Tim, Liang, Rajwade

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Tim, Liang, Rajwade

  1. 1. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Uwe Baumann, Tim Lewis, Ketaki Rajwade, Elodie Vialleton, Liang Wang Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 1 University of Manchester
  2. 2. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Outline Methodology Themes Cultural adaptation Academic writing Administrative constraints Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 2 University of Manchester
  3. 3. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Methodology• Online interviews of 4 research students – Indian, Chinese, French and German• Interviews transcribed in full• Critical incident recall (CIR)• Thematic analysis of transcripts based on CIR• Personal beliefs, testimonies and experiences Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 3 University of Manchester
  4. 4. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Autonomy (i) My first challenge is knowing how much autonomy I have, or I should have, because my thesis supervisor in France, tends to give me a lot of freedom when it comes to research, whereas I’m used to a very structured kind of supervision, that I got when I was doing my research module in journalism, so yes in India we’re used to being guided by our supervisors, a lot more than in France. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 4 University of Manchester
  5. 5. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Autonomy (ii) … it was a very different way … of learning, to the UK environment. … when I first started at [N University] … I was exposed to the environment, the learning environment in which learner autonomy is greatly highlighted and we were quite used to the educational environment in which we were taught about the knowledge and to remember to memorize and we needed to follow the kind of correct answers or something like that, but while we were in the UK, we were encouraged to change our learning styles to be more critical, to be more self-reflective and without necessarily a good, correct answer. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 5 University of Manchester
  6. 6. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Autonomy (iii) By the time I was doing the field work to collect data, to visit the universities that I’d contacted in order to explore the research topic … then the real side, then I would say that it was a great challenge for me to apply what I have been trained [to do], from the university Research School or from the Faculty … those skills and techniques into the real field … But, I survived after considering … the realistic approaches … Overall, I’ve enjoyed the research experience … because I became more and more confident … and professional, so it was a way to learn by doing, so this is very useful. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 6 University of Manchester
  7. 7. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Formality/Familiarity (i) … it was the same, because it’s the UK academic …context. So we just call supervisors by names. It’s quite normal, acceptable, and I’m quite used to that, now. But in China, it’s impossible. You have to say Professor, or at least, the literal translation is `Teacher, for example - my surname followed by teacher, whether he’s a professor, or he’s a lecturer or not. You have to at least use the address- address of the person and: laoshi. That’s the way to show respect and to show [the] distance between the teacher and the student, which means we have to use titles in China... Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 7 University of Manchester
  8. 8. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Formality/Familiarity (ii) In India I would be very formal with my supervisors. For example, if they say something, I will not contradict them openly. It’s not considered to be polite to contradict your supervisor. So yes, I would try to [avoid] a contradiction. I would never joke around with them. They will joke with us if they want to. I would never joke. In France, the others- [ML’s] other students, for example when we’re having lunch together would- if you say something which they don’t agree with, they would maybe say, `Ah non, Pierre-Henri tu as tort là!’ Whereas I would never in my wildest dreams think of saying something like that ... Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 8 University of Manchester
  9. 9. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Formality/Familiarity (iii) I had two very different experiences in France. The first supervisor I had, who was basically the supervisor I had chosen, was somebody I had a good relationship with … It was a formal relationship in the sense that, you know, I would say `vous’ to him, I would call him by his last name. But it was also somebody I could joke with… Now, when I moved to the second supervisor … it was far more formal. There was definitely, for example, no joking in the way we talked. It’s somebody I wouldn’t have emailed, for example. …And I believe that the second experience I had in France was more typical of experiences. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 9 University of Manchester
  10. 10. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Expectations of Supervisor (i) We’re generally looking for some kind of authority. The moment you say something like supervisor or professor, the Indian students are generally looking for a kind of parental authority, so yes I’m definitely looking for paternal authority. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 10 University of Manchester
  11. 11. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Expectations of Supervisor (ii) That relationship once established, according to the Confucius culture, that if once you acted as a supervisor or teacher, that kind of relationship will exist- will last your life. So that’s what I contacted you after graduation [in] letters, I used this saying and I think [J], or somebody … changed it to a `friend for life, not a master for life’, ... Because in China, as I explained, [traditionally,] it’s a quite strict relationship: once you are my teacher you are responsible for my future, because I belong to your school. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 11 University of Manchester
  12. 12. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Expectations of Supervisor (iii) What I expected from you was very [much] what you offered to me, to help me to establish as an academic researcher, with confidence and independent academic research ability. And also to develop my personality, because I know a lot- have learned a lot more than the academic traits that- from you. So it’s very interesting to see that, actually, I’ve been greatly influenced by the way of you doing things – three of you differently. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 12 University of Manchester
  13. 13. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Understanding research contextIf I do not know much of their research background,then it was obviously difficult for me to comprehendwhat they are presenting, you know, on site, withinsuch a short time. But if I know them very well andhave read a lot of their research papers, or publishedwork, then it wasn’t that challenging, so it depends onthe background situation and my familiarity with thosescholars. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 13 University of Manchester
  14. 14. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Taking notes... because in lectures and presentations, there’s noway you can go back to a sentence structure andanalyse it without missing what’s being said after that,so it’s definitely taking notes during lectures that’smuch more difficult. With books I can always go back,read the whole thing twice. That is what happens mostof the time. I have to read everything twice to be ableto understand the context in French. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 14 University of Manchester
  15. 15. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Thesis structure: literature review Another big difference, a really big one, is that here I had to learn how to do a literature review and the literature review in the thesis is going to be its own chapter, basically. It’s a proper preliminary to what you do ... Then … you move on to your own thing. But that gives it a context. Whereas, in my previous work, you would kind of weave in background references to your own chapters, that- There was less the idea that you’d put all your references in one chapter and then move on and, kind of, stop quoting, basically. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 15 University of Manchester
  16. 16. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Thesis structure: Footnotes ... I had written, you know, over a hundred pages in the style that was expected in the French PhD thesis, I was definitely using far more footnotes than I do currently. The main use for them was citations ... You would have a footnote, and in the footnote, either the full reference, if it was the first time you used it, or a shortened reference, sending you back to previous references, if it was a second. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 16 University of Manchester
  17. 17. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Writing: style And, you know, why say things in a complicated manner, if you can say them simply, whereas in France there’s, I think, maybe a- almost an aesthetic appreciation of a more elaborate style. (E) French researchers seems to look at their work as an oeuvre, a piece of work. A piece of art, almost. (K) Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 17 University of Manchester
  18. 18. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Writing: Sentence length … it is one of the things on my check list, basically: shorten the sentences and, you know, if there’s one sentence with subordinate clauses, you know, always see if they could be … cut and presented as two independent clauses. So that is on my checklist. (E) ... sentence structures in French are very different from that in English, especially because even in French academic writing you’re expected to write longer sentences and make logical links, whereas in English academic writing I think you are expected to enumerate facts, A, B,C, which is not acceptable in French academic writing. (K) Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 18 University of Manchester
  19. 19. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Writing: connectors One thing I’ve noticed about the style here is that, I think, for example, more colons are used. So you would juxtapose the statements, with a colon to indicate that there’s a link between the two, but the colon is enough, and I suppose the reader uses his or her own logic to decide on, or know, what the logical link between the two is. Whereas in French, I don’t think you would use colons, or even slashes quite so much. I think you would choose a connector and make the logical link explicit. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 19 University of Manchester
  20. 20. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Ph.D/Ed.D Regulations … Very practical issues, for example, I’ve done recordings of speech samples, which are in French. I’ve not really thought about whether I will need to quote any of it in my thesis and if I do, will I have to translate it, or not. I read books and references, papers, in French as well as in English. I think though, that if I follow the rules strictly, I should be translating them. … the fact that you’re researching in a different country and also about a different language possibly adds a layer of complications and of cross-references, in the whole business of researching multilingually. Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 20 University of Manchester
  21. 21. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Research Excellence Framework Another area which I thought about, which possibly is less relevant to a research student, but is relevant to a researcher, which is the whole business of publications and whether to publish in foreign journals, or only in the journals of your academic home. For example, the- you know , the whole business of the REF at the moment, where clearly the steer you’re given as an academic is that more value is given to publications in English and probably also in English Language journals. Researching Multilingually Seminar -5/24/201222-23/05/2012 21 University of Manchester
  22. 22. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Language/s of Publication … after the 2011 conference, which I attended, which was in Nancy, there were two calls for publications … And basically, there’s going to be one publication in English, based in England, or in Britain anyway, and one publication in French, based in France. And, so there were, I don’t know, it’s almost administrative constraints. You know, people in France probably need to publish in France, for their work to be recognized within their own academic community. And people in Britain need to publish in Britain for the same reasons. Researching Multilingually Seminar -5/24/201222-23/05/2012 22 University of Manchester
  23. 23. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures National Mapping of Disciplines … I wonder if there are cases where the borders between disciplines are possibly not the same, in different cultures, or maybe they’ve just got different labels, but- for example, something like Applied Linguistics is a very strong and well-defined field in Britain. I don’t think la linguistique appliquée is either as strongly defined, or defined as the same thing in France. Now conversely, there is a very strong identity, I guess, for la didactique des langues in France, which I don’t think really exists here. Researching Multilingually Seminar -5/24/201222-23/05/2012 23 University of Manchester
  24. 24. Research and Supervision across Languages and Cultures Future work Other themes for exploration – Gifting supervisors – Feedback (positive & negative) – Research community – Multiple supervisors Thank you and questions for discussion… Researching Multilingually Seminar -22-23/05/2012 24 University of Manchester

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