An Exploration of Doctoral Students’ Reflections on Researching Multilingually Mariam Attia & Richard FayResearching Multilingually Durham Seminar 28 March 2012
What? This presentation is based on• an analysis of public-facing online texts• performances of developing researcher competence• a process of reflection on action (Schön,1983, 1987, 1992; Boud & Walker, 1998)• reflection on the experience of doing research multilingually.
Why?Purpose• to see what we can learn from these reflections on experience• in order to contribute to researcher education with regard to better understanding the complexities of multilingual research design• and how researchers (e.g. doctoral students and their supervisors) might be better prepared for these complexities.
How?2)We gave profile writers two prompts:• What is your experience of doing research multilingually? (reflection on experience; resonating with Schön 1983, 1987, Boud & Walker, 1998)• What is your experience of becoming aware of the complexities in this area? (meta awareness; associated with developing intentionalities, Stelma, 2011, Stelma & Fay, in process)
How?b) We want to develop a way of understanding these profile data: ParticularitiesForm Content Commonalities and syntheses
How? Each end of the two continua could be framed as a question: Based on their profiles what can we learn about each doctoral researcher’s :• performance of their reflection on action? (form-focused particularities)• insights into researching multilingually? (content-focused particularities)
How? From our analyses of the profiles what can we learn collectively about doctoral researchers’:• performance of their reflection on action? (form-focused synthesis of particularities and commonalities)• insights about researching multilingually? (content-focused synthesis and commonalities)
Analytical Framework• We have four research questions for analyzing the profiles which the doctoral researchers performed in response to two prompts.• We are currently exploring the value to this analysis of the framework used by Klenowski and Lunt (2008) to analyze reflective statements by doctoral researchers.
Exploring the Profiles In the remainder of the presentation we will• present our analysis of one profile in relation to research questions 1 and 2• invite you to similarly explore a second profile
Sara’s ProfileBased on Sara’s profile what can we learn about her• performance of reflection on action? (form-focused particularities)• insights into researching multilingually? (content- focused particularities)
1. Performance of reflection on action• Storyline• RM-relevant to researcher background and experience (overview)• Presentation of specific RM study• Study’s defining RM-characteristics• Researcher’s developing RM-awareness from the experience• Performance of developing researcher competence
Sara’s Profile• Storyline “My personal experience of researching multilingually can be considered as a sort of ‘necessity made virtue’ “• RM-relevant to researcher background and experience (overview) “Coming from an academic background in the Cultural Studies of Eastern Asia and International Cooperation my research interests placed me within contexts where Italian, despite being my mother tongue and the language I always consider I am translating myself from, was never central in the research design”
Sara’s ProfilePresentation of specific RM study“Central for developing considerations around the multilingualdimension of research practice have particularly been my twoyears of experience within local communities in the North East ofEngland”.Study’s defining RM-characteristic(s)“Central in the research implementation has been the issue oftranslating participants’ individual narrations into a language-English that has been a central and mandatory working andcommunicational choice, without it being my first language andoften neither it being the mother tongue of the participants”
2. Insights into researching multilingually• Researcher’s developing RM-awareness from the experience “Research experience with such a diverse range of women and my own experience of always working ‘multilingually’ made me reflect on how the emotional component of language risk to get lost in translation”• Performance of developing researcher competence “I became convinced that cultural awareness and openness to diversity together with a flexible multilingualism can support this process, being powerful tools to engage participants and encourage their subjective narrations even on sensitive topics”