14.10.2009

Heiko F. Marten

My background is in language policy and minority languages. I am a native of
Berlin, where I also studied English, Scandinavian Studies and History and
where I finally obtained a PhD in English Linguistics at the Freie
Universität. My dissertation dealt with minority language policy regarding
Sámi in Norway and Gaelic in Scotland, with a particular focus on what role
the Norwegian Sameting and the (at the time quite new) Scottish Parliament
have been in shaping minority language policy and for increasing language
maintenance prospects. My dissertation was defended in 2007

After my PhD, I started to work in Latvia at Rezekne University College from
September 2007 as a lecturer at the Department of Philology. My classes
involved numerous aspects of linguistics and practical language courses in
German, English, Norwegian and Spanish. My linguistic courses dealt with my
core topics of language and society, but also with areas much further apart
such as cognitive linguistics, stylistics, phonetics/phonology and even
non-linguist courses such as an introduction to 20th century German
literature.

Regarding research, I continued my work on language policy and minority
languages, analysing language policy processes, legislation and relationship
between politcal parties, ideologies and languages in various countries. In
2008 I conducted a research project in several cities in the Baltic States
following the method of Linguistic Landscapes. Another research project
dealt with the role of the role of the regional language of Latgalian, in
particular with regard to its position in the educational system of the
region of Latgale.

Since September 2009, I have worked as a DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer
Austauschdienst) lecturer in German linguistics at Tallinn University in
Estonia. I am presently interested in questions of motivation in language
learning, in particular with regard to German in the Baltic States, and I am
continuing to follow issues of language policy, e.g. in the Poga network of
language rights in Russia and Europe. In addition, I am expanding my
interests in the fields of minority education and into historical
sociolinguistics, language contact and language biographies. In my position
as a representative of the DAAD, I am also dealing with questions of
marketing of languages and linguistic issues. At the same time, I am keeping
close institutional and personal ties to Rezekne University College and
issues of multilingualism in Latvia.