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Introducing PhD student, Jack Pulman-Slater

18 September 2023

A man wearing a navy jacket and glasses is smiling.

Jack Pulman-Slater is a PhD research student at the School of Welsh. Here he tells us a bit about his research and what led him to study at Cardiff University.

Who are you, where are you from, and what is your academic background?

I grew up in north Pembrokeshire. I then studied Linguistics at Girton College, University of Cambridge before coming to Cardiff to study the MA in Welsh and Celtic Studies. I went on to be a qualified teacher and taught Welsh as a second language in a secondary school for a while before I returned to the School of Welsh in 2019 to start my PhD.

What made you decide to study a PhD at Cardiff University's School of Welsh?

I was looking for an organization that specialized in the Welsh language and that allowed me to research and write through the medium of the language which is also the subject of my research. In addition, I was looking for an institution that was part of a wider postgraduate network. My research has been funded and supported by the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (AHRC). Cardiff's membership of this partnership and my scholarship have provided access to very valuable learning and teaching resources and experiences at other universities that are part of the SWWDTP.

Give a brief overview of your chosen research topic.

My research explores the pronunciation of adults who are learning Welsh as a second language and specifically looks at intonation characteristics of their speech. I am considering how different English accents affect the acquisition of the Welsh language among different types of learners. This is the first project that analyzes the intonation of Welsh language learners.

Why would you encourage others to do a PhD at Cardiff University's School of Welsh?

Although the School is small it is ambitious and active in many areas. The School has links with universities beyond Wales and this enables networking with other researchers as well as opportunities to attend foreign conferences. The size of the school also means that it is easy to connect with the academic staff and socialize with other PhD students.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will start a part-time job as a Coordinator in the language department of City Lit in London where I will also teach Welsh and Swedish as a second language. I also hope that it would be possible for me to publish a few articles based on my PhD research in journals.

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