Attia, Mariam (PhD alumna)
December, 2020: Mariam gained her PhD in 2011 and is now a Lecturer in International Teacher Education at the University of Sussex. Profile.
My name is Mariam. I completed my doctoral research within the School of Education some months ago. A little about myself: I think my multi-cultural background has played a major role in shaping the researcher I am today. I was born and raised in Denmark, and travelled extensively with my parents (who are originally from Egypt) to many different parts of the world. Influenced by these experiences, I completed my BA in International Relations with the hope of broadening my understanding of human diversity and contributing to the bridging of cultures. Later, I discovered the profound impact of languages in achieving the same goals, so I undertook an MA in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL). As a result, I went into teaching Arabic (from 1995 – 2006). I was a faculty member at The American University in Cairo, Egypt, and took up short-term teaching engagements with The European Education Centre, Denmark.
So, how did I end up doing a PhD in Manchester? As is the case with many language teaching contexts worldwide, at the university where I used to work, language classes were equipped with the latest technology but teacher adoption remained minimal. I decided to explore factors for ICT integration, and teachers’ pedagogical theories emerged as a central one. In my PhD, I examined teacher beliefs within an Arabic language teaching context in order to gain deeper insight into technology adoption within such emerging ‘ecologies’. I was also interested in identifying the kind of support that Arabic language teachers might need for effective ICT integration. I chose to conduct my study at Manchester because of the strength of research in foreign language teaching and technology, and the cosmopolitan nature of the city.
Overall, I think my experience here has been a very enriching one. It has extended beyond working on my thesis to encompass engagement with current research activities and professional communities worldwide. I have had very supportive supervisors (Diane Slaouti and Julian Edge) who have guided me along this path and contributed to my becoming the person I am today.
Attia, M. & Edge, J. (2017). Be(com)ing a reflexive researcher: A developmental approach to research methodology. Open Review of Educational Research, 4 (1). pp. 33-45.
Holmes, P., Fay, R., Andrews, J., & Attia, M. (2016). How to research multilingually: Possibilities and complexities. In H. Zhu (Ed.) Research Methods in Intercultural Communication (pp. 88-102). London: Wiley.
Edge, J. & Attia, M. (2016). Communication, technology, and collaboration for innovation. In A. Tajino, T. Stewart & D. Dalsky (Eds.), Team teaching and team learning in the language classroom: Collaboration for innovation in ELT (pp. 115-126). London: Routledge.
Edge J. & Attia, M. (2014). Cooperative development: A non-judgmental approach to individual development and increased collegiality. Actas de las VI y VII Jornadas Didácticas del Instituto Cervantes de Mánchester (2013 – 2014) [Proceedings of the VI and VII Teaching Conference Cervantes Institute of Manchester (2013-2014)], 65-73.
Attia, M. (2014). The role of early learning experience in shaping teacher cognition and technology use. In P. Breen (Ed.), Cases on Teacher Identity, Diversity, and Cognition in Higher Education (pp. 1-21). Hershey PA: IGI-Global.
Holmes, P., Fay, R., Andrews, J., and Attia, M. (2013). Researching Multilingually: New Theoretical and Methodological Directions. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 23(3), 285 – 299.
Andrews, J., Attia, M., Davcheva, L., Fay, R., and Zhou, X. (2011). Doing research multilingually: Diverse approaches and representational choices, in The Impact of Applied Linguistics: Proceedings of the 44th Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics, 1-3 September 2011, University of the West of England, pp. 9-12.
For further details on my professional activity please consult my website.
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First I want to congratulate you for having your phd 🙂 You really deserve the best. I don’t know you well, but I heard a lot about you in the AUC where I also finished my Master in TAFL there. In fact your reputation is great and I wish one day to know you personally. Second, I am preparing my Master degree in Computer Science now in order to blend both fields together and I really wish that one day we can do something together especially with a respectful person like you 🙂 since this field needs a lot of work.
Good Luck in your whole life and in your flourishing career 🙂
I was one of your colleaques at the American University in Cairo in the late 1990s with your junior sister with whom I did the TAFL program. I am a graduated from Al-Azhar University and luckied to study at the AUC. I am currently in Nigeria, lecturing Arabic language in a Nigerian university. You may not recollect me now, as time goes on you will certainly remember me. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours. Was Salam Alaikum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu
I am glad the PhD student contacted you. I met him by chance during a visit to his university in Copenhagen, and when he told me about his project, I remembered you. I guess that’s the good thing about being familiar with each other’s research interests.
… After a personally and professionally enriching experience within LTE, I don’t think I would mind 20+ years of the same thing 🙂
… and what wih EuroCALL and (hopefully) BAAL, not to mention the June LTE ‘conference’ – there is no escape 🙂 Look at me, I started with CELSE, the grand-parent forerunner of LTE, with my own Masters back in 1990, and 20+ years later, I’m still here. Be warned 🙂
Thank you, Richard, for your kind remark. I am pleased to be able to remain in touch through this great medium 🙂
I need to thank you, Mariam, for ‘networking’ me – I had a phonecall a few days ago from a student in Denmark, also studying motivation for learning English, who had been guided to my website by yourself and is interested in sharing ideas. Testament to the power of networking! We’ve been exchanging emails and he’s inspired me to contact some of the people whose work I’ve been reading, to introduce myself and ask if they can put me/us in touch with any students they know with similar research interests. So thanks!
It’s great to see you in this new, post-viva Research Associates location in this blog – long may you remain in this new category 🙂
Thank you, Julian. I feel honored to be given the opportunity to display the posters in the corridor. They are now online as well (accessible via the sub-link to my profile). Amazing how much you can share through these virtual spaces!
Mariam neglected to mention that she also has an astonishing talent for the design and production of research posters. Her efforts outstrip anything that I have seen at poster presentations at conferences and currently enliven and enlighten our corridor in the School of Education. Hey, Mariam, can you show them here?
Welcome to our community Mariam.
Another interesting tale of doctoral studies. I find these accounts endlessly fascinating and will, soon I hope, be floating an idea here for taking this fascination with researcher stories further in a (funding bid for a) research study based on such accounts ….