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Our STSMs - Sibo Kanobana

Sibo Kanobana visited London in April with another network member, Sara Nyssen, where they have completed a Short Term Scientific Mission (STSMs). 

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) promote exchange and mobility within the scientific objectives of the Action, and allow Action members (especially early stage researchers) to visit universities and institutions of another Party of the COST Action to learn new techniques or methodologies, or to work on joint publications. 

Here is what Sibo had to say about his experience:

"Thanks to COST Action IS1306 and the New Speakers Network I got the chance to spend a week in London at the Institute of Education.

Dr. Alfonso Del Percio invited me and Sara Nyssen, a fellow researcher at Ghent Univesity, to come to London to discuss and exchange ideas on our PhD projects focussing on new speakers of Dutch and employment in Flanders (Belgium).

I arrived on Wednesday 19th of April in the evening and on Thursday Sara and I met Alexantra Georgiou, one of Alfonso’s research assistants.

She guided us through the Institution of Education, showing us where we could work and giving us access to the library, where Sara and I spent the whole afternoon preparing for the workshops and reading the assigned articles.

The following day we had a daylong meeting with dr. Alfonso Del Percio. He gave us important conceptual and methodological input and challenged us to think critically about our research.

In the afternoon we talked about our approach for the 7th Conference on Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice in November 2017 and started to brainstorm about the organisation of a colloquium and the writing of an abstract for the Sociolinguistics Symposium 22.

Dr. Alfonso Del Percio gave us Saturday some time to process all new information and to prepare for the workshops he planned on Monday and Tuesday.

However, Sunday was a beautiful sunny spring day and he invited us to discover the area where he lives.

We had long walks and had lengthy conversations on new speakers’ everyday linguistic challenges and on ethnographic methodology, but also discussed the importance of Marx and Foucault in our work.

These talks provided me with important new theoretical and methodological insights.

Monday and Tuesday were long and productive days in which we shared our research interests, experiences and thoughts with five other researchers from different parts of Europe who are doing ethnographic work on new speakers.

The workshop on Monday was based six academic articles and book chapters we had to prepare to discuss theoretical insights on diversity discourse.

On Tuesday the focus was ethnographic methodology and new speaking, for which we also had read six academic articles and book chapters.

Sharing ideas, insights and experiences with researchers doing work in different parts of Europe was tremendously enriching.

This experience gave me the tools necessary to critically engage in my work on new speakers in Flanders.

On Wednesday morning I already had to take my train back to Belgium but on Friday I had a skype video conference with Dr. Alfonso Del Percio and Sara Nyssen in which we evaluated the STSM and made concrete decisions on future collaborations."

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