Dr Maryam Almohammad

Teaching Fellow in Language Education

Background

I am a linguist and sociologist in language education. As a researcher, my main area is language, identity, and investment.  I draw upon  ethnographic research, the social turn in applied linguistics, the sociology of Bernstein and Bourdieu, and critical approaches.  Working collaboratively using art-based methodology in the Creating Welcoming Learning Environments research project (AHRC funded), I worked with academics,  artists, and teachers on the use of art to enhance multilingual and intercultrual environments in schools in the UK.  I recently joined language education team at the Moray House School of Education and Sport. My role involves teaching and supervision on the MSc TESOL and MA Education programmes, and the MA Primary Education undergraduate programme. 

 

Qualifications

  • PhD in Education (Applied Linguistics), the School of Education, University of Bristol. 
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Research Methods, the School of Education, University of Bristol.
  • MA in  English Language Teaching, the Center for Applied Linguistics,  University of Warwick.
  • Postgraduate Diploma  in Translation and Interpreting,  the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Damascus. 
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Linguistics,  the Department of English Language and Literature,  University of Damascus. 
  • BA  in  English Language and Literature,  the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Damascus. 

Responsibilities & affiliations

I am a member of key reseserch associations in the UK:

 

 

Undergraduate teaching

  •  Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Course Organiser) 

Postgraduate teaching

Areas of interest for supervision

I am happy to supervise MSc students on the topics of: 

  • language and identity  
  • Language across formal and informal  spaces
  • Critical approaches 
  •  TESOL
  • Language Education 
  • Language and art in multilingual environments

Research summary

As a researcher in language education, I have been involved in both ethnographic and art-based research. My research discusses the points below:

  • Language and identity 
  • Multilingualism 
  • Ethnography 
  • Qualitative research 
  •  Art-based research and interculturality 
  • Identity and Interculturality 
  • TESOL methodology 
  • Sociology of Bernstein and Bourdieu 

 

Project activity

  • Experience Conducting Ethnographic Research 

My main specialism is English language, identity, investment, ideology, pedagogy, and society. My primary research explores TESOL in the Syrian context which is not widely represented in TESOL research. The study emerged out of my work experience where I noticed issues of injustice due to the role of foreign languages in accessing certain spaces, forms of knowledge, and positions.  This is why I conducted an ethnography which explores Syrian language learners’ identities, ideology, power and investment in English as a Foreign Language after graduation form university and enrolling in a senior Training Institute. I draw upon social and critical theories, Critical Discourse Analysis and the sociology of Bernstein and Bourdieu. The social turn in applied linguistics allowed me to investigate the questions of identity, ideology, pedagogy and investment in the English language which are not researched in a foreign language context, such as Syria.    

 

  • Experience Conducting Collaborative Art-based Research 

My most recent research experience is in the area of art and multilingualism in English as an Additional Language environments. I developed experience in conducting collaborative art-based research while working with Associate Professor in Education, Dr Jane Andrews, the University of the West of England (UWE), on the Creating Welcoming Learning Environments (CWLE) project, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The CWLE is designed as a follow-on project to extend the legacy of the AHRC grant Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Law, the Body and the State. In the RM researchers worked across professions (the law, global mental health, state institutions) and disciplines (clinical psychology, education, law, languages) using art as a method of data collection. In the CWLE, we collaborated with artists, school teachers, education consultants and the University of the West of England filming students in sharing knowledge and practice about the use of art-based methods in the teaching and learning of children from non-English backgrounds. This was through a series of workshops and follow up in schools. Teachers presented in a conference, which we organized in 2018 with more than sixty teachers attending. 

Conference details

 

Andrews, J. and Almohammad, M. (2019). Teachers’ evaluations of creative collaboration: What happens when artists and teachers generate arts-based approaches to supporting English language development in schools? The British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, (BERA).

Almohammad, M. and Andrews, A. (2019). Artmaking and Teachers’ and Learners’ Reception of their own Interchange with Materials and Multilingualism in Welcoming Environments for EAL Learners. Language, Identity and Education in Multilingual Contexts,  (LIEMC19). 

Andrews, J. and Almohammad, M. (2018). Creative collaboration: a study of teachers transforming arts-based methods into activities to support children developing English as an Additional Language in schools in England, the British Association for Applied Linguistics.

Almohammad, M., Harrison, N., and Comrie, C. (2018). Internationalism in an age of insularity: constructions of ‘global citizenship’ in English university strategic policy documents. The Society for Research Into Higher Education Conference.

M. Almohammad. (2016). Constructing Syrian Learners Identities and Investment within Arab Knowledge-Based Economy and Public Administration Training. Language, Identity and Literacy Conference, Centre for the Study of Literacies, Sheffield University.

M. Almohammad (2015). Negotiating Professional Identities in Syrian Internship workplaces: Access, learning and evaluation. Linguistic Ethnography Discussion Study Group, Centre for Language and Communication Research, School of English, Communication and Philosophy, University of Cardiff.

M. Almohammad (2015). A Social Realist Perspective on Trainees in Syria Higher Education: consciousness and reflexivity. The University of Warwick Seminar on Reflexivity.

M. Almohammad (2014). Critical Ethnography of Pedagogies and Knowledge Reproduction in Syria: Identities, Language, Investment and Consciousness in Education and Workplaces. Conference Paper, the British Association for Applied Linguistics.

M. Almohammad (2010). Doing an Ethnography in Syria: Identities, Language, Investment and Consciousness in Education and Workplaces, the Centre for Globalisation, Education and Societies, University of Bristol.

Invited speaker

Andrews, J. and Almohammad, M. (2019). Teachers’ evaluations of creative collaboration: What happens when artists and teachers generate arts-based approaches to supporting English language development in schools?, MOSAIC Research Seminar Series, the School of Education, University of Birmingham. 

Andrews, J. and Almohammad, M. (2019). Art-based Methods in EAL Environments. Bristol City Academy Teacher's Conference.  (workshop)

Andrews, J., Almohammad, M., Thomas, K.  (2018) Creative Arts and Supporting EAL Development: Whole School, Learner and Subject Level Approaches, The National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC) 26 Conference. (workshop)

Almohammad, M. (2018). Performing Identities and Negotiating Positions in the Syrian Workplace. TESOL in Marginalised Communities Seminar, Graduate School, Queens's University Belfast. 

M. Almohammad (2018). Pluri-logicality and the language of Islamic Geometric Home Design: reassembling tessellations and encoding the hidden mystery of human and non-human unification (about symbolism and ontology). Exploring Pluri-Logicality A half-day interactive symposium hosted by the Creativity and Emergent Educational-futures (CEE) Network, Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter. (workshop)

M. Almohammad (2015). Syrian Refugee Education: Challenges and Responsibilities. Invitation to Speak to Education Undergraduate Students, the University of Gloucestershire.

Organiser

I co-organised conferences for teachers and for Phd students. I also worked on organising workshops, research seminars, reading groups, and writing retreats. 

Participant

Almohammad, M. (2019). Data Session C – Researching language and identity development in a professional context: research participation as a site of reflexivity, and the role of the researcher within this. A Research Seminar organised by the British Association for Applied Linguistics, Linguistic Ethnography SIG, Reflexivity and Positionality in Linguistic Ethnography, UWE, 3 June 2019.

M. Almohammad. (2016). Constructing the Global Identity of a Syrian Town through Disseminating Visual Resources: Spaces, Bodies and Multilingualism. Historicising the Digital, Language and Social Media SiG Annual Seminar, BAAL.