Presentation on theme: "Acknowledging and making space for multilingual research design and practice: Towards a policy statement Paper 4 of the Mapping multilingualism in research."— Presentation transcript:
Acknowledging and making space for multilingual research design and practice: Towards a policy statement Paper 4 of the Mapping multilingualism in research practice: the view from two research networks Colloquium at the BAAL Annual Meeting 2012, Southampton, UK, 6 th September, 2012 Richard Fay (The University of Manchester) Prue Holmes (Durham University)
Introductory Observations Building on many field-specific insights - into researching multilingually (aka multilingual research practice) - arising in established tradition(s) of multilingual research practice (e.g. many of the examples in Papers 1-3) … and as enriched by insights arising in all research with an intentional researching multilingually dimension (e.g. some of the non-linguistics studies in the AHRC network) our objective is to begin developing guidelines (a contribution from Applied Linguistics?) to support all research with a multilingual methodological dimension, i.e. to provide methodological support for all those (potentially) researching multilingually
Introductory Observations (2)
Some Key Sources of a Multilingual Research Dimension … the linguistic resources (and/or preferences) of … Researcher(s) incl. co-researchers, e.g. interpreters / translators Participant(s) Context(s) & researched phenomena & discipline(s) Stakeholders incl. funding bodies Institutional home of the research e.g. UK university homes of international PhD researchers Dissemination e.g. Anglocentric internationalised journals etc [Leah Davcheva, AHRC Durham paper] [ Paper 1 list of eight stages in the research process ]
Some Current Guidelines ESRC Framework for Research Ethics BERA Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research a UK University Code of Good Research Conduct + School of Education Ethical Practice: policy and guidance BAAL Recommendations on Good Practice in AppLing + recommendations applied to student projects BAAL Guidelines for the use of language analysis in relation to questions of national origin in refugee cases An exploration - not a critique - of, such resources with view to framing possible guidelines for researching multilingually
Some Current Guidelines (2) Principles underpinning Research Practice: e.g. transparency e.g. clear, transparent, appropriate and effective procedures [ESRC FRE, pg.3] "All aspects of research [including the multilingual?] should be reported in enough detail to allow other applied linguists to understand and interpret them". [BAAL, EGPAL, pg.12] Research should be designed in a way that the dignity and autonomy of research participants is protected and respected at all times" [FRE, pg.3] [respected linguistically?]
Current Guidelines (3) Opportunities to make the linguistic explicit? when informants differ from the researcher in the social groups they belong to, it is worth seeking guidance on social, cultural, religious and other practices which might affect relationships and the willingness to participate [EGPAL, pg.4] [add linguistic?] Individuals should be treated fairly, sensitively and with dignity, and within an ethic of respect and freedom from prejudice regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, class, nationality, cultural identity, partnership status, faith, disability, political belief or any other significant difference [EGER] [add linguistic?]
Some Current Guidelines (4) Challenging English-only dissemination? "[researchers] must endeavour to communicate their findings and the practical significance of their work, in a clear and straightforward fashion, and in language appropriate for the intended audience [EGER] "While it may be unavoidable that there is a bias towards work that is both in English and about English in a British association, applied linguists should also try to ensure proper weight is given in both teaching and research to work published in and about other languages." [EGPAL, pg.12]
A stimulated / felt need? 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. At the risk of sounding silly, when addressing the issue about multilingual data during my mock [progression] Panel, I became fearful of being asked questions to which I had not yet found methodological answers, and [therefore] stated the common practice of translating data into English, thereby reluctantly adopting the dominant discourse of presenting the English translations and minimising the focus on the multilingual aspects of the data. After a second tutorial and reconfirmation, I decided to set foot on beginning to understand my experience of engaging in multilingual research.
Towards Guidelines - Forms of Words ? "We, the undersigned linguists, recognize that...." [GULA] "the underpinning aim of the guidelines is to enable educational researchers to weigh up all aspects of the process of conducting educational research within any given context... and to reach an ethically acceptable position in which their research actions are considered justifiable and sound" [EGER, Preamble] "the underpinning aim of the RM-ly guidelines is to enable researchers to weigh up all the opportunities for, complexities of and constraints mitigating against the process of conducting research multilingually within any given context... and to reach an ethically acceptable position in which their RM-ly actions are considered justifiable and sound".
Towards Guidelines – Initial Conceptualisation 1. We have been exploring the conceptual affordances of the term Developing Researcher Competence, which can be understood as researcher intentionality (or purposefulness), and, in turn, that can be understood to comprise awareness + awareness-informed action. 2. The Guidelines might seek to inculcate RM-ly awareness (for all involved in the research endeavours) as a first step towards enabling purposeful research practice vis-a-vis the possibilities for, complexities of, constraints mediating against, researching multilingually. 3. The Guidelines might aspire to support researcher agency vis-a-vis the possibilities for, complexities of, constraints mediating against researching multilingually, i.e. support awareness-informed action. "[research leaders] must also ensure that appropriate supervision and mentoring of all researchers are provided, taking special account of the needs of new researchers" [CGRC, pg.5]
Some final questions to ponder For discussion 1.How should institutional constraints be addressed? 2.Is there a role for professional bodies and learned societies in introducing new policies? 3.Should there be consultation with funding bodies? 4.Is there a leading role for those already involved in multilingual research?