Author: JS

New article by one of our students!

by Jeanette Sakel

Hannah Medland, level 1 student on English Language and Linguistics has just published the following article with ‘Discover Britain’ about Tyntesfield (a National Trust property near Bristol):

Well done, Hannah! Keep writing, everybody 🙂

End of term party on Wednesday!

by Kate Beeching

Dear English/ Language and Linguistics students and staff,

A quick reminder that you are cordially invited to an END-OF-TERM party on Wednesday 7 December, 1pm., in 2S606.

Come and celebrate the end of term and view the 10 best video-clips collected as part of  the Bristol Soundscapes competition.

Prizes for the 3 best clips will be presented:

FIRST PRIZE: 2 tickets to the panto

SECOND PRIZE: 2 breakfasts at Carluccio’s

THIRD PRIZE: A Christmas Hamper (includes chocolate!)

Light refreshments will be provided – do feel free to bring something to share.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

All best wishes,

Kate Beeching.

Richard Coates on ‘Word of Mouth’, Radio 4

by Richard Coates

Richard Coates put in a guest appearance on “Word of Mouth” (BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 12 April, 16.00, repeated Monday 18 April, 23.00 and available on catch-up, short clip, full whack This show is hosted by former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen (a UWE honorary doctor, incidentally) and Dr Laura Wright of Cambridge University. You might expect something heavyweight after the appearance of the world-famous Professor Steven Pinker of Harvard University on the programme the previous week, but, true to the very wide-ranging concerns of the series, it was an informed discussion of the history of English house-naming. Informed, but easy on the ear.

Richard didn’t get a chance to discuss two of his favourite house-names: the heroes’ hall in the Beowulf poem called Heorot ‘Stag’, and the earliest name of an English house that wasn’t a pub, dating from the 16th century: The Vyne, a stately home in Sherborne St John, Hampshire. The owner knew his Bible – see if you can work out an explanation!


Descriptive and prescriptive grammar

by Jeanette Sakel

I was at the annual meeting of the Association for National Teaching Fellows in Birmingham these last two days – and not only did I learn a lot about playful pedagogies and show a poster about my short video summaries for language, but I also produced a short video on descriptive and prescriptive approaches to language. Here it is:

How to tame long, unclear sentences

by Maria McCann

Royal Literary Fund Fellow in the Department of Arts and Cultural Industries.

Problem: sheer length

Solution: split them! Oddly, many students never consider this obvious step, which can resolve several problems at a stroke. Remember, however, that long sentences are not a fault in themselves. Good writing employs a variety of sentence forms.

Problem: the subject of the sentence appears very late

By being able to identify human voices from as early as twelve hours after birth, babies are perceptive to the sounds of human language from very early on.

Solution: move the subject to the beginning

Babies can identify human voices from as early as twelve hours after birth, and this makes them perceptive to the sounds of human language from very early on.

Problem: strings of relative pronouns (who, that, which) and over-use of this

Taskill chooses to write in iambic pentameter, which is commonly used in English sonnets. This is surprising, since… These sentences are short, but already there is potential ambiguity: what is surprising? Is it that sonneteers use iambic pentameter, or that Taskill does so?

Solution 1: introduce ‘recap’ words

Taskill chooses to write in iambic pentameter, a metre commonly used in English sonnets. This choice is surprising, since….

This is already clearer. Altering This choice to Her choice would make it better still.

Solution 2: repeat a key word

Smith took measures to keep down public spending, though he believed that the state should be responsible for certain public amenities, which were not fully supported.  

Does which refer to Smith’s measures or to the amenities? Repeating a key word helps:

Smith took measures to keep down public spending, though he believed that the state should be responsible for certain public amenities, amenities which were not fully supported.

The advice above is adapted from Julia Copus’s Brilliant Writing Tips for Students.

If you’d like to book a confidential one-to-one session with me to work on your writing skills email me at I’m in 3S201 on Frenchay on Wednesdays and Thursdays until the 16th June.


Spend your summer studying in India!

by the UWE InfoHub team 

Have you ever been captivated by a book, film or documentary about India? Would you like to deepen your knowledge on that subject? If so, where better to study it than in India!

You will have the opportunity to work with Indian peers in formal and informal settings which will build mutual understanding, create a greater awareness of the UK-India relationship and develop your intercultural fluency skills.. 

Interactive group learning and practical activities will develop your team working, communication and problem solving skills and equip you with important interview repertoire.

Doing a study course in India will enhance your understanding of your chosen subject and challenge you to widen your horizons as you place your studies within an Indian context. Each course will include excursions to help you gain a well-rounded impression of contemporary India, its culture and history. View the British Council Study India website here.

The courses last for 2-3 weeks and cost £400-£750 depending on where they are based in India. This price includes food, accommodation and excursions but it is advisable to take a small amount of pocket money.

You will need to pay for your flights to and from India

If you are in receipt of a maintenance grant you can apply for the Go Global Bursary of £1,000.

Applications will be through the UWE InfoHub (via UWE Careers) – but hurry – they would like you to express your interest by Monday 14.3. (i.e. early next week)!