“From here to there …. and back again — Conference papers by the LTE doctoral community”

Announcing the event:

“From here to there …. and back again — Conference papers by the LTE doctoral community”

Friday 3rd June (say 10.00-16.00)

An opportunity for LTE doctoral researchers to (re)present a paper that they have presented externally (or will shortly do so) for an internal LTE audience (plus invited guests). Each performance will be for 20 minutes with five-ten minutes for questions. The title for the day is meant to be suggestive of this sense of us leaving the Manchester home base of the doctoral community (i.e. the ‘here’) and presenting internationally (i.e. the ‘there’) and now returning to the Manchester home to re-present once more, this time for our home audience.

All those wanting to present should now add a comment to this posting with their title and, if possible abstract/statement of coverage, plus details of where the paper was originally presented/ will be presented. We will use these ‘comments’ to create the publicity etc for the day. So, Tanya? Magda? Eljee? Lou? Achilleas? Paul? Magdalena? Mariam? (did I miss anyone?)


  • Magdalena De Stefani

    Hi everyone
    Adobe Connect seems like a good option. I will record the presentation there just in case but we could also do it live if all goes well. When Mariam and I have tested it I will send you the url

  • Magdalena De Stefani

    Thanks Mariam! I will give adobe Connect a try tomorrow and let you know

  • Richard Fay

    Thanks Mariam 🙂

  • Mariam Attia

    Yes, simplicity and familiarity are often best. If I were you, I would explore the possibility of using video conferencing facilities. If this is not possible, then I will be happy to explore both Stickam and Adobe Connect Professional with you. Once you establish an account, you can send me the link. We can then agree on a time, and see if I can watch you live 😀 Further, I have written to both James Perrin from Research Computing Services (http://www.rcs.manchester.ac.uk/) and Peter Leigh from the School of Education for advice on this matter and also to check if there are established university facilities for such communication. Will forward their emails to you once they write back. All the best.

  • Richard Fay

    I would be inclined to ask are technologists Mariam and Eljee about what s the leas stressful way of doing this. Simple is often best, no?

  • Magdalena De Stefani

    Hi everyone
    I am starting to panic about the recording and live streaming… Mariam suggested stickam for live streaming, which we are not going to do in the end, or are we? I still need to record mine, so I was thinking of Adobe Connect. Has anyone had experience in using it?

  • Achilleas Kostoulas

    I can now confirm that I will present a version of the paper I prepared for the conference in Finland. The abstract can be found here, and any suggestions for a better title containing the words Place and Space or Opportunity and Intention are very welcome.

  • Tanya Halldórsdóttir

    Hi Paul,
    I was thinking as I was reading your last entry that there was some synergy there, particularly with the emphasis on working across disciplinary boundaries, but you beat me to it! I look forward to some invigorating and generative debates on 3rd June…

  • Richard Fay

    I’m conscious that both in the blog, and in our minds, things can drop out of view, and this LTE conference on June 3rd has certainly dropped out of view on the blog – so this comment is really a re-instatement of this conference, a reminder of the pleasures that await us in early June. 🙂

  • Paul Vincent Smith

    …Right, it does.

    I will be presenting on a similar topic to a presentation I gave at the PRASH 2010 [sic] conference last year: http://www.vitae.ac.uk/researchers/1151-220101/Postgraduate-Research-in-Arts-Social-Sciences-and-Humanities-PRASH-conference-2010.html.(link no longer works)

    Title: “The Practice Turn: Locating Research”.

    The original presentation was called “The Interdisciplinary Turn” but a bit more scope this time round justifies a slight change of focus. Having said that, practice approaches offer an alternative way of understanding the traditional division of disciplines, so it might be that practice approaches and interdisciplinarity are obvious bed-fellows.

    The presentation starts out by lamenting the tendency for most researchers to remain within their disciplinary boundaries, thus ignoring work in other disciplines that may address the same substantive areas, using similar methodology and presenting potentially mutually beneficial affordances. My doctoral research is an example of how such a cooperation might work, bringing together an Academic Literacies (AL) focus with a conceptual battery taken largely from Ethnomethodology (EM), a subversive form of sociology. At the time of writing I am mapping out the conceptual basis of EM with the aim of ascertaining to what extent we could bring about a respecification of AL along the lines that AL researchers need. My argument in the final version is going to be (or at least include this as a major argument) that EM has solved, to its own satisfaction, many of the problems that AL is grappling with currently. My feeling is that EM is even more radical in comparison to traditional sociology than AL is to traditional literacy studies and I wonder about the palatability of some of these conclusions for AL researchers. However, rejection of the possible EM contribution de facto asks questions about what kind of endeavour one wants to be involved with. It is a fact that EM is a much more mature practice endeavour than AL, and has had far more interaction with practice theorists across the board. My view is that the Wittgensteinian, Heideggerian and natural language philosophies that inform EM are probably going to be a better foundation (!) for AL than the current, very vaguely Bordovian influences.

    To give even a bigger picture of this, I will draw on James Gee’s inventory of practice movements. There should be scope for cooperation across the board, and the AL/EM collaboration is only one of them.

    I see a potential convergence with your ideas, Tanya. It will be interesting to see how that pans out.

  • Paul Vincent Smith

    I will certainly be attending barring unavoidable clashes or other circumstances beyond my control! Details in my next post; just seeing if this works first…

  • Mariam Attia

    Hi Magdalena,

    Of course it will be great to have you with us for the whole day. I believe there are many ways to achieve this.. just needs a bit of search and experimentation. I think the best option is video conferencing. We have video conference facilities at the School of Education which are portable and can be used in any room in the School that has an Internet connection. I have personally used them to conduct a lengthy interview with Cairo last year. The connection was very good, the picture was clear, and you can have a couple of people on both sides. Peter Leigh (peter.leigh@manchester.ac.uk) is the person to contact. On your side, you will need to find a provider of this facility (eg. university, business/ press center ..). All what you have to do is get them in touch with Peter. The two parties will exchange IP codes and run a quick test round before the actual day. Fortunately, the time difference between you and us is around 3 hours, so I think this facility will allow you to remain with us for the whole day if you wish.

    The other option is live streaming. Manchester University owns such facilities as it broadcasts its graduation ceremonies, for example, live to the whole world. I think it is worth contacting them regarding this matter.

    Alternatively, we could experiment with live streaming websites. Once we settle on a couple, I will be happy to run some trial rounds with you before the actual day.

    Of course, some people use Skype, but I won’t recommend it as I think it is more suitable for one-to-one conversations.

    We’ll figure something out.. 🙂

  • Achilleas Kostoulas

    Thanks Mariam, I’ll just have to think about that.

    Regarding the technology-enabled presentation, I believe the university has (had?) a subscription to Megameeting, a teleconferencing platform that allowed participants to share streaming video and presentations. My understanding was that there usually is enough excess capacity so that we could request a slot for our event.

    Using this platform, Magdalena should be able to make her presentation and, if we have a camera and microphone on our end, she should be able to take questions as well. However, finding a way for her to participate naturally in the rest of the session will be more of a challenge…

  • Richard Fay

    Mariam (and anyone else) – any bright ideas for how we can stage-manage Magdalena’s technolgy-enabled distant presentation?

  • Magdalena De Stefani

    I definitely won’t be able to attend but if we manage to set up something virtual I would love to take part. I might submit something for EDULEARN 2011 but that is not ready yet. What I have so far is the presentation for URUTESOL 2011 (April 8, 9 and 10 in Montevideo, Uruguay) entitled ‘Teaching in secondary school with Moodle: an action research project in provincial Uruguay’

    This is a paper I will be presenting with two of the research participants I have been working with since 2008. Basically it tells the story of how the teacher development programme I designed and tutored from 2008 to 2010 had an impact on their professional lives and led them to become the first teachers of English outside the capital city to introduce Moodle in a state secondary school (in early 2009).

    I might do an adaptation of this because the URUTESOL audience will probably be very different from our LTE gang 🙂 I’ll explain that in more detail in my presentation too.

  • Mariam Attia

    I was thinking of presenting the EUROCALL 2011 paper, which summarizes my PhD work with special emphasis on conclusions and contributions (abstract can be viewed here)


    my BAAL 2011 paper which addresses the bilingual – Arabic/ English – dimension of conducting this kind of research (abstract in progress).

  • Magda Rostron

    I will either present my paper on “Reading Kafka in Qatar” (still under construction, but soon to be finished, to be presented at the Qatar-TESOL conference, 8-9 April, Doha, Qatar) or “Arabic vs English: Language, Culture and Education in Qatari Students’ Learning Experiences” (in the inital planning stage, to be presented at the Georgetown Faculty Seminar Series, 22 Sep 2011).

    “Reading Kafka in Qatar”: summary

    The introduction describes my intercultural experience as a NNES teacher of Polish national and educational background teaching English to Qatari students preparing to study in American or British universities. This paradoxical situation has far-reaching consequences for my teaching philosophy and methodology.

    The next part, “Reading”, centres on the skill of reading and its position in contemporary cultural and educational discourse, discussing notions such as “secondary orality” and academic literacy. It also deals with some cognitive and academic aspects of reading with an emphasis on critical and active reading strategies.

    “Kafka” explores potential cultural pitfalls awaiting western teachers and academics when faced with a choice of (in)appropriate and/or (ir)relevant reading materials and classroom resources.

    “In Qatar” localises the context of teaching reading in a culture based on oral and Islamic traditions of knowledge transmission. This part of the paper examines some methodological approaches and student motivation.

    In the concluding part, I share my reflections on the experience of teaching one of Kafka’s novellas to Qatari students.

    “Arabic vs English…” is an exploration of Qatari students’ experiences and perceptions of having to switch from Arabic to English as a medium of instruction, and some far-reaching cultural consequences of this situation. It is based on my classrom observations, interviews and group discussions as well as on my students’ own writings related to the topic (essays and journal entries). It is being planned as a background exploration related to my PhD research.


  • I’ll be presenting the paper I’m working on for the New Dynamics conference, based on my 2010 MSc Educational Research dissertation. You can see the abstract here.

  • Tanya Halldórsdóttir

    I shall be (re)presenting a paper that will have its first outing at QI 2011 in May. It is essentially about the dangers of replacing one dominant paradigm with another, and the inevitability of the ‘new’ orthodoxy taking on the trappings and behaviours of the displaced and discredited one. Or at least I think it is, as I haven’t finished writing it yet!

    “Challenging Regimes of Truth: A Feminist Perspective on the Narrative Study of Lives”

    Twenty years ago, as the crisis of representation was stalking the corridors of the academy, and Lather was urging us to pursue a ‘less comfortable’ social science, Stanley asked whether there was such a thing as a feminist auto/biography. As a feminist engaged in sociological biography, this is a question I am still struggling to answer in and through the process of narrative inquiry. Long lauded for its ability to illuminate lives hitherto hidden or silenced, narrative has found favour with many feminist scholars, and yet there is much in the narrative canon that appears to perpetuate modernist discourses of power and truth, privileging the researcher and imprisoning the researched anew in chains forged by the sacred stories of scholars. In this paper I explore both the spaces where narrative and feminism happily co-exist, and those where tensions emerge, drawing on my own work with female teachers in Yemen over the last decade to illustrate.

  • Achilleas Kostoulas

    I will most likely be able to attend, but I cannot confirm this yet. I was thinking of presenting the MATE paper, variants of which will have been presented in the conferences in Volos and Athens. The abstract is here.

    Alternatively, I could present a paper based on the one I will be presenting in Finland. This paper is closer to my main research and proposes a dynamical conceptual framework for thinking about TESOL. Here’s the abstract.

    Any preferences?

    • Mariam Attia

      Hi Achilleas,
      I think both papers are interesting and unique, making it difficult to favour one over the other. Maybe you can choose the one that you think you need (and can get) more feedback on.