New book! Supporting Graduate Student Writers

cover.pngA new collection which I helped edit has just been published by the University of Michigan Press. Supporting Graduate Writers: Research, Curriculum, Program Design (Simpson, Caplan, Cox, & Phillis, 2016) is the first edited volume to discuss options in designing writing support for graduate students writing in English both as their first or additional language. You can find it on the Press’s website, amazon.com, and all fine booksellers. The blurb is below the break. Thanks and congratulations to editors Steve Simpson, Michelle Cox, and Talinn Phillips as well as the amazing cast of contributors. It was a fascinating project to work on.

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Consortium on Graduate Communication

For the past few years, a growing group of teachers and administrators have gathered at TESOL around sessions presented by Chris Feak and/or me, and we’ve bemoaned the lack of time and space to discuss teaching written and oral communication skills to (post-)graduate students.* This year, we have decided to take the next step and create a new professional community, the Consortium on Graduate Communication. Our group will provide online and face-to-face opportunities to share resources, investigate program models, and collaborate on research into this vital area of higher education.

Membership is free for now. Anyone who works with graduate students is welcome to join by completing this survey. The middle part of the survey doubles as a research project to create a database of graduate support programs around the world, which we will publish and present in the future.

Stay tuned for a website, listserv, Facebook page (maybe!), and details about meetings and a colloquium next March!

 

* Graduate students in North America are post-graduate students in the UK/Europe and some other countries. We mean here support services for students in master’s and doctoral program(me)s. By bi-varietalism comes in handy sometimes.

EATAW Budapest: Genre Workshop

DSCF0367I just returned from a wonderful few days in the beautiful Hungarian capital for the European Association of Teachers of Academic Writing (EATAW) conference. And congratulations to the organizing team for such an interesting and well-run event.

My workshop (developed with Chris Feak from the University of Michigan) was called University English is No-one’s First Language: Teaching the Genres of Postgraduate Writing, and you can find the PowerPoint, references, and related links to corpus and concordancing sites here.

Many papers at the conference considered the relationship between English and other languages in higher education and (especially scientific) publishing. This put my contribution in an interesting light: I argue that the genre-based pedagogy we use gives students/scholars access to “cultural capital” that will enable them to participate in the knowledge-making work of their disciplines. But it could be argued that we are instead spreading the hegemony of English and forcing writers with their own cultural and rhetorical traditions to subjugate themselves to anglo-saxon domination. I still think that you can’t change a system — or even participate in it — until you can speak its language. What do you think?

Getting ready for EATAW in Budapest

I’ve just finished polishing my presentation for my first conference across the pond: the European Association of Teachers of Academic Writing (EATAW) in the beautiful city of Budapest, Hungary. My presentation, developed with Chris Feak, is University English is no-one’s first language: Learning the genres of postgraduate writing. You can see the abstract and PowerPoint slides (to follow) on this page.

Fortunately, Budapest appears to have survived the record floods in central Europe with little damage so far. The corner of Germany where I spent five wonderful summers, Wust in Sachsen-Anhalt, has sadly fared far worse and is underwater at this time.

New email list: Roundtable on Graduate Education

Following a lively discussion at TESOL this year, we decided to set up a Yahoo!Group as an email list to share ideas for supporting (ESL) graduate students. You can join here.

Please share the link with colleagues who teach graduate students. Please note that this is a list for those of us who teach and support graduate students, primarily international/ESL graduate students (not for ESL graduate students looking for help with their program!).