Roula Kitsiou

I have recently completed my PhD in Sociolinguistics and I am currently working as an academic content developer for the new postgraduate programme “Language Education for Refugees and Migrants” offered in English by the Hellenic Open University in Greece. During my PhD studies, I was involved in various research and educational projects implemented by the Greek Language and Multilingualism Laboratory (University of Thessaly). In those projects our focus was mainly the linguistic and educational empowerment of young or adult immigrants during their integration process in the Greek local communities.

Researching multilingually has arosen as a practical need during our research processes (interviews, focus groups etc) and was afterwards adopted as a methodological choice by our team, as it proved a crucial precondition of approaching and understanding the communities we cooperated with. This led us to a growing understanding of how educational empowerment can be mutually realized and how important this practice is in terms of breaking hierarchies, developing mutual spaces of meaning negotiation, or ethical aspects.

The most important things I have learnt through these multilingual processes is to respect my translanguaging practices and more easily activate my linguistic resources (at a personal level) and engage in a critical reflection of my transcription and analysis choices as mediated through various languages or elements of languages. My aspiration is to apply those practices and choices in my teaching. Teaching multilingually in the conservative deeply monolingual typical school environments of Greece is a real challenge for me and my partners and one way to achieve that is by linking research with critical language teaching through methodologies that use critical action research.

Links:

Greek Language and Multilingual Laboratory

Language Education for Refugees and Migrants