Nele Karolin Teiva

Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics Appoints Two New Professors

Following the latest Senate meeting, the Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics has become richer by two professors. Ilona Tragel was elected as the Professor of Language Awareness and Estonian Language Teaching, and Virve Vihman was promoted to the position of Professor of Psycholinguistics.

The election of these two new professors demonstrates the vitality of our institute and the relevance of linguistic topics. Our institute's achievements in linguistics have been acknowledged by the QS World University Rankings by Subject as Linguistics has been in the top 200 for two consecutive years. Linguistics is much more than grammar studies, new methods and theories are constantly being developed and our new professors are leading the way. 

The election of two new professors shows the vitality of the Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics and the relevance of linguistics topics. The institute's achievements have also been recognized by the international consulting company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), whose prestigious subject ranking has included Linguistics in the top 200 research fields for two consecutive years.

The concept of the professorship in Language Awareness and Estonian Language Teaching is fairly new. Language awareness, in its broadest sense, can be understood as an understanding of the nature of language and its role in thinking, learning, and other social processes, such as power relations and culture. This approach is precisely what the newly appointed Professor Ilona Tragel applies in her teaching, utilizing methods of experiential learning and process-centered approaches.

Promoted to Professor, Virve Vihman addresses two current topics: children's language acquisition and bilingualism. In today's Estonia, these issues are significant both in the school environment and from the perspective of societal diversity. The number of speakers of Estonian as a second language and bilingual children is continually increasing, which means that research in these areas is becoming increasingly important.

Two new professors
Psycholinguistics Professor Virve Vihman (left) and Professor of Language Awareness and Estonian Language Teaching Ilona Tragel (right) (photo credit: Nele Karolin Teiva). (author: Nele Karolin Teiva)
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