NUI Galway English Lab (GEL)

NUI Galway English Lab (GEL)

2013/2014 Projects

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This project involves the creation of a multifaceted, interactive website which will act as a resource for the approximately six hundred first-year English students. It will include grammar exercises and detail the distinctions between university and secondary school academic writing. It will also contain information on literature and literary history.

Students: Kristin Jones, David Delaney

Staff: Dermot Burns, Cliodhna Carney


Project Update – 28 March 2014:

  • Writing and developing content.
  • Gathering input on content from lecturers, tutors and students.
  • Working with our web designer to create a site that is visually pleasing and easy to use.
  • The site will be live at the beginning of September for the incoming first year English students.
  • We will promote the use of the site in EN126 courses and the first year English introductory sessions.
  • The next few months will be dedicated to uploading our content once our site shell is completed.


Project Update – 24 February 2014:

We are currently working with a web designer so that we can start loading the copious amount of material that we have been gathering. 


Project Update – 29 November 2013:

Web content for GEL:
The website will be split into three sections or spaces; the first section will be on writing, the second on literature and the third will be devoted to tutors.


1.  Writing:

This area of the website will specifically focus on all factors relating to writing an academic style essay. Here is where students will find clear and detailed information on the following:

  • Essay structure – sample paragraph, PEAR, thesis statement
  • MLA
  • Grammar – mark-up will be visual
  • Language – weak words, lead ins, metaphors
  • Transition from Leaving Certificate to University
  • Brainstorming strategies
  • Time management strategies


2.  Literature:
The second part will focus on literature, providing static information about key literary movements and the canonical authors associated with said movements.

  • Timeline – simile widget – interactive
  • Timelines broken up so that huge time period can be covered – 900-1600, 1601-1800, 1801-1900 and 1900-Present. These timelines will be detailed and give accurate information. It is to be used as a ‘go-to’ for students seeking static information such as birth dates, places of birth, date of publications, etc.
  • This section should be focused on three things: (i) Key authors (ii) Key dates and (iii) Key historical events. This, and all other student centred parts of the website, will be visually appealing and interactive.
  • Glossary of Literary Devices


3.  Tutors:

The third section will be a space for tutors.

  • Lesson plans – invention exercises, thesis, MLA, analysis. Tutors can email site administrators to add to this section.
  • Forum – A place to write up all classroom endeavours. What does and does not work?
  • Blog/Pedagogy – A space to write about what happens in the classroom? What does it mean to learn? What does it mean to teach? Classroom assessment technique; is teaching a reciprocal process? If so, why?


GEL does not only stand for Galway English Lab. It represents an endeavour to bring staff and students together where all participants will not only take, but will give back: to come together, to enrich, to empower.

Artice by
Chris Newell