As a sociolinguist, I envision communication as emergent from users’ needs in a given time and space. Setting-specific styles, genres, and registers help to shape the forms – both linguistic and extralinguistic – that communication assumes. If multiple languages serve important functions within highlighted domains, analysis of these functions provides insights into multilingual repertoires. Power relations, language policies, language attitudes, and their concomitant discourses interact at various scalar levels to inform the strategic and appropriate deployment of these repertoires. Rich sites for observing such dynamics include those that feature multilingualism as a result of migration, colonial legacy, and/or other forms of multi-ethnic contact. Case study analyses shine light on the inner-workings of these mechanisms in small-scale settings.
My research is based on data collected from each of these types of settings. Internal migration, Turkish-only language policies, and socio-political pressures influence the language practices and ideologies of the Kurdish restaurant workers in my Istanbul-based work. The legacy of these policies informs my study of Turkey-born Kurds in an external migration context: a Kurdish diaspora currently residing in Warabi/Kawaguchi, Japan.
Migration and power relations also feature prominently in my other on-going projects. Highlighting Lusophone and Hispanophone employees’ development of accommodation abilities and multimodal communicative resources in English-dominant workplaces, one of these projects focuses on a migrant-run housecleaning company in New Jersey, USA. The dominance of English also represents an important theme within the post-colonial setting of Hong Kong, which is the site of two additional projects. One examines language proficiency, agency, and Filipina domestic workers’ discursive constructions of overseas workers as heroes. A second project focuses on trans-gender identities and social practices from a chronotopic perspective.
Finally, a newly established Hong Kong-based project takes a deep dive into the affective and multimodal forms of communication that help partnerships emerge between acupuncture practitioners and their patients.
Education and Academic Qualifications
- Master of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Florida International University
- Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Texas at Austin
Academic and Professional Experiences
- Assistant Professor, Department of English and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Aug 2017 - present)
- Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Language Education, Atatürk College of Education, Marmara University (Istanbul, Turkey) (2014 - 2017)
- Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, College of Education and Human Development, University of Texas at San Antonio (San Antonio, TX, USA) (2013 - 2014)
Debate and argumentation
Introduction to linguistics
Phonetics and phonology
Second language acquisition