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Dr. Cassandra Smith Christmas


Originally from Virginia in the US, Cassie received her PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2012 for her thesis on code-switching and language maintenance in a Gaelic-speaking family on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. From 2012-2016, Cassie was a research fellow for Soillse, the interuniversity Gaelic language research network, for the University of the Highlands and Islands. Part of this fellowship was spent at Lews Castle College on the Isle of Lewis and between 2014-2015, Cassie also held a fellowship at the Institute for the Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, during which time she completed her monograph Family Language Policy: Maintaining an Endangered Language in the Home (Palgrave, 2016). Other publications include articles in the Journal of Pragmatics; Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development; Current Issues in Language Planning; Language, Culture and Curriculum; and theInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language. Cassie is currently at the University of Limerick with a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by the Irish Research Council to conduct a comparative study of Family Language Policy (FLP) in Scotland and Ireland.

Research Interests

Multilingualism; Language Shift and Maintenance; Family Language Policy; Minority Language Issues; Code-Switching; Language and Migration; New Speaker Issues; Pragmatics; Conversational Analysis

Professional Activities


  • 2017 Foundation for Endangered Languages,


  • 2016 - Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2014 - Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute for the Advanced Studies in the Humanities
  • 2014 - British Association of Applied Linguistics/ Cambridge University Press Seminar Award


  • 2016 Coordinating Communications Officer, COST New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges


  • 2012 University of the Highlands and Islands - Soillse Research Fellow


  • 2012 University of Glasgow - PhD
  • 2007 Leiden University - MA
  • 2006 College of William and Mary - Bachelor of Arts


  • In 2014, I organised Là Fealla-Dhà/Gaelic Family Fun with Commun na Gàidhlig. This event was held at Lews Castle College, Stornoway, and was aimed at promoting the use of Gaelic in fun and family-centred activities.

    I currently am one of the coordinators for the Migration and Asylum Network (MAN) within COST New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges.



Book Chapter


Family Language Policy: New Directions
Smith-Christmas, Cassie
Family Language Policies in a Multilingual World Opportunities, Challenges, and Consequences


Voicing the ‘other' Code-switching in discourses of Gaelic language ideologies
Dunmore, S. and Smith-Christmas, C.
Language Variation - European Perspectives V: Selected papers from the Seventh International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 7), Trondheim, June 2013 DOI: 10.1075/silv.17.07dun


Gaelic Scotland and Ireland: issues of class and diglossia in an evolving social landscape
Smith-Christmas, C and Ó hIfearnáin, T
Globalising Sociolinguistics Challenging and Expanding Theory DOI: 10.4324/9781315697826


Stance and code-switching: Gaelic-English bilinguals on the Isles of Skye and Harris
Smith-Christmas, C
Language Variation - European Perspectives IV Selected papers from the Sixth International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 6), Freiburg, June 2011 DOI: 10.1075/silv.14

Other Journal

Other Publication


I am a white linguist
Smith-Christmas, C
Belonging, Identity, Language Diversity Research Group

Peer Reviewed Journal


Gaelic on the Isle of Skye: older speakers' identity in a language-shift situation
Smith-Christmas, C and Smakman, D
International Journal Of The Sociology Of Language DOI: 10.1515/IJSL.2009.043