A student from the School of the Arts has received the special commendations award in the Master Dissertation Award 2015 programme from the British Council.
Edmund O’Donovan, who graduated with distinction in an MA in Applied Linguistics in July 2015, was given the prestigious award by judges from the British Council and the academic field after they were greatly impressed with his dissertation, entitled Exploring Culturally Sensitive Alternatives for the First Certificate in English.
Despite its commissioning of detailed research in the area, the cultural suitability of the visuals used in Cambridge English’s examination content remains an area of some ambiguity.
Informed by the views and performances of a small but representative sample of young Kuwaiti nationals, Edmund’s dissertation specifically focuses on the cultural orientation of the photographic representations used in Cambridge English’s First Certificate in English examination [FCE].
For the last four years, the British Council has partnered with UK universities to find English Language Teaching (ELT) Masters dissertations with potential for impact on policy and practice.
The scheme, where universities submit one dissertation from their ELT Masters programmes and then judge them along with a panel of British Council experts, is designed to recognise and celebrate the brightest minds in ELT at Masters level.
Edmund’s dissertation supervisor Hitoma Masuhara, said: “I am a very proud supervisor. Edmund worked extremely hard to produce an insightful dissertation which has made an important contribution to the field of English Language Teaching. It is a fantastic step towards establishing himself in the field and we will look forward to seeing more from Edmund in the future.”
Following his MA at the University, Edmund moved to China to undertake teaching and teacher training at Sanqiao English School in Daqing.
Through the awards, the winning dissertations become additions to the canon of research in ELT and are accessible to practitioners around the world.
You can view Edmund’s dissertation on the British Council website at: https://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/attachments/dissertation_for_publication_2016_liverpool_university.pdf.