Dr. Achmad Farid

Dr. Achmad Farid


About me

I graduated from University of Pesantren Tinggi Darul Ulum (Unipdu) in Jombang, East Java, Indonesia in 2010 with BA in English Language and Linguistics. In the same year, I started my career at Unipdu Language Centre, teaching IELTS/TOEFL preparation classes and organising English language proficiency tests. I was also involved in a number of language teaching projects at Islamic boarding schools (pesantren), mostly dealing with secondary school students and also helping non-English language teachers improve their English skill. I also worked as a lecturer assistant at the Faculty of Languages and Literature, from which I graduated. In 2013, I had the opportunity to pursue my MA in Linguistics and ELT at the School of Languages, Cultures, and Society, University of Leeds. Having obtained my MA degree, I returned back to Indonesia to serve as a lecturer. I taught some linguistics modules for BA students such as syntax and phonetics. I also served as the head of English department of the university's language centre. In 2016, I came back to Leeds to embark on my PhD study at the School of Education.

What motivated me to undertake my PhD study?

My motivation to undertake a PhD is built upon two main premises - my ideal future self and my ought-to self. First, my imagined future self is an outstanding university lecturer - an expert in the field of language teaching and research. To achieve this objective, I need to deepen and broaden my knowledge, improving my skills and competence. I have always aspired to become a knowledgeable and a learned individual. Once this goal is accomplished, I believe that other people will benefit greatly from my skills and knowledge. Second, as a university lecturer, milieu and significant others become an external driving force for me to pursue my PhD. My working place and the people in it encouraged me to go further, study higher, and achieve better. Gaining a PhD is particularly advantageous to my future career as a university academic.

What is my research topic?

In brief, my topic is related to how aspects of identity impact learners' motivation to study English and Arabic in Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia. I am trying to identify the causal relationships between the well-established motivational factors in the L2 Motivational Self System model such as Ideal L2 Self, Ought-to L2 Self, Learning Experience, Milieu, Attitude towards L2, and along with key religious factors, and learners’ motivated behaviour in a very particular L2 learning context where religious identity determines and shapes many mundane aspects of their lives.

What is it that makes me passionate about my field of study?

It is my experience as an English teacher for students in Islamic boarding schools that makes me passionate about my field of study. I noticed how the students presented their identities to their peers and teachers. Of course, their identities were very dynamic. Sometimes they deliberately showed their religiosity in a non-religious lesson. At another time they portrayed themselves as basketball players, wearing basketball jerseys, shoes, and shorts, and neglect the religious identity that they previously portrayed. At times I found an intriguing phenomenon; some students clearly showed resistance in learning English, but because of their institutional identity as students and their ought-to L2 selves – to pass the exam –, they have no choice rather than attending English classes. By understanding pesantren students’ views of themselves at present, for example as language learners, as academic pupils, as pesantren students, as religious individuals, as members of the school sports teams, and so on, I expected that I will be able to reveal the links between their sense of themselves and their motivation in learning English and Arabic as compulsory foreign languages.

Submission date:

Expected thesis submission date: June 2020

Submission deadline: September 2020

What do I like to do outside of studying?

I am a keen cyclist, and I feel lucky to study and live in West Yorkshire, the so-called God's own county. I did a 210 KM ride from Liverpool to Leeds, and then 110 KM from Leeds to Hull. When I am not busy with my study, I ride my bike to places around Yorkshire on weekends. I love traveling with my family and friends too. I also lead a weekly Qur'an study circle that aims at helping my friends to read and understand the Qur'an.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

I have declared myself as a lifelong learner. Upon completion of my study, I will return home to Indonesia and continue teaching and researching. I would keep myself involved in scholarly activities, attending and speaking at conferences, and publishing research papers. I would like also to go on a post-doctoral research programme in the future.

Research interests

Identity and motivation in language learning, second language acquisition, curriculum and material development for teaching English, teaching English and its social context.


  • BA in English Language and Linguistics, Unipdu Jombang 2010
  • MA in Linguistics and ELT, University of Leeds 2014
  • PhD in Language Education, University of Leeds 2022