Applications for the 2010 ALMA Award – the first of its kind – came from around the globe and were more numerous than we ever expected. So, the choice has been a tough one! We’d like to say that it was the number of applicants and the high quality of the applications that is the reason behind the fact that we are a month late unveiling the award (although the truth is more like “We have other things to do …”).

Many thanks to all the applicants, who took the time to send in an application and who thus showed their faith in Language on the Move! And … the winners are: Lachlan Jackson and Muhammad Ali Khan! Lachlan and Khan are both practitioner-researchers, who teach English at universities in Japan and Pakistan respectively, while pursuing their PhD research through Australian and British universities. Both use ethnographic approaches in their multilingualism research and you can read more about their work in their essays, which they submitted as part of their application. Congratulations, Lachlan and Khan, from everyone here at Language on the Move!

Over the next 12 months, we are going to feature Lachlan’s and Khan’s work prominently here at Language on the Move, our Facebook group and on Twitter. They will keep us posted about their work by blogging as well! You can also read their insightful essays, which were part of the application.

Muhammad Ali Khan

I am currently working as a full-time faculty member at the Centre of English Language, the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan where I teach on a number of EAP / ESP courses to undergraduate and post-graduate national and international nursing students. I am also doing a PhD in Applied Linguistics by Thesis and Coursework as a part-time student at Lancaster University under the supervision of Dr. Mark Sebba.

My current workplace is a hugely female world. Out of my 73 students, 65 are female and 7 are male. Though I am skeptical about the validity of the idea of gender tendency, it is great to be with such inquisitive, peaceful and caring students and colleagues. My previous workplace was just the opposite in terms of gender balance. It was a hugely male world where I taught M.A degree courses in Linguistics for three years before moving to my present job in 2006.

My motivation to pursue Language Policy studies with a focus on Language ideology comes from first-hand school-teaching experiences in two different schools in Karachi, where I taught English Language and Literature to students taking GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations. I reacted against the Language practices and ideology promoted by these schools in Karachi by writing articles and reviews for newspapers and journals for three years before joining the doctoral studies programme. After I joined the PhD programme at Lancaster University in 2008, I find that the place of newspapers as outlets for my writing has been taken over by overly-serious (scary!) journals and books.

I enjoy singing semi-classical Indian and Pakistani songs for my students, friends and family. We have a music band ‘YAAR’( translation: Friends). It is a band comprising students, teachers and family members and so far we have performed at four concerts held at our university.

Lachlan Jackson

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Lachlan is a former Japanese language high school teacher. He currently teaches English in the Faculty of Law, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. Lachlan is a linguistically intermarried father. Struggling with the challenge of raising his own two children bilingually, he found many explanations about how to raise children in two (or more) languages in both the popular and academic literatures seemingly simplistic and naive. Consequently, it was his initial curiosity and confusion – mixed with a healthy dose of scepticism – that provided Lachlan with the initial impetus to undertake his doctoral work on bilingual child-rearing.

Lachlan’s recently submitted his PhD thesis, entitled Bilingual Child-rearing in Linguistic Intermarriage: Negotiating Language, Power, and Identities between English-Speaking Fathers and Japanese-Speaking Mothers in Japan to the University of Queensland’s School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies. This qualitative sociolinguistic study focused on minority language-speaking fathers’ experiences of bilingual child-rearing – a perspective that has, to date, been inadequately theorized in the existing literature. Through the incorporation of questionnaire, logbook, and in-depth interview data, his doctoral work presents eight unique and richly nuanced cases of language contact in the family domain.

Lachlan’s research interests include issues pertaining to bilingualism and bilingual child-rearing, linguistic intermarriage, discourses of ‘Japaneseness’, as well as cultural and linguistic diversity in Japan. As a long-term resident of Japan, Lachlan spends far too much time following the trials and tribulations of his beloved Collingwood Football Club over the internet.