Watts (eds.) Standard English: The Widening Debate. London: Routledge. 239-267.

- 1999. Danskerne og det engelske sprog. Frederiksberg: Roskilde University Press. 276 pp.

- 1995. Standard English in the World. In Multilingua 14(4) 341-362.

- 1992. A Handbook of English Grammar on Functional Principles. Aarhus Univ. Press. 288­ pp. (2nd ed. 1997).

- 1986. Linguistic Sex Roles in Conversation: Social Variation in the Ex­pres­sion of Tentati­veness in English. Berlin, New York, etc.: Mouton (Contribu­tions to the Sociology of Langu­age 45, ed. by Joshua Fishman). 347 pp.



- BP has supervised projects and taught courses on most language-related topics, at all levels of university teaching. Such topics have included not only "hard-core" linguistic ones (within English grammar and phonology) but also topics relating to sociolinguistics (e.g. language and gender, language and advertising, English influence on Danish), pragmatics (e.g. "polite language" in English and Danish), discourse analysis (e.g. analysis of political speeches), translation theory (e.g. as applied to different Danish translations of Shakespeare), language pedagogy (e.g. the teaching of English as a third language to ethnic minority children in Denmark).

- He is an experienced and successful PhD and PostDoc ("adjunkt"-) supervisor.

- Coordinator of (and teacher in) the GradEast sociolinguistics course for PhD students held annually at R.U., 2002-2010.


Administration (educational and research-related)

2005-2011     Director of the Research School Linguistic Studies, R.U. (associated with the GradEast research school for Eastern Denmark).

2004-2006     Coordinator of one of eleven officially recognized R.U. research efforts ("kernefelter"), Linguistic Pragmatics.

2002-            Director of the research group SCALPS ("Sociolinguistics, Conversation Analysis, Language Pedagogy and Sociocultural issues") at the Dept. of Language and Culture, R.U.

2002-2004    Coordinator of the Department's Research Education Programme.

1993-2003    Director of the Board of Studies for English, Roskilde University, for a total of 6 years.

1989-1992    Member of the Aarhus University Academic Council.

1989-1992    Member/chairman of the Faculty of Arts Research Scholarship Committee, University of Aarhus.


Research evaluation

- has served on numerous selection and evaluation boards, national as well as international, including many full-professorship and Dr.Phil. committees.

- Reader for the international journals Multilingua (2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2007), The International Journal of Applied Linguistics (2002), Journal of Pragmatics, (2003, 2004, 2005).

- Reader for the Swiss National Research Foundation (2000).

- On the committee for the evaluation of abstracts for the international conference on "Lan­guage Rights" in Hong Kong, June 1995.


Advisory board memberships

- The Research Council advisory board regarding a proposal for a new research effort, "Language and Power", 2004-2005.

- The Danish Evaluation Institute advisory board for the comparative evaluation of the Danish three-year high school English programmes, 2003-2004.

- The Danish Rectors' Conference advisory board regarding a language-policy proposal for the Danish universities, 2002-2003.


Organization of conferences and other projects

- Originator and director of the CALPIU research center (Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the International University), which was awarded DKK 7 mill. by the Danish research council in 2008.

- Chairman (co-chair, with Johs Wagner) of the second open, international CALPIU conference, CALPIU'12, at Comwell Roskilde, April 1-4, 2012.

- Chairman of the first open, international CALPIU conference, CALPIU'08, at Comwell Roskilde, December 15-17, 2008.

- Chairman of the (SCALPS) organizing committee for the international conference on The Consequences of Mobility: Linguistic and Sociocultural Contact Zones (keynote speakers Lesley Milroy, Peter Auer), Roskilde University, May 2003.

- Organizer or co-organizer of many symposia and guest lectures, e.g. with Peter Trudgill (at AU), M.A.K. Halliday, Penelope Eckert, Malcolm Coulthard, Wallace Chafe.

- Co-organizer and host of a branch of the IAUPE conference (Inter­natio­nal Association of Uni­ver­si­ty Professors of English; Copenhagen, July-August 1995) held at R.U.


Invited speaker/discussant (since 2000), selected events

- Invited guest speaker (with Anne Fabricius) on behalf of CALPIU, at Uppsala University (Sweden), Dept. of Scandinavian Languages. November 23, 2011.

- Invited speaker (with Hartmut Haberland and Janus Mortensen) on behalf of CALPIU, at seminar titled Multilingual and International Universities: Policies and Practices. Lleida University (English Dept.), Spain (Catalonia). November 11-12, 2011.

- Invited speaker (with Hartmut Haberland) on behalf of CALPIU at workshop at University of Barcelona, October 27-28, 2011.

- Invited discussant at Language Policy symposium in celebration of his 60th birthday (speakers: Tove Bull, Tromsø Univ.; Hartmut Haberland, RU, Peter Harder, Copenhagen Univ.; Anne Holmen, Danish Univ. of Education). RU, March 4, 2005.

- Invited speaker and discussant at the "Language and Identity" symposium held in Malmö, October 27, 2004, as part of an international conference on "Multi-Culturalism" organized by the British Embassies in Denmark and Sweden and the Malmö University.

- Invited speaker at a seminar for the English faculty, Copenhagen Business School, on  the future structure and contents of the CBS English programme. August 30, 2004.

- Invited keynote speaker at the Norwegian Language Council's conference on English as the language of higher education and research in Norway. Trondheim, November 27-28, 2003.

- Specially invited speaker at the annual symposium of the Danish Centre for Research in the Humanities, August 29, 2003. Topic: "English as the language of science in Denmark."

- Invited keynote speaker at the Secondary-School English Teachers' conference at the Univ. of Odense, November 12, 2002 (on English as liberal arts subject vs. internationalization tool in Danish Education).

- Invited main speaker at an international-English symposium organized by the Federation of Finnish-British Societies, the British Embassy in Finland, and the Univ. of  Helsinki (English Dept.). October 13, 2001.

- Invited speaker at the European Language Year Opening Conference organized by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, March 15, 2001.

- Invited, as Visiting Scholar, to guest lecture (on the sociolinguistics of English in European EFL countries) at the Ling. Dept. of the Univ. of California at Santa Barbara, March 2, 2000.

- Invited by the organizers, Profs Richard Watts and Peter Trudgill, to address the Berne Univ. Academic Committee's conference on the sociolinguistic influence of English in Switzerland, January 28-29, 2000.


  • Language, Language usage, Philosophy of language
  • Language in society
  • Language and globalisation
  • Language and communication
  • Linguistic change
  • Language attitudes
  • Language education
  • Language policy
  • Structure and use of the English language
  • English as an international language
  • Influence of English on Danish language and society
  • International varieties of English
  • Language and youth culture
  • Language and gender
  • Language norms/standardization