Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain, PhD, MA, BA

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Modern Languages and Cultural Studies Dept


Professor, Faculty of Arts - Modern Languages and Cultural Studies Dept



I am a Professor of German Applied Linguistics in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies. I have been teaching at the University of Alberta since 1997.

I was educated in the United States, receiving bachelor's degrees in German and Linguistics at Michigan State University in East Lansing and a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Germanic Linguistics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I taught German for six years at the University of Michigan during my graduate education before coming to the U of A.


I am a sociolinguist with a research focus on everyday language in use, but always with an eye toward how this use relates to broader social phenomena such as identity, ideology, and globalization.

My past research has included projects on the perception of language variation in post-unification Germany, language use among migrants from western to eastern Germany, code-switching in the advanced foreign-language classroom, language, identity and space among German-Canadians, and the use of transnational English in social media interaction by Dutch and German youth. 

My current research includes a project on language ideologies in and regarding the linguistic landscape, and another on multimodal approaches to interactive intercultural communication.


I teach courses on German linguistics and applied linguistics, though in the past I have also taught German language courses. I also teach a introductory undergraduate course in English called Language and Power. I teach at all levels, from beginning undergraduate to advanced graduate, and I have supervised both honours undergraduate and graduate students working on all sorts of languages. 


If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree (MA or PhD) under my supervision, please see this page about graduate supervision.


GERM 318 - Language and Society in the German-Speaking World

This course introduces students to the study of the relationship between the German language and the societies of the German- speaking countries. Co-requisite: GERM 303 or consent of Department.

GERM 416 - Second Language Acquisition: German

The course deals with the principles and processes in structured and unstructured language learning and with the different hypotheses and theories concerning language learning, in particular German. Prerequisite: One of GERM 306, 316, 317, or consent of Department.

GERM 499 - Special Topics

Prerequisite: consent of Department.

MLCS 231 - Language and Power

How language, both spoken and written, creates and sustains economic, social, and political power.

MLCS 495 - Honors Thesis

MLCS 599 - Directed Reading

MLCS 799 - Candidacy Colloquium

Preparation for the candidacy exam. This is a pass/ fail course. Prerequisite: consent of Department.

Browse more courses taught by Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain


Language Ideologies, Multilingualism, and Social Media.

Author(s): Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: from the book Trans-National English in Social Media Communities
Volume: Chapter 2
Page Numbers: 23-60
External Link:

The Use and the Discursive Functions of English in Native-Language Online Conversations Among Dutch and German Youth.

Author(s): Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: Sociolinguistica
Issue: 27
Page Numbers: 147-167
External Link:

Language Attitudes, Migrant Identities, and Space.

Author(s): Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain, Grit Liebscher
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: International Journal of the Sociology of Language
Volume: 212
Issue: December
Page Numbers: 91-133
External Link:

Language Attitudes in Interaction.

Author(s): Grit Liebscher, Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Journal of Sociolinguistics
Volume: 13
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 195-222
External Link:

Learner Code-Switching in the Content-Based Language Classroom.

Author(s): Grit Liebscher, Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: Canadian Modern Language Review
Volume: 60
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 501-525
External Link: