Professor, Acting Chair: Sept. 1 - Dec. 31, 2019

Grit LiebscherApplied linguistics (sociolinguistics, bilingualism, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, language and identity, German migration)

Contact information




Leipzig, Edinburgh, Austin, Waterloo – these are the main stations of my academic and personal life. My interest in linguistics, sports, travelling and music started in Leipzig, Germany. My experience travelling the world grew when the East German wall came down in 1989. I got the chance to experience the university, castle, and ghosts of Edinburgh, Scotland. My taste in country, blues and jazz was then strongly influenced by the great music on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. Waterloo, Ontario, is my home since 1999. When I am not reading linguistics books or novels, I may be playing tennis, swimming, or enjoying music in Waterloo at the Blues Festival or the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. There is also a good chance that I am out driving my kids around to activities or watching them dance or play music. Frequent trips to Germany take me to Leipzig, Berlin, and Mannheim.


  • PhD (Texas at Austin)
  • Staatsexamen (Leipzig)

Selected Publications


Schulze, Mathias, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach (Eds). (forthcoming) Germans of Waterloo Region. Ottawa: Petra Books.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2013) Language, Space, and Identity in Migration. Palgrave Macmillan. 

Schulze, Mathias, James M. Skidmore, David G. John, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach (Eds). (2008) German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Recent articles

Kampen Robinson, Christine and Grit Liebscher. (to appear 2019). Transculturality in telecollaboration: examining language learner closings in online chats. Classroom Discourse (Special Issue. Guest editors: Maxi Kupetz, Hina You, Karen Glaser)

Liebscher Grit and Sara Marsh. (to appear 2019). Konversationsanalytische Perspektive: Funktionen und Bedeutung von Lachen im Klassenzimmer. In: Schart, Michael (Ed.) Fach- und sprachintegrierter Unterricht an der Universität. Untersuchungen zum Zusammenspiel von Inhalten, Aufgaben und dialogischen Lernprozessen, Gießener Beiträge zur Fremdsprachendidaktik, Tuebingen: Narr Verlag.

Reichert, Tetyana and Grit Liebscher. (2018). Transitions with “Okay”: Managing Language Alternation in Role-Play. In: Anna Filipi and Numa Markee (Eds.), Capturing transitions in the second language classroom: A focus on language alternation practices, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 131-150.

Liebscher, Grit, Ruediger Mueller, and Philip Griffiths. (2017). Internationalisation through telecollaboration: A German/Canadian experience. In: Hiltraud Casper-Hehne and Tanja Rieffenrath (Eds.) Internationalisierung der Curricula an Hochschulen. Konzepte, Initiativen, Maßnahmen. Bielefeld: W. Bertelsmann Verlag. 132-144.

Liebscher, Grit und Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain. (2017). Sprechen über Essen: Konstruktion von Raum und Gruppenzugehörigkeit im Migrationskontext. In: Joanna Szczęk and Marcelina Kałasznik (Eds.), Intra- und interlinguale Zugänge zum kulinarischen Diskurs (Beiträge zur Fremdsprachenvermittlung, Sonderheft 24), 43-56. 

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2017). Contextualizing language attitudes: An interactional perspective.  Lang Linguist Compass. 2017; e12250.

König, Katharina, Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain, and Grit Liebscher. (2015). A comparison of heritage language ideologies in interaction. Journal of Sociolinguistics 19, 4 (September). 484-510.

Dailey-O’Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher (2014) Primary Language Use in Foreign Language Classrooms. In: The Routledge Handbook of Educational Linguistics. Ed. by Bigelow, Martha and Johanna Ennser-Kananen. London/New York: Routledge. 327-338.

Liebscher, Grit und Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain. (2014). Die Rolle von Wissen und Positionierung bei Spracheinstellungen im diskursiven Kontext. In: Rebekka Studler and Christina Cuonz (eds.), Sprechen über Sprache. Perspektiven und neue Methoden der linguistischen Einstellungsforschung Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verlag. 107-121.

Liebscher, Grit. (2013) Multilinguals in the language classroom and curricular consequences. In: Traditions and transitions. Ed. by John Plews and Barbara Schmenk. Wilfrid Laurier Press. 125-141.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain. (2013) Constructing identities through Laughter. In: Studies of Laughter in Interaction, edited by Phillip Glenn and Liz Holt. Continuum Press/Bloomsbury Publishing: London/New York. 234-257.

Reichert, Tetyana and Grit Liebscher. (2012). Positioning the expert: word searches, expertise, and learning opportunities in peer interaction. Modern Language Journal 96, 4, 595-605.

Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2011).  Germans from different places: constructing a German space in urban Canada. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 23/4 (special issue on Germanic languages and migration in North America, ed. by Kristine Horner), 315-345.

Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2011). Language attitudes, migrant identities, and space. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 212, 91-133.

Liebscher, Grit, Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain, Mareike Mueller, and Tetyana Reichert. (2010). Negotiating identities through pronouns of address in an immigrant community. Pragmatics 20, 3, 375-400.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2009). Language attitudes in interaction. Journal of Sociolinguistics 13, 2, 195-222.


  • GER/REES 261/ENGL 220A: Languages in Society I: Discourse Analysis
  • GER/REES 262/ENGL 220B: Languages in Society II: Multilingualism
  • GER 303: German through Media
  • GER 612: Topics in Sociolinguistics: Language, migration, and identity
  • GER 601: Approaches to Linguistics (Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis)
  • GER 613: Approaches to Analyzing Communication
  • GER 613: Language and Identity
  • GER 612/GER 431: Topics in Sociolinguistics: Multilingualism in the Modern World
University of Waterloo

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