Commissioner: Dr Rob Drummond / Manchester Metropolitan University
I was approached by Rob Drummond, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University, to translate some of the real life interactions that had been recorded as part of a linguistic research project into comic strips, which would then act as the basis of training aids for pupil referral units in Manchester. Pupil referral units are establishments maintained by local authorities to provide education for children who are excluded, sick, or otherwise unable to attend mainstream or special maintained schools. The purpose of the commission was to bring to life the situations that would often escalate into conflict between pupils, or staff and pupils, and then focus the training activity on how they could then be de-escalated.
Five different real life scenarios were chosen, and Rob was able to draft some scripts for me to illustrate. The training resource concept was presented at the UK Language Variation and Change Conference and iMean last year, and the training pack was recently published by the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies to go to local pupil referral units. Below is Rob's cool graphic presentation explaining how the project was undertaken, and below that is one of the completed scenarios I illustrated.