2022 Winners of the Cecilia and Late George Piller Graduate Research Award

Monday, March 28, 2022

The Waterloo Centre for German Studies is happy to announce the winners of the 2022 Piller Award.

The Cecilia and Late George Piller Graduate Research Awards were established to support excellent graduate students in the Faculty of Arts doing research into any aspect of German Studies.

The winners, chosen from a set of very strong applications, demonstrate the high calibre of the research into German studies being conducted by graduate students in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo.
The winners are:

  • Richard Barnett, PhD Candidate with the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies – Using Drama-Based Activities to Foster Interaction Awareness and Interactional Competence. Focusing on drama-based interactions (skits) in the language classroom, this project aims to raise awareness of how spoken interactions can encourage discovery-based learning in beginner-level language courses. Using these real and recorded interactions in the second language, learners encounter linguistic, interactive, and sociocultural features of the language that they would otherwise not be exposed to in a traditional language class setting. Not only will the effectiveness of this teaching approach be analyzed, but interviews with the learners themselves will provide insight into how this approach affected their learning process.
  • Annemarie Hezel, Intercultural German Studies MA Candidate with the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies – First Language Attrition in German Migrants in the Waterloo-Kitchener Region. In a time of increased global migration, research on first language attrition continues to provide invaluable insight on language usage among migrants This case study will focus on language attrition in German immigrants of the Kitchener-Waterloo region by assessing three data types: self-assessment/metalinguistic data; formal language tasks; and free-spoken data. Hezel will also conduct a control group in southern Germany to compare and contrast her Canadian findings.

Each winner will receive a $4,000 prize to help fund their research.

For inquiries, please contact the Waterloo Centre for German Studies (wcgs@uwaterloo.ca). For further information, please visit the Cecilia and Late George Piller Graduate Research Award website

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