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Resources for Teachers

The information on this page is intended to build on links between the Department of English and Linguistics and secondary school teachers. Our staff are happy to work with teachers of English and languages to share information, expertise, and experiences. 

Reaching out to you

Regular meetings

We are keen to arrange and support regular opportunities for department staff and school teachers to meet.  Our 'Meet the Teachers' evenings, held at the University Bookshop in 2016 and the University Staff Club in 2017, are a relaxed and convivial evening where university teachers and school teachers meet to share interests and discoveries, and better understand life on the other side of the Year13-First Year divide. We will advertise any upcoming events of this nature on our Facebook page and on the Secondary English mailing list.

School visits

Staff from the English programme, linguistics programme, and the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, are happy to visit your school. Staff can talk to groups of students or staff, or even take a guest teaching session of your English or language class. These visits are especially useful for introducing students to linguistics, as it is a fascinating subject that they might not have come across before. Please contact Nicola Cummins ( or the department reception ( or ph 479 8952) to discuss arrangements.

Visits by schools

You are welcome to bring your class to the University for a taste of life as a student of English and Linguistics. Please contact Nicola Cummins ( for a visit related to English, or Irish and Scottish studies, and contact Dr Moyra Sweetnam Evans ( for a visit related to Linguistics.

Friday seminars

The Department of English and Linguistics hosts a weekly seminar series, Friday afternoons, 4-5pm, during the university semesters. The seminars are public events and all are welcome to attend. Presentations include guest lectures from visiting scholars, papers based on staff reseearch, practice deliveries for upcoming conferences (staff and postgraduate students), and Honours students presenting on the topic of their dissertation. There is no need to register for these seminars - just turn up to those that attract your interest.  Details of upcoming seminars can be found on our seminar series page, or in the University's events calendar.  Be sure to 'like' our Facebook page for notification of the week's seminar topic and speaker.  If you have a paper you would like to present at one of the seminars--and we encourage you to do this--please contact Dr Paul Tankard, or ph: 479 7724.


Like our Facebook page to follow posts related to staff and students of the department, as well as general postings for those interested in literature and languages. Please also encourage your students to like the page too, so they can get a feeling for English and linguistics at the University of Otago.

Dunedin Linguistics Club

The Dunedin Linguistics Club is for secondary students with an interest in language to learn about how languages work, how the mind processes language, how languages compare to each other, and how it all fits into our busy social lives. Linguistics touches on literature, psychology, neuroscience, history, social studies, education, culture and more, but most students have little idea what the field is.

Staff and postgraduate students from the linguistics programme created and run the Dunedin Linguistics Club for students in Years 11, 12 and 13 to learn about the study of language. There are no fees and no lectures; just fun activities. Click here to find out more about the club, including the next meeting dates.

Scholarships and prizes

The Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies is associated wtih the Department of English and Linguistics. Promising students enrolled in Irish Studies papers are encouraged to apply for Eamon Cleary Scholarships, to support their studies. Scholarships are offered at undergraduate, honours, and postgraduate levels. Click here to read more about the Eamon Cleary Scholarships, and meet the 2016 undergraduate and honours winners.

A range of academic prizes are awarded to outstanding students at all levels of study in the Department of English and Linguistics. Click here to see the prizes on offer.  The winners of the 2017 prizes will be announced.

Tertiary Information Day

The next Tertiary Information Day is to be held on Monday 8 May 2018.

Among the various activities on Tertiary Information Day, prospective students can attend lectures in literature and linguistics. The Department of English and Linguistics also hosts informal information sessions where school students can discuss their future study plans and options with staff.  Details about these sessions are contained within the Tertiary Information Day programme.

How to reach us

If you would like to get in touch with any of the staff of the Department of English and Lingusitics feel free to email or phone any individual (staff contact details can be found on the Our People page). You are also welcome to visit the department, and we would be happy to arrange for you to meet with staff. Please contact the individual staff member(s) concerned, or the Department's Receptionist (, ph 479 8952) to make arrangements.

We also have dedicated school liaison staff. Nicola Cummins (, a Teaching Fellow in English, is a trained secondary teacher and actively involved with teacher networks. Dr Moyra Sweetnam Evans ( is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and the Coordinator of the Linguistics Programme.