Jona Fras

Teaching Fellow in Arabic


Jona Fras has studied Social Anthropology (MA, 2011) and Arab World Studies (MSc, 2013) at the University of Edinburgh, and holds a PhD in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies on language in Jordanian radio (University of Edinburgh, 2018). Since 2013 he has been teaching Arabic and other subjects at Edinburgh. He has previously conducted fieldwork on language ideologies in his native Slovenia, and his current projects include further research on Arabic language in Jordanian media and Arabic teaching pedagogy for non-native learners.


  • PhD Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, The University of Edinburgh, 2018
  • MSc Arab World Studies, The University of Edinburgh, 2013
  • MA Social Anthropology, The University of Edinburgh, 2011  
  • HEA Associate Fellow, 2018

Undergraduate teaching

  • Arabic 1a, Arabic 1b (Course Organiser)
  • Arabic 4 (Course Organiser)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

My current areas of research interest include:

  • Language ideologies and public discourse, especially Orientalist, Balkanist, anti-immigrant, and right-wing language and rhetoric in Central Europe;
  • The language of public and official discourse, and media language in Jordan;
  • Implications of Arabic sociolinguistic research, particularly diglossia and media language, for the teaching of Arabic;

Previously, I have conducted research on:

  • Ideas about different media forms - "media ideologies" - and their implications for the study of Arabic and Middle Eastern media;
  • Language and Islamic religious authority in Jordanian religious advice programmes;
  • Ideas about colloquial Arabic and their use as both a tool of power and resistance in Jordanian radio service programmes;
  • Ideologies of swearing and swearwords in Slovenia.

Past project grants

ESRC Language-Based Area Studies Doctoral Grant (2+3), 2013-17

Papers delivered

  • "Authenticity and exceptionalism in teaching Middle Eastern languages." BRISMES Annual Conference, University of Kent, July 2021.
  • “Scripture and authority in the language of Jordanian Islamic advice programmes.” 2018 Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC), University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, 8 August 2018.  
  • “The language of Jordanian service programmes: broadcaster persona, publics, and participation.” BRISMES Annual Conference, King’s College, London, UK, 27 June 2018.  
  • “Tuning in to God: scripture and authority in the language of Jordanian Islamic advice programmes.” BRAIS Annual Conference, University of Exeter, UK, 11 April 2018.  
  • “Enhancing liveness: Jordanian radio broadcasters and the metapragmatics of Facebook Live.” Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) Inaugural Meeting, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, 8 March 2018.  
  • “Linguistic dissent on Jordanian radio: implicature and stance as ambiguous subversion.” MESNET Graduate Conference, University of Exeter, UK, 26 July 2017.  

  • “Service programmes on Jordanian radio: understanding broadcaster persona through an interdisciplinary analysis of language and performance.” MENACS Graduate Conference, University of Sussex, UK, 28 April 2017.