In 2021 our Alliance Intensive Study Programme (AISP) launched, giving students around the world access to short intensive blocks of study delivered by academics from the University of Warwick. We spoke to participants to get their feedback on the experience.
Sophie Frankpitt, studying towards BA English Language and Linguistics with Intercalated Year at the University of Warwick, explains why she was keen to apply to the programme.
This summer, I took the Multilingualism and Diversity module, and I decided to participate for a few reasons. Firstly, I wanted to gain experience learning from students and academics at different institutions. I also wanted the opportunity to develop my research skills, whilst studying a module relevant to my Linguistics degree – and this is exactly what the course offered.
Sophie went on to describe her experience.
One of the most valuable parts of the module for me was its research-focused nature. In groups, we were able to design a small research project related to multilingualism, carrying out fieldwork, analysis, and presentations. This meant that we could practise our research and analytical skills, whilst learning alongside students in different countries, studying different degrees, and at different levels of study.
The added challenge was that our groups were virtual, and worked across multiple time zones – but I think these challenges ended up being a really important learning curve. We were pushed into being innovative, creative and efficient in carrying out research – because we had to design a project that would work for group members all across the world. For example, the diversity in my group meant that we were able to collect data both in the UK and Australia. We had the opportunity to learn how to use online learning in a way that could benefit and expand our project.
The module improved my research and intercultural skills, which will greatly benefit my future study, as I move into second year at Warwick and work towards post-graduate study abroad.
Xenia Sanut, Bachelor of Arts and ICUR Student Director, Monash University, describes the joy of working in multicultural groups
It was such an incredible experience to participate in the Multilingualism & Diversity (MultiDiv) unit from June 28 to July 16, 2021, as part of the Alliance Intensive Study Programme.
I learnt so much about the relatively new and emerging field of linguistic landscape research and the staff provided us a strong foundation to create and conduct our own research projects.
My group members were students from around the world and we worked closely together to examine the multilingualism of COVID signage in pharmacies in the UK, Luxembourg, and Australia, and because of the emphasis on collaboration, I think MultiDiv was one of the most enjoyable virtual programmes I’ve ever been on.
Due to the nature of our topic, I learnt so much about each group member’s respective country, the COVID responses and the differences in the make-up of their multicultural communities, and despite not being in-person, I got to know the people on my team well.
Additionally, the programme has strengthened my desire to pursue postgraduate research and I certainly see myself using the methodologies introduced in the programme to study the area of multiculturalism and diversity in more depth.