Eulogy for Peter Martin

Margaret Florey margaret.florey at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 2 15:09:15 UTC 2009

Dear RNLDers,

I am very saddened to share with you all the news that Peter Martin, who was
a member of the RNLD Advisory Panel from our founding in 2004, passed away
in April. The following eulogy has been written by his close friend and
colleague, Peter Sercombe.

Peter Martin was Professor of Education and Linguistics at the University of
East London. Previously, he had taught at primary and secondary levels. At
tertiary level, he worked at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (1985-1998);
and then at the University of Leicester (1998-2005), before moving to the
University of East London. Peter's academic research and his prolific
publication output was largely focused on multilingualism and relations that
obtain between language, culture and identity. His early published work,
from his time in Southeast Asia, considered mainly sociolinguistic issues in
multilingual settings, in particular: bilingual classroom interaction and
language policy, planning and practice. A further significant strand of his
research was the sociolinguistics of minority Austronesian language
communities in Borneo. He had completed substantial work towards a
dictionary of Kelabit (spoken by around 5000 people in the uplands of
Borneo), a project that will continue. His later work focuses on
complementary schools in England and issues of multilingual classroom
ecologies. Peter's research has increased our understanding of
multilingualism, language education, and language in society. Furthermore,
his teaching stimulated the learning and lives of generations of students.
He was a wonderful father to his four children, a hugely caring person and
unfailingly generous with colleagues and friends alike, as well as being
very good-humoured. One cannot imagine a better friend than Peter. He will
be missed by everyone who knew him.

Peter Sercombe, Newcastle University, UK

Margaret Florey
Margaret.Florey at
Ph: +61 (0)4 3186-3727 (mob.)
skype: margaret_florey
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