Research. It is just one word which any person can understand in different way: some accept it as something dealing with very serious issues, others think only famous scholars conduct researches, and even there are people, thinking they have noting common with research, etc. Actually, in my opinion, everyone, starting from a newborn baby and ending with a graybeard, is always in a process of researching. So, for me the word “research” means an ongoing process which teaches you to investigate and experience anything throughout your life, and everyone is a researcher.
From my definition one can deem that I have been feeling myself as a researcher whole my life, however, it was only a year ago when I apperceived consciously that I am A REAL RESEARCHER. To be honest, last year applying for the program Master of Arts in Multilingual Education I had no idea that I was going to engage at least 2 years of my life with researching multilingualism. Therefore, it is tremendously fascinating to realize that just one academic year, spent in the program, has changed my attitude towards research for 180 degrees. Now I look at any speech through the prism of researching languages: I pay attention to what language people are speaking and their accents in different languages; when people use 2 or 3 languages simultaneously I immediately start analyzing whether it is a pattern of code-switching (mixing languages unconsciously) or translanguaging (using different languages for specific discourse).
Photo credit: Gulnar Bakytzhanova
Also working at EXPO 2017 during my summer break has helped me to feel and understand that in fact I enjoy researching multilingualism, and I am on the right track. I was lucky to work with 40 Japanese attendants who speak totally different languages. Each of them was at least a bilingual, mastering Japanese and Russian. Moreover, many of them were able to communicate in a third or fourth language(s), eg: Chinese, Polish, Turkish, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kirghiz, German, or Mongol. Investigating their multilingualism by asking the questions of my interest and learning some words and traditions from diverse languages and cultures were a fierce pleasure for me both as for a person and a researcher. Moreover, the times when some of them got to know about my program at NUGSE and said that it sounded interesting and useful in the Kazakhstani context, I got even more inspired with the fact I am an emerging researcher.
To sum up, no matter how trivial it may sound, but the role of research in my life is significant that I cannot imagine my life without it anymore. Now being a researcher is a part of my identity, and I am happy with it.