Dr Cassie Smith-Christmas

Research Fellow for Soillse

Cassie Smith-Christmas


e: Cassie.SmithChristmas@uhi.ac.uk

Cassie is a Research Fellow for Soillse, the Gaelic sociolinguistic research network based at UHI, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Glasgow.

Cassie is currently visiting the Institution for Advanced Studies in Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh to pursue her project ‘Còig Bliadhna às Dèidh: A Longitudinal Study of Family Language Policy in a Gaelic-English Bilingual Family.’ Her e-mail remains the same but her phone number is now +44 (0)131 651 1162.



  • BA in Linguistics from the College of William and Mary, Virginia, USA
  • MA in English Language and Culture Specialising in Language Acquisition from the Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands (Thesis entitled 'He brought home the English:' Language Shift on the Isle of Skye, Scotland)
  • PhD in Celtic and Gaelic at the University of Glasgow (2012), thesis entitled I've lost it here dè a bh' agam: Language Shift, Maintenance, and Code-Switching in a Bilingual Family


Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Smith-Christmas, Cassie and Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin. (In press; expected January 2015). 'Gaelic Scotland and Ireland: Issues of Class and Diglossia in an Evolving Social Landscape.' Globalising Sociolinguistics, edited by In Dick Smakman and Patrick Heinrich. London: Routledge.
  • Smith-Christmas, Cassie, and Timothy Currie Armstrong. 2014. “Complementary RLS strategies in education: The importance of adult heritage learners of threatened minority languages.” Current Issues in Language Planning.
  • Smith-Christmas, Cassie. 2014. “Being socialised in language shift: the impact of extended family members on family language policy.” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 5(35), 511–526.
  • Smith-Christmas, Cassie. 2014. “Code-Switching in ‘Flannan Isles:’ A Microinteractional Approach to a Bilingual Narrative.” Pp. 277–95 in Sociolinguistics in Scotland, edited by Robert Lawson. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Smith-Christmas, Cassie. 2013. “Stance and Code-Switching: Gaelic-English Bilinguals on the Isles of Skye and Harris, Scotland.” Pp. 229–45 in Language Variation – European Perspectives IV. Selected papers from the Sixth International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 6), Freiburg June 2011, edited by Peter Auer, Javier Caro Reina, and Göz Kaufmann. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Smakman, Dick, and Cassie Smith-Christmas. 2009. “Gaelic on the Isle of Skye: older speakers’ identity in a language shift situation.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 200:27–48. DOI: 10.1515/IJSL.2009.043



  • £1250 from the British Association of Applied Linguistics/Cambridge University Press to host the seminar Languages in the UK: Bridging the gap between the classroom and the community in language learning (2014)
  • £3000 from Soillse Small Research Grant Fund for the project ‘Language and Integration: In-Migrants to Gaelic-Speaking (2013. Report Available at: http://bit.ly/Vq9Jl1

Presentations as an Invited Speaker

  • ‘Scottish Gaelic.’ Presentation at the BBC building in London as part of a joint BBC/AHRC-funded workshop ‘Scottish Identity.’ (2013)


Selected Conference Paper Presentations

  • ‘Evacuees, Cleachdadh Cànain, is Ideòlasan Cànain.’ Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 8, University of Edinburgh ( 2014)
  • ‘Language and Space: Language Ideologies in the Linguistic Landscape of Stornoway, Scotland. Sociolinguistics Symposium 20.’ University of Jyväskylä, Finland. (2014)
  • ‘Anyway Co-dhiù: The use of discourse markers in bilingual Scottish Gaelic-English Speech. Discourse Pragmatic Variation and Change.’ Newcastle University (2014)
  • ‘Overcoming the “Inertia Condition of Language Choice:” The Challenges faced by Heritage Speakers of Scottish Gaelic. British Association of Applied Linguistics, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland (2013)
  • ‘Language Ideologies and code-switching in Scottish Gaelic discourse: affective stance and voicing the ‘other.’ 44th Poznan Linguistic Meeting, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland (2013)
  • ‘Family Language Policy: Gaelic Maintenance Efforts on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.’ European Language Diversity for All Conference, University of Vienna, Austria (2013)
  • The Dynamics of Language Shift and Maintenance in a Bilingual Family.' University of the Highlands and Islands Research Conference, Inverness (2012). Findings reported on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-20257806
  • ‘Stance and Code-Switching: Gaelic-English bilinguals on the Isles of Skye and Harris.’ Sixth International Conference on Language Variation in Europe, Freiburg, Germany (2011)
  • ‘Thuirt e, thuirt i: Code-Switching and Constructed Dialogue in the Speech of Older Bilinguals.’ Rannsachadh na Gaidhlig 7, University of Glasgow, Scotland (2012)
  • ‘Interactional Spaces, Code-Switching, and Scottish Gaelic’. Sociolinguistics Symposium 19. University of Southampton, UK (2010)


Conference Organisation (Co-Organiser Roles)

  • Summer School of Sociolinguistics III, University of Glasgow (2011)
  • Communicating Change: Weaving the Web into the Future Post-graduate Conference, University of Glasgow (2009)
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