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PHD Linguistics, Saudi, Dialects

At 28 years old, it has been my dream for some time to earn the PHD in Linguistics, because I see this area of study as my vocation and life’s work. I am a young man that has always engaged with the mystery of language, especially dialects, in Arabic, in Saudi Arabia, and now throughout the Arab world. It is my hope that contributing to our body of research on dialects in the Arab world will aid us to better understand ourselves as peoples, our origins, and the importance of honoring linguistic traditions.

What I crave most about the PHD is the opportunities that it will open up for engaging in field work concerning the many interesting properties—some as yet undiscovered—of Arabic dialects in Saudi Arabia. I look forward to continuing to instructing Saudi university students in this and many other areas related to the relevancy of linguistics to Arab society. I feel strongly that linguists need to structure their research in such a way as to make it relevant for pedagogy as well, helping us to better understand language acquisition patterns in such a way as to learn how to teach language more effectively.

I am an avid traveler when I have the chance and this is enormously helpful to helping to train my ear for subtle differences in dialect. Although I have not been in America very long, I have already visited several different states and I am beginning to better understand the nature of regional expression here in America. In the summer of 2007, I visited the UK, where I completed a course in teaching methodology at XXXX University for one month. In 2008, I spent several weeks in Malaysia and visited Indonesia in 2009. In 2010 I was in Egypt; and, finally, this year, 2011, I was able to visit Turkey. And I feel strongly that in some fundamental way, my travels have helped me to become a better student of linguistics, opening my mind and helping me to better appreciate the subtleties of language diversity.

Linguistics is a field that intrigues and stimulates me, and I view it as much more of a vocation than a means to earning a living. I am especially interested in syntax and phonology, and I am looking forward to being able to develop a deeper understanding of these subjects as well as linguistics in general. I will be graduating next summer, 2012, with my MA Degree in Linguistics from XXXX University. So I feel that I have acquired an appropriate foundation for study at the doctoral level.

After completing my doctoral studies, I plan to return to Saudi Arabia where I would like to serve as a professor at XXXX University, where I am currently a Teaching Assistant. I especially look forward to excelling as a researcher in the dialects of Saudi Arabia, especially of my own dialect, which is Najdi Arabic, a dialect in which there has been virtually no investigation so far. I hope to stimulate the study of both Linguistics in particular, in Saudi Arabia, as well as the study of vernacular Arabic and how this is related to regional Arabic dialects.

In addition to my position at the university, I also volunteer my time tutoring English students that are particularly challenged in this area. This has helped me to recognize and highlight special problem areas for Arabic learners of English. Many students have difficulty in pronunciation; others seem to be especially challenged by certain aspects of syntax. My teaching experiences have helped me to better understand the complexity of comparative systems of language in syntax and phonology.

I have also served as a group leader for numerous summer camps. This was an incredible opportunity for me to meet other people outside my usual circle of acquaintances and to increase my understanding of diverse perspectives. I am a hard working and talented student of linguistics at XXXX University. The word “impossible” is not in my vocabulary, and I have persevered to overcome many personal obstacles in order to study in the United States, because I dream of one day making a great contribution to the field of linguistics. I believe that obtaining a Ph.D. is the real beginning of the adventure of life-long learning and research and I look forward to many decades of struggle to better understand the numerous, lesser known facets of Saudi Arabian dialects.

My experiences studying in the UK, my extensive study of and visit to Malasia in 2009, have helped to form a very global and professional mentality and to have made my education more well-rounded, complete through its profound appreciation for diversity, in culture as well as language.  I visited Indonesia for two weeks as well; touring Egypt and Turkey were also important linguistic adventures for me, exposing me to other cultures and languages. I am especially excited at the prospect of attending the University of Milwaukee, and I hope to not only learn from others in my chosen field, but also to have the privilege of teaching my own culture and language. I look forward to hearing about your decision soon. 

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