Newsletter #7 (May 2015)

Where has the time flown since my last effort (October 2013) towards a newsletter? What on earth has kept me so busy that I left this Newsletter to one side?

Back then Fitri and Khwan were heading for Panel in January 2014 (successfully completed) with Susan and Volha following that summer (successfully completed). Back then, too, I was hoping to transfer this blog onto the LANTERN url (which Susan successfully oversaw back in the autumn of 2014). And back then Education was still a school in its own right (and the birth of MIE as part of SEED was not a possibility). And back then, we still had (upgrade) Panels (rather than Progression to Examination via Annual and Mid-Year Reviews), and 4-year PhD offerMs were still pretty common. And submissions were still mostly hard copy (unlike the e-copy pdfs now submmitted via eProg). It’s a new world we have entered … are we brave enough for it?

More recently, we’ve been on a great run of completions since June 2014 with two Ai results (Tanya and Lou) and several Aii results (Achilleas, Paul B, Eljee, Parneet and Emily) …. and also Upgrades to Main Study (Fida and Min being the latest) …. and we have quite a few researchers somewhere in the final furlong (Helen, Su, Jaime, Dalal, Sahar) … and another bumper crop following next year (Susan, Volha, Fitri, Khwan, Magda, Miri) … and we’re also seen post-PhD employment for Lou (at Leeds), and Tanya (at Canterbury) and Eljee (Manchester), not forgetting Mariam (Durham) … and we’ve seen the next generation increase via Lou’s, Viv’s and Miri’s all to real labours … and I’m sure I’ve missed someone off this roll call of glorious endeavour (mea culpa).

So, lots and lots of good news on the student researcher front including a steady flow of conference papers and publications activity (some of which will be in evidence in our next “Bringing it Back Home” event in June 2015).

We’ve also seen Susan Brown and Zeynep successfully see their first doctoral researchers to completion and are delighted they are now ready for Main Supervisory roles.

We’ve also seen Fitri and colleagues set up a series of workshops on Narrative, and my own researcher activities increasingly relate to the AHRC-funded “Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law and State” project (2014-2017), the last adventure being a two-week fieldwork trip to northern Uganda. That project has also seen Susan become a critical friend to our process of extending Exploratory Practice from its language education home to the arena of RM-ly.

Upcoming, we await the efforts of two MA TESOL alumni (Lada Smirnova and Nahielly Palacios) to join our ranks in September.

I am sure in this whistle-stop tour of the last 18 months, there is much I have missed out. Please add corrections, additions etc as comments below.

So, where are we? and what lies ahead? For sure, as a community we seem to have strengthened in numbers and collaborative activity and, to judge from the growing lists of A-standard completions, conference papers and publications, and post-completion gainful employment, we must be doing something right! It all seems a long way from our small beginnings after the reorganisational low-point of the early 2000s, and this strength of the community for me helps explain why and how we have negotiated the more recent reorganisational happenings with calm and continued quality. Long may this last.