Ms Samia Naz

I am working towards a Ph.D. in the Department of English, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan. I am currently a visiting scholar in the MOSAIC Centre for Research on Multilingualism, School of Education, University of Birmingham. My research interests are: English language teaching and learning, teacher training, teaching methodology, classroom management, motivation, attitudes, gender, ethnicity, social class, language policies, evaluation. My current research is an investigation into socio-cultural factors affecting attitudes of the learners towards English language learning in the Pakistani context. I have experience of teaching English Language and Linguistics, teacher training in English language and general teacher education in Pakistan.

My interest in multilingualism and researching multilingually developed when I attended a seminar on “Researching Multilingually” in University of Durham. I live in a multi-cultural community where people speak multi languages. This realization as a researcher developed in me interest in multilingual research. The diversity in culture and language at one end develops in me respect for diverse culture and the multi-language speakers. It also raises many questions in my mind regarding different identities which can be very interesting topics of research for me in future. Being a part of rural area, Bhakkar; a Saraiki region, I realize the need to do research on attitudes of this community towards English language and their interest in inclusion of culture with the language.

During my MPhil and PhD fieldwork, I remain engaged with numerous languages. In my MPhil research under the title, “Teaching in ELT (English language teaching) & ULT (Urdu language teaching) Classes”, I did a comparative analysis of teaching practices of two languages (English and Urdu) in two types of institutions of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. My PhD research involved me more researching multilingually. My field experiences during data collection are replete with such examples, i.e. speaking regional languages to the participants during interviews (parents’ interviews), following their accent and pronunciation to develop rapport with them to convince them to be interviewed, translating the reference letter from my department from English  into Urdu language to satisfy the parents who could not understand English language (“Letter” from my department that showed my identity as a researcher was in English), translating the responses of the interviewees from Urdu, Punjabi and Saraiki into English, translating the Urdu, Punjabi and Saraiki proverbs used by the interviewees  into English and translating questionnaire from English into Urdu for the students of the government institutions. I am recently looking at the socio-cultural factors affecting attitudes of the learners towards English language of the two different languages spoken areas. One represents Punjabi and the other represents Saraiki speaking community. I observed the classes of the teachers from these two languages backgrounds to see the classroom environment and differences in their attitudes towards English language. The series of the seminars on “Researching Multilingually” work as a guide to me for presenting multilingual data in my dissertation write up. I am realizing the complexities involved in translating multilingual data i.e. translating the responses from regional language to English language which sometimes seems to be impossible because of the differences in the cultures of the two languages (we do not have some cultural practices among the speakers of one language for which it is difficult to find out a synonym), translating the proverbs (impossible to find out similar proverb in the other language), translating some expressions which reflect the speakers’ attitude but are difficult to explain in other language.