Visiting scholar: Ritu Jain
Ritu Jain (PhD), lecturer at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, visited MultiLing this May. Here she writes about her experience at the Center.
During my time at MultiLing, I’ve had the singular pleasure of experiencing snow and sub-zero temperatures in spring as well as the warmth of colleagues who have ensured my every comfort. My visit has been a culmination of many discussions on common areas of research interest between my hosts, Elizabeth Lanza and Unn Røyneland, initiated during their visit as part of the collaboration between the School of Humanities at NTU and MultiLing.
Immersion in this dynamic research environment has been rewarding in many ways. The multidisciplinary commitment of the scholars exploring the interface of language and acquisition/policies/technology/ideologies/cognition etc. has once again foregrounded the tremendous significance of our research and its relevance to society. The time and space offered by MultiLing has also allowed me to read, reflect, and write the papers I’ve ignored too long.
I have benefited from critical discussions and feedback on my ‘Wednesday seminar’ talk and the MultiFam Research Group meeting generously devoted to my research interests on language education policy and family language policies among transnational families. Deliberations during and after both events have yielded exciting insights and imparted fresh direction to my work that I look forward to extending on my return.
I was also very fortunate to have my visit coincide with the annual meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board as well as the course on Researching Multilingualism in Education: Methods, Analysis & Dissemination in the following week. Participating in the rich discussions and debates has helped shift my research trajectory and informed my ongoing work on the impact of language education policy on the languages of immigrant minority communities in multilingual sites. Discussions, formal and informal, with colleagues at the Center have opened up spaces of possible collaboration and will conceivably lead to exciting multi-sited research on the impact of technology on languages of transnational families as well as aspects of language practices among the south Asian community in Oslo. These conversations also helped me recognise areas of overlap in ongoing research on language and health at my home and host schools and draw the attention of the respective research teams towards possible areas of exchange and collaboration.
I leave MultiLing enriched, reinvigorated, and confident that this visit will result in renewed research synergies between Singapore and Oslo and expand the field in mutually beneficial ways.
Ritu Jain (external link) teaches at the Language and Communication Centre at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her research interest lies at the intersection of family and state language management. Specifically, she has examined the impact of policies on the languages of transnational Indians in Singapore. She is currently editing a volume on the languages of Singapore for the Routledge series, Multilingual Asia. Jain visited MultiLing May 1-28.