Francis M. Hult joined the faculty of the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies in 2007, where he teaches in the TESL master's program and the Culture, Literacy, and Language doctoral program.
Growing up as a bilingual speaker of Swedish and English, Francis Hult has had a
life-long fascination with language. As he was raised in the United States while also
spending extensive time in Sweden with his extended family, complex issues related to
multiculturalism, multilingualism, and transnationalism took on personal significance.
These issues later became matters of academic and professional interest when Francis
attended New York University, earning BA and MA degrees, and the University of
Pennsylvania, where he earned a PhD in educational linguistics.
He has taught at Lund University and the University of Pennsylvania. While at NYU, Hult trained in TESOL and French education in New York City Public Schools and, while in Philadelphia, he taught advanced spoken English at
International House. Hult is also professionally active. He has been a contributing editor for the Foundation
for Endangered Language's publication Ogmios, and he served on
the promotions committee for the joint AAAL-CAAL/ACLA 2006 conference. He is currently on the editorial boards of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language and Anthropology & Education Quarterly. He is also the founder and manager of the Educational Linguistics List (Edling), an
international forum for scholars engaged with issues pertaining to language in
education. Together with Leo van Lier, he is also co-editor of the Educational Linguistics book series for Springer.
Hult's research work focuses on the management of linguistic diversity in
multilingual social environments, with an emphasis on the impact of transnationlism on language policies and practices.
He is particularly interested in processes of language planning that
attempt to manage the status of national languages with respect to
minority and foreign languages in Scandinavia. He investigates these issues
in relation to micro-level language use, drawing on ethnographic and
discourse analytic methods (e.g., nexus analysis and linguistic landscape
analysis) to study the implications of language choices by individuals who
live, work, and study in multilingual settings.
Related to the management of language in educational settings, Hult explores the history and development of educational linguistics as a transdisciplinary (sub)field. He examines its symbiotic relationship to applied linguistics as well as the methodological implications of conducting problem-oriented research that transcends disciplines. He is co-editor (with Bernard Spolsky) of the Handbook of Educational
Linguistics (Blackwell, 2008), editor of Directions and Prospects for Educational Linguistics (Springer, 2010), and co-editor (with Kendall King) of Educational Linguistics in Practice: Applying the Local Globbally and the Global Locally (Multilingual Matters, 2011).
His work appears in international
journals such as Current Issues in Language Planning, Language Policy,
and Language Problems and Language Planning as well as in several edited volumes. Hult has lectured on
sociolinguistics, language policy, and discourse analysis at universities in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, and Canada
and presented at international
conferences throughout Europe and North America.
He was the 2010 Language Learning Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the University of
Calgary, Language Research Centre.