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Rhodes > English Language and Linguistics > Latest News

Hurrah, Ling graduates are best!

Date Released: Tue, 7 May 2013 15:50 +0200

Rhodes linguists celebrated a bumper graduation this April, with a sterling group of students achieving their BA, BA(Honours) and MA degrees, as well as one PhD.  As is tradition, the department held a graduation reception the courtyard outside the Drostdy Barracks.  It was a fantastic, festive affair, with the Linguistics 3 class of 2012 even serenading the assembled company with a song they wrote about their year.  The refrain: Hurrah, Ling 3 is best!

Professor Ralph Adendorff praised the achievements of staff, students, parents and guardians in his inimitable way.  He began with the Ling 3s, whom he described as “effervescent, vocal and masters (as a group) at maintaining the upper-hand during class”.  But this was also a very bright class, with eight first-class passes.  The top-scorer was Maxine Diemer with 91%.

The 2012 Linguistics Honours group deserve immense praise for their achievements under testing circumstances.  Among them, Amy Sutherland was awarded the Patrick and Margaret Flanagan Scholarship, which she will use to study for a Master’s degree at the University of Sydney.  Morgan Jander achieved a distinction and is continuing to study Master’s at Rhodes.  So did Bea Hubbard and Emily van der Ruit, who have chosen to give Rhodes a break for a while.

Two very special Master’s students were capped: Xiujie Ma and Jade Smith.  Xiujie Ma’s thesis was entitled “An analysis of temporal relations in languages: a comparative study of Mandarin and isiXhosa”.  That this thesis was written in a third language, English, only adds to the achievement.  Jade Smith’s thesis received a distinction and eulogistic reactions from her examiners.  What makes it all the more impressive is that her thesis was completed in only 10 months.

The crowning achievement this year, however, must be the PhD received by Caroline van der Mescht, for a wonderful thesis on what takes place in early reading instruction.  It is a work which straddles Linguistics and Education, and was praised by Professor Adendorff as being “perceptive, impressively fine-grained, alarming in its findings – and beautifully written”.  Very happily, Caroline will be a post-doctoral fellow in the English Language and Linguistics department for the next year.

With graduates such as these, it is no surprise that, as Professor Adendorff said, “The Linguistics department is a place, these days, of extraordinary energy, and the future looks very bright indeed.”