School of Language Arts and Media


Student Profiles

Wilfred Fimone is working on a Master’s in variationist sociolinguistics. He is examining three potential sociolinguistic variables in Rotuman: Ɂ-deletion, indefinite article and post-verbal negative clitic, with reference to the social independent variables of style, age, gender, education and geography.  The thesis aims to ascertain the social and linguistic constraints of the investigated variables, and whether they are indeed sociolinguistic in nature. Wilfred currently works as a Graduate Assistant for SLAM, where he helps assess and tutor English and linguistics courses.  

Jenny Bennett-Tu’i’onetoa is investigating representations of violence in the literature of the South Pacific region for her MA Literature, with special focus on the work of authors from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. The study - Ataata o Sauaga - will analyze the textual representations of structural-cultural, institutional and individual violence with particular attention to violence against women and children. The relationships between the different levels of violence within the texts will be explored and the study will also examine the representations and function of symbolic violence in the literature of the South Pacific. Jenny completed her BA from USP in 2013 and taught for the College of Foundation studies at Alafua Campus from 2014 to 2016. She is also a writer and has published creative works.

Shaleshni Prasad, enrolled on an MA in Linguistics, is investigating the role of oral speaking skills within the learning of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The research involves an experimental case study design with a cohort of UU114 students at Lautoka Campus, examining whether EAP teaching can be enhanced through the addition of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) activities to the regular curriculum. Shaleshni has been teaching for eight years, including EAP at USP and the University of Fiji, English as a second/foreign language in New Caledonia, and French as a foreign language at the University of Fiji.

  Roshila Singh is working towards a PhD in Applied Linguistics. Her study attempts to document academic literacy practices in USP’s learning and teaching environments. It will reveal how these practices are engaged by the teaching staff and students as part of the process of academic socialisation into degree-level studies through the medium of English. At the heart of the study is the urge to understand what the university collectively means by ‘English proficiency’. Roshila is currently part of the Student Learning Support team with the Faculty of Business and Economics. 


Hilda Vukikomoala is working on her Master’s in Literature, and her research aims to shed light on the neglected contributions of Pacific Island women towards the establishment of Pacific Literature. Her main repository of research will be Pacific journals and periodicals from the 1960s-1990s. Her research aims to identify shared themes, styles and approaches in the literature of the women writers, to investigate the impact of women writers and their published works on the decolonisation processes then occurring across the Pacific Islands, and to think regionally (citing Epeli Hauofa’s “Our Sea of Islands”) but also to look at nation-specific issues and contexts. 

Sanjaleen Prasad is pursuing her PhD in English Literature. Her thesis, as a study of literary representation, will examine the phenomena of cruel optimism in relation to diaspora, exploring fictional narratives produced by South Asian writers. The study will investigate the characters' object of longing and reasons their relationship to these objects can be characterized as cruelly optimistic, and will also endeavor to determine how and whether these characters are successful in negotiating their ambitions and reconcile the ideal and actuality. The psychoanalytical approach will be considered together with diaspora theory. Sanjaleen is currently a lecturer at The University of Fiji in the Department of Language, Literature and Communication. 

Jane Glynne Maefuaka Kanas is working on an interdisciplinary PhD that draws on frameworks from both Linguistics and flexible learning. She hopes to identify a model for the flexible delivery of Pacific language courses that is driven by learner needs, pedagogical and technological considerations. The model will be piloted through the development of courses in one particular language, Bislama.



Bhagirati Bhan’s MA Linguistics study investigates code-switching between the standard variety of Hindi (Manak Hindi) and the Fiji version of Hindi (Fiji Hindi). In the process, he hopes to gain in-depth knowledge of the polylectal grammatical system of Hindi and its functions in contemporary societies in Fiji and abroad.



Evangeline Christina Narayan is working on her MA Applied Linguistics (SRP). She analyses syllabus documents and learning and teaching plans (LTPs) in order to investigate the way English teachers in Fiji unpack the syllabus, and to examine the extent to which principles of second language acquisition underlie the way English is taught. She is currently a high school language teacher and a part-time Language Facilitator with Pacific TAFE at the Labasa Campus.


Laisani Lesumaisireli’s MA Literature research focuses on the metaphorical reading of sandalwood in Fiji. The study involves a specific time period in the history of Fiji. It proposes that we read sandalwood as a metaphor for I-Taukei experience, both in terms of the cultural and ecological violence experienced during the pre-colonial period, and in terms of strategies of cultural regrowth and revitalization after independence. This thesis aims to give a voice to this era and through archival sources and field gathering, piece together narratives for the Indigenous people of Fiji.

Sandhya Kumari is working on her MA Linguistics and she investigates lexical variation in the Kiribati and Banaban dialects. This research is vital in developing an in-depth description of the Banaban dialect, which has not received much attention so far. Since minority groups and languages of the Pacific are under described, this research will fill a gap in the sociolinguistic studies of the Pacific Islands. Sandhya also personally believes that this research will provide a much clearer picture about her identity as a speaker of the Banaban dialect. She works as a High School teacher and also does part time marking and research work at USP.

Svetlana Afuhaamango is working on her MA Linguistics thesis: "Uniqueness of Emphatic Possessive Pronouns in Tongan". She is researching semantic variations of emphatic possessive pronouns, pronominal adjectives and benefactive pronouns. The research also identifies the characteristics of emphasis of each of the possessive types. It has been observed that one category of benefactive pronouns - adverbial possessives - is very rare in usage. In fact its rapid extinction makes it difficult to find its exact connotations. The work therefore helps to determine whether change is in progress or just a slight shift towards using a few types only. Svetlana teaches French and Humanities at the International School, Nadi in Fiji.

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School of Language Arts and Media (SLAM)
Faculty of Arts, Law and Education
The University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji,
Tel: +679 323 2214
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