EATAW 2013

European Association of Teachers of Academic Writing

7th conference: June 27-29, 2013 Budapest, Hungary

University English is No-One’s First Language: Learning the Genres of Postgraduate Writing

(by Nigel A. Caplan with Christine Feak in absentia)

PowerPoint Slides: EATAW University English


Join the Graduate Educators’ Roundtable online discussion group (more details)


As postgraduate education becomes more broadly accessible, the need for effective strategies for teaching the language and genres of scholarly writing to masters and PhD students in their first and/or second languages has become more urgent (Cooper & Bikowski, 2007). This workshop leads participants through a toolbox of activities which they will be encouraged to adapt to their own teaching in any language. The guiding principle is genre-based pedagogy, which sees writing as embedded in contexts. Non-mainstream students need to identify, analyze, and produce the powerful genres of their discipline, defined by their purpose, staging, and lexicogrammar.

After an overview of genre-based pedagogy, drawing on English for Academic Purposes (Swales, 1990) and Systemic Functional Linguistics (Rose & Martin, 2012), the presenters will guide participants through these activities:

1. Identifying genres: Powerful yet accessible techniques for individualized needs analysis by recognizing, describing, and deconstructing such genres as research papers, proposals, and discussion board posts.

2. Building and using a mini corpus: Students build individual corpora of writing in their fields, analyze them using freely available software, and compare their writing to the corpora.

3. Collaborative writing: Strategies for pair and group work, from planning to peer review to whole-class joint construction.

4. Discussion: Selecting and implementing these techniques.

The presenters hope to start a dialogue between North American/Australian genre traditions and European scholarship and praxis. Scholarly writing is always a second language, and access to the linguistic and cultural capital of the academy is critical for postgraduate success (Bourdieu, 1986).

5 thoughts on “EATAW 2013”

  1. Hi Nigel, Looking forward to your presentation! Mine is on the same day at 11:40. See you there! Kind regards, Lydia (Webster University Vienna)

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