Muhammad Ali Khan, PhD candidate
Status: 2010 ALMA winner
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
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.
You can find out more about Khan’s work in the interview with Dawn News.
A year on, and you can read Khan’s reflections on the ALMA award here.
January 2014: Khan has now completed his PhD and you can read his thesis here: Khan, M. A. 2012. Social meaning of language policy and practices: A critical linguistic ethnographic study of four schools in Pakistan. PhD thesis. Lancaster University.