Obituary: Leo van Lier

I forward this obituary of Professor Leo van Lier, a friend of the BLC and of applied linguists everywhere, who will be dearly missed.

It is with sadness that we tell you that our dear friend and colleague Professor Leo van Lier passed away on December 23, 2012.

Leo joined the Monterey Institute of International Studies faculty in 1986.  He authored several notable books in the field of language learning, including Scaffolding the Academic Success of Adolescent English Language Learners (2010, with his wife, Aída Walqui); The Ecology and Semiotics of Language Learning (2004); Interaction in the Language Curriculum (1996); Introducing Language Awareness (1995); and The Classroom and the Language Learner. He also published numerous chapters and articles in journals such as TESOL Quarterly, Applied Linguistics, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, The English Language Teaching Journal, Language Awareness, Le Français dans le Monde, Signos, and Applied Language Learning.  Most recently, Leo served as the editor-in-chief of The Modern Language Journal and was the co-editor (with Francis Hult) of the Educational Linguistics book series for Springer Publishers.

Before joining the Monterey Institute faculty in 1986, Leo taught at the University of Northern Iowa and in Britain, Peru, Mexico, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands. Over the years, he also served as visiting professor at universities including Thames Valley University in London, The University of Lleida, Spain, The University of Auckland in New Zealand, and The University of Vienna.

Leo is survived by his wife, Aida Walqui, and his sons, Jantje and Marcus.

Leo was widely respected both for his expertise and for his genuine passion for language learning. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and around the world and by the many students with whom he has worked over the years.

—The TESOL-TFL faculty at the Monterey Institute of International Studies

There are plans underway for a memorial event on the Monterey Institute campus on Feb 26th.

Sarah Springer, Kathi Bailey, and Renee Jourdenais have put together a site where people can contribute memories, photos, favorite quotes, and anything else that people feel moved to contribute.

The site is located at