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Trajectories of researching multilingually: Implications for researcher development. Mariam Attia (Durham University) Prue Holmes (Durham University) Richard Fay (The University of Manchester) Jane Andrews (University of the West of England).

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slide1

Trajectories of researching multilingually:

Implications for researcher development

Mariam Attia (Durham University)

Prue Holmes (Durham University)

Richard Fay (The University of Manchester)

Jane Andrews (University of the West of England)

Intercultural and multilingual skills in postgraduate education, research and beyond

Glasgow, June 19th, 2014

outline
Outline

Part I: Insights from the literature

Part II: Insights from the Researching Multilingually project

slide3

Part I

Insights from the literature

insights from the literature
Insights from the literature
  • Researcher mobility especially in relation to internationalization of higher education (Rizvi, 2011)
  • Advances in ICT -> an unprecedented progress in transnational onsite and online learning (Gu & Schweisfurth, 2011; Rizvi, 2011)
  • As globalization continues to connect diverse cultural and linguistic communities -> deeper understanding of the processes of cross-language research (Halai, 2007)
insights from the literature1
Insights from the literature
  • Reading and writing across languages can pose challenges to doctoral researchers -> disempowerment by established practices for ‘academic writing’ within predominantly mono-lingual academic contexts (Magyar and Robinson-Pant, 2011)
  • Supervisors may discard unfamiliar writing (Robinson-Pant, 2009) -> Advise against consulting literature in languages other than English
insights from the literature2
Insights from the literature
  • Shapes researcher conception of what constitutes ‘good’ literature (Magyar & Robinson-Pant, 2011) -> informs future decisions as to language choice for research dissemination
  • The geopolitics of academic writing and publishing (Canagarajah, 2002)
  • Conflict as to whether to write for an international audience or for one’s local community (Duszak & Lewkowicz, 2008)
insights from the literature3
Insights from the literature
  • Shklarov (2007)

-> Multilingual researchers are able to mediate between different linguistic systems, point out areas of methodological complexity, and develop higher levels of ethical sensitivity

-> situated ethical understandings may not conform to established institutional practices

insights from the literature4
Insights from the literature
  • Magyar & Robinson-Pant (2011): “surprisingly little attention was paid to the effects of imposing ‘standard’ ethics procedures and academic writing conventions on research that is to be conducted and read in a different cultural context” (p. 674)
  • Cross-language research and the importance of reflexivity(e.g., Magyar & Robinson-Pant, 2011; Temple & Edwards, 2002)
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Part II:

Insights from the

Researching Multilingually project

observations
Observations
  • Much doctoral research invites the use of more than one language
  • Many (often missed) opportunities for researching multilingually
  • Complexities -> from initial thinking to dissemination
  • Researchers (and their supervisors, examiners, publishers, etc) typically had limited or no supportive materials
  • Researching multilingually vs. researching multilingualism
launching the project
Launching the Project
  • Objectives:
  • Explore the possibilities for and complexities of researching multilingually (within predominantly English language contexts)
  • Examine researcher reflections on, and developing awareness of, processes of researching multilingually
  • Identify from their insights, methods and techniques that effectively manage multilingual processes
launching the project1
Launching the Project

www.researchingmultilingually.com

research questions
Research Questions
  • RQ.1: How is researcher awareness developed vis-à-vis the processes of researching multilingually?
  • RQ.2: What possibilities and complexities are researchers aware of in relation to their multilingual research practice?
  • RQ.3: How can doctoral researchers be supported to become more intentional, creative, and resourceful in their multilingual research practice?
data analysis
Data Analysis
  • Thematic analysis of 25 online profiles and 35 presentations, with emphasis on 11 PhD researchers.
  • Identifying particularities and commonalities
developing awareness
Developing Awareness

RQ.1: How is researcher awareness developed vis-à-vis the processes of researching multilingually?

  • Discussions with their supervisors

“Under […]’s supervision, I gradually noticed so many things to which I had been blind, such as relevant literature written in Mandarin, similar research studies undertaken in Mandarin with unique methodological insights and the potential of richer interpretations of the data when drawing on different linguistic resources” (Zhou)

developing awareness1
Developing Awareness
  • Discussions with their supervisors

I first realised that I could, in the sense of having the permission to, conduct my Doctoral research multilingually when my supervisor […] explained the way in which I could handle my multilingual data. Being permitted to present the data in its original language within the thesis surprised me to the extent of not believing it at first. (Chahal)

developing awareness2
Developing Awareness
  • Researchers who grew up in multilingual contexts 

not aware of the multilingual nature of their work until they embarked on large-scale research especially a PhD

My involvement with researching multilingually came about because of my personal background of conducting research in France as an Indian doctoral student… Multilingualism was very natural for me. It was very difficult for me to understand the concept of monolingualism when I arrived in France. It was equally difficult for others to understand that I couldn’t pin one language as my first language. (Rajwede)

possibilities and complexities
Possibilities and Complexities

RQ.2: What possibilities and complexities are researchers aware of in relation to their multilingual research practice?

Some possibilities:

  • Growing up in multilingual environments  multilingual affordances
  • Gaining rich insights
  • Neutralising power imbalances
possibilities and complexities1
Possibilities and Complexities

Some complexities:

  • Issues specific to research practice (from the genesis of a research idea to dissemination)
  • Interpretation and translation
  • Institutional policies and practices (incl. working with supervisors)
  • The geopolitics of language use

 The importance of reflexivity

intentional creative and resourceful
Intentional, Creative, and Resourceful

RQ.3: How can researchers be supported to become more intentional, creative, and resourceful?

  • The overarching construct for thinking about the possibilities for and complexities of researching multilingually

-> developing researcher intentionality

  • The life-long process of becoming more aware when making research(er) decisions as appropriate for particular studies and contexts -> increasingly purposeful as researchers (rather than simply following fashion or convention)
intentional creative and resourceful1
Intentional, Creative, and Resourceful

Intentionality

  • triggering realisation
  • developing awareness
  • informed thinking and practice
moving on
Moving on..

www.researching-multilingually-at-borders.com

for more details
For more details..

Holmes, P., Fay, R., Andrews, J., Attia, M. (2013). Researching multilingually: New theoretical and methodological directions. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 23(3), 285–299

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Thank you

شكراً

Tak

mail@mariamattia.com

references
References

Canagarajah, A. S. (2002). A geopolitics of academic writing. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Duszak, A., & Lewkowicz, J. (2008). Publishing academic texts in english: A polish perspective. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7(2), 108-120.

Gu, Q., & Schweisfurth, M. (2011). Rethinking university internationalisation: Towards transformative change. Teachers and Teaching, 17(6), 611-617.

Halai, N. (2007). Making use of bilingual interview data: Some experiences from the field. The Qualitative Report, 12, 344-355.

Magyar, A., & Robinson-Pant, A. (2011). Special issue on university internationalisation – towards transformative change in higher education. Internationalising doctoral research: Developing theoretical perspectives on practice. Teachers and Teaching, 17, 663-676.

references1
References

Pavlenko, A. (2005). Emotions and multilingualism. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Rizvi, F. (2011). Theorizing student mobility in an era of globalization. Teachers and Teaching, 17, 693-701.

Robinson-Pant, A. (2009). Changing academies: Exploring international phd students' perspectives on “host” and “home” universities. Higher Education Research & Development, 28, 417-429.

Shklarov, S. (2007). Double vision uncertainty: The bilingual researcher and the ethics of cross-language research. Qualitative Health Research, 17, 529-538.

Temple, B., & Edwards, R. (2002). Interpreters/translators and cross-language research: Reflexivity and border crossings. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1(2), 1-12.