Call for Participants

Call for Participants: Oral History Interviews

We are currently looking to interview people about their experiences of accessing and/or providing language support on arrival and in the first few years after arrival in Britain. We are seeking to understand what support was available to people in the past and how that support compares with language services available to new arrivals today.

We are particularly interested in the experiences of people who arrived from Vietnam between 1975 and the 1990s, and people from Ugandan Asian communities who arrived in 1972.

If you have served as an interpreter (whether informally or professionally) or you have needed an interpreter to access services in the past, we would be interested in speaking to you about your experiences.

We are also interested in hearing from second or third generations who recall interpreting informally for family or friends or who recall family experiences of developing English language proficiency / maintaining languages of ‘home’.

You can contact the project team directly at:

Time period of recruitment: 30 July 2019 – 1 May 2020

Note: if you are willing to be interviewed about your experiences with a member of the project team, all information and processes will be GDPR compliant. Interviews can take place at the University of Manchester or in a mutually convenient location, in person or by phone.

University of Manchester Privacy Notice for Research

Please see below for further details of the research:

Translating Asylum: Translation, interpreting and the British humanitarian response to asylum seeker and refugee arrivals since the 1940s

Participant Information Sheet (PIS)

You are being invited to take part in a research study that aims to investigate the experiences of different immigrant groups in relation to language barriers on arrival and in the early years after arrival. Before you decide whether to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully before deciding whether to take part and discuss it with others if you wish. Please ask if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

About the research

  • Who will conduct the research?

Dr Annabelle Wilkins, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, Division of Language and Intercultural Studies, The University of Manchester.

Dr Rebecca Tipton, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, Division of Language and Intercultural Studies, The University of Manchester (Principal Investigator).

  • What is the purpose of the research?

This research project seeks to understand the experience of people who don’t speak English, or who speak very little English when they first arrive in a new country and the level of support provided to communicate with key organisations and services in the early years after arrival.

You have been invited to take part in the project as someone who has direct experience or whose family has direct experience of these issues. We are hoping to interview up to 15 people from your community.

  • Will the outcomes of the research be published?

The outcomes of the research will be published in academic and non-academic publications and disseminated through events held with community heritage organisations to which you will be invited as a participant.

You will also have an opportunity for your interview to be made available via the project website ( for the duration of the project and/or deposited at an established oral history archive (e.g. Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Centre; East Midlands Oral History Archive) as a means for future generations to learn about your experiences. This will be discussed with you after the interview.

  • Who has reviewed the research project?

The project has been reviewed by The University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee [No. 3].

  • Who is funding the research project?

The research project is being funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council under Grant R122716.

What would my involvement be?

  • What would I be asked to do if I took part?

If you decide to take part:

1. You will be sent a list of topics for the interview one week in advance.

2. The time and location of the interview will be agreed between you and the interviewer.

3. The interview will last up to 1.5 hours and will be conducted in a language of your choice (an interpreter will be arranged if needed).

4. Before the interview starts, you will be asked whether you agree to it being audio recorded and what you would like us to do with the audio recording (keep for research purposes only, or use for research and public dissemination).

5. You are not obliged to answer all of the interviewer’s questions.

6. After the interview, you will have an opportunity for a debrief.

  • Will I be compensated for taking part?

We are able to cover travel expenses to and from the interview.

  • What happens if I do not want to take part or if I change my mind?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. Please contact Dr Annabelle Wilkins by email: or Dr Rebecca Tipton (Tel: 0161 275 3138).

If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep and will be asked to sign a consent form. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without detriment to yourself. If you decide not to take part you do not need to do anything further.

Ideally we would like to audio record the interview. You are free to decline the recording, and in which case, notes would be taken instead. If you do agree to the recording but change your mind during the interview, you will be free to stop recording at any time. You will be asked at that point whether you wish to withdraw all or part of the recorded material from the project.

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