Tue 4 Jan 22
Saudi linguistics expert and Essex graduate Dr Muhammad Alzaidi has been shortlisted in the Study UK Alumni Awards 2021-22.
Dr Alzaidi graduated from Essex with a Masters in Linguistics in 2010 and a PhD in Linguistics in 2014 and his research is mainly concerned with how word order and prosody – the rhythm, stress and intonation of speech – interact.
Currently an Assistant Professor at King Saud University, chairing the Saudi Society of Linguistics and teaching MA and PhD students, he has been shortlisted in the culture and creativity category in Saudi Arabia.
His YouTube channel, Linguistics Café, has over 1,700 followers, where he teaches and inspires people around the world for free.
Dr Alzaidi has always felt it very important to interact with people from different countries and cultures.
“Since learning English and linguistics I know that to increase understanding among people we need to learn a language that we can use to communicate and express our needs and feelings,” he explained. “This is exactly what I am doing. I am using my linguistics knowledge and skills to create tools that help to increase understanding among people whose languages and cultures are different from each other.
“Such a tool is linking computational modelling to a component of grammar of a given language to create semi-natural speech. Such a tool might be used by people whose languages are different to learn.”
Remembering his time at Essex he added: “When I started studying at the University of Essex, I received loads of help including social and academic help. The University welcomes all people from all countries regardless of nationality, race or anything. It opens all the chances to its students. At Essex we learnt new skills that not only help us in the academic world, but also help us improve our lives.”
The Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. Award winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries.
The Study UK Alumni Awards 2021-22 finalists will be announced later this month.