Barbie or Braai? – Melanie Law goes to Australia

Hanlie Smuts -- Mon, 03/14/2016 - 12:01

Barbie or Braai? – Melanie Law goes to Australia

Melanie Law’s field of expertise is editing, and particularly the way in which editors work with the language of texts. She has recently become interested in how editors may (potentially) contribute to on-going language change and variation and very soon she will be able to take a closer look at this on-going transformation in sunny Australia!  

She was recently accepted into the North-West University/Macquarie University Cotutelle PhD programme.  On top of this she has also been awarded the International Macquarie Research Excellence Scholarship, which will cover the cost of her tuition, travel and stipend to study at Macquarie University for at least a year. The PhD programme represents an international collaboration between the North-West University and Macquarie University in Australia.  

Law is a lecturer at the School of Languages at the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal).  This proud alumna of the Campus and is one of two students from the NWU Vaal to be accepted into the North-West University/Macquarie University Cotutelle PhD programme.  

Above: Melanie Law

“I am very excited about this wonderful opportunity,” says Law. “I am extremely proud to have been accepted into the Cotutelle PhD programme and to have been awarded the IMRES (International Macquarie Research Excellence Scholarship) as the application process for both is quite competitive. But more than anything I feel incredibly privileged to have been given such a wonderful opportunity, something that would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of my supervisors, Prof Bertus Van Rooy and Prof Haidee Kruger, and Dr Gustav Butler, Prof. Susan Coetzee-Van Rooy, Prof Jan-Louis Kruger, and the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof Christopher Rabali and the Vice-Rector, Prof Tinie Theron.”


Moving "Down Under"

She plans to travel to Australia at the beginning of 2017 and spend the year there collecting and analysing data.  Her PhD study draws on work within the fields of language change, English language variation, and editing. “Very broadly, I will be investigating how editorial intervention interacts with on-going language change and variation in different varieties of English to influence different opportunities for and constraints on the processes of language change,” says Law.   To do this, she will be looking at (and comparing) this in two varieties of English: Australian English and South African English.


Law is especially excited about the opportunity to work in two different academic environments, lending her international exposure and establishing her international research links within her field.  “I am also looking forward to living in another country for a year and learning about its people and their different cultures,” she says.


More about Melanie Law

Melanie Law started out at the NWU Vaal in 2004.  She achieved her BA Hons in 2007 and her MA in Language Practice in 2010.  

When she is not lecturing or being a programme leader for Language Practice, she enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her boyfriend, Davide, dog, Pepe and cat, Lola.  The couple loves cooking and tasting fine South African wines and enjoys spending time with friends while exploring Johannesburg’s vibrant restaurant scene.