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?

Author: Nigel Caplan

Nigel Caplan, Ph.D., is an associate professor of ESL and materials developer in Delaware, in the United States.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s