Katrin Kohl

Katrin Kohl by Ian Wallman

Katrin Kohl is a Professor of German at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Jesus College. She is at the forefront of interdisciplinary research on language diversity and its value as a source of creativity. Leading a team of researchers from modern languages and comparative literature, linguistics and education, anthropology and biology, she collaborated also with practitioners on developing the project Creative Multilingualism. It challenges the notion prevalent in Anglophone societies that monolingualism is the norm, exploring the wealth of processes that generate diversity and disrupt perceived language boundaries. Her current research focuses on the role of metaphor at the creative interface between thought and language. Having discovered a fascination with approaches to language teaching while teaching English in Madrid and working on a BBC-TV German course, Kohl regularly contributes to educational policy initiatives. Her book Modern Languages: Why It Matters (2021) is designed to stimulate curiosity about why languages matter.