четверг, 12 марта 2015 г.

#EMF5:Steve Kirk "Teaching ‘EAP’: Enabling Academic Participation". Day 1



Steve Kirk  represented EAP practice in higher education environments.
A lot of EAP looks like this: E-AP: we start with’ English’ and suppose that the ‘academic’ will follow. A lot of books teach the academic vocabulary, and then suppose  that the students will have the skills


The plan of the talk:
·         the university and its practices
·         text & language
·         curriculum | design
·         teacher practice
1. The university and its practices
The speaker wanted the guests to answer the question : What is a university for?

  • university should be about knowledge building
  • however knowledge differs across subjects: (Jim Martin) the science tradition tries to build ‘the theory of everything’ (a single model for everything in the universe) / in social sciences (linguistics, sociology) there are several ‘conflicting’ theories  / humanities (history, literary studies) is focused on dispersed items, e.g. Keat’s poetry
  • Science is empirical and objective, quantitative methods, linear and cumulative growth of knowledge, more concentrated readership, highly structured genres;  humanities-explicitly interpretive, discursive argument, dispersed knowledge, more varied readership, more fluid discourses.

2. text & language 
So ‘it turns out that engineers show, philosophers argue, biologists find and linguists suggest.’ (Hyland, 2009)
So, in academia the context leads to certain language practices and language practices reinforce the context. In terms of EAP, it means that language work can’t be done separately from academic work and should be part of it.
3. curriculum | design
The process:
  • Students get a reading pack of 4-6 journal articles / book chapters and essay questions (no choice); content-based lectures related to the reading. 
  •   Sullabus organising principles: the syllabus mirrors the academic process (reading note taking discussions writing).
  • The language work is integrated into that, emerges from that
4. teacher practice
Redefining EAP as Participation in Academic Practices through English.
A teacher needs to be not  just a ‘discourse analyst’ but ‘an ethnographer’ who understands the academic practices and can help the students see how they inform linguistic choices. Seeing the knowledge practices and understanding the (target) academic context allows you to give the students a much more coherent picture of Academic Language.
  1. How could you respond to the question asked by a student: ‘Can I use ‘I' or ‘We’ in my writing? I see this in the articles that I read..’
    The wrong answer is ‘yes’. The simple correct answer is ‘well, it depends’. To get into the detail, let’s get back to the difference between science (objective) and humanities (interpretive). For science, academic knowledge is valued. In humanities, academic knowers are valued, the particular interpretive gaze. So in scientific writing ‘I’ is less used than in humanities.The speaker represented  an extract from an article on Quantum Physics that uses the sentence We demonstrate. But why? -  the authors use it to report their main result. That's why we can talk of tendencies but not rules
  2. Passive vs active voice? ‘We conducted research into the nature of student writing’ or ‘Research into tne nature of student writing was conducted. The choice of the passive/active is a reflection of writer perspective informed by their difference –  a lot more than a mechanical transformation.
  3. In science, we use a metaphorI/We = The Research (Process) 
    So, we don’t say I aimed/investigated/found/required/conducted – we say the research did.

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