Teaching English in Nepal

by Hannah Powell

[For graduates of the level 3 TESOL module, who go on to succeed in the RSA Certificate TEFLA, we have an ongoing relationship with The UWE/ British College in Nepal, who are willing to take one of our students for their first job opportunity every year.  Our second UWE graduate on this scheme is now happily teaching pre-UWE undergraduates in Nepal. To read about the fantastic experience available, read Hannah’s blog attached. For details of this scheme contact rebecca.fong@uwe.ac.uk   or see our university link here: http://info.uwe.ac.uk/news/uwenews/news.aspx?id=2179 ]

Namaste! I have decided to write a blog for prospective teachers who are thinking about doing a CELTA course and coming here to the partner university, The British College (TBC), in Kathmandu. That said, this is relevant for anyone who is considering either doing a CELTA generally and teaching, or if you are considering coming to Nepal. Continue reading

iMean Conference 2015

by Craig Evans

Back in April, the fourth iMean conference was held at the University of Warwick. This was the first iMean outside of UWE. The conference – started in 2009 and staged every two years – is organised by Jo Angouri and Kate Beeching. This year, UWE’s Helen Watts was at the helm coordinating a group of Warwick and UWE students to help ensure the smooth running of the event, which by all accounts was a great success.

Rachael and I were there representing UWE’s English Language and Linguistics undergraduates. It was an exciting opportunity to experience a different university campus, to meet others interested in language research, and to experience some fascinating talks by academics at all levels. During our four days at the conference, we helped out with registration, organising signage, and directing delegates to the right rooms. In return for our efforts, we were able to attend the talks we wanted, to enjoy free breakfasts and a free drinks event, and to gain some valuable work experience (always good for the CV).

Continue reading

Writing tip of the week

by Harriet Castor

[Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow]

When writing, think about what you want to say before worrying about how you’re going to say it. It’s often tempting to try to finish a sentence or paragraph by asking yourself, ‘What will sound good here?’ But that doesn’t get good results! Instead, ask yourself, ‘What do I want to say?’ or ‘What point am I making?’

Clear thinking makes for clear writing, and clear writing is much more effective than any number of fancy phrases. Also, if you make sure you know what idea or information you want to put across before you start worrying about which words or phrases to use, the whole task of finding those words and phrases becomes much easier.

If you’d like to book a confidential one-to-one session with me to work on your writing skills, please email Harriet.Castor@uwe.ac.uk
I’m at Frenchay on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

What is a resit – and what do those abbreviations mean?

by Jeanette Sakel

If you passed all of your modules this year: congratulations, and no need to read on. If you have to resit a module (for example because you failed a component of the module or did not attend an exam due to extenuating circumstances), I hope that this explanation will help.

You’ll get your overall results next week – they are due on the 24th of June. You may learn that part of your assessment has been ‘condoned’, i.e. that you failed a part of your course, but you have been excused and will be able to carry on. This is very rare, though, and please see me if you want a detailed explanation as to why that is.

In most cases, you will have to ‘resit’ the module you failed. There are different types of resit, here explained by our own UWE admin team:

“The definition of a resit is an assessment in the event of a failure, with or without further class attendance, having failed to reach the required pass standard at the first sit. Continue reading

A cure for the tip of the tongue phenomenon

by Zoe Egan

My dissertation focussed upon the tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) phenomenon – a psycholinguistic research area. We all experience TOTs to varying degrees and the majority don’t really take any notice of them but for some people, they are really frustrating.

A TOT is a word that we are unable to retrieve even though we are 100% sure that we know what the word is. For example, you might be asked for the surname of the royal family. You know it. You 100% know it. The name may have popped into your head and then suddenly disappeared without a trace. You may know the initial letter or the number of syllables in the name but STILL cannot produce the word in full. This is a TOT experience.

The reason for my interest in TOT research is mainly due to my mum. In 2008, my mum endured a severe bicycle accident where she badly hit the right side of her head (no helmet L), broke several bones, and damaged a lot of skin tissue. Nasty. At the time, the doctor concluded that no brain damage had occurred. Yet, over the last four years my mum has noticed deterioration in her language capabilities: mainly a heightened frequency of TOT experiences. This was becoming a serious issue for my mum as she often felt nervous and stupid in conversation, as she was unable to retrieve basic lexicon. My dissertation therefore focussed on finding a “cure” for her. Continue reading

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!

Summer reading -UPDATED 6.8.2014

by Jeanette Sakel

I know you’ve probably got other things to do (like lying on the beach, sipping cool drinks and meeting up with friends), but if you would like to read a bit about the stuff you’ll be doing next year, here are lists of suggested reading. Please note that this post will be added to as and when I hear back from colleagues.

Please note: this is not the ‘ultimate’ list yet, and changes may very well occur. Yet, for summer reading, this list is perfect and should keep you occupied for a while 🙂


Incoming students, Level 1


  • Yule The study of languageLINK
  • Jones, R. H. (2012) Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge
  • Kress, G. R., &  Van Leeuwen, T. (2006) Reading images: the grammar of visual design. London: Routledge
  • Pullum. 2005. A student’s introduction to English grammar. Cambridge: CUP.

Those on English Language and Linguistics (additional texts):

  • Sakel & Everett Linguistic Fieldwork Cambridge University Press: LINK
  • Meyerhoff, M Introducing Sociolinguistics: LINK
  • recommended: R. Lieber Introducing Morphology CUP: LINK
  • recommended: R. Coates Word Structure: LINK
  • Baker, P. (2009) Contemporary Corpus Linguistics. London: Continuum
  • Coulthard, M. and  Johnson, A. (2007) An Introduction to Forensic Linguistics: Language in Evidence, Oxford, Routledge
  • Ashby, Patricia. 2011. Understanding phonetics. London: Hodder.
  • Yule, George. 2008. Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Continue reading

Finding employment after your degree

by Jeanette Sakel

For a few years now, we have been very targeted in preparing our students for their graduate employability. And the work seems to be paying off. Here UWE’s English Language and Linguistics degree is features on ITV news – with our own Sandeep Sond (soon to be graduate in English Language and Linguistics) talking about getting a graduate-level job upon graduation. Well done, Sandee!