Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Multilingualism in Perspective

AHRC/CHASE Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship in collaboration with School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, SOAS (University of London), Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmiths (University of London) and Osmani Trust

AHRC/CHASE Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship in collaboration with School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, SOAS (University of London), Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmiths (University of London) and Osmani Trust

Multilingualism in perspective: language practices, identities and ideologies in the Sylheti community in Tower Hamlets, London

Main Supervisor: Dr Julia Sallabank (SOAS, University of London)
Email: js72@soas.ac.uk
Second Supervisor: Dr Vally Lytra (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Email: v.lytra@gold.ac.uk
Non-Academic Partner: Osmani Trust
Qualification type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students / EU Students

Funding amount: AHRC stipend: for the academic year 2019-20, the stipend will be £17,559 with London weighting (or part-time equivalent). This includes enhanced CDA stipend of £550 to cover additional travel costs relating to the project.

Closes: Friday 17 May 2019, 12 noon 


Multilingualism in perspective: language practices, identities and ideologies in the Sylheti community in Tower Hamlets, London

We invite applications for an exciting opportunity for a fully funded PhD study in collaboration with the Osmani Trust, based at the Osmani Centre (Tower Hamlets, London), with academic supervision at SOAS and at Goldsmiths, University of London (both partners in the Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE)).  The PhD will focus on language practices, identities and ideologies in the Sylheti community in Tower Hamlets, London. The main criterion is that the candidate should have an interest in Sylheti and a commitment to community engagement. Candidates should ideally have some competence in Sylheti, or be willing to learn Sylheti; if necessary, language training will be provided through mentoring by fluent speakers. We are particularly interested in candidates with a specialisation in the sociolinguistics of multilingualism and diversity. The PhD is already partially defined in terms of data source and broad theoretical orientation, but the student will be able to put their own stamp on it. For more information please contact Julia Sallabank, js72@soas.ac.uk. The studentship is available for both full-time and part-time study.

 The studentship

Although the Sylheti community is one of the largest immigrant groups in the UK, there have been relatively few studies of language attitudes, identities, maintenance and shift in this community, and none within the last ten years. During this time, awareness of Sylheti as a distinct language system and identity marker has been growing. In collaboration with users of the Osmani Centre (Tower Hamlets), this study will examine language practices and identities, language attitudes and ideologies among the Sylheti community in London, using a mixed-methods approach. The research will take into account discourses about Sylheti, the linguistic ecology (interactions with Bengali, Arabic and English), and links between language, wellbeing and empowerment, as well as non-linguistic factors such as new communication technologies, social and physical mobility (including to and from Bangladesh and India) and religion.

The primary supervisor will be Dr Julia Sallabank from SOAS, University of London, whose expertise is in the areas of language maintenance and revitalisation, language policy and planning, and sociolinguistics. Supervision will be in collaboration with Mr Nassar Ali from the Osmani Trust, who has in-depth knowledge of the Sylheti community; and Dr Vally Lytra from Goldsmiths, University of London, who will contribute experience of working on the sociolinguistics of multilingualism and mobility, and faith literacies in transnational community settings.  Supervisions will be held alternately at each of the collaborating institutions. The Osmani Trust representative will take part in supervisory meetings on a monthly basis (the SOAS and Goldsmiths supervisors may meet the student more often, especially in the initial training period). The Trust representative will act as a conduit between the student and the community and facilitate contacts for the research.

The Osmani Trust is a non-profit youth and community organisation based in Tower Hamlets. The Trust “offers a wide range of community, health and sporting initiatives tailored to the needs of the community. It aims to provide a holistic service, which helps people, particularly those living in disadvantaged urban communities to re-engage with mainstream society and improve their quality of life” (from http://www.osmanicentre.org/about-us/). The Osmani Trust focuses mainly on youth engagement and empowerment, but they want to widen their reach and involve families, especially women, through related organisations. Mr Nassar Ali, Fundraising & Business Development Manager at the Osmani Trust, sees the research as supporting community empowerment by engaging community members in thinking about language practices, family language policies, and heritage and identity. Some funding is available for payments to Osmani Centre research participants/informants.

The PhD candidate will be based at SOAS, University of London, and will have full access to SOAS’ world-renowned library and the Doctoral School facilities in 53 Gordon Square, which include 70 work stations with PCs and Wi-Fi for laptops. There are coffee stations on each floor, in addition to a common room and kitchen, two showers and 200 lockers. Postgraduate research students also have sole access to the following study spaces across SOAS:

  • R301: 44 workstations, plus 6 for econometrics

  • Library carrels: 16 workstations

  • Helen Kanitkar library: 5 workstations

The PhD candidate will be expected to attend research training at both SOAS and Goldsmiths; travel costs for attendance at these sessions and supervisions will be covered by an enhanced stipend payment. SOAS Linguistics Department runs a Doctoral Research Training programme in year 1, which includes introduction to linguistic research methods, thesis planning, research ethics, etc. This is complemented by School-wide training on research methods and academic skills such as giving presentations, listening, developing a literature review, etc., and training organised by SOAS Doctoral School in collaboration with the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network on topics such as data management, reading for a PhD, academic leadership, unconscious bias, stress management and viva preparation. Students develop a Training Plan in consultation with supervisors, and all students must pass the Epigeum Research Integrity course before upgrade. The student would also be expected to attend advanced classes such as Applied Language Documentation and Description; Language, Society and Communication; and Language Support and Revitalisation (depending on their previous experience and education) as well as research seminars by visiting speakers.

Every two years Goldsmiths Department of Educational Studies runs Methods of Education Enquiry: An Advanced Training Programme for Graduate Research Students over 8 weeks. We would expect the student to attend this in 2019-20. Goldsmiths Graduate School also runs a qualitative and a quantitative research methods course for first year students and the library runs sessions for graduate students on academic writing, presentation skills, etc. which the student would be able to access. The student would also attend seminars run by the Centre for Language, Culture and Learning as well as by the other research Centres in the Department of Educational Studies (twice per term). 

 The candidate:

Description of role requirements:

We are looking for candidates with an interest in Sylheti and a commitment to community engagement.  We are particularly interested in candidates with a specialisation in the sociolinguistics of multilingualism and diversity.

Essential skills/attributes:

  • MA or equivalent in a relevant field, e.g. Linguistics, Anthropology, Language Education.

  • Adequate prior knowledge of sociolinguistic research, language ideologies, family language policy, or similar.

  • Desirable skills/attributes:

  • Knowledge of the Sylheti community and language

  • Experience of community-based, participatory or ethnographic research.

  • Some knowledge of Sylheti is desirable, but not a pre-requisite for participation in this project. Apart from some elderly people, most members of the British Sylheti community are fluent in English, and members under the age of around 35 may understand Sylheti but are likely not to be fully fluent.  Nevertheless, we are also aware of the connotations of language choice in research (such as the subliminal message that English is the language of knowledge).  It is therefore important for the PhD candidate to at least be willing to learn some Sylheti, especially since the focus of the PhD will be around language practices and language ideologies vis-à-vis Sylheti. The PhD candidate would therefore be required to undergo language training. However, since Sylheti is not fully codified, there are not many learning materials or formal teaching courses available. Any language training required will therefore be delivered primarily through mentoring by more fluent speakers (a popular method of language revitalisation).

How to apply

Candidates wishing to apply for this studentship starting September 2019 must complete both an admissions application and a brief studentship application. These are separate processes.

Applicants must submit a COMPLETE on-line application for admission

IMPORTANT: Please state in the admissions application that you wish to be considered for the AHRC/CHASE Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship, use the title of the studentship (project title: - Multilingualism in perspective: language practices, identities and ideologies in the Sylheti community in Tower Hamlets, London) as your Research Proposal Title and state Dr Julia Sallabank as your Proposed Supervisor.

Use your Supporting Statement to explain why you are motivated to apply for this particular project, and what skills and experience you will bring to the project. In your 2,000 word Research Proposal please respond to the project description and elaborate on how you would approach the project theoretically and methodologically based on your previous academic training and experience.

An application is only considered complete if the following has been provided:

  • A formal application form 

  • A supporting/personal statement 

  • An up-to-date CV or Resumé

  • A Research Proposal 

  • Full academic transcripts of your College/University studies to date (with official translations from the institution or provided by a recognised translator if not in English) 

  • Copies of your degree certificates (diplomas) (with official translations from the institution or provided by a recognised translator if not in English)

  • Evidence of your English language proficiency or intention to take a recognised English Language Test

  • Two references - confidentially submitted by your referees.
    Your application will only be initially assessed once two references have been confidentially submitted by your nominated referees. The Doctoral School Admissions team will check that all required documentation has been provided and that the references are acceptable and meet our requirements during the initial assessment.

Incomplete applications, missing any of the above elements, cannot be considered and will not go forward to the Academic Selectors within the Department for consideration.

  • STEP 2: Studentship Application by 17 May 2019 (12 noon).

You must let SOAS University of London Scholarship Office you wish to be consider for this scholarship by completing this brief on-line scholarship application.
Terms and conditions

The studentship is subject to UKRI eligibility criteria, and will cover home or EU fees and stipend at UKRI rates for a maximum of four years full-time, or eight years part-time study, subject to institutional regulations.

Informal Enquiries

Informal enquiries about this collaborative project can be sent to Dr Julia Sallabank (SOAS, University of London)
Email: js72@soas.ac.uk