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CALS research students top thesis competition

Pictured: Professor Jim Deegan (Head of Graduate School, MIC), Úna Clancy (1st place), Chris Fitzgerald (2nd place), Alicja McCloskey (MIC) and Waad Aljohani (joint 3rd), and Professor Helen Kelly-Holmes (Director of CALS)

UL Centre for Applied Language Studies (CALS) postgraduate students claimed first, second and third places in the three minute thesis competition at the 6th International Research Methods Summer School held at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) last weekend.

With 16 entries from PhD students in education and applied linguistics from MIC, Mercy Gwynedd University in the USA , and UL, the event provided a lively ending to the very successful summer school. The event this year was a collaboration between the MIC summer school, the CALS annual postgraduate conference and the Structured PhD in TESOL summer school. The standard was high and, amid stiff competition, the CALS students impressed with eye-catching images, engaging communication with the audience and convincing pitches.

Waad Aljohani was awarded third place for using a logical and easily understandable clockwise graphic to lead the audience through her work on how and why corpora can be used for language learning in Saudi Arabia; second place went to Chris Fitzgerald who talked about using oral histories for investigating language change using only Rembrandt’s ‘Syndics of the Drapers Guild’; and Úna Clancy claimed first place by telling the deceptively simple story of baby Cian as a way to explain her interdisciplinary work on neonatal language acquisition.

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