Created: 2018-04-24 05:29
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 05:31
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 05:26
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 03:10
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 09:06
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 08:02
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 07:55
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 10:45
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 01:15
Genres covered at ELF9 International Conference, Lleida 2016