Created: 2019-07-12 10:25
Four members of our group participated in the XVIII International AELFE Conference (20-21 June 2019, University of Navarra, Spain) with the following presentations:
Genre innovation and English prosody: exploratory analysis of English intonation in video methods articles in experimental biology (Ignacio Guillén Galve and Miguel A. Vela Tafalla)
Present-day scholars face new challenges in research communication, mainly originated by new affordances in the digital multimedia environment. This can be seen in the development of new genres, such as the crowdfunding promotional video or the journal podcast, as well as in the adaptation of traditional research genres, such as the video abstract for research articles or the MOOC lecture. These new multimedia genres make speaking and visuals crucial for effective communication and successful knowledge dissemination. In this context, some studies have investigated the shape which these genres take as digital multimodal semiotic tools, sometimes including tangential considerations of features relating to prosody (e.g. tempo, tone or pitch range). However, to the best of our knowledge, no study has tackled intonation as a system in relation to genre.
We hypothesize that the English intonation system is used rhetorically in the same way as syntax or other linguistic systems: genre restricts or allows for the available choices according to the purpose of the speaker and the intended audience. To check this hypothesis before committing to a larger-scale investigation, this exploratory study analyses the intonation used in a small ad-hoc corpus of texts. Specifically, we draw from Hafner’s (2018) study of the Video Methods Article (VMA) in the Journal of Visualized Experiments and utilize the genre moves and steps that the study presents.
By looking at how the three traditional systems of English intonation, namely tonality, tonicity, and tone, relate to generic structure and other generic features, we have two connected objectives: shed light about the way how intonation is being used in research communication; and inform a subsequent analysis with a larger corpus to elucidate whether canonical prescriptive handbooks of English intonation still hold useful for the present-day researcher responding to the pressures of an internationalized and digitalized academic community.
Bilingual resources in English-medium instruction lectures: the role lecturer’s L1 is playing in EMI courses (Mª Ángeles Velilla Sánchez)
English is increasingly used as the medium of instruction and scientific dissemination in Spanish higher education institutions, being this language adopted as the common language of choice or the lingua franca (ELF) for academic activities. However, the notion of ELF is now being redefined including in its conceptualization a multilingual nature of communication by which “for ELF users, English is only one language among others present or latent in any interaction” (Jenkins 2015: 58). In this paper, I present the preliminary results of a research that aims to contribute to providing empirical data for ELF studies in Spanish academic contexts. Particularly, the study is focused on academic spoken language at the University of Zaragoza. The main aim of my research is to find out which are the pragmatic strategies most frequently used by higher education lecturers to achieve comprehensibility in EMI courses. The corpus for the study consists in 14 hours of audio-recorded lectures in two different disciplines (Business Administration and Nanoscience) that have been analyzed from a discourse-pragmatic approach, involving both qualitative and quantitative methods. The analysis of the data reveals that lecturers use their multilingual resources, particularly their own first language, as an additional tool that they have at their disposal, i.e. as a pragmatic strategy, that enables them to achieve various conversational goals, such as pre-empting potential communicative breakdowns and clarifying meaning.
Emerging Trends in Research Communication: Recontextualisation of Scientific Discourse in Audioslides (Sofía Albero Posac)
As technology evolves, academic communication within specific discourse communities changes and adopts new shapes. During the last decades, different already-existing genres have migrated to digital media, and new ones have emerged, making it possible to address new needs and reach new audiences (Gross & Buehl, 2016; Pérez-Llantada, 2016; Luzón, 2017). This process of evolution can be illustrated with the case of the research article nowadays, which can be enriched with a wide range of resources. Among these, audioslides are brief audiovisual presentations where the author of a research article explains the main points of that article to promote it (Elsevier, n.d.). These compositions integrate different modes, including voice, written text and visuals, all of which contribute to creating meaning as what can be referred to as a multimodal ensemble (Jewitt, 2016). This study aims to analyse the function of audioslides as an emerging genre in the genre ecology of academic discourse communities and examine the rhetorical strategies that authors use to recontextualise the scientific discourse of the research articles to which they allude. A preliminary small-scale study of audioslide presentations has pointed to aspects such as the existence of a recurrent rhetorical structure, the intrinsic dependence of audioslides on the research article to which they refer and the relevance of interaction between different modes in the creation of meaning. Taking these premises as a starting point, a corpus of audioslide presentations and articles will be compiled in order to conduct rhetorical, multimodal and corpus analysis, which will be combined with ethnographic methods.
Created: 2019-07-04 04:42
Members of our group participated in the 2nd Metadiscourse Across Genres Conference (MAG2019) (27-29 June 2019, Bergamo, Italy).
Interactional metadiscourse in online popular science videos (María José Luzón Marco)
Researchers are facing an increasing demand to make their work visible and accessible to the public and to make this public aware of the value and relevance of their research. Online popular science videos are useful tools to reach a wide audience and increase public interest in science. They offer researchers the opportunity to combine various semiotic resources to present science in ways that the general public can understand and engage with. In this study, I analyse how scientists interact with the public in 15 online videos produced by research groups at a Spanish University in collaboration with the Unit of Scientific Culture and Innovation (UCC+i) of such University. The videos are intended to make the work of the groups more visible and to promote scientific, technological and innovation culture in society. I draw on Hyland’s (2005) model of metadiscourse to explore how interactional metadiscourse is used in these videos to engage the interested public. However, this model of interactional metadiscourse is expanded to include not only text but also other semiotic devices which enable the producers to signal their attitude towards the content and establish a relation with the viewer. The research is intended to explore how various semiotic resources are combined by the researchers producing the video to express commitment to and attitude towards propositional information, to attract the viewers’ attention and include them as participants in the discourse or to indicate the presence of the researchers.
Created: 2019-04-03 05:30
Three members of our group participated in the 37th International Conference of the Spanish Society for Applied Linguistics (27-29 March 2019, University of Valladolid, Spain) with the following presentations:
University mission statements and the projection of internationalisation in the European higher education area (Ana Bocanegra-Valle)
Universities make public their purposes, goals, beliefs, views and values in “mission statements”. Thanks to these statements, their long term intentions can be defined, and the present and future of the institution can be represented (Ketterer, 2015) before a local, national and international audience. University mission statements were almost unknown until the late 1980s and today have become near universal (Saunton & Morrish, 2011) and are easily accessible on line. This paper sets out to examine the presence of the concept of internationalisation in university mission statements and, in particular, the ways internationalisation values are defined and articulated in these pieces of institutional discourse. This investigation draws on textual data gathered from a corpus of twenty European universities listed among the first hundred top universities in the world (according to the QS World University Rankings® 2018). This dataset was coded and qualitatively analysed by means of NVivo 11 Pro. Focal questions were: (1) does internationalisation appear as a key issue in university mission statements?, and (2) what internationalisation-related values are contained in these statements and how are they prioritised? The preliminary analysis showed that most universities place internationalisation high on their agenda and that it is an inclusive concept linked to other institutional values and goals like research, excellence or networking. Findings also point at implications for higher education policies in the local context.
A critical discourse analysis of language policy documents in the multilingual university context (Rosana Villares)
In the last decades, internationalisation has become one of the main strategic objectives of universities as an indicator of excellence, recognition and international visibility (de Wit et al., 2015; Maringe and Foskett, 2010). European and national policies include a wide range of strategies regarding internationalisation efforts in the form of mobility, international collaboration, and language strategies. One common element to the previous strategies is the presence of English, considered to be the language for international communication in the higher education context (Coleman, 2006; Ferguson, 2010; Hultgren et al., 2014). The purpose of this study is the analysis of the role played by English in internationalisation through the examination of universities’ Language Policy (LP) documents in order to understand how language ecologies in non-Anglophone universities integrate English, the national language and/or local languages. According to Spolsky (2012), language policy consists of three main elements: practices, ideologies, and management. There are multiple studies on practices, ideologies and language attitudes towards multilingualism in higher education and the inclusion of English as an academic language but it is appreciated a lack of critical studies on the role hold by policies and strategic documents that regulate such practices in the national context. Critical Discourse Analysis was used as the methodological approach for this study where 37 institutional LP documents from 29 Spanish universities were examined. The qualitative software used for the inductive coding was Atlas.ti v8, which facilitated the identification and classification of key themes in terms of ideologies, practices, and management; as well as analysing how they are expressed in a textual level. Preliminary findings suggest that some of the main themes found in relation to English are its positioning as the de facto language of internationalisation; the different areas where English is expected to be used, i.e. teaching, research, services and institutional contexts; the presence of language requirements and bilingual education; or the use of English as the language to access specialised knowledge and reach an international audience, among others. The identification of these themes will allow further analysis of mismatches between top-down expectations and bottom-up realities in relation to the design and implementation of institutional policies that could bring closer theory and practice.
Harnessing multimedia to improve learning: Design of digital complementary resources for a CLIL course on geology and biology (Sofía Albero-Posac)
In the last decades, the emergence of new technologies has given rise to multiple innovations in the field of education, and nowadays digital tools play a relevant role in foreign language learning. The affordances offered by multimodal resources can be particularly useful in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) by contributing to facilitating the understanding of relevant concepts and the acquisition of the necessary language to engage in communicative exchanges about them. In this paper, I present a proposal for the ICT-enrichment (i.e. the enhancement through the addition of supplementary digital resources) of a CLIL course on Biology and Geology. I will first present the pedagogical principles that should guide the design of digital materials for the enrichment of CLIL courses [e.g. the integration of the 4Cs (Coyle, 1999) and an adequate adjustment of linguistic, conceptual and procedural demands (Ball et al. 2015)]. I will then describe the different materials designed for this specific course (e.g. activities involving matching, labelling, watching interactive videos, collaboratively creating their own learning resources and reflecting on their learning process) and will analyse how these materials help the teachers to address the needs of students in a particular educational context and support the achievement of CLIL’s dual aims.
Created: 2018-11-11 01:01
Created: 2018-11-07 08:05
Two members of our group participated in the 1stLiteracy Summit of the European Literacy Network (1-3 November 2018, University of Porto, Portugal) with the following presentations:
L2 literacy development by becoming more autonomous: the potential of a peer-to- peer review workshop tool (Oana Maria Carciu)
The development of L2 literacy in students in HE is challenged by a complex range of factors such as the multimodality of communication, local diversity and a variety of genres and discourses (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009; Flowerdew, 2015). This presentation reports on a pilot L2 writing literacy learning and teaching intervention that sought to examine the effect of the use of the Workshop tool in the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) on students’ autonomous learning beliefs and behaviours in the first year English for Early Childhood Education course. Changes in beliefs and behaviours were tracked using a pre- and post-task survey, along with task learning logs. Results showed a change in beliefs of autonomy from pre- to post-task survey, and pointed to the feedback guided by a rubric as enabling them to practice autonomously. The presentation will finally highlight that autonomy needs to be introduced gradually (Allford & Pachler, 2007).
Should I(t) Be Personal? Variation in the use of personal pronouns in novice and expert academic writing practices (Miguel Ángel Vela Tafalla)
Personal pronouns denote authorial voice and agency (Hyland, 1998, 2005), both key to academic writing. This talk presents a small-scale corpus-based study on the use of pronouns in research article and undergraduate dissertation abstracts written in English as an L2. First-person pronouns were found more common in expert writing, while undergraduates resort to impersonal metadiscourse like “this study” to present research. Aligning with previous studies (Ivanič & Camps, 2001), I would argue that this variation is connected with the acquisition of the value of impersonality at early stages of acculturation into the academic discourse community, undergraduates’ (novice writers’) practices showing lower readiness to display personality despite expert usage. Differences in communicative purpose within the abstract genre are also discussed, with research genres promoting authorial visibility more overtly than pedagogic genres. These findings inform the teaching of L2 abstract writing and encourage raising awareness about personality construction through pronoun usage.
Created: 2018-10-30 02:49
Ana Bocanegra-Valle attended the IULMA-UJI Entretextos International Conference 2018 on Multidisciplinary and Multicultural Discourses: Research and Profession (25-26 October 2018, Universitat Jaume I, Spain). The title of her presentation was “Engagement strategies in institutional discourses of internationalisation”.
Engagement strategies in institutional discourses of internationalisation (Ana Bocanegra-Valle)
Universities around the world have invested great efforts in the internationalisation of their education and research, developing modern internationalised programmes that go beyond student mobility (e.g. internationalization of the curriculum, promotion of international employability) and aim at a “comprehensive internationalization” of higher education (Pérez-Encinas et al., 2018). This trend has become particularly evident in Europe in recent years, where strong internationalisation policies have been implemented and institutional activities have been prioritised across universities (European Parliament, 2015). This study seeks to delve into the discursive strategies that recur in internationalised universities’ websites with a view to connecting with the audience and engaging students to become a part of a particular university community. The overarching aim of this paper is, thus, to explore university discourse, as an example of institutional discourse. The dataset draws on textual data provided by the “Why to study at …” sections of ten European internationalised universities websites. Analysis is mainly based on the analytical models and findings of Askehave (2007) and Teo (2007) who, following Fairclough (1993) and the tenets of Critical Discourse Analysis, explored the language of international student prospectuses and other university documents. It also takes into account the model of interaction in academic discourse and the taxonomy of linguistic features developed by Hyland (2005) for the investigation of academic writing and the interpersonal dimension of discourse. The main findings point at a number of discursive strategies such as the use of personal pronouns, the use of questions and directives or the use of particular verb tenses to generate first-hand interest in that particular university and engage prospective readers (students and/or their parents/tutors) through an interpersonal dialogue towards effective enrolment.
Created: 2018-10-26 09:10
Two members of our group participated in the 51st BAAL Conference (York St John University, United Kingdom, 5-7 September 2018) with the following presentations:
A survey-based study of scientists’ writing practices: new rhetorical exigencies, new literacy demands (Carmen Pérez-Llantada & Concepción Orna-Montesinos)
Over the past years, research on academic writing has considerably contributed to the description of scientific prose in the age of mass literacy. The academic written register, for instance, has been described as one exhibiting an increased use of ‘economy’ linguistic features that enhance informational density and create an agile, efficient and concise style (Biber and Gray, 2016; Hyland and Jiang, 2018). Science popularization writing, however, has been comparatively under-researched in regards to linguistic description, possibly because we do not fully know whether new web-mediated forms for science dissemination are actually impacting scientists’ literacy practices, or whether new science popularization genres really involve new rhetorical exigencies. To contribute to fill this gap, this paper reports on the results of a survey that aimed to map scientists’ writing practices in the context of increased digitization in contemporary research communication. The specific aims of the survey were, firstly, to gain insight into web-mediated scientific knowledge dissemination and, secondly, understand how the affordances of new forms for communicating science on the web determine, or rather, constrain both language structure and style choice. We describe the respondents’ particular approaches to knowledge dissemination (e.g. knowing how to state achievements, making the text appealing, persuading readers of the significance and validity of the research, and using language accurately and appropriately according to the target audience(s)). We also specifically discuss the respondents’ interest in multimodal genres and other forms of generic innovation, as well as their reliance on verbal and visual resources to disseminate their research work online. Supporting the view that literacies are multiple, overlapping, and diverse (Barton, 2007: 37), the findings can contribute to a better understanding of the complementarity of academic and digital literacy skills development.
Language problems in writing in English for Research Publication Purposes: ‘unfair linguistic play’? (Concepción Orna-Montesinos & Carmen Pérez-Llantada)
While there is little dispute in the literature that writing in English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP heretofore) entails an ‘additional effort’ to non-native English speaking academics, the issue of ‘acceptability’ of English (e.g. non-canonical grammar features and language traits of academic writing cultures and rhetorical traditions)in the texts published in English by non-Anglophone academics is gaining momentum (e.g. Rozycki and Johnson, 2013; Hynninen & Kuteeva, 2017). Drawing on data from an online survey and semi-structured interviews with academics (n=40), we map the repertoire of research genres deployed by these academics in their workplace and report on the strategies and resources that they rely on when writing in ERPP. We also assess what they perceive as the most problematic language aspects they face in the writing process, which turn out to not to be dissimilar to those faced by other cohorts of non-Anglophone academics (e.g. Duszak and Lewkowicz, 2008; Lillis and Curry, 2010). As the interviewees explicitly referred to the ‘foreignness’ of their L2 English texts as the major impediment for getting their texts accepted for publication, we specifically focus on their comments onthe ‘quality’ of English in their own writing and their perceptionsof the language-brokers’ feedback.Given that language problems were systematically associated to the pressure to publish in English-medium publications, we finally provide some pedagogical proposals to support non-Anglophone academics’ writing skills development and, at the same time, raise their awareness thatgood use of English language resources does not necessarily mean conformity to the Anglophone norms.
Created: 2018-10-26 08:19
Three members of our group participated in the XVII International AELFE Conference (28-29 June 2018, Camilo José Cela University, Spain) with the following presentations:
The use of online videos to disseminate science: an analysis of videos produced by research groups (María José Luzón Marco)
Public communication of science is becoming increasingly important for scholars, due both to the awareness that the public must understand science to make informed decisions, and to the importance that funding agencies attach to the dissemination of results. Research groups are using new formats to disseminate information about science and bridge the gap between experts and the lay public. Online popular science videos and social media are useful resources to reach a wide audience and present science in ways that the general public can understand and act on. In this paper, I analyse 15 videos published in the websites of research groups in a Spanish University to determine the strategies used by these research groups to recontextualize scientific discourse into digital videos and engage the lay public. I draw on Hyland’s (2010) concept of “proximity” to explore the rhetorical features that are used to both show the researchers’ authority as experts and meet the audience’s expectations. More specifically, the research attempts to answer the following questions: Which is the rhetorical structure of these videos and how are arguments organised? What roles do visuals play in the construction of arguments and how do they contribute to making the content understandable? How is the credibility and authority of the research group constructed? How is the researchers’ attitude expressed? Which devices are used to engage the reader? Since the online video is a multimodal genre, where several semiotic modes are combined to convey meaning, it is hypothesized that the producers will resort to strategies to construct credibility and engage the audience which are not used in other genres of science popularization.
Situating an Academic English course for Spanish-speaking doctoral students “in the disciplines”: A small-scale feasibility study through ethnographic methods (Ignacio Guillén Galve)
Objectives: As a research-in-progress report, the present paper aims to examine the implications of the notion of “situating” an Academic English course “in the disciplines”. Drawing on an extension of the qualitative methodology discussed in Guillén-Galve (2018), the present study explores the perceptions and experiences of doctoral students and instructors who have participated in the Academic English course at the Graduate School of the University of Zaragoza, Spain, for the last two years. These data are judged to be suitable for needs analysis and competence profiling. The notion of “in the disciplines” is used, for example, in the fact sheet of the Vantage One Program at the University of British Columbia (http://flexible.learning.ubc.ca/case-studies/vantage-college-brings-innovation-to-teaching-international-students/). In UBC, international students with strong academics, but who do not quite meet the university’s English language admission standard, take courses in one of four streams alongside academic English courses in order to accelerate their language learning. Accordingly, as our Academic English course also entails looking into the pedagogical strategies and materials that will prepare Spanish-speaking students “with strong academics” to be ready to meet academic and/or professional demands in English ‘settings’, the main research question in the present study is whether it is possible to establish viable correlations between the students’ disciplines and our findings in terms of needs and competences. For example, are there disciplines that require more work, or special work, on oral skills? Does “situating a course in the disciplines” just mean to take stock of disciplinary content and/or authentic discourse? As is the case with Vantage One, the Academic English course at the Graduate School of UZ has always been divided into “streams” (discipline-based teaching groups), but budget pressure may limit the number of groups. Will literacy and oral skills then have to be cross-disciplinary? Or can they, or some of them, only be subject-specific?
Methods and results: As stated above,the present study draws on the qualitative methodology discussed in Guillén-Galve (2018), but now data include the results of a questionnaire as well as semi-structured individual interviews conducted as post-reflections among learners andinstructors from the Academic English course, with a focus on the disciplinary element. The design of the questions is informed by researcher-participant observations and a thematic analysis of the previous survey and the three pilot interviews carried out in May 2017. The analysis of the data is also intended to determine the extent to which a qualitative methodology can help to answer the research question and what can exactly be learnt from the use of a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. Preliminary results indicate that we may have encountered the “problem of specificity” discussed in Pulverness (2002: 6), and that we should, therefore, stop to consider whether a strict ESAP (English for Specific Academic Purposes) approach is really necessary for the design of the course.
The promotional stance of internationalised universities in the process of globalisation (Ana Bocanegra Valle)
Internationalisation links the role of higher education to the process of globalisation and the ability to compete in a global market (European Parliament, 2015). In 1993, Fairclough warned about the “marketization” of university discourse, and about a decade later, Bhatia (2005) noted the incorporation of elements of promotion in academic institutionalised genres. Today, this market-oriented discursive shift clearly emerges in the institutional discourse of European universities with the use of corporate-related terms so that it is common for universities “to talk of themselves as ‘actors’ or ‘players’ on a global higher education ‘market’” (Stier and Börjesson, 2010: 337).
This paper focuses on the marketization of higher education institutional discourse (Askehave, 2007; Stier and Börjesson, 2010; Stašková, 2013). It aims to investigate the key themes that internationalised universities recurrently bring to the fore as a part of their institutional identity and with a view to project an image of themselves that renders trustworthiness and credibility among international “student clients”. The investigation draws on textual data gathered from a corpus of websites of ten prestigious European universities. The analysis shows that although common institutional interests emerge across differing higher education contexts, internationalised universities endeavour to address particular student profiles and build unique institutional identities; thus, projecting their own corporate interests onto website institutional discourse.
Created: 2018-10-19 10:37
English as a Lingua Franca and Intercultural Communication:
Implications and Applications to the Field of English Language Teaching
Edited by Ignacio Guillén-Galve and Ignacio Vázquez-Orta
Guillén-Galve, I. & Vázquez-Orta, I. (Eds.). (2018). English as a Lingua Franca and Intercultural Communication: Implications and Applications in the Field of English Language Teaching. Bern: Peter Lang.
- ISBN: 978-3-0343-2765-7
Created: 2018-06-26 09:32
Two members of our group participated in CERLIS 2018 (21-23 June 2018, University of Bergamo, Italy). The topic this year was “Scholarly Pathways: Knowledge Transfer and Knowledge Exchange in Academia”
Carmen-Perez Llantada gave a plenary lecture on genre evolution and adaptation in digital environments.
Genre evolution and adaptation to digital environments: the case of crowd science
Communicating research beyond expert audiences with the support of digital media has triggered innovative science dissemination practices. To genre analysts, these practices invite enquiry into the ways in which traditional genres that are strongly stabilized and typified texts (e.g. the research article, the abstract or the grant proposal) evolve and are adapted to the functionalities available in digital platforms. Taking the case of the crowdfunding proposal, this talk examines how its generic precedent, the ‘stabilized-enough’ genre of the grant proposal, profits from the affordances of digitally-mediated production with the purpose of engaging the public in science and, at the same time, garnering funds.
Using the frameworks of rhetoric and communication and genre studies (Miller, 2016; Swales, 1990), I will apply linguistic and rhetorical analysis to explore the genre interdependency between the crowdfunding proposal and its generic precedent (in terms of service attitude, future-oriented, project-centred, persuasive rhetoric, personal tone, brevity and accessible language) (Porter, 2007). I will also apply visual rhetoric to describe how the semiotic modes other than writing that accompany the crowdfunding proposal enhance the persuasive appeal of its textual contents.
Considering that scientists are increasingly being expected to share scientific research with the public, I will conclude with some pedagogical considerations.
María José Luzón presented a paper on the function of visuals in academic websites.
Communicating science visually: using visuals to disseminate knowledge in the websites of research groups
The websites of research groups have emerged as a new genre that enables them to inform about their research field and activity. Research groups use the affordances of the digital medium to include information in a variety of formats (text, images, videos, animations, data sets, interactive elements), which contribute to providing visual evidence and engaging the audience. Some of these formats (e.g. photos, videos) also help to disseminate information about science to the lay public and bridge the gap between experts and the public. In this paper, I analyse the visuals (images, video, animations) used in the websites of research groups in a Spanish University, to determine how they contribute to disseminating knowledge to different audiences. The research is intended to answer the following questions: What types of visuals are used by research groups in their websites and what are the functions of these visuals? What is the relation between visuals and the accompanying text? What is the relation (if any) between the types of visuals and the discipline of the groups? How are these visuals used to engage different audiences?
Created: 2018-06-09 08:05
“Research genres in contemporary academia: emerging issues and a future research agenda”, plenary talk by Carmen Pérez-Llantada
This talk will situate research communication in the context of ongoing globalization processes —e.g. increasing mobility, interconnectedness and research networking— in order to address the multiple accountabilities of scientific knowledge dissemination and their ensuing rhetorical exigencies at a time of increasing reliance on new technologies and social networking. Taking this context as a point of departure, I will specifically discuss aspects of genre hybridization, innovation and change in relation to the central (transversal) role of academic languages in the production and dissemination of science. Supporting the view of genres as entities that are continually being shaped and negotiated by their users (Bazerman et al, 2009), I will finally set up a tentative agenda for genres and languages research.
Created: 2018-04-24 04:29
Several members of the group attended the 36th International Conference of the Spanish Society for Applied Linguistics in Cádiz (Spain), 19-21 April 2018. We presented the following papers:
Contingencies and affordances of emerging digital genres: the case of crowdfunding for Spanish science (Carmen Pérez-Llantada)
Abstract. Advances in digital technologies and, ensuing from them, new communicative exigencies in today’s scientific communication have rendered new forms for scientific knowledge dissemination. In this presentation I have looked at web-based texts for crowdfunding science, an increasingly popular form of scientific outreach supported by digital platforms. I briefly contextualized this genre within today’s changing ecology of research genres with a view to exploring what and, more importantly, how science is communicated to a wide and (super)-diverse audience. How researchers face the new exigencies of online genres and how, if sufficiently digitally literate (and brave), they benefit from the affordances of the new technologies were discussed in relation to effective science telling and selling.
Engaging with multiple audiences in research group websites: the interplay between genres and languages (María José Luzón)
Abstract. This paper examines genre and language choice as strategies for “audience design” (Bell, 1984, 2001) in the websites of Spanish research groups. Research groups use their websites for self-presentation, for the dissemination and publicising of scientific activity and results, and for the promotion of their research area. Online affordances (e.g. hyperlinking, multimodality) enable these groups to incorporate and link to information in different formats and languages, in order to connect with multiple audiences. While the desire to reach an international audience promotes the use of English in online environments, the desire to address a local audience promotes the use of the L1. In this paper I explore the interrelation between genres, languages and audiences in research group websites, by analysing 15 websites of Spanish research groups where English and the local language co-exist. I address the following questions: (i) when both English and the L1 co-exist in a single website, how do these languages interact?; (ii) How do the social characteristics of the conceptualised audience (i.e., the audience that research groups have in mind) affect the choice of language and formats to disseminate information in research group websites? The study provides insights into how research groups are using digital genres not only to become more visible to the international disciplinary community but also to disseminate knowledge to public audiences.
The (un)teachability of pronunciation: A critical approach to present-day English pronunciation teaching methodologies in the EFL classroom (Miguel Angel Vela Tafalla)
Abstract. Pronunciation is often dealt with in passing in the EFL classroom. This study aimed to identify to what extent the approaches of two present-day pronunciation textbooks supported the development of oral productive skills. A critical review showed that the first textbook, very accessible in style, has mismatches between its theory and practice, and an unorthodox representation of speech sounds. It prioritizes motivation and functionality and ignores current research. By contrast, the second textbook, more academic, adopts a cognitivist approach, and presents a highly systematized progression of well-informed lessons considering state-of-the-art research.
A quasi-experimental study with two groups of Secondary Education students examined the production of the alveolar fricatives /s z/ and the grammatical allomorphs they are used for. The focus was on this micro-skill of phoneme articulation to contribute to the understanding of the macro-skill of speaking. Application of the first approach showed significant improvement in students’ pronunciation of the target phonemes, but probabilistic tests revealed this cannot be attributed to the methodology. Using the second approach, the students did not just fail to improve but were worse at articulating the sounds. Probability studies confirmed this finding. A final comparative test suggested that neither textbook is apt for the EFL classroom per se. I argue both may lack essential components of effective teaching like attention to the context and awareness of the importance of meaningful learning that can be achieved through communicative approaches and task-based instruction. Considering the findings, some implications for formal teaching and for independent learning (self-study) will be discussed.
Abstract. In the context of the internationalization of higher education institutions, policy objectives relating to teaching, learning and research are attracting scholarly attention right now (Sin, 2015). Understanding how faculty are perceiving the impact of internationalization on these three dimensions is an important and missing element that could inform future policy-making, institution-level decision-making, and research on higher education management. As teachers and researchers, they contribute to their institution’s fulfilling its mission and educational objectives. Therefore, exploring the perceptions of faculty members can be instrumental for gaining insights into internationalization processes at grassroots level. Will the drive for internationalization lead to academic programmes sensitive to changes in student demographics? Will it enhance academic competencies and will it contribute to better meeting community needs? Based on a qualitative content analysis (Prior, 2014) of semi-structured interviews carried out with faculty at one institution engaged in the process of internationalisation, we inquired into the following aspects: (i) what internationalization-related activities do faculty observe occurring at their university? (ii) are there any pattern(s) identifiable in these processes? (iii) are these linked to any major concerns about the impact of internationalization on teaching, learning, and research activities? These questions were discussed in light of the respondents’ perception of opportunities and challenges for internationalization and its impact on the triangle teaching – learning – research.
Strategic communication in English-medium lectures at the University of Zaragoza: pre-empting/remedying break-downs in communication and establishing solidarity among ELF speakers (Marian Velilla)
Abstract. English is undeniably the lingua franca in many domains, including most academic encounters worldwide. This phenomenon has become a major and expanding field of research within Applied Linguistics. To better understand the dynamics of ELF in academic interactions, there is a need to further investigate ELF usage from its pragmatic perspective in spoken academic genres like lectures. Strategic behavior involving preparedness for potential disturbance in communication and mutual cooperativeness have proved present in ELF research (e.g. Kaur, 2009, 2011) In this respect, three different approaches towards the use of pragmatic strategies in communication can be distinguished: i) Strategies used in pre-work/prospective/proactive talk ii) Strategies used in post-work/retrospective/remedial talk (Mauranen, 2006a); iii) Strategies to establish solidarity among the speakers (Cogo, 2009). The present study is based on the analysis of 12 EMI lectures recorded in two degrees at the University of Zaragoza (BSc in Business Administration and MSc in Nanostructured Materials for Nanotechnology Applications) in order to analyze communicativeness at the pragmatic and discourse analysis levels. The method is based on Quantitative and Qualitative Content Analysis. This study is concerned with two issues: 1) To what extent is there a strategic positioning in EMI lecturing at the University of Zaragoza? 2) What kind of pragmatic strategies are more widely used: Prospective/retrospective/solidarity strategies?
María José Luzón also participated in the round table “English as a Lingua Franca in Higher Education: Local Perspectives of a Global Phenomenon”. The round table provided an overview of current research being conducted at five Spanish universities (Murcia, Zaragoza, Lleida, Alacant and Málaga) with regards to English as a Lingua Franca.
New publication: Constructing academic identities online: Identity performance in research group blogs written by multilingual scholars
Created: 2018-02-22 07:49
The paper Constructing academic identities online: Identity performance in research group blogs written by multilingual scholars has been pre-published in the Journal of English for Academic Purposes. doi: 10.1016/j.jeap.2018.01.004
Blogs provide an open space for research groups to publicise their research and activities, become more visible both to the local and international disciplinary communities, and conduct self-promotion. Research groups harness the affordances of the medium to weave a narrative about the group, presented through various modalities, and thus construct their online identity. The purpose of this research is to analyse how identity is constructed in research group blogs written in English by groups affiliated to Spanish institutions. In this study I address the following questions: (i) which are the facets of the group’s identities created by multilingual scholars in research group blogs?; (ii) which textual and multimodal practices are adopted by researchers to construct the group’s identity? To answer these questions I conducted a content analysis (focusing on written language, visuals, hyperlinks) of posts taken from 12 research group blogs. The study provides insight on how these research groups mesh different semiotic modes in their blogs to project a multifaceted identity and reveals that blogging may be a powerful instrument for research groups’ identity performance and visibility.
Luzón, M.J. Constructing academic identities online: Identity performance in research group blogs written by multilingual scholars. Journal of English for Academic Purposes (2018), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2018.01.004
Created: 2018-02-13 08:22
The paper Features of online ELF in research group blogs written by multilingual scholars has been pre-published in the journal Discourse, Context & Media. doi: 10.1016/j.dcm.2018.01.004science
- The study investigates English as a Lingua Franca in research group blogs.
- Writing blogs in English increases the visibility of the group’s research activity.
- Blogs display many of the non-standard language uses found in spoken academic ELF.
- The purpose and the intercultural nature of the interaction influence language usage.
- Language usage is also influenced by the digital medium.
Luzón, M.J. Features of online ELF in research group blogs written by multilingual scholars. Discourse Context Media (2018), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2018.01.004
Created: 2018-01-15 03:03
On January 12th, the GLE research team run a training workshop on qualitative data analysis. We exchanged good practices in the use of software for qualitative data analysis. We explained how the use of some tools such as frequency lists and simple visualization tools can guide us when making coding decisions. We also discussed inductive/deductive approaches to data coding and aspects of code management (creating associations between codes and networks of codes and subcodes). Finally, we shared experiences regarding strategies for effective data handling, and exchanged views and opinions on aspects of data reusability, overall quality of data collection and, last but not least, data analysis and interpretation.
Created: 2017-12-30 01:08
María José Luzón participated in the 3rd RELEX International Congress (Lexicography and Didactics) (Pontevedra, Spain, 25-27 October) with the presentation “The use of online dictionaries as a tool for academic writing in English”
The use of online dictionaries as a tool for academic writing in English
Academic writing is characterised by lexical and grammatical accuracy, lexical variety, formality, and specific phraseology. Knowledge of academic vocabulary (i.e. vocabulary typically used in academic speech and writing regardless of the discipline) (McCarthy and O’Dell. 2008) is an essential component of academic writing. Online dictionaries have two features that make them particularly useful to help students and scholar when writing academic texts: entries may include and link to a high variety of data (e.g., examples of use, grammatical patterns, collocations, synonyms), and they offer advanced search and browse features (e.g. reverse search or show related search option). However, the functionalities of online dictionaries are usually underused because efficient use of these dictionaries requires skills different from successful use of printed dictionaries. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (i) to explore how online dictionaries can help non-native-English speaking students and scholars to write academic texts in English, and (ii) to present a proposal of a workshop intended to help students develop online dictionary skills, which can be a component of “Academic writing” courses.
Created: 2017-11-28 09:52
Ana Bocanegra-Valle attended the 1st International Conference on Corpus Analysis in Academic Discourse (CAAD) held at the Technical University of Valencia from 22 to 24 Nov. 2017. The title of her oral presentation was “Researching academic genres and discourse with qualitative data analysis software tools”. In her talk, Ana introduced the capabilities of Atlas.ti and NVivo and explored their advantages for analysing non-numerical data in the language-, genre- and discourse-related studies featuring in academic settings. She then discussed some relevant studies in the field of English for specific and academic purposes published in renowned journals that had employed these software tools. Her analysis revealed that the qualitative data analysis of academic genre and discourse corpora can be efficiently supported by computer-aided tools.
Created: 2017-09-18 04:31
The paper “Connecting Genres and Languages in Online Scholarly Communication: An Analysis of Research Group Blogs” has been pre-published in Written Communication.
Blogs provide an open space for scholars to share information, communicate about their research, and reach a diversified audience. Posts in academic blogs are usually hybrid texts where various genres are connected and recontextualized; yet little research has examined how these genres function together to support scholars’ activity. The purpose of this article is to analyze how the affordances of new media enable the integration of different genres and different languages in research group blogs written by multilingual scholars and to explore how various genres are coordinated in these blogs to accomplish specific tasks. The study reported in this article shows that the functionalities of the digital medium allow research groups to incorporate myriad genres into their genre ecology and interconnect these genres in opportunistic ways to accomplish complex objectives: specifically, to publicize the group’s research and activities, make the work of the group members available to the disciplinary community, strengthen social links within their community and connect with the interested public, and raise social awareness. Findings from this study provide insights into the ways in which scholars write networked, multimedia, multigenre texts to support the group’s social and work activity.
Luzón, MJ. “Connecting genres and languages in online scholarly communication”. Written Communication. Prepublished September, 12, 2017, DOI: 10.1177/0741088317726298
Created: 2017-09-18 04:26
Three members of our group participated in ELF 10 (12-15 June 2017, Helsinki).
Ignacio Vázquez participated in the pre-conference workshop After all that, what do we know – and what do we still need to know? Findings from ‘Linguistic diversity on the international campus’ (convened by Jennifer Jenkins
University of Southampton)
María José Luzón presented the paper “Language choice on research-related webpages in a Spanish university” and Marian Velilla presented the paper “Pragmatic strategies used by Spanish lecturers to preempt misunderstanding in English-medium university courses”
Language choice on research-related webpages in a Spanish university
Abstract. Research centres and research groups use their webpages for self-presentation and for the dissemination and publicising of scientific activity and results. Since English is the lingua franca of scholarly communication, the webpages of some research centres and research groups in non-English speaking countries are written in English, or combining English and the local language, in order to make them more visible at an international level. In this paper I will explore the choice of language (English/ Spanish) on the webpages of research centres, research groups and individual researchers in a Spanish university. I will address the following questions: (i) Are these webpages predominantly written in English or Spanish?; (ii) Does discipline influence the choice of language in these webpages?; (iii) When both English and the L1 are used, how do these languages co-exist and interact (e.g. both Spanish and English versions are available, some contents are written in English and others in Spanish); (iv) Why, and for which contents, is English or the L1 chosen?; (v) which English is considered as acceptable to be used in these webpages? To answer these questions I will complement the systematic observation of the webpages with short interviews to some of the agents (research institute directors, research group leaders, individual researchers).
Pragmatic strategies used by Spanish lecturers to preempt misunderstanding in English-medium university courses
Abstract. As a result of the thriving process of internationalization that many Spanish Universities are undergoing, there is a recent interest in offering English as medium of instruction courses, English being adopted as the common language of choice for academic activities. In this paper I present the preliminary results of research analyzing the pragmatic strategies used by Higher education lecturers in EMI courses in a Spanish university. The corpus for the study consists in 14 hours of lectures in two different disciplines (Business Administration and Nanoscience). The analysis of the data reveals that most of the pragmatic strategies used to pre-empt potential communicative breakdowns, negotiate, and clarify meaning fall into one of the following groups: (i) use of multilingual resources (e.g. code-switching); (ii) self-repair (iii) reformulation. The results show that participants use these strategies to cope with the heavy investment in the communication process that is required when using a vehicular language different from one’s own in such high-stakes institutional academic settings.
Created: 2017-09-11 02:10
During the 6-8 September, the 9th AILA-European Junior Researcher Meeting took place at the University of Vienna. In this conference,which is entended to estimulate exchange of ideas and the creation of networks among young researchers, PhD candidate Rosana Villares participated with the presentation titled “A cross-disciplinary study of scholars’ multilingual research-oriented literacies”. The main purpose of her presentation was to seek and describe linguistic diversity in a Spanish university. For this reason, she focused on the analysis of scholars’ academic practices from the social sciences and natural sciences regarding the use of languages.
Photo: Ruth Wodak during the opening session at the university of Vienna
Created: 2017-08-22 08:06
Last July, the University of Bucharest hosted the DiscourseNet19 Conference Discourse, Knowledge and Practice in Society (7-8 July 2017) where two of our researchers participantes. Prof. Laura Muresan reunited with some old colleagues in a very thought-provoking round table, moderare by the critical discurse analysis leading figure Norman Fairclough, titled “Whither CDA? Rethinking the objectives and research agenda of critical analysis of discourse in a time of political-economic change”. On the other hand, one of our junior researchers, Phd candidate Rosana Villares, presented some preliminar results of her Phd thesis. The two main pillar of her work are internationalization strategies and language policies in Higher Education, and in this occasion, with the title “Going international’ in Higher Education: A Corpus-Driven Analysis of Strategic Plans in a Spanish University” she introduced the internationalization strategy of the University of Zaragoza from a top-down approach thanks to the analysis of policy documents.
Created: 2017-07-21 07:02
Ana Bocanegra-Valle and Ignacio Guillén attended the 25th International Conference of the European Association of Languages for Specific Purposes (AELFE) held in Mérida (Spain), 15-16 June 2017. Ana presented a study focused on the topic “English as a lingua franca on the International Campus of Excellence: initiatives and outcomes” and Ignacio’s work dealt with “Needs analysis and competence profiling through ethnographic methods: the case of the Academic English course at the graduate school of a Spanish university”.
Created: 2017-07-21 06:55
Ana Bocanegra-Valle attended the 35th International Conference of the Spanish Society for Applied Linguistics in Jaén (Spain), 4-6 May 2017. Her presentation, titled “Promotional discourse at internationalised universities: A critical discourse analysis approach”, aimed at furthering the existing debate about the marketization of higher education institutional discourse and set out to explore the discursive strategies employed by internationalised universities to appear trustworthy and generate interest among potential incoming international students. This presentation will be published in due course.
Created: 2017-04-27 09:45
María José Luzón was invited to give the lecture “Communicating science on the Internet: new genres for new social practices” in the series Sciences and Science Communication. This is a series of lectures organised by the Laboratory of Science Communication (LABCS) at the Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano).
Created: 2017-02-28 01:13
First project meeting with some of the GLE members from Zaragoza and Cádiz.
February 2017, University of Zaragoza.
Created: 2017-02-12 10:42
International standards in academic languages teaching is part and parcel of the evolving agenda in European Higher Education. Our participation (Laura Muresan, Carmen Pérez-Llantada, Oana Carciu) at the EAQUALS 2016 International Conference was a modest contribution to work being carried out currently on this issue. As part of a larger ethnographic study, we interviewed multilingual university teachers of different subjects in the field of Bussiness and Management. In these interviews we sought to elicit details on the academic competencies needed to teach, study and pursue research in English.
What emerged was a perceived need for refining academic language competencies. These findings have important implications for staff development and EAP teacher training. Once again, higher education institutions need to put professional development for academic languages teaching on their evolving agenda. This would ensure international standards in academic languages teaching if it is to be opened to a global student population. The scholars’ preoccupation with academic study skills and the diversification of academic language core competencies suggests that the failure to cater for the needs of EAP practitioners may spark a backlash on universities’ internationalization ethos.
Created: 2017-02-04 02:37
This was a seminar organized by Karin Tusting and her colleagues, based at the University of Lancaster, UK.
Friday 13th January 2017, at the SRHE London, UK.
Created: 2016-12-07 10:20
Dr. Concepción Orna-Montesinos presented the GLE Project at a meeting of the Literacy Research Discussion Group of the Department of Linguistics and English Language of Lancaster University. Her talk discussed the challenges posed by the linguistic policies recently adopted in Spanish Higher Education institutions to foster internationalization of teaching and research activities. The presentation offered an excellent opportunity to launch the GLE project. The discussion which followed the presentation allowed a fruiful exchange of ideas and to establish synergies between both research groups.
Created: 2016-12-06 05:23
On 1st December 2016, the Quality Assurance Agency of Aragón (ACPUA) held a seminar where Douglas Blackstock, Director of QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education), talked about the evaluation system of Higher Education in the United Kingdom in order to improve the quality of tertiary education.
Douglas Blackstock presented the work of QAA as well as the latest developments in Great Britain’s Higher Education System, the new legislation and legal reforms regarding British Higher Education, some of the challenges internationalization brings with it in terms of assuring quality, and explained the Teaching Excellent Framework, which has been promoted by the British government to recognize and reward excellent teaching-learning processes followed by universities.
Photo source: ACPUA Aragón
Created: 2016-12-06 05:23
The University of Zaragoza organized a conference on internationalization where joint degrees and double degrees were the main topics of discussion. In this forum, institutional and faculty members agreed on the importance of creating a space where it is possible to share and discuss the university’s internationalization objectives and the different strategies that can be used to achieve these goals.
Debates on legal regulation, funds, quality assurance of higher education, joint degrees, the Iberus international campus and mobility in undergraduate and graduate programs were key to the discussion. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to listen to the experiences the University of Granada and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid have with joint degrees before the presentation of some local practices at the University of Zaragoza. Most of the joint degrees presented took place in the Faculties of Science, Engineering, and Economics with French and German universities. Joint and double programs are becoming a frequent strategy in the pursuit of internationalization, but always bearing in mind the added value and quality they can bring to the degree and the students.
Created: 2016-06-28 12:15
Genres covered at ELF9 International Conference, Lleida 2016