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Regular version of the site

Conference Program

Constructing the writer identity in research genres

Research Paper Presentation by Tatiana Alenkina
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

Constructing the writer identity has been one of the most complicated issues of scientific writing not only for students (early-career and transitional writers) but also for research staff. This conference presentation questions the issue of research writing as “author-evacuated prose” (K. Hyland) in the form of review-type texts (book reviews, literature reviews) and primary research genres (research papers). The research questions addressed in the presentation are:

  1. What discourse-cultural parameters and sociocultural parameters are seen in writing genres of Russian students?
  2. In what way does the expertise in writing and better awareness of Anglo-American standards affect the textual features?

The  presentation balances both theory and experimental results. Considering the theory behind the study, the presenter introduces the concepts of the writer identity, voice, and stance seen from the diachronic and synchronic perspective. The experimental analysis is focused on stancetaking in its three parts – the ideational, interpersonal, and textual - found in papers of Russian writers across genres. The participants of the study were 25 undergraduate students (Group 1) who were enrolled in the course “Academic Writing in the Sciences: Theory and Practice” and five Master’s students (Group 2), attendees of the course “Genres of Scientific Writing.” The method was mainly qualitative (analytical) with some elements of quantitative analysis. 

The results demonstrate certain differences in the groups in approaching book reviews. Still both groups have common culturally-predetermined features related to the Teutonic intellectual style: an attack on weak points of the original text; the variety of “digressions”; textual and propositional asymmetry, etc. Russian students tend to break the communicative contract between the writer and the reader that is seen in using fewer interactive elements of metadiscourse, the use of boosters (very, huge, extremely), the lack of hedges, the predominance of the Passive Voice constructions, conversational markers (in my opinion, I think) -  all these textual features  present a demanding task for the reader. The findings suggest cultural variation in Russian texts, proving that in research genres “the link with cultural values rather than linguistic structures is the strongest” (Clyne, 1994). The conclusions about the necessity of  developing intercultural communicative competence should lay foundations for any genre-based academic writing course intended for L2 learners.

Presenter: Tatiana Alenkina. She earned her Ph.D. in comparative literature from the Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2006. Her doctorate research was done at Columbia University in New York City (Fulbright alumna). Tatiana is currently teaching two courses at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology: Academic Writing and Scientific Writing. She is the author of two manuals on academic writing.

Teaching paraphrase at a technical university: Challenges and solutions

Research paper presentation by Evgeniya Aleshinskaya and Alexander Kurnayev,
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI

Paraphrasing is generally considered to be an essential skill for academic writing. It has also been argued that teaching to paraphrase can help students avoid copying from source texts. This is especially relevant for a technical university, where research writers are expected to produce numerous scientific texts. However, only a few studies have explored how paraphrasing is used in second language writing. The present study focuses on the paraphrasing strategies employed by L2 students when writing a summary of a fragment of a research paper. The data is drawn from a qualitative analysis of texts produced by first-year second-language Ph.D. students (n = 22) of a technical university, and a quantitative analysis of the students’ opinion of the task and the strategies they used to do the writing assignment. The qualitative analysis involved identifying instances of paraphrasing and classifying them in terms of the quality of paraphrases and transformations used by the students in paraphrases. Following Keck’s (2006) methodology, paraphrases from student-generated summaries were divided into near copies, minimally revised texts, moderately revised texts, and substantially revised texts. Taking into consideration the specificity of L2 scientific writing, we paid special attention to misinterpretations, when some new information was added to the source text, or the overall meaning was changed. The qualitative analysis of student-generated texts allowed identifying weaknesses in students’ paraphrases, including overrepresentation of lexico-semantic transformations, underrepresentation of substantially revised texts, and misinterpretation of the original meaning. The results of the survey showed that most of the students found the task quite challenging as they had to find other ways of expressing the same idea without copying phrases from the source text. The study contributes to the current knowledge of paraphrase use in academic writing and offers insights into scientific writing pedagogy.

Presenters: Evgeniya Aleshinskaya and Alexander Kurnayev.

Evgeniya Aleshinskaya is Candidate of Sciences in philology, Assistant Professor, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI in Russia. She teaches postgraduate courses in Academic Writing. Her current research projects investigate genre pedagogy, L2 writing, and cognitive modeling. She has publications in highly ranked journals in linguistics and communication.

Alexander Kurnayev has been teaching English as a Second (Foreign) Language, English for Special Purposes, translation, and English stylistics to postgraduate students at National Research Nuclear University "MEPhI" for five years now. His current spheres of scientific interest are lexicography, including computer lexicography, paraphrasing typology,  and teaching academic writing. He has a CELTA certificate.

Pedagogies for publishing research in English: Local initiatives supporting Russian academics

Research paper presentation by Zhanna Anikina,
Research Centre Kairos (Tomsk)

English-medium publishing has become highly valued in various academic contexts outside English-speaking countries. The Russian academic context is part of this trend, which puts new pressures on Russian academics and creates a need for supporting them in writing for publication. Whilst a growing body of research has been done into academic literacy, studies investigating how academics respond to the growing need for English-medium publications reported that linguistic competence alone is insufficient for publishing in English. It was recognized that, although the distribution of reviewers’ comments is rather close, content deficiencies are highlighted more frequently. They are more severely judged than language issues and lead to the rejection of manuscripts. This raises the question “How can Russian academics be supported in terms of content production while writing for English-medium publication?” With the aim to answer this question, mixed methods documentary research was carried out at the Research Centre Kairos, a private organization that provides various forms of professional development to non-native English-speaking academics. The sample involved the documents produced by participants of an online series of workshops “The essentials of writing for publication in scientific journals” delivered in 2020. The series was intended to introduce Russian academics to the basic concepts of publishing and communicating academic research, and help them to understand what is expected of them with regard to paper content. We analyzed 85 sets of documents: reflective journals, evaluation forms, and achievement feedback protocols. The results demonstrated that participation in the series was highly appreciated by the researchers since it allowed them to produce a manuscript of a proper quality to be published by an international publisher. A number of implications about the ways to redesign the series were developed.

Presenter: Zhanna Anikina is a Russian academic and entrepreneur. She is working in the areas of language teaching/learning and researcher development. She is also a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Westminster where she is looking for ways to support Russian academics in writing for English-medium publications.

Manuscript editing and proofreading: Developing author-tailored criteria checklist

Teaching practice presentation by Inna Anokhina and Iuliia Sazanovich,
ITMO University

When writing a paper, L2 authors tend to mostly focus on their manuscript content, communicating research results and findings. This may lead to multiple linguistic errors and mistakes, typos and inaccuracies. Therefore, manuscript proofreading and editing are still a challenge despite numerous automated checking tools aimed at facilitating the writing process. It is not uncommon for L2 authors to receive reviewers’ harsh and patronizing comments and recommendations for a manuscript to be proofread by an English native speaker to improve the language quality. These editing services are widely available, but they are costly. Moreover, buying such services, authors shift responsibility for their manuscripts to such agencies.  

The approach employed at ITMO’s Academic Writing Lab (AWL) focuses on authors’ responsibility for text editing.  At one-on-one consultations with an AWL instructor, we help to develop an author-tailored checklist as a scaffolding tool for self-review. The checklist does not only include well-known formal recommendations from journal guidelines, but individual author’s fossilized errors and mistakes, typos and slips, flaws and weaknesses, which tail after the author. As the long-term goal of AWL’s work is to foster authors’ writing skills, we expect AWL’s consultees to advance their writing competence and become more confident academic writers with a considerable decrease in the number of drawbacks in their English manuscripts. We will describe the approach that might be useful to other instructors who assist L2 authors in their writing for publication.

Presenters: Inna Anokhina and Iuliia Sazanovich.

Inna Anokhina is the director of the Academic Writing Lab (AWL) at ITMO University, St. Petersburg, Russia. She provides consultations for students and faculty, organizes AWL events, and runs workshops. Her major interests lie in the sphere of academic writing and tutoring. Inna is interested in developing new support options to enhance and promote university faculty publication activity.

Iuliia Sazanovich is an English teacher at the Foreign Language Teaching Center (FLTC) and a coordinator of the Academic Writing Lab (AWL) at ITMO University. Iuliia teaches courses in General English, English for Specific Purposes, Academic and Scientific Writing. She has extensive experience of developing ESP courses and teaching materials.

Creating a course on academic writing: Factors to consider

Research paper presentation by Oksana Anossova,
Peoples' Friendship University of Russia / Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

The number of hours allotted at the university to academic writing training is insufficient for a consistent and exhaustive course delivery and writing skills development.  Therefore, writing instructors have to carefully select and specify aspects of academic writing to be taught. The aim of the paper is to consider existing manuals on academic writing in English and evaluate their appropriateness and relevance for an academic writing course. On the one hand, the materials should be selected or adapted to suit students’ level of comprehension and perception; on the other,  they should be manageable within the officially allotted time. The course should set a clear goal, e.g. A1/A2-level STEM students should drill the academic/scientific texts syntax and vocabulary; B1-level students should master their academic English by gaining academic and field-specific vocabulary and practicing writing scientific essays with the focus on coherent paragraph writing; B2-level students should learn about scientific paper formats and practice writing shorter versions of research papers. The course can be motivational only if students  achieve some practical results and feel satisfied with their efforts not being wasted. 

The paper outlines a number of challenges any teacher of academic writing courses should be aware of. Some ideas, stipulations, and practical recommendations on possible solutions are given to be employed while creating the course.  My six-year experience shows that the process of creating a course syllabus  involves several steps: 

  1. selecting appropriate English course books and manuals on academic writing
  2. outlining the most important aspects and themes to be studied and trained
  3. elaborating on the goals and the whole framework of the course for the number of hours allotted
  4. considering university requirements and prerequisites to the course
  5. evaluating students’ motivation, level, needs, expectations, and perceptions which may vary in intensity and quality.

The course on academic writing should balance both theory (adapted to students’ level of English) and practical training. Approaches to assessment may differ, but every written assignment should be accompanied with feedback (either from the teacher or from the group peers).

Presenter: Oksana Anossova, Ph.D. in philology (English language and literature), graduated from Philological  Faculty, Lomonosov’s Moscow State University in 1991. She defended her Ph.D. thesis on English Romanticism writers at the same university in 1995. She has published more than 70 works, including five monographs. Academic writing is one of the research directions she develops.

Language technology environment for teaching academic writing in English

Research paper presentation by Olga Babina and Svetlana Sheremetyeva,  
South Ural State University

Up to relatively recently, teaching academic writing mostly relied on manuals and books. Now with the boost of IT technologies, trainees’ expectations go beyond studying manuals. There is a great demand for intelligent tools that could automate sophisticated linguistic work. This presentation reports on an effort-saving approach to the development of an intelligent toolkit for training in the correct usage of academic English on lexical, syntactic, and rhetorical levels. A large part of the toolkit intelligence resides in natural language processing (NLP) techniques. Development savings are achieved by reusing the NLP methodologies and program shells, which were earlier developed by the authors for different purposes. The toolkit includes a number of individual applications that automate different aspects of scientific writing that are problematic for both native, and, especially, non-native users of English. The current realization of the toolkit supports native speakers of Russian, but the methodology, algorithms, program shells, and essential part of the knowledge base can be reused in implementations for other non-native English users. In particular, we present:

  1. The AutoLex tool - a domain-tuned electronic resource with built-in analysis and machine translation modules. AutoLex takes a Russian text as input and (a) visualizes its syntactic structure by highlighting nominal and verbal terminology thus improving text readability and (b) outputs all phrases (up to 10 words long) of the Russian text with their English equivalents.
  2. The AutoTutor tool - an automated system for training in English academic writing with built-in generation and machine translation modules. AutoTutor guides the user through the process of content selection in the form of a computer interview; after the content is selected, correct English sentences are automatically generated and ordered into corresponding paper sections.

The tools are widely used by the students and researchers of the South Ural State University who learn-by-doing the correct usage of academic English.

Presenters: Olga Babina and Svetlana Sheremetyeva

Olga Babina is an assistant professor at the Department of Linguistics and Translation at the South Ural State University. Olga teaches courses to students specializing in translation and computational linguistics. Her research focuses on the issues of developing dynamic resources (software) and knowledge bases (bilingual lexicons, formal models) to support academic writing.

Svetlana Sheremetyeva, Ph.D. in computational linguistics, has considerable teaching and research experience accumulated as a key researcher and lecturer at New Mexico State University (USA), Uppsala University (Sweden), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), and Southern Ural State University (Russia).

Investigating the effects of signal words on the readability of writing center self-access library

Research paper presentation by John Baker,  
Ton Duc Thang University (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

The idea that genre-specific reading provides reading-writing relationship related benefits for apprenticing L2 writers is regularly accepted in the second language writing literature. In line with this, anthologies of model essays are often selected for inclusion in writing center self-access library shelves. When selecting these texts, readability is often considered via the application of quantitative readability formulae (e.g., the Lexile Readability Formula). Unfortunately, such formulae only measure two (i.e., semantic & syntactic) of the many features that impact readability, leaving other features that require qualitative consideration such as signal words (SWs) unexplored. To address this, the presentation reports on the findings of a mixed-methods study conducted in a second language university writing center setting. This study investigated how SWs affect postsecondary ELL apprenticing writers’ perceptions of readability when they read essay exemplars excerpted from the anthology. To explore this, a cluster sample of campus writing center clients (n=14) read and created a cline of difficulty with essay exemplars (n=5)  purposely selected from a corpus of exemplars (n=893) available on the local market (n=12). Using the Scholastic Reading inventory as an index of student reading levels and the Lexile Readability Formula to gauge text difficulty, exemplars were chosen to be below, within, and slightly above the informants’ Lexile range (828–928L). After which, the informants completed a closed and open-ended questionnaire. To triangulate the data from the cline-questionnaire procedure, semi-structured retrospective interviews were administered. The quantitative results (Friedman test) indicated that the informants ranked the essays’ difficulty significantly differently than did the Lexile Formula, and the results of the interviews showed that SWs (e.g., student’s awareness of SWs) contributed to this ranking. Following this, the study suggests that writing studies professionals (teachers and writing center staff) and the publishing industry include SWs as part of a hybrid (quantitative-qualitative) exploration when considering the difficulty of texts.

Presenter: John R. Baker. He has worked with writing and self-access centers and taught writing, ESOL, and literature courses in the United States and Asia (Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam). His research interests include second-language reading and writing, self-access and writing center administration, various literature interests and research methods, and how these come together in an interdisciplinary nature.

"Twist and shout" in research writing

Workshop by Elena Bazanova,
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) / National University of Science and Technology MISIS

The workshop will present unique writing techniques that will get you closer to the fundamental features of great research writing: clear, concise, fluid, organized, convincing, and engaging. In this workshop, you will be guided through the process of creating a compelling story of your research journey that can sustain the reader's attention to ensure continuous reading of your paper. In addition, you will learn how to keep your story moving forward using such a great attention-getter as change. With each change, you will see how your story progresses, widens, narrows, or jumps. If ideas stop moving, the story lengthens, making your paper unnecessary long, complex, and as a result, tedious. The workshop will also teach you how to avoid some story-killers, e.g., lakes, whirlpools, omega meanders, and counter currents. These proven story-killers, which create a chaotic and repetitious flow of ideas, contribute to the never-ending paragraphs that stretch over one entire column of a journal and depress the reader even before they start reading your paper. During the workshop, you will not only learn how to make your research writing appropriate for an international peer-reviewed journal, regardless of the discipline, but you will also learn how to use effective “twists” in the story plot and powerful “shouts” that call the reader's attention. Finally, you will learn how to reintroduce tension and suspense in your paper to sustain the initial attention of your motivated readers as they plow through the challenging parts of your paper where the attention drains really fast. Since your reader's attention is not deserved but earned through hard work, it is time for you to practice!

Presenter: Dr. Elena Bazanova. She directs the Language Training & Testing Center at MIPT and the Academic Writing Office at NUST MISIS. Elena authored and co-authored several books, including the winner of the All-Russia competition “The best TESOL textbook for non-linguistic universities.” She is the author of COURSERA Specialization "English for Research Publication Purposes." Currently, she is the NWCC President.

The "atrocious" Oxford comma: Parallelism and conjunction in scientific English

Research paper presentation by Thomas Beavitt and Natalia Popova,
Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Perhaps no issue in written English is more likely to stimulate a heated discussion among writers and editors than the so-called "Oxford" or serial comma. The title of the present proposal refers to a discussion in an online English forum in which one of the co-authors ironically used the adjective "atrocious" to describe the Oxford comma, for which "hate speech" he was threatened with a ban from the forum! While acknowledging that there are certainly times when the Oxford comma can be effectively used to reduce ambiguity, we will argue that a consistent and semantically informed use of parallelism in sentence construction may effectively reduce the necessary use of the Oxford comma to zero without increasing ambiguity. Since parallelism necessarily involves a restricted relation between two or more conjoined elements, a key role in coordinating these elements is played by conjunctions, of which by far the most commonly used in English is "and." The issue concerning the use of the Oxford (serial) comma before the final conjunction concluding a list of lexical items is typically discussed in terms of the relationship of these items (typically nouns or NPs) with the main verb of the sentence in which they appear. Although proponents of the Oxford comma insist that there are cases when ambiguity cannot be resolved any other way, an objection to this logic rests in the dialogic philosophy that written language should, as far as possible, resemble spoken language (i.e., carry authorial voice), in which punctuation marks are not audible. Therefore, if parallel constructions, which apply equally to spoken and written language, can also resolve ambiguity, these should in principle be used instead of commas. The research methodology involved a qualitative content analysis of parallelism and ambiguity issues arising in a representative sample of research papers written by Russian scientists and corrected by a native English editor. Approximately 50% of the selected papers were corrected according to the publication policy of using the Oxford comma (US English), while the remainder were edited according to the preference to use parallelism. It was found that, while the Oxford comma could be used to resolve ambiguity in simple single-clause sentences, this solution was less appropriate for more complex constructions.

Presenters: Thomas Beavitt and Natalia Popova

Thomas Beavitt’s research interests include scientific rhetoric and the question of rhythm (isochrony) in human language and other forms of signalling. Research and practical activities in this area include translation and performance of songs and poems.

Natalia Popova has been conducting research into various aspects of academic communication for over 25 years. Currently, her research interests embrace sociology of science and technology, in particular, the problems of open access, transformation in the role of scientific journals in academic communication, and academic publishing. Natalia is a Deputy Chair of the Scopus Expert Board in Russia.

How to boost your teaching and writing skills through action research projects

Workshop by Heather Belgorodtseva,
BKC-International House Moscow

Academic English writing instructors may be in the position of teaching a skill they perform rarely themselves, perhaps not since they last engaged in academic study. One way to address this and also engage in meaningful professional development is to run teaching and learning-focused action research projects, and then reflect in writing on what we have learned. In this session, we will look at the kinds of teaching experiments we might want to perform, how we might go about setting these up and monitoring them, how to decide what counts as success, and whether success is even something we need to be worried about. We can also look at what to do with our texts / experiment results once we have them. We will also look at how to effectively reflect and write about our experiences concisely but insightfully, focusing on evaluation rather than description. Some activities for participants are: 

  • considering teaching problems or questions a teacher-researcher might want to address 

  • examining what methods might be used to work on these, from investigating the effectiveness of current practices, to experiments involving a new technique, to asking for student feedback  

  • looking at criteria to assess the data we collect for these ideas

  • analyzing good and bad models of this kind of writing, and coming up with both a framework for this kind of text and a list of dos and don’ts 

  • attempting to write an evaluative paragraph.

The workshop is based on my six years of running a six-month professional development course, the IH Certificate of Advanced Methodology for teachers of English, which marries action research with evaluation. One of my responsibilities is giving in-depth feedback to participants on the reports they then write.

Presenter: Heather Belgorodtseva is an English language teacher and teacher trainer for CELTA and post-CELTA courses such as Delta Module 1 and 3, and IH’s Certificate of Advanced Methodology, working in the UK and Russia for over 20 years, in private language schools and state institutions such as further education colleges.

Language instructors at universities: Publishing practices and challenges

Research paper presentation by Svetlana Bogolepova,
HSE University

Low communicative competence is believed to be the main reason why Russian scholars fail to publish in the English language (Frumina & West, 2012). Language instructors supposedly have the advantage of being proficient in English, so they may be hypothesized to be productive in terms of academic publications. Despite the requirements imposed by Russian universities and the support they provide, it is not the case. To reveal the aspects that prevent this large group from being represented in academic journals and the factors that may encourage them to write for publication, a survey was administered to language instructors representing 36 universities based in different parts of Russia (n=138). The survey results were supplemented by the findings of semi-structured in-depth interviews with 10 successful writers. As the data suggests, both those who already publish papers in international journals and those who do not do it yet were found to face similar difficulties such as lack of time and research skills. Both groups consider it a challenge to select a relevant journal and to edit their paper according to the requirements of a journal. Language instructors prefer the guidance of an experienced mentor and manuscript preparation in a group of colleagues to targeted instruction. Those having a track record of international publications frequently engage with academic discourse and have a good understanding of Anglo-Saxon academic writing conventions. Prolific writers’ research and publication activity is characterized by rigid time management, purposeful information search, purposeful development of relevant skills. Implications for institutional policies and individual strategies are extrapolated from the analysis of the results. The findings may be relevant to contexts where English is taught at the university level and where publication activity is an institutional requirement for university language instructors.

Presenter: Svetlana Bogolepova. She is an Associate Professor at the School of Foreign Languages at HSE University, Moscow. She holds a Ph.D. in philology and a Masters' in management in higher education. She has authored a number of academic publications, both in Russian and in English. Academic writing, assessment, and course development are her interests.

Modeling academic writing support: Case of an engineering university

Research paper presentation by Liudmila Bolsunovskaya and Olga Solodovnikova,
National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University

In global academia, research writing in English is a core competence, crucial for academics. Russian universities, too, have gradually started to integrate academic writing courses into university curricula. Some universities open writing centers to help their staff advance their writing skills.  

This study aims at evaluating the effectiveness of the academic writing program implemented in Tomsk Polytechnic university (TPU). The program was intended for post-graduate students (n=60) and research faculty (n=40). The research was both qualitative and quantitative:  we analyzed a survey with open-ended questions and the results of standardized tests to measure progress in developing writing skills. 

The presentation describes the interaction model of academic writing instructors and institutional departments, effective strategies, and forms of support for enhancing publication activity among post-graduates and university staff. The implemented interaction model is person-centred, which provides opportunities to receive coaching and personalized feedback. The experience was positive; the program has a great impact on participants’ writing efficacy. However, we experienced difficulties associated with the functioning of the academic writing center in TPU. We invite conference participants to share their experience in solving problems, which seem to be similar in many institutions.

Presenter: Liudmila Bolsunovskaya, Ph.D. philology, is an Associate Professor at the Devision for Foreign Languages, School of Core Engineering Education, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia. She has 30 years of teaching experience in higher education. Her research interests include ESL, EMI, engineering discourse and genre analysis, and applied linguistics.

The formula for developing self-study materials for academics

Workshop by Yulia Chanturidze,
HSE University

In academia, research publications in foreign journals are of high value now.  But writing in English can pose certain challenges for L2 learners. Although it may seem that anyone’s desire to improve their academic writing skills can be satisfied with an abundance of printed and online materials, it is hard to navigate through this whole stack of information. Have you ever felt that despite this abundance you can hardly find the materials relevant to your class or specific academic audience? Should more materials be developed and how? 

In the workshop, we will try to answer these questions, analyze HSE experience, and find reasons why the creation of customized materials for academics is of paramount importance. We will focus on self-study materials for academics as a way of developing their language competences. We will discuss the reasons for choosing such a format, its differences from other formats of exercises, and the underlying methodological principles. By self-study materials we mean those resources that are created in such a way that enables them to be used without the presence of a teacher. In other words, they are self-sufficient in terms of information and practice. The obvious benefit of self-study materials lies in the fact that they are designed to foster individualized learning in line with the principle of learner autonomy. In addition to exercises, the user receives profound explanations in the keys section and is encouraged to reflect on the specificity of writing for academic purposes in their scientific fields. All exercises draw on the examples taken from a corpus of articles collected during the preparation stage. This allows the materials to be field-specific and to be carefully targeted at the audience’s needs. As a result of the workshop, participants will have a clear understanding of the steps that should be taken when creating self-study materials for academics.

Presenter: Yulia Chanturidze. She has been a senior lecturer at HSE University since 2013. She teaches English at the Faculty of Economic Sciences. She is also a trainer of the HSE Academic Writing Center, an author of self-study materials for researchers and organizer of extra-curricular activities.

Raising writing instructors in academia

Teaching practice presentation by Elina Chuikova,
Moscow City University (Samara Branch)

Professional development of writing instructors is a burning issue in Russian academic community. We need teachers who have specific teaching skills to develop academic writing skills of prospective writers. To tackle the problem of a limited number of academic writing tutors, we need to answer two essential questions: when to start specialist training and how to incorporate this training into the existing educational context. 

The presentation is aimed at EFL university teachers who are willing to become writing instructors and implement new practices to teach their language students (starting with the bachelor’s level). I will share effective reflexive practices, experimenting with which language teachers themselves may gradually transform into academic writing instructors. Without this initial transformation, they have little to offer their students in terms of motivation to acquire academic writing skills. The reflexive practices are built around solution-oriented tasks, group work, peer-correction, and self-correction while students learn to write texts in different genres. The practices have been successfully tested for 15 years with would-be language teachers at Samara branch of Moscow City University. 

The presentation will include work in small groups and the whole group discussion. The presentation will give EFL teachers a set of working tools that they may start implementing in their courses: namely, tasks for organizing task-based learning, reflexive topics for texts to write with their students, an activity focused on teaching students to ask good questions, and a questionnaire to learn about students’ needs. I will explain what such activities would add to students’ awareness of their perspectives in teaching others academic writing. We will also discuss what should be done to satisfy a great need for academic writing tutors in Russia.

Presenter: Elina Chuikova (CSc in Education). She is an Associate Professor, Head of Foreign Language Teaching Department at Samara Branch of Moscow City University (Russia). Her research interests cover academic writing, foreign language education at the university, teaching writing, and preparing writing instructors. Elina is the author of 4 books and 4 resource books devoted to studying and professional writing.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: English as the global language of science in a plurilingual world

Plenary session by James Corcoran,
York University

In a knowledge economy, research articles published in indexed journals (e.g., those listed on Web of Science or Scopus) are valued commodities. Currently, though figures vary across disciplines, more than 90% of the journals included in these indexes are published in English. In the knowledge economy, research production is tallied by funding bodies, resulting in incentives at the national and institutional levels for plurilingual EAL scholars to put their efforts either primarily or exclusively towards achieving these publication outcomes. The global dominance of English as a language of scientific knowledge exchange over the past decades has raised many questions about the good, bad, and ugly ramifications of such linguistic hegemony, leading to debates within the burgeoning sub-field of English for research publication purposes (ERPP). Adopting a critical, plurilingual lens, this presentation explores these debates, considering the paradoxes plurilingual scholars face as part of their lived experiences within an international market of scientific knowledge production dominated by English. For example, while national science policies often stress solving national problems, scientists are more highly rewarded for English-language publications in “international” journals that do not always target the stakeholders who would most benefit from dissemination of research findings. Further, while such international journals broadcast their commitment to diverse authorship, international scientists sometimes perceive systemic bias against their manuscripts due to their names, institutional affiliations, or use of non-standard English(es). Drawing on extant research and theory from the fields of Education, Applied Linguistics, and Writing Studies, I outline a set of pedagogies and policies that challenge monolingual ideologies and practices in global scientific writing, adjudication, and support. I argue that these critical, yet pragmatic recommendations could be implemented by institutions, scientific bodies, and writing support centres, providing effective and equitable support to plurilingual scientists that values their diverse onto-epistemologies, discourses, and linguistic repertoires. This presentation will be of acute interest to writing centre administrators and instructors responsible for supporting plurilingual scientists’ research writing, as well as to plurilingual scholars themselves.

Presenter: James Corcoran, an Assistant Professor of ESL & Applied Linguistics in the Department of Literatures, Languages, and Linguistics at York University where he teaches courses in the Linguistics and Applied Linguistics graduate program, and the TESOL Certificate and ESL undergraduate programs. His research interests include L2 writing, language teacher education, critical English for specific/academic/research publication purposes. James has published work in journals such as Written Communication, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, International Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, among others, and currently serves on the editorial board of  Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie. He has recently published two books with Routledge entitled, English for Research Publication Purposes: Critical Plurilingual Pedagogies (co-authored w/ Karen Englander) and Pedagogies and Policies for Publishing Research in English: Local Initiatives Supporting International Scholars (co-edited w/ Karen Englander and Laura Muresan). James spends large amounts of time with his cat, Genius.

IT tools enabling researchers to write in English

Teaching practice presentation by Sergei Dekterev and Liudmila Kuznetsova,
Saint-Petersburg State University

Machine translation (MT) as an aid in foreign language writing has rapidly been developing over the last 10-15 years, consistently improving and growing in effectiveness. There are several online MT applications all of which are continuously being upgraded. However, practice in using MT when preparing texts for publication demonstrates that errors do occur. These can be caused not only by the imperfection of the application employed but also by researchers’ lack of training and practice in using it.

The aim of our study was to analyze what causes distortions of meaning and language mistakes in texts machine-translated from Russian into English and to identify ways to improve the final draft. The study was conducted in a group of 14 Ph.D. students whose level of English proficiency varied from B1+ to C1.  Resorting to MT, all of them were able to produce in English good quality academic texts describing their research.

Analysis of the first drafts of the translated papers demonstrated that the major source of mistakes was the inadequately prepared Russian originals. For the machine to produce the text without inaccuracies, the source text should (a) have a clear structure and mostly consist of simple sentences, (b) contain simpler words and phrases. 

The use of colloquial expressions and metaphorical language leads to distortions in the translated version. However, the author with a lower level of English proficiency may not be able to identify any faults with the text. The use of the same (or a different) application to translate the text back into Russian can help in finding the defects resulting from machine translation of the original poorly prepared for it.

 Collecting samples of mistakes and inaccuracies found in their machine-translated English papers and analyzing them helped the group to develop a set of rules following which one can reduce the number of defects in the first draft and improve it by further application of MT.

Presenters: Sergei Dekterev and Lyudmila Kuznetsova

Sergei Dekterev is an Assistant Professor at St. Petersburg State University. He graduated from Udmurt State University (Izhevsk, Russia) with the qualifications in teaching, translating, and philology (Romano-Germanic languages) in 1995. In 1998, he finished a full course for postgraduate students at St. Petersburg State University (St. Petersburg, Russia). In 1999, Sergei defended a dissertation on English words classification. 

Lyudmila Kuznetsova, MPA (Rutgers University, USA), Ph.D. in linguistics, is an Associate Professor at St. Petersburg State University. She teaches Effective Professional Communication and Academic English. She has coordinated the British Council project RESPONSE and co-authored the course books English for Academics, Books 1, 2, published by Cambridge University Press.

Petrozavodsk State University Academic Writing Center: First steps

Research paper presentation by Oksana Dobrynina and Liliya Yusupova,
Petrozavodsk State University

Academic writing is an essential part of university education now as it is crucial for a high rating of university publication activity. However, establishing an Academic Writing Center that might support, maintain, and develop academic writing within the  university is still an issue for university authorities and academic teaching staff. Our contribution to the conference is to share the experience in creating the Academic Writing Center in Petrozavodsk State University (PetrSU AWC), which was established in 2020, and the issues the newly made Center addresses.  We will also present the vision of the Center to meet the current needs.

Two studies preceded the Center establishment. First, we conducted a survey on the ability to create scientific style texts among first-year students and their teachers. The results of the survey showed diametrically opposed opinions. Junior students considered themselves to be rather confident in their academic writing skills (54%), while professors assessed the same skills much more critically than students. Second, we analyzed publications submitted to the university journals, which showed that academics themselves often lack academic writing skills in English. Those studies helped us to formulate the goals of the Center. Unlike many writing centers that aim at enhancing publication activity among university faculty, PetrSU AWC’s main strategy is to develop a coordinated, unified, and consistent program of teaching academic writing (AW) in both Russian and English at various levels: (a) students, by setting writing standards from bachelor to Ph.D. levels; (b) teaching staff, by training AWC instructors and faculty; (c) editorial boards of university scientific journals, by having collaborative activities. If the project succeeds, the university will be raising their academic teaching staff and researchers, who will be skilled in preparing publications both in Russian and English. However, there are many implementation challenges, which we are planning to share with the audience, e.g., introducing a compulsory continuing academic writing course, using a bilingual approach, and administrative obstacles.

Presenters: Oksana Dobrynina and Liliya Yusupova

Oksana Dobrynina teaches EFL, ESL and EAP to students of various institutes in PetrSU. Oksana has developed courses, e.g. “How to write an effective abstract,” “Let's write a scientific paper” for students and teaching staff. She is engaged in editing papers for the university  journals, consulting faculty, and translating some of their papers into English. Oksana has published several articles on teaching academic writing. 

Liliya Yusupova is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Foreign Languages for Humanities, Petrozavodsk State University. She is a manager of PetrSU Academic Writing Center. She teaches Academic Writing Course in English and has several publications on academic writing issues. Her research interests include academic essay writing, keeping an academic journal, and assessing writing.

Facilitating Russian faculty members’ pathways to writing for publication in English

Research paper presentation by Vera Dugartsyrenova,
HSE University

As Russian higher education institutions seek to respond to the global call for internationalizing science, developing the skills of writing for publication in English becomes integral to securing international presence at the national and individual levels. Yet, writing in line with international norms of “expository academic prose” (Swales, 1990) presents a challenge for many Russian scholars, who have yet to learn to align their writing style and language to the expectations of the international scientific community. This presentation shares some insights into how this problem was addressed in the context of a course on writing for publication offered at the Academic Writing Center of HSE University. The participants were 25 faculty members from various departments within the university who took the course at different years. During the course, they were exposed to genre conventions for writing the major sections of a research article in the IMRaD format (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion), learnt essential academic language chunks, wrote drafts of the target sections of their future paper, and reviewed each other’s drafts via peer-review tasks. Participants’ perspectives on their experiences and the value of the course were gathered through an end-of-course survey. The results revealed that most participants found the course useful for teaching them what to include in the major sections of a research article, how to sequence their ideas in individual sections, and what kind of language to use in expressing a range of communicative intentions according to international discourse norms. They also appreciated the individual writing practice opportunities afforded by the course and their peers’ comments on their texts. Based on participants’ feedback, the presentation will conclude with some considerations for developing and teaching writing for publication courses such as this one.

Presenter: Vera Dugartsyrenova, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at HSE University. Vera has taught a range of EFL, EAP, and ESP courses to students majoring in linguistics, intercultural communication, economics, and political science. Her research interests include blended and distance language learning, intercultural communication, and academic writing.

Improving academic writing skills through scaffolding

Teacher practice presentation by Valeria Evdash,
Tyumen State University

This presentation shows how a university writing center can be an inspiring space for researchers to develop their second-language writing skills and to receive the desired results. Given the fact that researchers often want to get rapid outcomes from learning, the Writing Center’s instructors attempt to create a supportive and stimulating environment for developing fluency in researchers’ second-language writing and to find efficient techniques to help researchers become better writers. One of the applied techniques is scaffolding that helps to tailor the learning process to the individual needs. This individual approach to each participant leads to a better understanding of their writing problems and sparks thinking about their writing. Scaffolding was provided through such learning events as Writing Retreat and Writers’ Group aiming to prepare a research paper.  Another scaffolded event was the “Drop-in & Reboot Your Writing” project aiming to recognize the current writing challenges and reach the next level of development. Each participant was expected to attend the Center weekly to do different written assignments during a thirty-minute session. Thirty-two university researchers participated in these events. Some achieved the goal they had set for improving their writing skills; others even managed to prepare a research paper. 

The detailed stages of these events will be described to disseminate these practices. The presentation will demonstrate the application of concrete scaffolding techniques based on two intertwined approaches. The first one includes six qualities, such as continuity, contextual support, intersubjectivity, flow, contingency, takeover (Van Lier, 2004). The second one involves some components, compiled by Lidz (1991), such as the influence on the learner’s actions through interaction, manipulation of the task to facilitate problem solving and to induce strategic thinking. This experience of the Writing Center can be useful for other writing centers that are looking for effective ways to encourage and support their clients.

Presenters: Valeria Evdash is the Director of the Center for Academic Writing “Impulse,” Tyumen State University, TESOL member,  member of the Association of Academic Writing Experts “National Writing Centers Consortium.” Her areas of expertise are continuing professional development, EFL acquisition & methodology, and academic writing.

Fostering academics’ autonomy in writing through customized materials

Research paper presentation by Natalia Fedorova,
HSE University

Writing instructors working with researchers and faculty members have to consider academics’ individual educational needs. This is a target audience characterized by abundant learning experience and a high level of autonomy. I would like to present the results of a survey on academics’ autonomy as regards writing in English. The survey was conducted in the HSE Academic Writing Center in collaboration with one of the Center’s writing consultants. The Center sees fostering academics’ learner autonomy as part of its mission. The rationale for the survey was to identify aspects of writing which pose a challenge and in which academics need assistance. The faculty members (n=118), who had previously attended workshops and courses at our center, completed an online questionnaire. They were asked to self-evaluate their level of English proficiency, their independence in writing, and various writing and learning skills. The findings confirmed that researchers indeed are highly autonomous in writing. However, they also revealed that academics are not confident of being able to work on specific writing skills without guidance. The study results added to our understanding of target learners’ needs and provided a foundation for developing scaffolded self-study materials that would allow learners to master strategies and hone essential skills in research writing independently. The series of workbooks were developed as part of the School of Trainers CPD course held by the Center. 

During the talk, I will outline the study’s findings, demonstrate how these findings were reflected in the self-study materials we created, and share the feedback on the materials we received from our clients. I would like to invite colleagues from other university writing centers to reflect on the benefits and challenges of designing materials to meet researchers’ writing needs and discuss approaches to encouraging autonomous learning among university faculty.

Presenters: Natalia Fedorova, manager at the HSE Academic Writing Center, has over 15 years of experience in teaching English in a variety of contexts. She holds a degree in English Philology, Trinity CertTESOL (Trinity College London), CPE, and FTBE (Pearson). Her professional interests include EAP, ESP, teacher training, and project management in education.

Machine translation: Linguistic challenges of pre-translation and post-translation editing

Research paper presentation by Vera Ganina, Natalya Ivanova, and Ksenia Vryganova,
Ivanovo State University of Chemistry and Technology

Machine translation has been widely used by L2 writers. However, the quality of machine translation does not satisfy editors or reviewers yet. In the presentation, the major linguistic challenges and typical lexical errors in machine translation of chemical papers from Russian into English are addressed.  

We collected and systematized numerous mistranslation examples. A list of typical translation errors was compiled based on machine-translated papers brought to the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics for editing. The papers relate to various branches of chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical, electrochemistry, textile chemistry, chemical engineering, etc.). This list seems to be very effective in teaching language courses not only to undergraduates and graduate students, but also to researchers, assisting their publication activity in English. 

 An important stage in both learning and editing is considered to be pre-translation editing of the text to be translated. Authors should take  into account the international  standards of scientific discourse and academic English as an international medium of scholarly communication. Pre-translation editing of the Russian text based on the bilingual approach is necessary as a structural and semantic platform for the future English text. Having analyzed authentic scientific publications and dictionary definitions, field-specific terminology, and other linguistic phenomena, we propose a number of training techniques with the following key aspects: detailed work with homonyms,  polysemantic lexical units,  synonyms series of verbs and nouns, “buzzwords” (frequently used academic vocabulary),  and pleonasms. An important role belongs to the text cohesion elements and their place in the sentence.  The presentation can be interesting for those who incorporate machine translation in their courses.

Presenters: Vera Ganina, Natalya Ivanova, and Ksenia Vryganova.

Vera Ganina defended the thesis “Non-verbal components of communication, reflecting the emotional reactions of a person: the gender aspect” (based on English fiction) and got a Ph.D. in 2005. Her research interests are English, linguistics, academic writing, and digital tools for teaching foreign languages. Vera Ganina teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students majoring in technology. 

Natalya Ivanova, Professor, Doctor of Philology (from St. Petersburg State University), is a specialist in the theory of language. Her main research interests are related to lexicography, neology, intercultural communication, and academic writing issues in bilingual ESP training. Natalya is the author of training courses and numerous  scholarly and methodological publications.

Ksenia Vryganova graduated with honours from the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology of Ivanovo State University (Russia) in 2003. Since then she has constantly been working in the field of the English language. In 2012, she defended her thesis on the topic of “The Phenomenon of Masking and Concealing Emotions in English Fiction Texts.”

Mend your sails while the weather is fine

Workshop by Tatiana Golechkova and Svetlana Suchkova,
New Economic School, HSE University

Institutional demands for international publications have made universities find ways of supporting academics in their writing endeavors. The pressure has uncovered an urgent need to train writing instructors in Russian academia. These instructors need to be sufficiently qualified in English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP) to help academics write their manuscripts and prepare them for publication. Many universities have “to mend their sails” while at sea since until recently there were no formal professional development programs that would train such instructors.

Trying to take advantage of “fine weather,” we developed and piloted a comprehensive program - The Academic Writing Center School of Trainers (The School). In order to ensure successful training, the School was planned as an interactive, reflective, experiential, and goal-oriented professional development course. The School content was built around two key areas that writing instructors need to develop - writing competence and training skills. The trainees were exposed to a range of training techniques, which they were encouraged to analyze and reflect upon in order to prepare their final product: academic writing self-study materials, workshops, or course syllabi for academics. The learning-to-write-through-writing approach involved all stages of process writing, peer and mentor feedback, scaffolded exploration of theory, and a lot of practice.

In this workshop, we will share our experience of running the School, principles it was built on, and trainees’ feedback we received. In addition, we will do a short demo of one of the School sessions so that the workshop participants form a full picture of the School. The session is aimed as an illustration of how the principles that underpinned the School design and content were implemented in our work. The workshop attendees will actively participate in the demo session and discuss the applicability of the School principles in their own educational contexts.

Presenters: Tatiana Golechkova and Svetlana Suchkova.

Tatiana Golechkova, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor at New Economic School, Moscow, and teacher-trainer. She holds full Cambridge Delta and has broad experience in teaching ERPP to academics and ESAP to undergraduate and graduate students. Her areas of special interest include effective academic communication, genre features, and sociocultural peculiarities of English academic texts.

Svetlana Suchkova, Ph.D., Associate Professor, is a teacher trainer and materials developer. Currently, she directs the Academic Writing Center at HSE University. She authored a number of course books for university students and researchers. Her areas of expertise are writing for research and publication purposes, public speaking, and teacher training.

Teaching novice writers generic and disciplinary-specific academic writing conventions: Approaches to a syllabus design

Teaching practice presentation by Tanja Gradečak and Mirna Varga,
University of Osijek

The “publish or perish” pressure young researchers are facing at the very onset of their careers is a good incentive to approach academic writing in English as a necessary skill in any academic career. However, lack of structured training prior to entering academic institutions is a very frequent occurrence in Croatia. The paper discusses teaching academic writing to novice writers in English at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Osijek, Croatia, which offers diverse study programs spanning social sciences and humanities. More specifically, it aims to show the challenges and solutions in designing and implementing a syllabus aimed to cover all initial requirements young researchers have to meet when writing research articles in English. The syllabus design followed the genre-based and the corpus-informed approaches to academic writing. The former focused on teaching some generic features of academic English (e.g., academic vocabulary, hedging devices, citation formats) and the rhetorical structure of a research article (moves structure across the IMRAD, the phraseology of moves, etc.) followed by examining their use in specific disciplines. The discipline-specific writing conventions were analyzed by employing the corpus-informed approach to academic writing; i.e. by having participants compile the personal corpora of research articles (Charles, 2014) in their respective disciplines and analyze the features of academic writing style previously discussed at the generic level. Thus, our twofold methodological approach was expected to familiarize novice writers with some fundamental characteristics of academic written discourse in English and raise their awareness of how these are employed in their disciplines. The teaching methodology presented here may be beneficial to academic writing instructors in designing a uniform training course, especially when tackling the diversity of students' disciplinary writing conventions.

Presenters: Tanja Gradečak and Mirna Varga.

Mirna Varga is a teacher of English and German languages and holds a Ph.D. in English linguistics. She has been teaching academic English at the University of Osijek for the last 16 years, mainly to undergraduates majoring in social sciences. Her primary research interest is academic discourse in English and Croatian.

Tanja Gradečak is Associate Professor at the Department of English, University of Osijek, Croatia. Her principal interests lie in teaching Academic English, Cognitive Linguistics, and teaching English to older adult learners.

Differences in structuring Russian and English academic texts: Techniques for text analysis

Teaching practice presentation by Alexander Grebennikov,
ITMO University

Currently, the scientific community seems to be like an enormous buzzing hive aggregating new knowledge through active publication activity of its members. Over the previous five years universities globally have changed their approaches to teaching writing as this competence appears to be crucial for research promoting and funding. In Russian universities, English academic writing courses pedagogy generally stands on work with authentic academic texts of high language quality. Writing instructors and students analyze text structure, vocabulary, and grammar patterns in detail and reveal a set of formal writing rules to follow. However, having mastered these rules to a certain level of proficiency many Russian students still continue to overlook the structural differences between the languages. This results in language interference and negatively affects the quality of their research papers. 

The presentation is aimed at identifying the most common and challenging issues for Russian speakers in transferring their academic texts from Russian into English and the ways to tackle those issues in teaching academic writing. The challenges include:

  • excessive use of the so called “empty” words
  • wordiness at phrase and sentence levels
  • logical stress.

To avoid and be able to overcome the difficulties, writers should have a clear idea about the difference in structural and expressive ways of both Russian and English used for academic purposes. The presentation includes an instructor-guided analysis of some Russian academic texts and their English versions in terms of the above-mentioned issues. It is aimed at presenting the techniques of transferring Russian academic texts into English effectively.  Given the fact that students’ vocabulary and grammar are developed enough, those structural and expressive ways should be the main emphasis in academic writing teaching practices.

Presenter: Alexander Grebennikov, Ph.D. in linguistics, graduated from St. Petersburg State University in 1995. His professional and research interests include lexicography, statistical methods in linguistics and test research, academic English, ESP, linguistics, and translation. 

Major challenges in academic writing: Faculty survey

Research paper presentation by Natalie Gridina,
HSE University

The purpose of this research is to examine academic writing challenges that HSE University scholars encounter. The study employs such methods as online interviews and surveys that were completed by HSE faculty from a wide range of departments. I surveyed two groups of non-native scholars:  English majors (linguists) and majors of other disciplines (non-linguists) to compare the results.  Quantitative data has been analyzed to answer the research questions: (a) To what extent do academic writing challenges of HSE linguists and  non-linguists differ? (b) What are the ways to resolve them? Open-ended and multiple-choice questions address such issues as professional perceptions of academic writing, major challenges of writing in English, causes of the challenges, coping strategies, and learning habits.  

 Preliminary results indicate that there is general agreement among the scholars of HSE University considering the ways of coping with the problems. However, there are some discrepancies in the perception of the issue. The study argues that there are factors at the personal, professional, and supervision levels that contribute to the gap between the two mentioned groups. Although the low response rate could limit generalizability of the responses, the study attempts to compile a list of L2 academics’ challenges in academic writing in English. This information might be useful for creating support programs to help scholars to overcome the problems of academic writing. The findings can also be used for planning further research in the area of writing for publication and pedagogical design of professional development programs for academics.

Presenter: Natalie Gridina, Ph.D. in linguistics. She is an associate professor at HSE University. She holds CELTA and LCCI Certificate for teachers of Business English (with Merit). Natalie has been working for different universities since 1997. Her major interests are cognitive linguistics, morphothematic analysis, corpus of English, microeconomics, and analysis of big data.

Step-by-step guidelines for Ph.D. students and academics on writing research papers

Teaching practice presentation by Yana Gudkova,
Southern Federal University

Now international university communities follow clear policies on enhancing publication activity among their staff. Southern Federal University offers courses for both Ph.D. students and academics, which include a module "Writing Research Papers in English." The module is aimed at raising  researchers’ awareness of genre characteristics typical of research papers in sciences. The module provides general step-by-step guidelines on the research-writing process and the design of each section of a research paper. It is emphasized that the format and layout of the paper should meet the requirements of the targeted journal. It is also highlighted that  word-for-word translation from Russian into English leads to crucial misunderstanding as the word order in these languages is different.  By the end of the course, participants are expected to write a paper, which would be later submitted to an international highly ranked journal.

To achieve this goal, the text-based approach is used to teach general features that characterize different text types, their structure and various aspects of writing, including degrees of formality, personal voice, and linguistic accuracy. We find it helpful to provide course participants with text models of contrasting registers for analysis. As for writing and language issues, the course addresses such challenges as writing a thesis statement, using transitions to ensure unity and coherence, making the text succinct and easy to read, choosing appropriate tense forms, using active or passive voice, etc. The course also employs the process-based approach, which involves such stages as prewriting, drafting, polishing the text, and peer review. 

The presenters will share writing strategies and techniques they use as well as some of the guidelines that could be applicable in various teaching contexts regardless of writers’ professional fields.

Presenter: Yana Gudkova, Candidate of Science in philology, is an associate professor at the Department of English for Sciences at Southern Federal University. Yana is the author of more than 20 publications. Her research interests are lexical and grammatical antonymy in modern English, and approaches and methods in language teaching.

Efficient tools for automation in academic writing

Research paper presentation by Ekaterina Isaeva,
Perm State University

Globalization of research and education has become a pervasive theme in modern society, and higher educational establishments are to tackle this challenge if they aim to be competitive in the international context. However, the problem of the faculty’s poor preparation for communicating their research results in a foreign language is not solved easily. In this case, automation tools based on artificial intelligence would contribute to improving the quality of academic writing. 

We attempted to research the efficiency of open source online services and desktop applications based on natural language processing and machine learning for professional academic writing in English. In the theoretical part of the paper, we overview existing tools of such kind (more than 20 in total), based on the description of their functionality in literature and developers’ tutorials. Most of such tools have user-friendly interfaces. We evaluate their applicability for the Russian-speaking scientist in terms of the apps’ specificity (vocabulary for general purposes, terminology, grammar, content, etc.), text level (whole text, section, separate paragraph/sentence/word), automation features (full or semi-automation, editing options), and feedback provision (simultaneous, consecutive). The empirical part is focused on the case-based illustration of how the tools can be  implemented to generate an automated academic text. The results and conclusions contain recommendations for the usage of tools for academic writing automation depending on the needs of a potential user. 

We also provide feedback from both translators and non-professional English language users. We believe that these tools should be built into training courses on writing to show the user a variety of options to automate some of their routine, e.g. grammar check or managing bibliographies, to instruct the user how to install useful applications on their computers, to provide real-life practices, and to develop skills of using these instruments for specific purposes.

Presenter: Ekaterina Isaeva, Ph.D. in linguistics, is Head of the Department of English for Professional Communication, Perm State University. Ekaterina teaches several MA courses including Academic and Professional Communication in a Foreign Language, Written Foreign Language Communication in the Professional and Academic Sphere, International Research Proposal. Her interests include сognitive terminology, computer linguistics, and artificial intelligence.

"Nulla dies sine linea" or how Russian researchers self-regulate their academic writing

Research paper presentation by Natalia Ivanova-Slavianskaia,
Saint-Petersburg State University

With the Russian government’s initiatives encouraging researchers to participate in international conferences and to publish their research results in international journals, there is a need to develop researchers' abilities in English academic writing. To achieve this, it is necessary to create training programs that could address the challenges researchers face while writing research papers in English. The way researchers self-regulate their English academic writing may influence their ability to cope with the challenges. Thus, the use of self-regulating writing strategies may enable Russian researchers to increase their engagement in international publications. 

This presentation reports on a study that is aimed at investigating how researchers in Russia self-regulate their academic writing. The study explores the repertoire of self-regulated writing strategies that Russian researchers use. It also looks at whether there is any statistically significant relationship between the use of the strategies and the researchers' publication activity. The participants (Russian L1, English L2) are researchers and teachers working at Russian universities and research institutes. The Writing Strategies for Self-Regulated Learning Questionnaire (WSSRLQ) is being administered to the participants. The data then is going to be considered alongside the participants' engagement in international publications, which is also being collected through the questionnaire. The data are analyzed with the help of the SPSS software (descriptive statistics and correlation analyses) to provide evidence of the statistically significant correlation between the way Russian researchers regulate their writing and their participation in international projects and publications. This means that the results may predict whether the Russian researchers’ use of self-regulated writing strategies can inform their decision and their ability to participate (or to opt out of the participation) in the international conferences or publications. The results are discussed, and the implications for the pedagogy of English academic writing at Russian higher education establishments are considered.

Presenter: Natalia Ivanova-Slavianskaia. She is an associate professor at the International Relations Department (SPBU, Russia), reading ESP and Academic Writing courses. In 2018, Natalia completed an MSc course in Applied Linguistics at Oxford. As a topic of her Master's dissertation she explored how Russian learners self-regulate their English academic writing. For more than 10 years Natalia has also been working as a Cambridge Assessment examiner.

Research writing: Experience of online course design

Teaching practice presentation by Evgeniya Khabirova,
South Ural State University

The presentation aims to describe the design of an online course on writing research articles and discuss its effectiveness for developing faculty members’ writing skills. The Introductory Course on Writing Research Articles offers a comprehensive introduction to the stages of writing a research article, its structuring and formatting in accordance with the requirements of high-ranking journals indexed in Scopus and Web of Science. Another teaching objective of the course is to expose participants to linguistic and stylistic features of the research article genre and help them to master terminology and clichés of scientific writing. The course is intended for academics with a basic or a pre-intermediate level of English; therefore, it is delivered in Russian with the help of Russian-English reference books and machine translation tools. The model samples in the IMRaD format are presented in English accompanied by the Russian translation. Each class of the course syllabus covers a particular section of an article; the samples are thoroughly analyzed in terms of structure and typical clichés. 

 The course was delivered to the academics of the South Ural State University (SUSU) on its education portal in 2020. The attendees’ level of English was A1–A2 according to the CEFR. Their research fields varied:  Materials Science, Chemistry, Archeology, Architecture, Geology, Sociology, Law, International Relations, etc. We developed a set of selection criteria to form the group of participants and conducted a pre-course survey. The course effectiveness was measured by participants’ feedback and the number of successful submissions of research articles to the top-tier journals. 

I will share the results of the pre-course survey, provide an overview of the course, and describe the follow-up tasks of the course. I am inviting conference participants to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of online writing courses and share their experience of designing course syllabi for learners with low language proficiency.

Presenter: Evgeniya Khabirova, Ph.D. in philology. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages and Head of the Academic Writing Office at South Ural State University.  Her research interests include cognitive linguistics, professional communication, and academic writing. Evgeniya is a member of the Association of Academic Writing Experts “National Writing Centers Consortium.”

Switching from local to international academic writing requirements

Research paper presentation by Irina Khoutyz,
Kuban State University

The purpose of this study is to identify the differences in Russian and English-language academic writing traditions and draw attention to the main principles of international academic writing requirements. The research relies on the contrastive rhetoric theories concerned with explaining how rhetorical traditions are conditioned by culture and reflected in the second language (Connor 1996, 2011; Kaplan 1966; Mauranen, 1993). To achieve the purpose of the research, at first, six research articles (RA) in English and six RAs in Russian were analyzed. The analysis relied on the methodology described by Suresh Canagarajah (2002) and consisted in contrasting the representation of discursive dimensions in RAs in Russian and English. These dimensions are: writer / reader responsibility; content / form orientation; the level of reader’s engagement. The differences in academic writing were classified and systematized. At the second stage of the study, the research corpus was expanded and began to include RAs in Linguistics from two collections published by universities: one in Russian (323 p.) and one in English (256 p.). The contrastive analysis was conducted with the focus on the dimensions mentioned above and verified the results obtained at the first stage of the research. Both stages of the study demonstrated that for Russian authors to comply with the international academic publishing requirements, it is essential to adopt a writer-responsibility approach together with a form orientation and actively engage the reader in the construction of their discourse. The results of the research clearly identified the main challenges for non-native speakers of English when presenting their research to global audiences and can be used as guidelines for authors to switch from local to international academic writing requirements.

Presenter: Irina Khoutyz. She is a professor at Kuban State University. Her research interests lie in the area of discourse studies and pragmatics, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, cross-cultural and academic communication. Her most recent publications in English include “Storytelling in English and Russian-language lecture discourse” and “Verbalization of cultural communication traditions in academic discourse.”

The role of the scientific journal in improvement of English-language articles’ quality

Research paper presentation by Anna Kireenko,
Baikal State University

Russian universities are trying to promote their scientific journals in international citation bases and are making attempts to publish their journals in English. This study hypothesized that such a journal published in English can facilitate improvement of the overall quality of articles and stimulate publication activity of the faculty. We sought to answer the following questions: 

  1. Does publication of a Russian university journal in English affect publication activity of the university faculty, and the academic community in general? 
  2. What are the impediments to publishing articles by Russian authors in English?
  3. How can the experience of an English-language journal editorial board help to improve the contributors’ writing skills? 

The experience of the Journal of Tax Reform, published jointly by the Ural Federal University and Baikal State University since 2015 and indexed in the Web of Science, has been analyzed. The study used both quantitative and qualitative methods. Using bibliometric methods, a comparison was made between the publication profile of the Journal of Tax Reform’s contributors and the publication profile of authors who publish mainly in the Russian-language journals on similar subjects. The bibliometric analysis was carried out according to the following indicators: distribution of articles, author cooperation, length of articles, and citations. Also, various articles published in the journal were compared with regard to their structure and organization: the title, abstract, keywords, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusions. To answer the second and the third research questions, a survey of researchers from various universities was conducted to evaluate their willingness and motivation to improve their writing skills under the supervision of the journal editorial board. Our findings indicate that the lack of language proficiency is not the main handicap to publishing an article in English. Based on the obtained results, we offer recommendations to potential contributors of articles in English, editorial boards, and university administrations.

Presenter:  Anna Kirienko. She graduated from the Irkutsk Institute of National Economy with a major in Economics of Labor in 1989. She holds a Ph.D. degree (Candidate of Science in economics),  a Doctor of Economics degree in finance, and a Master's degree in law.  Anna did internships at universities in St.Petersburg (Russia), Sophia Antipolis (France), and George Washington (USA).

Teaching writing for research publication purposes: The metalinguistic approach

Research paper presentation by Irina Korotkina,
Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

In Russia, like in other countries where academic writing has not been taught until recently, the interest in its methodology was triggered by the problems encountered by academics under the institutional pressure to “publish or perish.” Solutions to these problems have been sought through English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP), but ERPP can help only partially in a country with poor command of English. The decade-long comparative study supported by the author’s extensive teaching practice in a number of leading Russian universities, and more recently in Central Asia, demonstrates that metadiscursive skills developed in ERPP (Flowerdew, Li, 2020) and rhetorical conventions developed in rhetoric and composition (Lynn, 2010; Bean, 2011) are metalinguistic and transferable and could therefore be equally effectively developed in the native tongue. The metalinguistic approach merges anglophone methodology with the content in Russian, which involves wider audiences and takes shorter time. The methodology was defended in the author’s doctoral dissertation; the methodology provides the basis for introducing academic writing into the national system of education and fosters more in-depth research in the field. Teaching writing in Russian has proven effective in seminars and professional development courses for academics across and beyond Russia and recently implemented in an online course Writing for Research Publication Purposes, designed at the RANEPA Academic Writing and Communication Center and currently run for researchers and editors. The new format can help cover even wider audiences and contribute to the quality of not only international but also national publications in Russia and post-Soviet spaces where Russian is the lingua franca of academic communication.

Presenter: Irina Korotkina, Professor, Ph.D. (Doctor of Science in education). She is the Director of Academic Writing and Communication Centre, RANEPA, and Dean of Interdisciplinary Department of English, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. Irina is an expert in academic writing methodology in both English and Russian with over 80 publications in the field, 11 of which are books.

Online training courses to enhance academic writing skills

Teaching practice presentation by Natalya Kubrakova,
Saratov State University

The ongoing analysis and assessment of academic papers (essays, summaries, conference proposals, abstracts, and articles) produced by students within the annual academic writing contest and students’ conference, held by the Chair of English for the Humanities of Saratov State University, showed that participants often lack essential academic writing skills. This, undoubtedly, results from the insufficient number of English classes on university curriculum for non-linguistic majors. To compensate for the shortage, university teachers can design extra-curricular online training courses for university students to improve their academic writing skills. 

The presentation looks at two online training courses aimed at improving the skills of summarizing and describing visuals. The courses employ product-oriented and genre approaches and have been created with the use of Moodle learning management system. The tasks rely on students’ independent work and can be done whenever it is convenient for students. The degree of complexity of the activities increases throughout the courses. The courses are based on the author’s vast experience of assessing multiple students’ works. While setting the learning objectives and designing the tasks, the author took into consideration basic cognitive processes and knowledge dimensions, and, therefore, this approach can be used for designing similar courses on teaching other aspects of academic writing.

The presentation mainly covers various types of activities that help course participants learn better practices of summarizing and describing visuals. Since the activities focus on most common issues academic writers encounter, such tasks can be used by practitioners teaching university faculty who strive for successful publications.

Presenter: Natalya Kubrakova. She is an Associate Professor at the Chair of English for the Humanities of Saratov State University. She teaches English to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in psychology, jurisprudence, and pedagogy. She also teaches courses of Business English and Academic English.

Why is it a good idea for a researcher to become a reviewer?

Teaching practice presentation by Valeria Kurmakaeva and Varvara Sosedova,

Peer review has been the main means of subjecting an author’s scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of experts in the same field for decades. Why is it important? The answer is simple: peer review is the main guardian of scholarly ethics and research quality. So, it is an important domain not only for journals, but also researchers. The more a researcher knows about peer reviewing and editing, the easier s/he succeeds as an author. 

From journals’ perspective, now that the number of manuscripts is rapidly growing, there is a greater need for more reviewers, and the task of finding relevant specialists is becoming more complicated. From authors’ perspective, it is important to cultivate productive relationships with quality journals, and being a reviewer is an efficient way to attain the goal. 

Where can these reviewers be found and what can motivate a researcher to get involved in this work? The aim of our presentation is to give insights into the peer reviewing process to improve both the peer review skills and scientific writing skills. Our presentation is based on the findings of the Publons State of Peer Review 2018 Survey, which was conducted among 11,838 reviewers, and data from Web of Science and ScholarOne (the study mainly concentrates on international journals). We focus on three questions: who reviewers are, how much review work they undertake, and what researchers think of it all. We would like to share our belief with the conference participants: researchers can benefit from peer review experience, improve their scientific writing skills, and publishing efficiency.

Presenters: Valeria Kurmakaeva and Varvara Sosedova.

Valeria Kurmakaeva, Ph.D. from Moscow Linguistic University, worked as Associate Professor at HSE University and MGIMO University. Now Valeria works as Regional Solutions Consultant at Clarivate.

Varvara Sosedova did a post-graduate course in Moscow State Linguistic University, worked as Associate Professor at MGIMO University. Now Varvara works as Regional Solutions Consultant at Clarivate.

Why is interest in writing centers growing worldwide?

Plenary session by Ron Martinez,
University of Arkansas

The term “writing center” has long been familiar in North American higher education, but more recently such centers have become established on nearly every continent. What has driven this trend? I will draw on recent personal experiences in the context of South America and Russia to illustrate not only why the interest in writing centers has blossomed, but also how centers outside North America may be re-writing existing practices and beliefs around writing centers – and why that is probably a good thing.

Presenters: Ron Martinez is Associate Editor of the Oxford University Press journal Applied Linguistics and holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Nottingham (UK). Dr. Martinez has lectured on subjects related to vocabulary and writing at several universities, including the University of Oxford and UC Berkeley, and his current research interests center on English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP) as well as English Medium Instruction (EMI). He is the founder of Brazil’s first postgraduate-focused writing center, located at the Federal University of Parana, and currently coordinates the new Academic Writing and Research Development (AWARD) program supported by the U.S. Embassy and the state science and technology funding agency SETI in Brazil. Under the U.S. Department of State’s English Language Specialist Program, in 2020-2021, Dr. Martinez was invited to create and deliver a program for Russian academic writing programs called “Teaching Genre in the Writing Center.” Now at the University of Arkansas, Ron is working on implementing new writing for research publication support programs for international students. 

Don't think of writing, think of cooking: Re-genring academic genres

Workshop by Ron Martinez,
University of Arkansas

If "genre" is taken to mean a kind of conventionalized social practice, then written genres can be viewed through a lens that is similar to the way one engages in other genres, be they music, theater, dance and so on. In this workshop, I will invite participants to rethink how they see writing practices, with a view to helping others -- such as students learning to write – and to share ways of making writing more familiar or accessible to learners. After all, students are often able to verbalize what distinguishes one genre of cinema from another (e.g., documentary vs. action movie) or what characterizes one genre of dance compared to another (e.g., breakdance vs. waltz). Moreover, the dialogic and social constructs that underlie such practices are not unlike those that drive the genres we write in. What may perhaps be different, from the perspective of those who are trying to gain more autonomy and agency with written genres, is the degree of experience they have had as an "author" in those genres or at least as a "spectator" of them. Thus, borrowing the term "re-genring" (English, 2013) as a useful conceptual framework, I will posit that engaging students in notions of "genre" more broadly may be helpful in the teaching and learning of academic composition. 

Presenters: Ron Martinez is Associate Editor of the Oxford University Press journal Applied Linguistics and holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Nottingham (UK). Dr. Martinez has lectured on subjects related to vocabulary and writing at several universities, including the University of Oxford and UC Berkeley, and his current research interests center on English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP) as well as English Medium Instruction (EMI). He is the founder of Brazil’s first postgraduate-focused writing center, located at the Federal University of Parana, and currently coordinates the new Academic Writing and Research Development (AWARD) program supported by the U.S. Embassy and the state science and technology funding agency SETI in Brazil. Under the U.S. Department of State’s English Language Specialist Program, in 2020-2021, Dr. Martinez was invited to create and deliver a program for Russian academic writing programs called “Teaching Genre in the Writing Center.” Now at the University of Arkansas, Ron is working on implementing new writing for research publication support programs for international students. 

Reading effectively for academic writing

Workshop by Ekaterina Mashurova,
Education Centre "Fine" (Smolensk)

The workshop aims to provide participants with a set of practical reading and writing strategies necessary for publication. Effective writing starts with the ability to read effectively. Reading through seemingly incomprehensible texts, researchers channel their effort into achieving multiple academic purposes and managing their time wisely.  Such reading strategies as predicting, previewing, scanning and skimming, guessing meaning from context, paraphrasing and summarizing, evaluating weaknesses and strengths of others’ texts can result not only in better critical reading skills, but also can help researchers annotate articles and ensure their more confident academic writing.

Special emphasis is placed on strategies of rhetorical analyses which help researchers define what they need to read in the academic text and how to use it for their benefit. These analyses reveal how academic texts are put together; they also serve as models which can be broken down into smaller structures, adapted and applied to one’s own academic writing. The strategies include critical evaluation of academic texts; they help determine the author's position, test the validity of arguments presented and its conclusion, and examine writing strategies of the author. The linguistic part of rhetorical analysis enables researchers to select necessary grammar and sentence structures, style, vocabulary, and context cues. 

The workshop participants will practice specific reading strategies, which they can use in writing for publication or teaching others. Among the strategies are differentiating more important ideas from less important ones; using context to identify important ideas, words and concepts; describing details; working with chronology; comparing and contrasting ideas.

Presenter: Ekaterina Mashurova. She is an EFL teacher and participant of the IVLP program (US), who is currently the head of the educational center “Fine,” teacher-trainer, examiner, and curriculum developer.

Teaching writing through developing reading strategies

Teaching practice presentation by Olga Murashova,
Saint-Petersburg State Institute of Technology

Now academic writing is known to be an essential part of the higher education paradigm. It implies being skillful in writing in different genres: a research article, a scientific essay, a thesis, and others. Universities set the goal of enhancing their staff’s publication activity and look for ways of helping researchers feel more confident about writing.

In my view, the earlier learners are taught, the more prepared they are to deal with scientific writing. I would like to focus on developing freshmen’s reading skills that have a great impact on their writing academic texts or scientific texts in their future. Any publication or academic text shows how good an author is at picking up information from various texts, analyzing and evaluating it as well as expressing his/her thoughts in a written form. Considering all this to be important, it would be useful to develop reading and writing skills in English simultaneously.

My aim is to share my ideas about using reading-to-write tasks in order to engage all the necessary skills to be developed in the course of basic English. In my practice, I have noticed that learners face some difficulties in identifying the main idea of each paragraph and summarizing the text – the skills which are crucial for writing. Many learners may also fail to write an outline for their texts. In this presentation, I will show a model of teaching which combines using the same text as a pattern and as a source of information to write an essay. Moreover, the teaching process will help non-native speakers to improve their level of English. The model can be applicable in teaching any audience, including academics, as reading strategies that any writer’s success depends on are rather similar.

Presenter: Olga Murashova. She is a teacher of English at St. Petersburg State Institute of Technology. She is working toward her  postgraduate degree now. Olga’s interests include methods of developing academic literacy and cognitive skills.

Cross-cultural study of citation patterns in research proposals of novice writers

Research paper presentation by Irina Nuzha,
HSE University

Research writing at university is now increasingly considered a social act rather than just a communicative act (Lillis, 2001), and therefore a piece of academic prose reflects social practices of all parties of communication within academia, in particular, citation practices. The major factors that shape them are the following: discipline traditions (Hyland, 2010), genre specifics of a text, national rhetorical traditions, age of writers, and their experience as research writers. This study is focused on research proposals (RP) written by university graduates in two disciplines - economics and management. We have chosen this genre as it aims at demonstrating a novice writer’s knowledge of a research field in order to gain approval of their professional community when they apply for Masters’ and Ph.D. studies in English-speaking educational establishments. This genre also signifies the way young researchers communicate with global academia. 

The study aims to respond to the following questions:

  1. What do novice researchers refer to in their RP, and what linguistic tools do they use to cite others’ works in the Introduction sections of their RP?
  2. What patterns of citation do students of economics and management share, and in what way are they different?

For research purposes, the corpus of 100 research proposals in economics and management has been built. A new classification of citation patterns has been designed. We analyzed the number of citations in English and in Russian in the reference list to find out what knowledge is translated by novice writers. The dominant language of citation matters because it reflects epistemological traditions authors rely on while building their arguments. We also aimed to reveal if the dominant status of English as the lingua franca of science influences knowledge production and reproduction by novice authors. The results of the study show that:

  • the dominant status of English transforms the citation practices of novice writers who prefer to use English sources to support their argument
  • citation patterns mirror the epistemological traditions of constructing knowledge in economics and management; the two disciplines, which, on the one hand, share some features and, on the other, have differences
  • the most popular citation patterns novice writers use are integral and non-integral types of quotations
  • the authorial voice is communicated through almost the same linguistics mechanisms in economics and management 
  • citation practices undergo major transformation now, which has a dramatic impact on knowledge production in Russia. 

Considering that novice writers often become part of the university staff, this paper might provide new implications into writing development among researchers and faculty.

Presenter: Irina Nuzha. She has over twenty-five years’ experience in the ELT field (teaching, training, researching) and more than 20 publications including the ones on academic writing. Irina’s research interests area comprises corpora studies, testing and assessment, and research writing.

The benefits of co-teaching an academic writing course

Research paper presentation by Anna Opryshko,
Southern Federal University

There are three areas of knowledge which are interrelated in an academic writing course: academic writing, the English language, and learners’ scientific area. In the traditional mode of study (i.e. instructor-student) both parties of the educational process commonly lack knowledge in one of these areas. English instructors normally have knowledge and experience both in the English language and academic writing, but frequently they know nothing in the field of students’ scientific interest. Students do have some knowledge in their scientific field, but they may be less experienced in the language and writing. The main goal of an academic writing course is not only to teach how to write an article in English, but also to ensure the quality of information a student provides as a result of the obtained knowledge in his/her field. The quality and up-to-dateness of this information cannot be evaluated by an English instructor. 

So the question is how to help students to write an appropriate, publishable research article. Obviously, there is a need for a third party who can assess disciplinary content in students’ papers. Co-teaching is one of the possible ways to tackle this problem. Students do research in their native language under the guidance of scientific supervisors.  The scientific supervisors may play the role of co-instructors responsible for giving advice on the literature in the field and evaluating the quality of information.  If these colleagues from discipline areas are proficient in English, they may take an active part in those classes which are focused on the discussion of the articles written by students. Who benefits? Everyone who is engaged in the academic writing course: English instructors, discipline co-instructors, and students. A preliminary survey among students and instructors has shown great interest in such collaborative work. Scientific supervisors have pointed out that their engagement in collaborative work within academic writing courses might allow them and their students to get published in international journals.

Presenter: Anna Opryshko, Ph.D. She is an associate professor at the Institute of Computer Technologies and Information Security of Southern Federal University. Anna’s research interests are theory and methodology of teaching foreign languages in higher education (non-linguistic specialities)  and information technology in education.

Writing across cultures: Supporting EAL students to develop their discipline-specific academic literacy

Plenary session by Karen Ottewell,
University of Cambridge

My thirteen years’ experience of working with international students at the University of Cambridge has shown me that difficulties with writing at this level are far less likely to be simply "language issues" than to be manifestations are something arguably far trickier – but thankfully much easier to address more quickly – namely, the impact of rhetorical transfer. This is where the student writes in English but using the rhetorical assumptions and approach of their first language.

As part of a recent research project, I surveyed and interviewed academics and postgraduates at the University, both L1 and L2, to test both the veracity of this concept of rhetorical transfer as well as to understand what, from their perspective, constitutes the pivotal criterion of "clearly written," which is the University’s requirement for writing submitted for assessment. Their responses were unequivocal and unanimous: yes, rhetorical transfer is a valid concept that goes a long way to explaining the difficulties L2 postgraduates face and the most important component of "clearly written" is argument.

"Clearly written" is clearly far greater than the sum of its two lexical parts, and it is also language-dependent as not all languages prize the same features. Equally, argument, something which is quintessential to academic writing, is also, arguably, an extra-linguistic feature, yet it is bound up with the rhetorical heritage of the language in question. In my teaching, I therefore get students to reflect on what’s going on behind the writing so that they can consider the assumptions they are making about the construction and structure of argumentation in English – and this approach has proven to be instructive.

In this session, I will present an overview of the theoretical principles which underpin this approach, provide an overview of the results of my recent research, and will conclude with a discussion of practical strategies to support students to develop their written academic literacy.

Presenter: Karen Ottewell is the Director of Academic Development & Training for International Students section at the University of Cambridge, which provides training to assist international students in further developing and honing the skills required to succeed in an English-speaking academic context.

Getting Published: Pitfalls to Overcome

Workshop by Karen Ottewell,
University of Cambridge

"Publish or Perish!" is an all too well-known mantra for those in academia – for seasoned academics and novices alike. Like writing, nothing can take all of the pain of the process – you just have to go through it and come out the other side. But what I hope to do in this session is to provide a roadmap to writing for publication – focussing on the key reason that research doesn’t get published – namely, there’s no argument.

Based on a session of a similar name that I deliver to graduates at Cambridge, I’ll be providing an overview of the publishing process and what to consider, but the focus will be on how to get an article written, which primarily involves getting your argument into shape.

Presenter: Karen Ottewell is the Director of Academic Development & Training for International Students section at the University of Cambridge, which provides training to assist international students in further developing and honing the skills required to succeed in an English-speaking academic context.

Research at the Departments of Foreign Languages

Roundtable by Tatiana Permyakova,
Southern Federal University

The Department of Foreign Languages at HSE University – Perm is inviting conference participants to join a round table on “Research at the departments of foreign languages.” The purpose of the round table is to explore questions in managing research at the departments, whose research mission is more than often seen as secondary to teaching and service. Currently, many departments of foreign languages are understaffed. If staffed, their research output is often below key academic productivity indicators. We view the problem from the perspective of EAP teachers’ development as the shift in educational paradigms – from traditional, through progressive, to critical (Bingham & Biesta, 2010). By discussing open questions, we intend to critically analyze the underlying issues and suggest solutions such as setting the agenda for collaborative networking or possible trajectories for EAP pedagogical transitions.

The questions for discussion may include but are not limited to:

  1. What are the issues of managing research at the departments of foreign languages? What are their possible causes?
  2. What are the steps undertaken to resolve the issues? To what degree are they effective?
  3. What are the possible ways to improve research performance? 
  4. What are the best practices and success stories regarding research at the departments of foreign languages? What benchmarking is available?
  5. If not research, what are the sources and drivers for foreign languages departments’ development at a research university?

The working language is Russian.

Moderator: Tatiana Permyakova, Ph.D. She is a Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages, HSE University (Perm, Russia). Her research interests are intercultural communication theories, discourse analysis with emphasis on EFL and ELT situations, English for specific purposes, and professional and business communication.

Raising learners’ awareness of signposting intricacies

Teaching practice presentation by Elena Petrova,
HSE University

Signposting is taken for granted by those who are aware of it and is neglected by those who see it as “a waste of time” and “mechanical repetition.” One of the aims of the presentation is to dispel that myth and raise people’s awareness of the facilitating function of signposting. Signposting is relevant for those who consider delivering lectures, making presentations in English, or introducing cohesion and coherence into their academic writing endeavours. Coherence manifests itself in internal references to indicate the direction of the argument and cohesion is “the network of lexical, grammatical and other relations which link various parts of the text and help organize it” (Bennett, 2009). To some extent, a clear structure of an article depends on the author’s “navigation system” (signposting). Another goal of the presentation is to share the workshop teaching experience of addressing the two most common challenges when it comes to signposting: repetitive language (the use of the same words and phrases to connect ideas) and incorrect application of more sophisticated signposting language. The workshop the presentation is referring to was delivered online in October, 2020. It looked into differences between synonymous words and phrases. It covered both lexical and grammar aspects of signposting. The presentation will conclude with considerations to be taken into account for further workshops on the topic. These considerations result from the workshop participants’ responses to a feedback survey.

Presenter: Elena Petrova. She is an Associate Professor of English at HSE University with extensive experience in teaching ESP. She holds an international certificate in teaching English (CELTA). Elena’s professional interests are teaching foreign languages and translation studies.

Thematic issues of journals: Way to authors’ professional development

Teaching practice presentation by Victoria Pichugina,
HSE University

Journals that publish only thematic issues are extremely rare but very important both for readers and authors. Using the example of the journal Hypothekai on the history of an ancient pedagogical culture, we will try to show that such journals contribute to the professional development of writing instructors. Each issue of this journal is thematic; it usually combines research articles, book reviews, and translations of foreign scientific works. This allows the editorial board to expose the reader to views of the representatives of various scientific schools and research areas and to provide an interdisciplinary platform for scientific discussions about the history of this ancient pedagogical culture. 

For authors, this is an opportunity to become part of a research team that works for a year and creates a series of scientific texts. Strictly speaking, each issue of the journal Hypothekai is a team’s product when each author may write in more than one genre. The preparation of each issue of the journal is a special way of professional development of authors, which is based on multifaceted professional discussion in the modes of “author-reviewer,” “author-issue editor,” "reviewer-issue editor,” and “author-author.” In the near future, the fifth issue of Hypothekai will be released, and this allows us to speak of the existence of a unique experience in the formation of thematic issues with rotating issue editors, which can be useful for both authors and publishers.

Presenter: Victoria Pichugina, Doctor of Science in education. She is a professor of the Institute of Education, HSE University. She is also a leading researcher of the Institute for Strategy of Education Development of the Russian Academy of Education. Victoria is the editor-in-chief of the journal Hypothekai.

Overcoming “weak links” to support faculty in writing for publication

Teaching practice presentation by Irina Pluzhnik,
Tyumen State University

Striving for faculty’s publications in international peer-reviewed journals has brought the challenges of academic writing in English to the fore. The analysis of submitted articles drafts through the lens of my personal experience as a peer reviewer revealed the most critical “weak links,” i.e. the fragile areas that hinder effective publications. The first “weak link” consists in inappropriate use of academic English to clearly express ideas. The second concerns the mismatch with the style of written discourse, genre characteristics, and ethics. The third highlights methodological inconsistencies in presenting research findings and interpreting data. 

The aim of this teaching practice presentation is to share our experience of overcoming the “weak links” and to outline the methods and techniques to enhance the standards of the faculty’s written outputs. As a solution, the operational pedagogical model of successive eight steps with corresponding academic language samples was developed. Those steps include: posing a research question and defining the problem; writing a literature review; analyzing and interpreting data; rethinking what has been learned; answering the research question; reviewing the main points; drawing conclusions and discussing the implications; editing and submitting. We collected model samples for teaching learners to connect sentences, organize ideas into paragraphs and link paragraphs, group reasoning around the central idea, paraphrase, focus on the research question, get rid of irrelevant information, and edit and proofread the paper. The presenter will share various activities used with faculty members of the Law Department (n=10) during 60 one-hour sessions, after which eight participants successfully submitted their articles. We suggest that this model may be applied in other educational settings.

Presenter: Irina Pluzhnik, Doctor of Education. She is a professor and Deputy Director for International Links at the  Institute of State and Law, Tyumen State University. Irina is the author of 120 publications including five textbooks, four monographs, five articles indexed in WoS and Scopus databases. She is also an editorial  board member of the WoS journal The Education and Science.

Criteria of publishability in Scopus-indexed journals

Workshop by Natalya G. Popova,
Scopus Content Selection & Advisory Board (Russia)

Any text can be edited and polished almost endlessly. There is no such thing as a perfect text. Moreover, different journals have different requirements for the linguistic quality of their publications. While some editors feel duty-bound to only accept texts produced at a native-speaker level, others tend to welcome linguistic diversity and respect the authorial voices of non-Anglophone writers. An optimal solution lies somewhere in between. In this workshop, we will discuss such important questions in contemporary scientific communication as the variety of journals, their requirements, and article selection process. We will focus on necessary and sufficient criteria of publishability in international journals, including Scopus journals. We will also discuss the role of machine translation and the "human-in-the-loop" element in contemporary scientific communication. The participants will be offered practical assignments aimed at improving editing and proofreading skills. The workshop will be of interest to everyone involved in scholarly publishing: authors of research papers, editors of academic journals, instructors of academic English, translators, and proofreaders.

Presenter: Natalia Popova, Ph.D., is Vice-President of the Scopus Content Selection & Advisory Board (Russia), Ambassador of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Associate Editor of the international English-language journal “Changing Societies & Personalities” (Scopus, WoS), Member and Lecturer of the European Association of Scientific Editors (EASE) and the Association of the Scientific Editors and Publishers (ANRI-ASEP), translator and editor of scientific texts, author of books and articles on academic English.

Organizing research faculty training in CIS universities

Research paper presentation by Aigerim Raimzhanova,
Narxoz University

Research faculty training at post-Soviet universities is a topical subject that requires the assessment of various cases and fruitful exchange of ideas. Institutions in the Eurasian region simultaneously deal with numerous legacies and research development paradigms. One of the key issues is to find balance between trying to get into international rankings and sustainably developing the faculty. Another difficulty is bridging the gap between the internationally oriented faculty and those who require significant re-training for publishing articles in top peer-reviewed journals. 

Using the case of Narxoz University, the speaker will present some of the working administrative mechanisms, including training programs, comprehensive development of research activities, and ways of managing and organizing research processes at the university. Our experience shows that a university support system should include a Research Council, Young Researchers’ Council, and an institute of mentors. A well-thought-over framework of long-term professional development courses should be based on holistic interaction between the faculty, institutes, linguistic centers, and research departments. Academic training programs should focus on the structure of articles and strategies for writing literature reviews. 

The presenter is inviting conference participants to discuss effective forms of assisting faculty in conducting and publishing research.  This presentation is aimed to provide a platform for assessing common challenges and coming up with working models of motivating the research faculty at various universities.

Presenter: Dr. Aigerim Raimzhanova. She is Deputy Vice-rector for Academic Affairs at Narxoz University. Currently, Aigerim oversees research activities at Narxoz University and coordinates the research department, academic library, doctoral studies, and the linguistic center. Aigerim has teaching experience in Germany and Kazakhstan.

Writing academic titles: Most common mistakes Russian authors make

Workshop by Ekaterina Redkina,
Moscow Pedagogical State University

The title is what you see first when you start reading a research article. A good title is necessary for the search engines when your paper is being searched for. The system of Russian scientific and academic titles has its own tradition and formulaic phrases. As a result of language interference, when writing in English, Russian authors often experience difficulties, such as correct word order, appropriate use of theme and rheme, the use of articles and prepositions. There is also a number of mistakes, characteristic of Russian authors, for instance, excessive use of “of-phrases,” wordiness, ambiguity, word-for-word translation, stating the obvious, and others. 

During this workshop, the participants will develop a set of rules for writing a good title and will practice correcting the most common writers’ mistakes. We will finish by designing a list of do’s and don’ts that will serve participants as a road map for future writings. The workshop materials can be useful for post-graduate students, researchers, staff, and those interested in getting published. Rules and principles discussed will work not only for research paper articles, but also for academic papers or poster presentations.

Presenter: Ekaterina Redkina. She is a psychologist and a qualified English teacher with 14-year experience. She is a CELTA and Delta (M1-2) holder and a Fulbright scholar. Currently, she is giving lectures on TESOL and psychology and working as an English teacher at the Institute of International Education of Moscow Pedagogical State University. Her primary interests are CLIL, EAP, and psychology for ELT.

Linguistic landscape scholarship: Gateway to a writing center

Teaching practice presentation by Ruslan Saduov,
Bashkir State University

Writing centers are becoming increasingly popular in Russia. However, academic contexts differ in various schools, and organizing a Writing Center outside top schools might be problematic for several reasons. Difficulties arise on both sides of the aisle: the administration is often unwilling to fund writing centers, while the staff does not realize such a center could be a help. Consequently, writing centers are sometimes left to be small grassroots initiatives with limited staff and resources. However, it does not mean that writing centers do not have a better future in the Russian academia. We propose a case whereby a small group of researchers at Bashkir State University started what could be called a writing center.

The presidential grant funding a linguistic landscape study became an incentive to start a small help group, first for students and later for faculty. The incentive aims to assist writers to publish in better journals and stick to publication ethics. However, to date, the group functions are not yet fully clear to the faculty. Few colleagues address the group. Some use it to seek assistance in writing, while others reach out for advice about the choice of a journal only. There are also those who misunderstand the purpose of the group addressing it with requests such as to translate their article into English or to check grammar. The reason for few clients might be the fact that the faculty members are generally not motivated to publish. Most of them publish to meet the minimum requirements of their contracts. Publication in top journals is considered unnecessary, impossible, or expensive. In this respect, the group would like to have more support from the administration. Now the group encounters such problems as insufficient promotion of the group’s activity and lack of resources. In this presentation, I will share our experience of solving the problems and organizing events to develop learners’ academic writing skills.

Presenter:  Ruslan Saduov, Ph.D. He is an interpreter and translator, writing instructor, university teacher, and researcher. He teaches Speechwriting, Media and Political Linguistics, Translation Theory and Practice, Research Seminars, etc. Ruslan has won Russian Presidential grants and fundamental research fund scholarships. He is also a Fulbrighter and National Slovak Scholarship holder.

L2 scholars’ perception of research writing and publication process in English

Teaching practice presentation by Irina Shchemeleva,
HSE University

Today multilingual scholars experience various tensions when they write up their research: institutional regulations push them to publish a certain genre (research articles) in certain publication venues (high-ranking journals) and in a certain language (English). This paper-based presentation reports on the study of multilingual speakers’ perception of their research writing practices in English and in their local language – Russian, and the publication process in English. The study is based on interviews with 18 scholars from social sciences and humanities working in a leading university in Russia. The study discusses social factors influencing multilingual scholars’ choice of linguistic repertoire as well as their personal motivation to choose English as the main language of publication. The main research questions are:

  1. What are multilingual scholars’ publication practices: which languages do they use and what influences their choice?
  2. What is multilingual scholars’ perception of English as the language of publication and the publication process in English?

Special attention is given to their attitude to proofreading as part of the publication process.

The interview results suggest that from the participants’ perspective, the benefits they gain by publishing research in English seem to outweigh costs they experience in the process of writing and publishing. The study contributes to the on-going debate about the position of multilingual scholars in the competition to publish in top-rated journals, suggesting that the doctrine of linguistic injustice does not seem to be relevant for many participants. The results have implications for English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP) pedagogy since they reveal multilingual scholars’ needs that should be addressed by ERPP course designers and instructors.

Presenter:  Irina Shchemeleva, Ph.D. She is an Associate Professor and Dean of School of Arts and Humanities at HSE Campus in St. Petersburg. Her current research interests are in the field of academic English as a lingua franca and English for research publication purposes. She has published on topics related to ELF (ESP Today, 2019) and L2 scholars' research writing practices (JERPP, 2020).

A discounted row: How to reveal a predatory journal in Scopus

Teaching practice presentation by Andrei Shenin,
Narxoz University

This presentation is aimed at presenting mechanisms and tricks for assessing periodicals and revealing whether a certain journal is predatory. Among many highly authoritative journals there are periodicals of a dubious quality, and faculty in CIS universities can sometimes have difficulty in recognizing the differences. The criteria for assessing the journals, among others, include checking carefully:

  • the website of the periodical 

  • the membership in DOAJ, COPE, OASPA, STM

  • contact information and communication process with the editors

  • members of the editorial board, membership timeframe

  • the quality of the review process

  • the latest articles in the issues.

Conference participants will acquire the necessary tools of recognizing potentially predatory journals. The presentation will combine both theory and group practical assignments of spotting predatory journals. 

As Head of the Research Department at Narxoz, I constantly decline a number of journals that the faculty members send to me. For instance, we have recognized Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues (Q1 journal) as predatory long before Elsevier has officially included them in the discounted list. Sharing my expertise is important to me as part of my commitment to raising the bar in academic publishing in ex-Soviet countries.

Presenter:  Andrei Shenin, Ph.D. He graduated from Saratov State University and defended a doctoral thesis in history with the focus on the U.S. decision-making process in foreign policy. He has been working in Kazakhstan universities for the last four years, teaching IR and History. Now, Andrei heads the Research Department at Narxoz University.

Prepositional phrases in research papers

Research paper presentation by Elena Shpit,
Narxoz University

Research papers in different spheres of science and technology are characterized by a large number of complex noun phrases with a variety of pre-modifiers and post-modifiers. The Russian language, unlike English, has no pre-modifiers expressed by nouns (they are usually adjectives or participles). Trying to maintain the formality of the register and the meaning, novice Russian writers tend to transfer Russian academic style conventions into their English texts. This results in a high quantity of prepositional phrases after the head noun, which very often leads to a big number of words between the main word and the predicate. 

The present study is based on the previous ones that were aimed at revealing some discourse differences between the research paper abstracts written by international scientists in the field of Electromagnetic Compatibility (experts) and the abstract drafts by graduate and postgraduate students majoring in the specified discipline (learners).  The results of those studies demonstrated that the Passive Voice density, the number of words before the main verb, and the prepositional phrase density in learners’ texts considerably outnumber those features in experts’ texts. For example, the preposition “of” is used twice as often as in experts’ abstracts (118.6 versus 67.8). The current study will consider the whole texts of research papers of the above mentioned discipline. It aims to further the insight into the use of prepositional phrases,  identify the most common patterns of their overuse by learners, and consider their origin.  Moreover, we will also provide some advice and techniques that Russian writers could use in building compound noun phrases with pre-modifying nouns. The research methodology will be based on Contrastive Corpus Analysis and will involve the tools of corpus and computational linguistics such as Coh-Metrix, Gramulator, AntConc, etc.  The results of the study will provide quantitative and qualitative data to support empirical findings of Russian researchers (Korotkina I.B., Dobrynina O.L., etc.), and contribute to the existing knowledge of this particular linguistic phenomenon for their further implementation in academic writing instruction.

Presenter: Elena Shpit. She is an ESP instructor at an engineering university and works with Master's engineering students. She also helps the engineering department faculty with proofreading their manuscripts and occasionally gives advice on academic writing issues. Elena is also doing a Ph.D. course at Tomsk State Pedagogical University. Her research field is academic writing.

The power of rhetoric: Boosting competence in writing through the analysis of speeches

Workshop by Tatiana Skopintseva,
New Economic School

In linguistics, communication studies, and rhetoric, an oral or a written text is perceived as appropriate when it is suitable for a particular purpose, audience, and context. While much focus is currently placed on enhancing writing skills, and mastering oral performance skills is also given due attention, the connection between these two major kinds of discourse may not always be evident to scholars and writing instructors. To demonstrate the connectedness between an oral and a written discourse through the power of rhetoric, we have selected famous movie speeches which are recognized as excellent examples of well-planned, organized, and embellished rhetoric. By analysing how the four cognitively loaded prosodic units - pace, power, pitch, and pause (four Ps) – can be used in speeches, the workshop participants will be able to elicit the key message of a text, its composition, the actor’s rhetorical strategy and pragmatic intention, as well as the corresponding language means. 

Varying the four Ps and forming a meaningful inventory of the prosodic and language means, a speaker can highlight high-key and low-key information, mark paragraph boundaries, draw attention to the key points, and emphasize the syntactical structure of the text. 

During the workshop, we will provide examples of exercises based on movies and other speeches that can help boost writing skills. At the end of the workshop, the participants will be given a blank text to analyze, put proper punctuation and prosodic marks according to a given context and intended for a designated audience. Once the meaningful analysis is done, participants will be given an opportunity to express their vision by voicing the text and then comparing it with the original. We hope to receive a variety of individual interpretations and discuss what both written and oral rhetoric aim to achieve.

Presenter:  Tatiana Skopintseva. She is Chair of the Humanities and Languages Department at New Economic School in Moscow, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor from Moscow State Linguistic University. Tatiana is an IREX alumna (UPenn), a frequent IATEFL speaker and a former IATEFL PronSIG committee member; an invited speaker and teacher-trainer for Russian Universities and ELT organizations.

The skeleton in the closet: Developing a strong argument across a research paper

Workshop by Natalia Smirnova,
HSE University (St.Petersburg)

Writing a research paper generally requires one to argue and provide evidence to claims. At the same time, when we build an argument, we have the reader in mind, so that the paper gets accepted by the editor and reviewers. Building an argument is a complex task and writing instructors often face a set of challenges when teaching argumentation skills: What is the argument? How is it represented in the text? How can the author strengthen it?  

In my workshop, I draw on my writing for publication teaching experience with the AWC HSE University. The workshop aims at (a) unpacking what argument is in a research paper, (b) tracing argument markers in the text, (c) introducing a skeletoning activity as a way to explain writing instructors how to help research writers to develop a strong argument across the whole paper. 

The participants of the workshop will:

  • get familiar with the skeletoning activity as a way to capture the core argument in a paper (input session)

  • study two sample research papers written before and after the skeletoning activity and discuss the benefits of scaffolded argument building along research paper writing (training and discussion)

  • practice developing a skeleton for a sample paper to experience argument building and the emerging challenges (training). The training session draws on Kolb’s model of experiential learning cycle.   

The workshop is useful for professional development of writing instructors since teaching argumentation skills is key for any academic writing instruction. The key learning outcomes are: (a) understanding what counts as “argument” in academic writing, (b) how/why to scaffold argument building in writing instruction, (c) practice building an argument using a skeletoning model (algorithm) and then refining it.

Presenter: Natalia Smirnova, Ph.D. She is Associate Professor, Head of Department of Foreign Languages, HSE University, St.Petersburg, Russia. She researches issues surrounding academic writing for publication. Natalia is also interested in developing writing for publication pedagogies for multilingual scholars.

"Am I ignorant or is this badly written?": How to work with faculty from technical fields

Workshop by Ashley Squires,
New Economic School

Writing program instructors and writing center staff are often tasked with assisting their colleagues in fields vastly different from their own. This can prove especially daunting when writing professionals are working with texts that contain lots of field-specific jargon or mathematical equations. Often, faced with a highly technical text, writing professionals may find themselves asking the question in the title. In this workshop, I will argue for the critical role that writing professionals play in their interactions with diverse colleagues. Namely, writing professionals can serve as the face of the critical (but often overlooked) “educated non-specialist” audience for whom the most public-facing parts of the document – the abstract and introduction – should be intelligible. By reflecting on their own experience as a reader and asking strategic questions, writing professionals can assist their colleagues in creating texts that are more readable, that better announce their importance, and that are more likely to be cited. Additionally, based on my eight years of experience as a writing center director working with students and faculty in math-intensive disciplines, I will suggest three practical skills that writing professionals should develop as they prepare to instruct, consult with, or edit for their colleagues in highly technical fields: (a) reading for structure, (b) working with jargon, (c) reading math and statistics. We will then spend time discussing sample texts and role-playing interactions between writing consultant and author. By developing these skills, writing instructors and writing center consultants should develop greater confidence and credibility in their interactions with colleagues in diverse disciplines.

Presenter: Ashley Squires. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and is Director of the Writing and Communication Center at the New Economic School. She is the editor of Emerging Writing Research from the Russian Federation (WAC Clearinghouse, in press) and the author of Healing the Nation: Literature, Progress, and Christian Science (Indiana University Press, 2017).

Show me the way, and I’ll get on travel

Research paper presentation by Svetlana Suchkova,
HSE University

It is common knowledge that any educational program starts with the needs analysis. Educators learn about the language of proficiency of their target audience, their challenges, and requests. This information helps to develop a program that can fully satisfy the needs of its users. In order to provide client-oriented support, the Academic Writing Center has to have a detailed profile of its clients. To learn more about researchers’ needs, we have been running a diagnostic module “Finding Your Route to Research Writing” for a high-potential group of university researchers (n=300), the Center’s primary audience. The module aims to identify researchers’ language needs and challenges and help them to construct their own educational trajectory to become better research writers in English. 

The module consists of three activities, which allow the Center’s staff to assess researchers’ level of oral and written proficiency. The content for each activity has been chosen with the purpose of analyzing researchers’ difficulties and demands. The outcome of the module is personalized feedback to each participant about their level of English and recommendations for improvement.

Such incentives are beneficial not only for learners but also for the Center. The implementation of the module achieves the two-fold objective - to learn more about the clients’ needs and to show participants various opportunities the HSE University provides to cater to those needs. The analysis definitely helps the Center to widen the range of services and choose appropriate topics for educational events.

I will describe the activities of the diagnostic module and share the findings focusing on the dynamics of researchers’ needs through four years. The results may encourage other course designers to use the suggested way of guiding the development of researchers’ academic skills.

Presenter: Svetlana Suchkova, Ph.D., Associate Professor. She is a teacher trainer and materials developer. Currently, she directs the Academic Writing Center at HSE University. She authored a number of course books for university students and researchers. Her areas of expertise are writing for research and publication purposes, public speaking, and teacher training.

Pattern writing as a way to reduce language interference

Teaching practice presentation by Anastasia Teplyakova,
Lomonosov Moscow State University

The study of advanced writing class students’ papers shows that language interference is an arduous issue in L2 writing as it remains relevant at all levels. The types of L1 interference present in advanced learners’ texts are grammatical, lexical, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic interference. Inadequate syntactic structures and lexical choices make a text sound unnatural and may lead to ambiguity or distortion of meaning. The proposed teaching practice aims at enhancing writing skills by reducing the amount of negative transfer and diminishing the language interference problem. 

The practice includes four stages: exposure to model texts, raising awareness of academic writing features, translation activities, and pattern writing. Academic writing theory presentation is followed by translation exercises aimed at raising awareness of the word-for-word translation negative effect. Language choice for a very limited amount of translation is based on the analysis of frequent interference errors typical of Russians and the group’s needs analysis results. This stage includes showing similarities and differences between languages and showing areas of possible negative transfer. The last stage is writing sentences similar to a model sentence, using the same syntax, grammar, or lexis, and varying optional parts of the sentence. Model sentences contain patterns of interference difficulties specific for Russian learners in general and the patterns stemming from language interference errors of a particular group. 

The experiment was conducted at the journalism department of MSU, with five first- and third-year groups. The analysis of twenty students’ works (feature articles, interviews, restaurant reviews and course paper presentations) demonstrates the effectiveness of the practice as advanced learners use the patterns in creative writing tasks long after the pattern activity was conducted. The survey shows that both the translation stage and the pattern stage cater to students’ preferred learning styles as adult learners tend to compare the languages.

Presenter: Anastasia Teplyakova. She graduated from International University (Moscow) majoring in pedagogy, linguistics, translation and intercultural communication. Anastasia taught English at the School of Kitaygorodskaya from 2003 to 2018 and at HSE University from 2018 to 2020. At the moment, Anastasia works as a teacher of English at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Online course in academic writing for academic staff

Teaching practice by Ksenia Volchenkova,
South Ural State University

The desire of universities to raise their international profiles puts pressure on teaching staff to publish the results of their research in refereed journals although academics may experience lack of academic writing skills in English. In search of more efficient ways of providing teacher training in academic writing, the author offers an online course “My first academic paper in English” based on procedural pedagogy. The course consists of six modules that are aimed to lead the researchers through the process of writing the parts of their first research paper in the AIMRaDC format (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion). The author describes the structure and content of the online course and provides the results of its piloting in 2020/2021 academic year.  The course is delivered in a  blended format and comprises 36 hours of face-to-face teaching and 36 hours of online self-study work. The education technologies that are employed are peer learning, blended learning, and flipped classroom. 

Pre-course and after-course surveys show that the key challenges for 35 participants are changing their style of writing from reader-responsible to author-responsible; keeping the focus of writing and choosing appropriate academic vocabulary in English. The findings of this study can be useful for developing online courses in academic writing as part of continuing professional development of academic staff.

Presenter: Ksenia Volchenkova, Ph.D. in education. She is Head of Foreign Languages Department at South Ural State University. Her research interests are continuing professional development of the academic staff, EMI, academic writing, pedagogical design for online education, internationalization of tertiary education, and  integration of international students into university academic environment.

The way to a reviewer’s heart: What we look for in your article

Plenary session by Carolyn Westbrook,
British Council

Submitting a first (or second, or third!) article can be a traumatic experience! You think you have written a great article and then the reviewers either reject it or say it needs substantial revisions! This can be disheartening, to say the least, but it can also be quite detrimental to your self-confidence. What do you do? Do you try to address the reviewer’s comments and resubmit (assuming the article has not been rejected completely) or do you try for a different journal or do you throw away the paper and drown your sorrows? Of course, that depends on the reviewer’s feedback, but all of that trauma (or some of it, at least!) can be avoided by following a few key guidelines in the preparation of your study and your article.

This plenary will consider some of the areas that reviewers pay attention to when reviewing articles so that authors can take these into account when preparing and drafting an article in the hope that this will reduce the heartache that comes with a rejection. We will discuss some basic aspects of article writing as well as points to consider when submitting the article - considerations that many inexperienced authors fail to implement. We will also discuss what the options are when the reviewers send their feedback.

Presenter: Carolyn Westbrook, a Test Development Researcher at the British Council and a freelance teacher trainer.

Formerly an Associate Professor in EFL, she is a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer for over 25 years. She has a wide range of experience teaching and assessing General English, Business English, EAP and ESP.  

She has also been involved in Language Testing and Assessment for 15 years and has been involved in a number of testing and assessment projects. Her main research interests are in EAP and ESP testing.

Carolyn is the author of a number of books for Cambridge University Press and a number of additional materials for Cambridge University Press including promotional presentations and online teacher training materials. She has also co-authored a chapter on ESP testing (forthcoming) and has published in Journal of English for Academic Purposes and Language Teaching.

Packing 8000 words into 250 – or how to write a good abstract

Workshop by Carolyn Westbrook,
British Council

An abstract is defined as “a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of [an] article” (American Psychological Association, 2001, p.12). As simple as that may sound, writing an abstract can, in fact, be a challenge when there is so much to say but so few words in which to get across the importance of your article to the reader. Nonetheless, writing a good abstract is key to getting your article noticed and hooking readers in so they are interested enough to read the rest of your paper. But what should you include? What should you omit?

This workshop will look at the features of abstracts in journals. Participants will analyze several different abstracts and extract the key points then consider the similarities and differences across abstracts in different journals. We will consider what makes a good abstract and how we can use feedback from rejected (conference) abstracts to help us improve going forward.

Presenter: Carolyn Westbrook, a Test Development Researcher at the British Council and a freelance teacher trainer.

Formerly an Associate Professor in EFL, she is a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer for over 25 years. She has a wide range of experience teaching and assessing General English, Business English, EAP and ESP.  

She has also been involved in Language Testing and Assessment for 15 years and has been involved in a number of testing and assessment projects. Her main research interests are in EAP and ESP testing.

Carolyn is the author of a number of books for Cambridge University Press and a number of additional materials for Cambridge University Press including promotional presentations and online teacher training materials. She has also co-authored a chapter on ESP testing (forthcoming) and has published in Journal of English for Academic Purposes and Language Teaching.

Support for a novice writer: A three-tier approach

Teaching practice by Elena Yastrebova,
MGIMO - Moscow State Institute of International Relations

The paper examines the ways an EFL department of a university can support its faculty in writing a paper and getting it published. A three-tier, bottom-up “best practice” suggested is based on the author’s 10-year experience of teaching AW to students and teachers at MGIMO University.  A novice writer aiming at a publication in a journal or a selection of conference papers faces three main problems: what to write, how to write it, and how to get it published. The first two are similar to the problems of a university student on an academic writing course. Hence, the first tier is gaining hands-on experience at workshops on how to teach students to write a paper (essay, summary, review), then doing the actual teaching in class, assessment and analysis included. A great help is reflection sessions that bring to the fore the particular writing problems of the teacher. These sessions encourage teachers to benefit from teaching writing to students in two ways: (a) practice what you preach - write with your students; ( b) do research on how your students’ skills develop in your classroom. The second tier is gaining practical knowledge and skills of producing a paper: content-, structure-, and language-wise. To this aim a series of workshops for teachers of English at the School of International Relations have been conducted as part of an “in-house” refresher course. The workshops focus on (a) practical aspects of English for Academic Purposes, (b) research paper requirements (IMRAD format), (c) analysis of published papers on applied linguistics. The third, getting published, stage, is one-to-one tutorials for teachers intending to write a paper and get it published. Individual classroom research or a collective endeavour to research a particular issue provide content for a paper. Tutorials are customized and give support from conception to birth: what and how to research, what journal to write for, how to write, self-review, edit, submit and finally see it in print. This approach contributes to meeting the target set for university teachers: having at least one paper published every three years; the papers mostly get published in conference proceedings. The talk will provide insight into challenges, pitfalls, and rewards of each tier.

Presenter: Elena Yastrebova, Ph.D. in education. She is a Professor at the English Language Department #1 at MGIMO University. She has been teaching university students for over 40 years. She is also involved in university teachers’ training. Elena is the author of several coursebooks, the latest is 22 Steps to Effective Writing. Version 2.0 (2020).

How to help academic writers improve their writing by fostering thinking skills

Teaching practice presentation by Irina Yunatova,

 “What is supposed to be beautifully said, requires to be beautifully thought beforehand,” claimed Karl Philipp Moritz in the 18th century. This statement is crucial for academic writing, too. We presume that to write more effectively, writers have to improve the quality and clarity of their thinking. 

Building on previous experience in knowledge management, I have selected tools and methods, and suggested a simple framework for a mini-course for professional development of writing instructors. The aim of this mini-course is to proactively enhance writers’ thinking, following Ken Hyland’s view that “thinking precedes writing.” The mini-course might help instructors later consult their clients at a writing center. The course includes but is not limited to:

  • Training logical reasoning by solving typical problems from formal logic, finding and analyzing concrete mistakes in famous sophisms or paradoxes, for example, “idem per idem” 

  • Targeted analysis of statements containing most common logical fallacies  

  • Training mind and concept mapping

  • Using interviewing methods for eliciting tacit knowledge

  • An overview of main statements of Aristotelian logic for enhancing existing understanding of the necessity of clear-cut logical reasoning for successful academic writing.

The takeaways for the conference audience contain the framework, selected tools and methods feasible for improving the clarity of thinking, and the mini-course program with sample educational activities suitable for helping authors.

Presenter: Irina Yunatova. She is currently a leading expert at NCO “FOSTAS” Foundation. Her main scientific interests are connected with knowledge management and the application of its methods in various domains. Irina’s other professional interests include writing research papers and preparing students for exams like SAT and GMAT, teaching math and verbal components.

Articles in humanities : Analysis of Russian authors’ papers

Research paper presentation by Inga Zashikhina,
Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov

The IMRaD structure of a research article is accepted worldwide as a scholarly publication format. Both hard and soft science journals follow this format as it allows to prepare clearly structured, easy-to-read texts. It is considered to be logic-based rather than determined linguistically. Many Russian journals also require articles with the IMRaD structure, with the exception of those from humanities. However, observations show that very few Russian researchers from such fields as philosophy, religion, languages and literatures, linguistics, history, and arts follow the IMRaD when writing for publication either in Russian or in English. They often blame the format for the limitations it imposes on writers regarding their creative expression. 

We analyzed 50 research papers published in Russian journals in social sciences and humanities to find out whether Russian authors comply with the internationally accepted scientific publication conventions. The research answered two questions: (a) Are Russian authors’ texts well-organised and do they have a clear structure? (b) Is methodology described explicitly? To answer the questions, we analyzed the logic, argumentation and potential replicability of the presented research. We mainly focused on the key elements of a scientific text, Introduction and Conclusion, to assess the text organization. We assumed that the Introduction should include background, a problem question and thesis, and the Conclusion Section should contain conclusions, implications and directions for further research. 

The results of the study showed that only a small part of published articles by Russian humanities writers explicitly describe methods and have a clear structure and logical organization. This fact has several implications. First, the quality of Russian humanities papers may not allow them to be published internationally. Second, Russian scholarly journals in humanities may lose their chances to be included into international bibliographic databases.

Presenter: Inga Zashikhina, Ph.D. in philosophy. She is an Associate Professor at Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Russia. Her main scientific interests lie in the interplay of philosophy, science, education, and English as a language for research. Inga teaches Methodology of Research as well as Academic English to postgraduate students.

Writing a research paper abstract: Challenges and ways to success

Teaching practice presentation by Anna Zhuravleva,
HSE University

Writing an abstract is commonly considered one of the most essential parts of an article. At the same time, writing an abstract is very challenging.  The proposed teaching practice presentation focuses on relevant activities and strategies aimed at a successful abstract composition and proposes a personalized approach to writing an abstract. 

The presenter is planning to answer the following questions: How do we choose a type for the abstract (descriptive or informative)? When is it better to write it (before or after the paper is completed)? What can we begin with? How can we understand that the abstract is well-written? In an attempt to answer the questions, different approaches to writing and evaluating an abstract will be presented. 

The choice of the abstract type is usually a matter of discipline or journal conventions, while the proper time for creating an abstract can be seen as an issue of controversy. The presentation takes a critical look at the widely accepted view that abstracts are to be written after the final draft of the paper is completed. Both self-assessment and peer-assessment techniques will be considered within the presentation to ensure the abstract quality. Having examined the various approaches to writing abstracts, which contain general information on the structure and the algorithms of abstract composition, the presenter places emphasis on developing  individual strategies for composing an abstract.

Presenter: Anna Zhuravleva. She is a tutor at HSE University. She has 9-year experience as a school teacher. Anna is interested in American literature and culture, ELT, and continuous professional development.

Poster presentations

“Impulse” for Professional Development

This poster presentation demonstrates the main activities of the Center for Academic Writing “Impulse” that was created at Tyumen State University in April 2016, within the framework of the University’s participation in the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100. The Center has become a gathering place for university researchers striving to improve their second language writing skills and therefore has been named “Impulse.” Given that the Center “Impulse” was a new university unit, it was essential to create a roadmap for its development. Following the experience of international writing centers, the first step was to have a pool of academic writing tutors who were expected to provide consultations and design tailor-made workshops and courses for scholars. The tutors were selected among the University’s EFL teachers who participated in training programs delivered by Russian and international experts. The gained experience and knowledge have enabled the EFL teachers not only to design courses and programs for researchers, but also to integrate academic writing courses across the University curriculum. The second stage involved designing researchers’ training programs, which were based on the reading-to-writing approach. For example, the course “Reading and Writing about Research” aimed to read and analyze selected articles from target journals and to develop noticing skills by comparing English and Russian writing conventions. Besides this course, the Center has been offering a wide range of other activities and events, which are described in the poster presentation.

Presenter: Presenters: Valeria Evdash is the Director of the Center for Academic Writing “Impulse,” Tyumen State University, TESOL member,  member of the Association of Academic Writing Experts “National Writing Centers Consortium.” Her areas of expertise are continuing professional development, EFL acquisition & methodology, and academic writing.

Academic Writing Office at South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk: A five-year path

Poster presentation by Evgeniya Khabirova,
South Ural State University

The poster aims to share the operational mode of the Academic Writing Office at South Ural State University (SUSU AWO). The mission of the SUSU AWO is integrating SUSU academic staff into the global academic community. Our activities fall into five categories: (1) providing language support in the form of Russian-English translation and proofreading; (2) organizing individual consultations; (3) running ERPP courses, lectures, and workshops; (4) conducting SUSU staff needs analysis, and (5) offering academic internship for students.

The poster shows the 5-year path of the SUSU AWO and its contribution into the development of academic literacy of the SUSU staff. It highlights major events, the structure of the Center, and the results of the surveys about academic needs of the university teachers. I am inviting conference participants to share their experience in running a writing center and discuss possible collaboration projects.

Presenter: Evgeniya Khabirova, Ph.D. in philology. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages and Head of the Academic Writing Office at South Ural State University.  Her research interests include cognitive linguistics, professional communication, and academic writing. Evgeniya is a member of the Association of Academic Writing Experts “National Writing Centers Consortium.”

RANEPA Academic Writing and Communication Center

Poster presentation by Irina Korotkina,
Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

The poster demonstrates the key goals and functions of the RANEPA Academic Writing and Communication Center (AWCC) and emphasizes its unique approach to teaching writing in and beyond Russia. Although the AWCC was established in 2018 and is formally one of the youngest, its founder and Director Prof. Irina Korotkina has been one of the loudest advocates of academic writing in Russia for several decades. The poster elicits her contributions to the development of the discipline in Russia both during and before her directorship.

The AWCC differs from other centers in that it assists researchers in two languages, applying anglophone methodology to teaching writing both in English and Russian. The focus on Russian allows to cover a much wider audience of writers, contributes to the quality of national publications, and promotes internationally accepted rhetorical and publishing conventions among editors. The online course Writing for Research Publication Purposes designed in Russian and successfully approbated between 2019 and 2021 has become the most significant product of the AWCC. The course is intended for scientists, academics, editors, or PhD students whose English is too poor to write in the language. Since the foundation of AWCC, Prof. Korotkina has presented this approach in international conferences, such as CCCC (College Composition and Communication Conference), USA, 2019; EATAW (European Association for Teaching Academic Writing), Chech Republic, 2021; EWCA (European Writing Centers Association), Austria, 2022 (postponed from 2020); NWCC (National Writing Centers Consortium), Moscow, 2018-2021, and OZ (Detecting Plagiarism), Moscow, 2018-2020.

Networking is one of the AWCC’s paramount concerns. We collaborate with other writing centers (HSE, MISiS, Tyumen), the RF Antiplagiat Company, the Kyrgyz Republic Higher Attestation Commission, the Urait Publishing House, and other institutions. Prof. Korotkina’s most recent contribution to promoting writing research in Russia is her chapter in the book Emerging Writing Research from the Russian Federation, WAC Clearinghouse, University Press of Colorado, 2021, which presents insights from Russian and US researchers.

Presenter: Irina Korotkina, Professor, Ph.D. (Doctor of Science in education). She is the Director of Academic Writing and Communication Centre, RANEPA, and Dean of Interdisciplinary Department of English, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. Irina is an expert in academic writing methodology in both English and Russian with over 80 publications in the field, 11 of which are books.

Samara Academic Consultancy Center as a scientific mobility driver in the micro context of the university

Today the process of internationalization is becoming one of major driving factors in the higher education sector. One of the crucial components of the process - scientific mobility of both students and staff – has been successfully integrated into the mission of many academic writing centers. They aim to assist the development of a strong academic community through language support services to university students and researchers at all stages of their academic career. The poster highlights the role of the academic writing center as one of the main scientific mobility drivers, which fosters academic excellence on both micro and global levels. The goal of the poster is to demonstrate how the support, learning and research assistance activities of the academic writing center, containing curricular and extra-curricular courses, trainings, and consultations can be integrated into the learning process of the university as a whole. The poster brings the case of Samara Academic Consultancy Center (SACC), which was designed to assist the university community of faculty and students in three ways: (1) to help faculty write for international publications, (2) to provide students a friendly area to master their academic English skills, (3) to provide professional development activities and coaching for faculty members and students. The authors argue that the academic writing center can be a helpful asset and a scientific mobility driver in the micro context of the university.

Presenter: Victoria Levchenko, Ph.D. in Education, Professor, and the Head of the Modern Languages and Professional Communication Department at Samara University. She is the Head of Samara Academic Consultancy Center, which was developed to help students and teachers increase the level of scientific mobility.

We’re small but have big plans

Poster presentation by Inga Zashikhina,
Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov

The poster presents a newly-born Academic Communication Center of Northern (Arctic) Federal University. It contains the information about the steps that led to the Center establishment, its mission, structure, functions, and services.  The poster also describes target groups and the benefits they get from participating in the Center’s activities. We are proud that we were able to establish the Center in 2021 and try to satisfy an urging need of academics in developing writing literacy both in English and in Russian through courses, lectures, and individual tutoring. Now we are looking for partners among other writing centers to launch joint projects. There are a lot of opportunities for collaboration; we just need to explore them together.

Presenter: Inga Zashikhina, Ph.D. in philosophy. She is an Associate Professor at Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Russia. Her main scientific interests lie in the interplay of philosophy, science, education, and English as a language for research. Inga teaches Methodology of Research as well as Academic English to postgraduate students.

From IELTS writing to research writing

Poster presentation by Lyubov Zavarykina,
Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences

The speaker argues that preparation for writing research papers should start at the undergraduate level. The goal of this poster presentation is to demonstrate how IELTS writing tasks can be used to develop writing skills of undergraduate and graduate students and researchers.

The poster is focused on discussing IELTS Writing task 1 (interpretation of visual data). This format is chosen intentionally as this skill is essential in research writing and students usually acquire it during their first years at university. Although it is expected that faculty have already developed this skill earlier, some Russian speaking researchers lack it, and this may influence their publication activity in English. 

The poster includes visuals from open sources (e.g. iconographic on factors influencing students’ migration from home cities) and exercises related to these visuals (exercises will be offered as handouts). The choice of visuals and exercises is determined by the results of the survey that is being conducted among students and research staff of The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (MSSES). The survey aims to identify learners’ major difficulties in describing data. The initial survey results demonstrated that bachelor students usually are not aware of the genre requirements and experience difficulties in interpreting and analyzing data, while researchers whose language proficiency is not so high are more interested in enhancing their English language skills. Therefore, a wide range of activities are offered (grammar and vocabulary tasks, tasks aimed at analyzing and discussing the presented data) to the audience. The author suggests that those tasks can satisfy the learning needs of different L2 learners, including novice researchers, and lead to the development of essential writing skills.

Presenter: Lyubov Zavarykina. She holds a degree in the English language and linguistics from Moscow State University,  a Master’s degree in education policy and management from MSSES and Manchester University, and a Master’s degree in professional development for language education from Chichester University. Lyubov currently teaches ESAP and IELTS Preparation Course at MSSES.

Editors’ Panel

Panel discussion “Meet the editor”

We are bringing together editors of four prestigious English-medium journals to discuss what makes a truly publishable paper. Join the forum if you want to get the insider information, ask questions, and share your stories.

Our panel discussion covers the key challenges writers face when they seek to publish in prestigious English-medium journals. How to choose the “right” journal for your paper? Why does publishing a paper take so long? What is the “secret” ingredient of a successful paper? What are the pitfalls that lead to a paper rejection?

On the Panel:

Natalia V. Smirnova

Panel moderator, Assistant Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages, HSE University

Sandra Abegglen

Guest editor of the JUTLP Special Issue “Collaboration in Higher Education: Working in Partnership with Students, Academic Colleagues and Others”

Pejman Habibie

Founding co-editor of the "Journal of English for Research Publication Purposes" and of the "Routledge Series in English for Research Publication Purposes"

Natalia Knoblock

Co-editor of the "Journal of Language and Discrimination"

Marina A. Kosycheva

Executive secretary of the "Journal of Language and Education" and of the Russian chapter of European Association of Science Editors

More about the editors

Natalia V. Smirnova is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages, HSE University in St. Petersburg, Russia. She does research into geolinguistic aspects of knowledge production and circulation, writing for academic publication practices of scholars across disciplines (social sciences and humanities) and in different languages (Russian, English).

Sandra Abegglen is an educational researcher at the University of Calgary, Canada. She has written about her research and teaching practice in a variety of journals, and she is the Guest Editor of the JUTLP Special Issue Collaboration in higher education: Working in partnership with students, academic colleagues and others.” She has also published three books and several book chapters.

Pejman Habibie is an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Western University, Canada. He is a founding co-editor of "Journal of English for Research Publication Purposes" and also a founding book series co-editor of the “Routledge Series in English for Research Publication Purposes. His research areas include Geopolitics of knowledge economy, writing for scholarly publication, and academic literacies.

Natalia Knoblock is an Associate Professor of English at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan, USA. Her research interests lie mostly in political and cognitive linguistics, sociolinguistics, and corpus-assisted discourse analysis. She is currently a co-editor of The Journal of Language and Discrimination (Equinox).

Marina A. Kosycheva, Cand. Sci. (Phililogy). She is an Associate Professor at Linguistics and Professional Communication Department of the Moscow State University of Food Production, Executive Secretary, Journal of Language and Education (Q2), Secretary of the Russian Chapter, European Association of Science Editors (EASE).

WoS Help Desk

by Valeria Kurmakaeva and Varvara Sosedova

Today, looking for the right journal to publish is becoming an increasingly challenging task for any researcher: As they say, “publish or perish”. Publication activity has turned into a major criterion of assessing research efficiency in organizations and countries. With the journal landscape getting more diverse and heterogeneous, it is as good as an upfront battle for a scholar or scientist to identify and target a proper journal to make her publication more visible and hence cited. 

This workshop’s major goal is to give insights into the multifaceted world of international journals and make it more friendly and familiar. It is also a great opportunity to get professional assistance in looking for a suitable journal in the Web of Science Core Collection, the world's most trusted citation index for scientific and scholarly research. It is a curated collection of over 21,000 peer-reviewed, high-quality scholarly journals published worldwide (including Open Access journals) in over 250 disciplines in sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. All the journals need to go through the strictest selection process to be indexed in the database and are required to be peer-reviewed to maintain high quality standards.

Get prepared: come up with a topic, put a research question, think of keywords, and write down questions beforehand. Prior registration in the Web of Science is advisable. We are going to assist you with formulating an efficient search query that will lead not only to identifying a journal, but also to making up a list of papers to refer to in the future. We will also try to define what research fronts your research is close to if any, so that you could modify it in the future to promote your research career. The number of small group sessions is limited.

It’s a first-come-first-served service, don’t miss your chance! Prior registration is necessary.

Moderators: Valeria Kurmakaeva and Varvara Sosedova.

Valeria Kurmakaeva, Ph.D. from Moscow Linguistic University, worked as Associate Professor at HSE University and MGIMO University. Now Valeria works as Regional Solutions Consultant at Clarivate.

Varvara Sosedova did a post-graduate course in Moscow State Linguistic University, worked as Associate Professor at MGIMO University. Now Varvara worksas Regional Solutions Consultant at Clarivate.

Research Partners’ Date

It is known that collaborative research has higher prospects for publication. The conference will provide an opportunity to find a TEFL research partner. Think of the topic, write it on the board in the conference hall with your contact details, and find a conference participant who is as passionate as you are about the topic. During networking sessions, you can discuss a potential research design while having a cup of coffee together. This may be a good start for your joint research publication journey.

Paper Feedback Station

Moderators: AWC consultants

Join writing experts and AWC consultants for a 30-minute individual session. Bring a writing sample to work on. Working together with a consultant on a draft paper or a piece of your students' writing, you will get hands-on experience of the tutor-tutee dialog. The aim of these dialogic sessions is to get hands-on experience of how to prioritize feedback, how to point out places of confusion so as to invite writers to evolve their own writing process. Prior registration is necessary.