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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 regularly on multilingual education policy and practice in the United States and the Andes (Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador) and has also worked in Brazil, China, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and other parts of the world.
After graduating with a B.A. cum laude from Harvard and M.A. from New York University, Dr. Hornberger lived and worked in Quechua-speaking areas of the Andes for over a decade, where she later also carried out her doctoral dissertation research on bilingual education and Indigenous language revitalization. Dr. Hornberger received her Ph.D. in educational policy studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985 and joined the faculty at Penn's Graduate School of Education the same year, later also joining Penn’s Anthropology Graduate Group. She served as acting and interim dean of Penn GSE from 1993–1995, held the Goldie Anna chair from 1993–1998, and directed/chaired Educational Linguistics for more than 20 years, also convening the annual Nessa Wolfson Colloquium. From 2000–2015, she served as convener of Penn GSE's annual international Ethnography in Education Research Forum, now entering its fifth decade.
Dr. Hornberger is a former editor of the international Anthropology and Education Quarterly and of the ten-volume Encyclopedia of Language and Education (2nd edition, Springer, 2008). Since 1995, she has served as co-editor of the international book series on Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Multilingual Matters), which has surpassed 100 published books. She serves on the editorial boards of numerous other book series and scholarly journals.
A three-time recipient of the Fulbright Senior Specialist Award — to Paraguay (2001), New Zealand (2002), and South Africa (2008) — Dr. Hornberger has also been recognized with the Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award from the American Association for Applied Linguistics (2008), the University of Pennsylvania Provost’s Award for Distinguished Ph.D. Teaching and Mentoring (2008), Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (2010), and the George and Louise Spindler Award for Distinguished, Exemplary, and Inspirational Contributions to Educational Anthropology (2014). Professor Hornberger received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Arts at Umeå University in Sweden (2018).
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.
Currently, Dr. Hornberger is working on 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 ethnographic monitoring consultancies and classroom observations in Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, China, and elsewhere.
Additional long-term research projects include Literacy in Two Languages, an ethnographic school/community study in the Puerto Rican and Cambodian communities of Philadelphia, carried out with participation of Penn GSE students across several decades, and Quechua Language and Literacy in the Urban Andean Highlands, an ethnography of communication in urban contexts of the Andes.
Ph.D. (Educational Policy Studies; minor in Linguistics) University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1985
M.A. (Education, specializing in Bilingual Education) New York University, 1973
B.A. cum laude (Hispanic-American History and Literature) Harvard University, 1972
Areas of Expertise
Educational linguistics and sociolinguistics
Educational ethnography and anthropology
Bilingualism and biliteracy
Multilingualism and language education policy
Ethnography of language policy
Indigenous education and language revitalization