Congratulations Abdelfattah

by Jeanette Sakel
Well done Abdelfattah Dimassi, who had his viva on the 6th of November. Here he is with one of the external examiners, Christina Schelleter (left) and myself after the viva.



CDA speeches! A practical exploration of Aristotle’s artistic proofs and other rhetorical techniques

by Craig Evans

For last week’s Critical Discourse Analysis module, several students volunteered to write speeches which they then delivered in the seminars. The purpose of the exercise was to explore the way that features of classical rhetoric, in particular Aristotle’s artistic proofs, work in persuasive writing. The format involved four speakers in each seminar making opposing arguments on two topics. After each speech the rest of the seminar group were asked to discuss the rhetorical merits of the speech; and after each topic, a vote was held to decide which argument had won the most support.

The two topics chosen by students to speak on were immigration and the Oscar Pistorius trial. Speakers were asked to argue against or for the following propositions:

“Immigration has gone far enough and a firm limit should now be placed on Britain’s borders”

“Oscar Pistorius is guilty of murder and should be sentenced accordingly” Continue reading

Introduction to our Programmes

by Jeanette Sakel
We’ve had many potential students looking around UWE last Saturday at our Open Day. For those who want to see our presentation again, I’ve attached the slides we use to present our field.

There is also a video – which I recorded last year – that introduces what we are doing here at UWE: http://youtu.be/uKDIM3SHjEM

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me (jeanette.sakel@uwe.ac.uk)

The slides from Open day (2014-15) are here:
Open day Linguistics and English Language 2014_October1

Volunteering for East African Playgrounds

by Harry Westwood and Beth Swindell
Are you looking for a new experience? Would you like to make a real difference? Do you relish the chance for a bit of adventure? Then how about volunteering for East African Playgrounds, a charity that builds playgrounds for rural village schools in Uganda.
You can join the UWE playground project team who are spending a month working with 18 other volunteers, building a playground and hosting arts and games classes for the children in Uganda. The unique aspect of this project is that volunteers get to build the playground from start to finish: on day-one there is an empty field; a month later you will see scores of happy and excited children playing on a brand new playground which you not only built, but also helped fund.

And the best thing about how we work is that volunteers get to live within the community, which means they make friends with the locals as well as the kids, who are very excited to have them there. Our volunteers need no experience, just enthusiasm, a desire to help and an appetite for new experiences!

This is the link to our information pack: http://issuu.com/east.african.playgrounds/docs/volunteer_info_pack2

This is the link to the application form: https://eastafricanplaygrounds.wufoo.com/forms/ugvol2015/

If you’d like more information please contact us on volunteer@eastafricanplaygrounds.org com or visit the website at http://www.eastafricanplaygrounds.org/
We are having an information meeting at 5:30pm Thursday 2nd October, 3E12 frenchay where you can meet the charity and find out more about the project!
Many thanks, Harry and Beth (UWE playground project team leaders)

Gain an extra qualification – for free!

by Jeanette sakel
We offer a great additional award to all our students at UWE, called the UWE Bristol Futures Award. Many of our students have already signed up – if you haven’t take a look here: http://www.uwe.ac.uk/futures/

It’s really easy:
– Sign up
– Notify them of activities you are probably doing anyway (such as volunteering, work experience, student rep, student ambassador, student society, etc.) – or be encouraged to take part in more such activities to help your overall employability prospects!
– Gain an extra award, which will be really useful for your CV and help you with your job prospects!

All current students can sign up (so it’s not too late if you’re already at level 3).

Help with writing in the department

by Jeanette Sakel
This year we have our own author-in-residence in the department of Arts and Cultural Industries again – and for those of you who were here last year: we’re lucky to have Harriet Castor again. Harriet is available for meetings to go through your writing (e.g. essays, questions about how to approach writing, etc.). She has also contributed a lot to this blog with essay writing tips and a post about how she got into writing in the first place.

Here is more information about Harriet:

Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow in the Arts Department at UWE, 2014-15

The Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellowship is a scheme that places professional writers –novelists, non-fiction writers, playwrights and poets – in higher education institutions to offer writing support to students.

My name is Harriet Castor, and for 2014-15 I will be the RLF Fellow working in the Arts Department at UWE. I will be available during term time at Frenchay campus on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can contact me at Harriet.Castor@uwe.ac.uk

My task is to help students in the Arts Department to improve their writing skills. I offer one-to-one sessions, during which I can work with you on clarity of expression, on structuring arguments, on planning essays and dissertations, or on any other aspect of writing where you feel you are struggling or would like help to improve. These sessions are confidential. You can book an appointment with me by email, and can come either independently or in response to a recommendation from a tutor.

Here’s my profile from the Royal Literary Fund website:
Harriet Castor is a writer who specializes in books for children and young people. First published when she was at school, she has now written more than forty books, of which roughly half are fiction and half non-fiction. The most recent, VIII, is a novel for teenagers about the psychological decline of Henry VIII. It was described by The Telegraph as ‘excellent’, by Books for Keeps as ‘stunning and engrossing’ and by the bestselling horror writer Charlie Higson as ‘exciting, fascinating and surprisingly scary’. VIII was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the UK Literary Association Award and the Amazing Book Awards.
Harriet holds a first-class degree in history, and has worked both in publishing (as an editor) and in the dance world (as a Benesh notator with The Royal Ballet). Since becoming a full-time writer she has not only produced original works, but has adapted classics (such as Alice in Wonderland), edited an anthology and written articles and reviews for several national newspapers. She has given talks at schools and book clubs all around the country, as well as appearing at numerous literary festivals including the Hay Festival, the Cheltenham Literature Festival and the Edinburgh Book Festival.
Contact details

Harriet works on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and you can book an appointment by emailing Harriet.Castor@uwe.ac.uk

Survival guide for our incoming students

by Jeanette Sakel

We’ve put together the attached departmental ‘survival guide’ for our incoming level 1 students. I hope it’ll be helpful in induction week/ the first week of study. There’ll be a lot of new information in these first few weeks – but if you’re ‘lost’ just ask! Our Facebook group (English Language and Linguistics at UWE) is a place to ask, or you can send an email to me (the Programme Leader: jeanette.sakel@uwe.ac.uk) or pop in to see me and my colleagues in the 2S300s ‘pod’ (my office is in 2S306).

2014-15 English Language and Linguistics Survival Guide

To download the survival guide, just click on the link above.

Winners of this year’s project prize

by Jeanette Sakel
Each year we award a prize to the language (Linguistics / English Language) project that has impressed us the most, usually a project that gained a very high mark, looked at a phenomenon in a novel way (or even came up with a new area of research) and, in some cases, even showed impact beyond the project itself, in that others can make use of the results. This year we had two projects that fulfilled all three of these criteria, with a range of very good runner ups! So, the best project (Bristol Centre for Linguistics) prize is shared this year, between Zoe Egan and Sandeep Sond.
Zoe’s project is about “Tip-of-the-tongue Phenomenon: A case study”. Sandeep’s project is entitled “Fathers gesture too”. Both will prepare a blog entry for us, so we can all read about their research.
Well done, Sandee and Zoe, as well as our other project students. We had some truly outstanding projects this year, which were a joy to read!