Research group Multilingualism on my mind

The Ungspråk project with new insights about the link between multilingualism and intercultural competence

We are delighted to inform you that Irina Tiurikova publicly defended her Ph.D. thesis on September 22, 2023.


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On Friday, September 22nd, 2023, Irina Tiurikova delivered the defense of her Ph.D. thesis titled "Multilingualism and Intercultural Competence in Language Learning." The opponents were Dr. Nayr Correia Ibrahim, Nord University, and Professor Alastair Henry, Högskolan Väst. Her thesis was a part of the Ungspråk project supervised by Professor Åsta Haukås, exploring students' multilingualism in lower secondary school. André Storto, another member of the project, defended his thesis earlier this year. In the following part, you will read about Irina's experience with doing her Ph.D. project in Ungspråk and her advice for Ph.D. candidates.

“We worked as a team from the very beginning”: When asked about the experience of doing a Ph.D. project as a part of a team, Irina explained: "I strongly believe that the key factor for success in my journey was participation in the Ungspråk project and collaborative work with my colleagues, Prof. Åsta Haukås and Ph.D. Candidate André Storto. We worked as a team from the very beginning: when planning the research design, developing the questionnaire for the first stage of the project, collecting, and analyzing data. Even when working on my individual part, I also felt their support. We were constantly in communication, providing feedback or writing together, thus contributing to each other's and the common project. This experience is truly invaluable."

Seek help from peers and colleagues!: She also provided some invaluable advice for other Ph.D. candidates who are in various stages of their journey: "I think the most important advice I can offer to fellow Ph.D. candidates would be not to hesitate in seeking help from peers and other colleagues! We are a great resource for each other in different ways. Don't be afraid to ask for feedback on your papers or presentations. Consider being part of someone's audience during their presentation rehearsals—this is a great opportunity to see how others prepare and learn from them. And of course, attend Ph.D. defenses of your Ph.D. fellows. The more you attend, the more familiar you will become with the entire process."

The Ungspråk collaboration continues: Although this is the official end of the Ungspråk project, it is not the end of the collaboration with Irina, André and others. Our new Ph.D. candidate Mona Hosseini is currently investigating the impact of families on fostering teenagers' identification and experience of the languages they learn. Her project is also a great contribution to the Ungspråk project with a focus on the role of families in developing teenagers’ multilingual identities.