English Language and Linguistics Summer School highlights

The English Language and Linguistics postgraduate summer school took place earlier this month and featured a packed schedule of insightful sessions

ELAL summer school attendees

Attendees at the ELAL summer school

A particularly intriguing session was Koko the Gorilla: Ape communication and the evolution of language, delivered by Dr Marcus Perlman. Dr Perlman discussed the studies that have taken place throughout the 1900s, where attempts were made to teach apes to speak, including studies looking into whether chimpanzees could be taught to communicate using a different modality such as blocks and shapes or even computerised systems with symbols. He then covered the remarkable story of Koko the Gorilla who, raised by humans from the age of one, used gestures to communicate. The session was a real insight into the fascinating research undertaken by Dr Perlman who studies the gesturing and vocal behaviour of great apes. 

I really enjoyed the summer school. At first, it was “Ape Language” that attracted me to register. However, I found other modules also very awesome. Additionally, the rapport between the teachers and us learners encourages me a lot.

Yating Yang, MA TESOL
ELAL summer school Dr Marcus Perlman

Dr Marcus Perlman presenting at the ELAL summer school

Covering everything from Using Stories to Teach English, to Teaching Irony to Language Learners the summer school provided five days of enthralling sessions and activities. Across the week students from programmes across English Language and Linguistics had a taster of the exciting work and research undertaken across the department; as well as having the opportunity to connect with peers.

There have been many things I have enjoyed about the summer school. Most importantly, as distance learners we are spread throughout the globe. The summer school allows us to meet and learn from each other's experience and interpretations. The lectures were insightful and thought provoking, I am looking forward to returning to China to implement what I have learnt.

James Atkinson, MA TESOL Distance Learning
ELAL summer school attendees

Attendees Yating, Aoqiu and James at the ELAL summer school

English Language and Linguistics summer schools will also be taking place in Japan and South Korea over the summer allowing students across the world to be involved in a brilliant week of sessions.

I really had a good time with my long-distance school mates. The staff here prepared the most interesting courses for us. We had a good time partying, drinking tea and visiting museums together. I think for us, summer school gives us a great chance to know our long-distance schoolfellows and to feel connected with each other.

Aoqiu Hua, MA Language, Culture and Communication