Skip to main content

Heritage protection, sustainable development and resilience through traditional ecopoetics in al-Mahrah, Yemen

A British Council-funded international research fellowship with the fellow working on Mehri ecopoetry together with Professor Janet Watson and Dr Tim Thurston. The four principal aims of the fellowship are:

  1. to create an open-access, community-friendly archive of traditional poetry recorded from men and women from al-Mahrah that address the human–nature relationship in the desert, the mountains, the coastal region and the sea, to analyse the metaphorical language of traditional ecopoetics;
  2. to collaborate with men and women local community members to re-value and produce ecopoetry in Bāhīn and in Danadon hemistich forms.
  3. to collaborate with the supervisors to host a poetry workshop in Salalah, Oman for the Mehri communities in al-Mahrah and Oman. The aim of the poetry workshop is to encourage younger generation speakers to disseminate traditional Mehri ecopoetry, to produce poetry of other types relating to the current environment, and to reflect on the effects of biocultural loss.
  4. to facilitate online collaboration between women poets in al-Mahrah and women poets in the Yemeni diaspora in the UK, to ensure that women’s voices are heard, responded to, and promoted.

The project examines the language demand by IELTS and postgraduate assessment and how language and assessment support could improve PGT students’ academic achievement and learning experience. It will employ three research methods: corpus-based analyses of IELTS scripts, postgraduate assignment scripts and teacher feedback on assignment scripts, focus groups with postgraduate students, subject tutors and language tutors and document analyses of assessment criteria, assignment briefs and related. We hope that the project could provide useful implications for appropriate use and interpretation of IELTS scores, effective provision of language and assessment support for postgraduate students and inform the future design of IELTS tasks.