Academic aspirations in Languages

Hird, Derek (2024) Academic aspirations in Languages. In: The Politics of Language Teaching and Learning : Perspectives from Higher Education in the UK. John Murray Press, London. (In Press)

Full text not available from this repository.


This chapter aims to highlight languages doctoral students’ voices and experiences through qualitative interviews with UK-based PhD students with a strong focus on languages. It investigates the students’ journeys into language studies, their formal university education, and their sense of belonging (or not) to particular learning communities. Narrative inquiry is the methodology underpinning this research, as it is particularly suited to relating and analysing the experiences of a single person or a small number of people. The chapter begins with a general introduction to the interviewees’ educational contexts and backgrounds. The chapter’s first substantive section then proceeds with a discussion of the students’ paths into language studies, their motivations and expectations and the reasons behind them. It examines the extent to which language studies have impacted their personal and professional identities. The middle section of the chapter reflects on the students’ experiences studying at tertiary level, focusing on course content and academic support. It discusses the extent to which the students feel the content covered in their studies is relevant for their aims, the most intellectually stimulating and challenging aspects of studying languages at this level, and the most valuable academic support they receive. The third and final substantive section investigates the extent to which the interviewees feel part of a learning/academic community. It looks at the additional language learning activities the interviewees engage with outside their studies and whether they have sought language-related opportunities abroad. The chapter concludes with recommendations for emerging opportunities and issues that could be taken forwards, which stakeholders (agents, institutions, etc.) should be involved and in what capacity, and what the value of language studies is at doctoral level.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
?? doctoral studentslangage and culturesidentitiescommunitiesopportunitieschallenges ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
07 Aug 2023 08:15
In Press
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 05:20