The second Arabic Linguistic Forum Conference which I attended was held at the University of York on the 12-14th December 2016; and sponsored by the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex and the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York. The conference presented useful research topics on Arabic linguistics including; for example, phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, morphology, dialectology, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, etc.
Since my research is on the area of sociolinguistics, I, as a PhD student, would like to continue professional development in my field of study, as research on linguistics are changing and developing all the time. So, this conference provided me with a good opportunity to discuss and share experiences with other PhD students, researches, and education scientists in my field of study and other different fields in linguistics.
In addition, the conference was an ideal platform for me and other researchers to share our early results of our woks. The abstract which I submitted to the conference was on the area of bilingualism which would hopefully contribute to the knowledge and research on sociolinguistics. It was entitled ‘’ Bilingual Code Switching Patterns in Libyan Arabic-English School-Age Children: A Study of Code Switching Behaviour as an Indication of Linguistic and Communicative Competence’’. My abstract was published in the conference abstract booklet.
During the three days of the conference, there were am and pm sessions, each of which involved presenting different research topics on the above area of Arabic linguistics. On the first day, I presented an oral presentation in my research for twenty minutes, followed by ten minutes questions and discussion. The discussion was in a friendly atmosphere and was successfully finished. In addition, between every am and pm sessions a cold buffet lunch was offered each day, including hot drinks during all breaks.
The conference included many participants and invited speakers from different universities from all over the world. So, it was a good chance for me to meet and build relationships with other researches and to share knowledge in different areas and get professional advice if I needed to. Moreover, this conference was my first conference to attend. It was really excellent experience, which made me looking forward to attending other organized conferences whenever possible.
Written by Gada I. B. Mahmud, PhD Student, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University.