1 October 2019

Jan ten Thije appointed professor of Intercultural Communication

Prof. dr. Jan ten Thije. Foto: Didi van Zoeren
Prof. Jan ten Thije. Photo: Didi van Zoeren

Dr Jan D. ten Thije has been appointed professor of Intercultural Communication at the Faculty of Humanities as from 1 October. The chair has been placed under the Languages, Literature and Communication (TLC) department, with the aim of connecting research at the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics (UiL OTS) with research at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON).

Ten Thije studied Dutch Language and Culture and Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He obtained his PhD from Utrecht University (doctoral supervisors: Herrlitz and Ehlich) and held a position as visiting professor at the University of Vienna.

Ten Thije’s research encompasses various approaches within the broad research field of Intercultural Communication.

In their doctoral thesis (1994), Koole and Ten Thije analysed successful intercultural team meetings between Turkish, Moroccan and Dutch education advisers, as well as between Surinamese and Dutch advisers.


Ten Thije worked at the Chemnitz University of Technology for six years, where he conducted research on identity construction in ‘Trabi-Geschichten’ (Trabi stories) based on biographical interviews about this famous car from German Democratic Republic (GDR) . After his return to Utrecht in 2002, he supervised research on receptive multilingualism (also known as Lingua Receptiva) within the European Commission and elsewhere. On behalf of the Dutch Language Union, he is currently coordinating research on the practices of receptive multilingualism / lingua receptiva in the construction, healthcare and education sectors in the Netherlands and Flanders.

Intercultural Communication

With Ten Thije as coordinator, the Master’s in Intercultural Communication has grown into one of the Faculty’s successful Master’s programmes with a substantial intake of international students. For the past 12 years, Ten Thije has participated in a European Consortium of nine universities that offer a joint programme in Intercultural Communication (called Eurocampus). As a teaching fellow, he was involved in educational innovation in higher education as part of the International Classroom. He spent the last two years coordinating the USO project Intercultural Awareness for Utrecht University (ICUU), in which intercultural training courses were developed for lecturers and staff.

Language education and policy

Ten Thije is editor of the European Journal for Applied Linguistics (EuJAL) published by Gruyter Mouton and series editor of the Utrecht Studies in Language and Communication (USLC) journal published by Brill Publications in Leiden.

His areas of interest include institutional and intercultural communication in linguistically and culturally diverse organisations, (receptive) multilingualism, intercultural training, language education, language policy and functional pragmatics.

Ten Thije will present his inaugural lecture on Friday, January 31, 2020.