Standard Article

Christian, Donna

  1. Carolyn Temple Adger,
  2. Dorry Kenyon,
  3. Joy Kreeft Peyton,
  4. Nancy Rhodes

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0129

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Temple Adger, C., Kenyon, D., Kreeft Peyton, J. and Rhodes, N. 2012. Christian, Donna. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


Donna Christian (1949– ) is among the foremost authorities in the United States on language education and language in education. She began her academic career in mathematics, completing an undergraduate degree at St. Lawrence University with high honors, and went on to study applied linguistics and French at Georgetown University. As one of the first students in Georgetown's sociolinguistics program (PhD, 1978), Christian conducted dissertation research on the dialect of the Appalachian region. Appalachian Speech (1976), which she wrote with Walt Wolfram, still stands as the seminal source on this dialect. Christian's collection of American English dialect recordings is available in The Library of Congress American Memory series ( This collection of interviews and other speech recordings, primarily from dialect research and oral history projects, provides a centralized source of North American dialect samples, preserving linguistic resources that might otherwise be lost. Christian taught linguistics and education courses for George Mason University, Georgetown University, the George Washington University, the University of California-Santa Cruz, and the University of Virginia. In 1979, she received a Fulbright Senior Lecturer award in linguistics and taught for two years at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland.


  • educational linguistics;
  • language in the classroom;
  • sociolinguistics