Suzanne Romaine was Merton Professor of English Language at the University of Oxford from 1984 to 2014. Prior to this, she was senior research scientist in Linguistic Anthropology, at the Max-Planck-Institut-für-Psycholinguistik, Nijmegen, Netherlands, and Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, England.
Her research interests lie primarily in historical linguistics and sociolinguistics, especially in problems of societal multilingualism, linguistic diversity, language change, language acquisition, and language contact in the broadest sense. Other areas of interest include corpus linguistics, language and gender, literacy, and bilingual/immersion education. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Europe (first on the language of working class schoolchildren in Scotland and subsequently on patterns of bilingualism and language loss among Panjabi speakers in England) as well as in the Pacific Islands region (first in Papua New Guinea on the language of rural and urban schoolchildren, and most recently in Hawai’i).
She was a member of the UNESCO Expert Group that produced UNESCO’s position paper on Education in a Multilingual World. She also authored a backgrounder paper on Languages and Cultural Identities for Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue.