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2016 - 2017 winners

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See the winners of the MA dissertation award for 2016-2017.

2016 -2017 awards

The competition in 2016-17 was remarkable, with research into ELT themes such as the role of initial teacher training courses, speaking tests, codeswitching and L2 instructional strategies. Dissertations covered a wide range of contexts including Brazil, Korea and Canada.

The Judging Process

The judging process for the awards is a collaborative and thorough process. Each participating university submits one dissertation which the university judges to have the best potential for impact on ELT policy and practice. The dissertation must already have been marked at distinction level. The dissertations went through three rounds of evaluation. In the first round the dissertations were assessed by a British Council panel who ranked the dissertations according to the potential of the research to change the attitudes, practices or policies of individuals or institutions. The best dissertations were then evaluated by academics from the participating institutions.

The dissertations are available to download below.

Winning dissertation

Jason Anderson | King's college London

A qualitative study into the role of initial teacher training courses in the professional development of experienced non-native speaker teachers of English. 

This study aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the role of initial teacher training courses (ITCs) such as the Cambridge CELTA and the Trinity CertTESOL in the professional development and careers of experienced non-native speaker English teachers (NNESTs).

Special commendations

Yeonwoo Jung | University College London: The effects of SCMC modality and task type on negotiation of meaning

Inspired by interactionist perspectives, this study investigates whether the patterns of negotiation of meaning among non-native speakers of English are affected by synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) modality, task type and the interaction between the modality and task type. 

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Larissa Goulart da Silva | University of Warwick - Academic vocabulary: a corpus linguistic study on how Brazilian students write academic English

According to Vongpumivitch, Huang, and Chang (2008) and Shawn (1991) the use of academic vocabulary is one of the main difficulties encountered by English as a foreign language students when reading and writing academic English. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the use of academic vocabulary in a corpus of Brazilian students in order to propose pedagogical implications for the teaching of EAP in Brazil. 

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Rupert Williams | University of Stirling - Speaking test development in English for Academic Purposes: A pilot study

Global proficiency exams such as IELTS and TOEFL are ubiquitous within English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and are useful yardsticks for assigning grades and determining course entry criteria. However, several commentators (e.g. Alexander et al. 2008, Schmitt & Hamp-Lyons 2015) suggest that while such summative tests are useful, they often do not adequately prepare students for university study. As a result, there is a need for formative tests that may be used with pre-sessional or in-sessional students.

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Finalists

The dissertations are available to download below.

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