Nancy H. Hornberger

Chair, Educational Linguistics Division
Convenor, Ethnography in Education Research Forum

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-898-7957



After graduating from Harvard and New York University, Dr. Hornberger lived and worked for more than a decade in Quechua-speaking areas of the Andes, where she also carried out her dissertation research on bilingual education and indigenous language revitalization. She received her Ph.D. in educational policy studies in 1985 and joined the faculty of Penn's Graduate School of Education the same year. She served as acting and interim dean of Penn GSE from 1993 to 1995, held the Goldie Anna chair from 1993 to 1998, and has directed Educational Linguistics for 14 years. She is a member of the Anthropology Graduate Group. Since 2000, she has also been the convenor of Penn GSE's annual international Ethnography in Education Research Forum, now entering its fourth decade.

Dr. Hornberger is editor of the international journal Anthropology and Education Quarterly and of the ten-volume Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd edition (Springer, 2008), as well as co-editor of the international book series on Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Multilingual Matters). She serves on the editorial boards of numerous other book series and scholarly journals. In 2008, she received both the Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award from the American Association for Applied Linguistics and the University of Pennsylvania Provost’s Award for Distinguished Ph.D. Teaching and Mentoring; in 2010 she was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

Dr. Hornberger is internationally known for her work in bilingualism and biliteracy, ethnography and language policy, and indigenous language revitalization. She researches, lectures, teaches, and consults on multilingual education policy and practice in the United States, the Andes (Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador), Brazil, China, Singapore, South Africa, and other parts of the world. She is a three-time recipient of a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award—to Paraguay, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Hornberger investigates language and education in culturally and linguistically diverse settings, combining methods and perspectives from educational anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and sociolinguistics. She gives special attention to educational policy and practice for Indigenous and immigrant language groups, compared across national contexts. Long-term projects include "Literacy in Two Languages," an ethnographic school/community study in the Puerto Rican and Cambodian communities of Philadelphia; "Quechua Language and Literacy in the Urban Andean Highlands," an ethnography of communication in urban contexts of the Andes; and "Multilingual Language Policy and Classroom Practice: Comparative Perspectives on Indigenous Language Revitalization," a series of case studies based on ethnographic research in Bolivia, and short-term consultancies and classroom observations in Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and elsewhere.

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