Dr Petra Daryai-Hansen

I live and work in Denmark. My husband (whom I married at Rome’s registry office, located at Piazza del Campidoglio, Capitol Hill) is Danish, my father is Persian, my mother is German. I have taken my baccalaureate at the Lycée Franco-Allemand in Berlin and I have been studying German and French at Freie Universität Berlin and Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris.

In my professional life, I have been working as a translator (German-Danish, German-French, e.g. for EuroArts, Arte and SFB), as a language teacher in multilingual settings (Lycée Français Prins Henrik, Sankt Petri Skole), as a pedagogical consultant for intercultural pedagogics and as a coordinator and language consultant at the Competence Centre of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At present, I am employed as an assistant professor at the German Department at Roskilde University and as a coordinator at Copenhagen Business School (Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, German). I am mainly interested in aspects of individual and societal multilingualism, intercultural pedagogics, language pedagogy, critical discourse analysis, integration/migration and national identity/branding.

I am involved in several projects: Since 2009, I have been a network member in the FREPA project (A Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to Languages and Cultures) at the ECML, Council of Europe. Today, I am part of the project team, working, in cooperation with ECML’s National Contact Points, with the dissemination of FREPA’s set of instruments for the development of plurilingual and intercultural competences. The tools consist of (a) a comprehensive list of descriptors (knowledge, attitudes and skills) operationalizing plurilingual and intercultural competences, (b) a database of teaching materials categorized by the descriptors and (c) a training kit for teachers. In Copenhagen, I am running a research project in collaboration with the International Profile School, Randersgades Skole, where I analyse and evaluate how to develop students’ intercultural and plurilingual competences, including the effects of early foreign language learning (English, French and German in primary education). Furthermore, I am a team member of the INTERREG project “Den mentale bro” (”The mental bridge”), focussing on language skills and intercultural competences in the Danish-German Fehmarn Belt region.

In 2010, I defended my PhD.-thesis at Cultural Encounters, RU. The thesis centers on the concept of language hierarchy that, by definition, results from practices that are either inclusive or exclusive and expressed through language choice or language representations. The analysis focuses on representations of ‘foreign’ languages and is based on discourses developed within the framework of current official language and educational policies in Denmark and Germany. For the analysis of the language representation practices, a differentiated classification was developed based on a plurilingual Danish/German empirical approach. The project bridges sociolinguistics and Bourdieu’s sociology of language and is intended as a contribution to critical linguistics, drawing on critical discourse analysis in both theory and method. Furthermore, the thesis draws on perspectives within cultural studies and educational science and points to the inherent value of language recognition and intercultural pedagogics. In an article titled “Promoting Linguistic Diversity: Reflections on the Language Policy of European Language Policy Conferences” from 2008, and in my thesis, I discuss if language policy studies which are based on a concept of language recognition and dehierarchisation have a special responsibility for researching multilingually.

Webpage at the Department:




FREPA project: