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Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh “Communication lies at the heart of research. It is as vital for research as the actual investigation.

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Presentation on theme: "Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh “Communication lies at the heart of research. It is as vital for research as the actual investigation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi “Communication lies at the heart of research. It is as vital for research as the actual investigation itself, for research cannot properly claim that name until it has been scrutinized and accepted by colleagues” (Meadows, 1998) “To gain acceptance, establishment mores must be followed... For new researchers, success with conventional formats is a compulsory rite of passage”. (Thody, 2006)

2 Rites of Passage: from Novice to Biochemist Experiences of Integration of Language and Content Heather Kannasmaa and Suzy McAnsh, Language Centre, University of Oulu Lloyd Ruddock, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oulu

3 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Language Centre Department of Biochemistry Protein Chemistry, 8 creditsBiochemical Methods II, 8 credits Presentation Skills, 1 credit Scientific Writing, 2 credits January 2007June 2007 course complex for students in fourth term Products of English courses are shared products with PROTEIN CHEMISTRY course, providing support for later BIOCHEMICAL METHODS OUR CASE

4 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Forces shaping the course 1.Bologna Process 2.Evolution of the view of language in integration of language and content 3.Growing emphasis on sociocultural perspectives

5 professional skills research skills field-specific knowledge Bologna Process Focus on –clearly defined learning objectives –highly visible relevance to future needs –principles of effective time management an ability to combine and apply skills to produce outcomes and create new knowledge SHAPING FORCE 1 critical academic thinking problem-solving skills communication and social skills lifelong learning an ability to combine and apply skills to produce outcomes and create new knowledge

6 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi focus on model of teaching: theme- based / sheltered / adjunct Evolution of view of language in language - content integration CONDUIT METAPHOR language helps learners to access the subject. Problems: implies that if language is learned, content is straightforward implies that language should be learned before content both language and content viewed as a static body of knowledge external to learner LANGUAGE AS A RESOURCE FOR PARTICIPATION IN HUMAN ACTIVITY Advantages: language and content skills develop together through participation in a social context implies that learner is engaged in advancement of social practice language and content cannot be separated SHAPING FORCE 2

7 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Growing emphasis on sociocultural perspectives “learning as increasing participation in communities of practice” (Lave and Wenger, 1991) “Writers exploit the linguistic and cultural resources available to them to define their relationship to the world they live in” (Vollmer, 2002) “We cannot separate the work of science from our view of the praxis by which the work is realised” (Bazerman, 1988 ) SHAPING FORCE 3 notion of situated learning representation of self (positioning) views of knowledge shaping Communication of research: contextually situated social and cultural practice

8 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi As a member of a community of practice, the learner combines and applies language and content skills to advance society (including self) and create new outcomes Bologna process Evolution of view of language in integration of language and content Growing emphasis on sociological perspectives 1 3 2

9 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Practical application of the “shaping forces” set-up of Scientific Writing module three examples from this module

10 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Set-up of Scientific Writing module Aims: –to develop skills for writing a research article for publication Course product: –protein chemistry research article (using authentic data collected by the content teacher) Course events and tasks –6 lectures (sections of research article) –compilation and analysis of mini-corpus –independent write-up of research article in several versions –peer and teacher feedback

11 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Triangulation of perspectives on community practices construction of own text findings from linguistic research comment from content expert consolidation by reference to own corpus

12 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Application of “shaping forces” Example 1: genre awareness Kanoksilapatham (2005) - 3 moves: i) ANNOUNCING THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD (100%) step 1: claiming the centrality of the topic step 2: making topic generalisations step 3: reviewing previous research (invariably present in biochem) ii) INDICATING A GAP (67%) step 1: indicating a gap step 2: raising a question iii) INTRODUCING THE PRESENT STUDY (100%) step 1: stating purpose(s) step 2: describing procedures step 3: presenting findings

13 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi PRESENT STUDY step 1: stating purpose MOVE 3 MOVE 2 IMPORTANCE OF FIELD step 1: claiming centrality IMPORTANCE OF FIELD step 2: generalisations MOVE 1 IMPORTANCE OF FIELD step 3: review of previous research INDICATING GAP step 1: indicating gap PRESENT STUDY step 3: findings EXAMPLE INTRODUCTION

14 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Application of “shaping forces” Example 2: author presence in reporting of findings “The points at which writers choose to announce their presence in the discourse are those where they are best able to promote themselves and their individual contributions”. (Hyland, 2001) “A knowledge of the strategic use of personal pronouns is of great value to journal article writers. They must know… how to emphasize their personal contributions to their field of research …”. (Kuo, 1999)

15 Oulu University Language Centre Author presence: self-mention as strategy Alternative linguistic formulations give a writer the option of announcing her/his presence. For example, the choice of the plural personal pronoun to report findings in the Discussion section allows the writer to promote a personal contribution.  Our observations of multiple copper (II) co-ordination modes in the octapeptide repeats explain discrepancies in the literature about…  Taken together, we have identified a unique annexin II surface receptor… disciplinary servant persuasive originator

16 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Application of “shaping forces” Example 3: author stance when making claims The major cleavage site of human Aβ by ACE is reported to be between amino acids Asp7 and Ser8 (11, 12). If Aβ8–40 were a major species of the peptide in wild-type, but not ACE-deficient mice, it is possible that differences in Aβ concentration could be obscured by the use of the BNT77 capture antibody, which was raised against amino acids 11–28 (31). Although we feel that this is unlikely, because Aβ8–40 is a potential substrate of other Aβ-degrading enzymes, we re-analyzed Aβ40 concentration in the ACE 8/8 brains using a rodent Aβ40 sandwich ELISA system that fails to recognize Aβ8–40.

17 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Evaluation of the course complex based on Feedback collected from students Biochemistry Department Feedback Day Discussions between teachers

18 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi From learners constructing texts to (con)texts constructing learners High learning outcomes both reported by students and assessed by teachers courses perceived as useful and relevant Teaching Development Strategy at Oulu University stresses similar values: assimilation of scientific skills / knowledge independent and collaborative problem-solving cultivation of scientific attitude professional development individual development But also “added value” through by-products (Perpignan et al, 2007) Other skills (ICT, reading, info search)* Affective* Social interaction* Behaviour in a professional context* Thinking skills Awareness of the meaning of language Broadening of knowledge base Learning the meaning of learning Creativity * explictly mentioned by students although this information was not elicited

19 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi “a value that can lead to a meaningful change in their lives” (Perpignan et al, 2007) course development: investigate by-products specifically when collecting feedback make by-products explicit in course aims consciously strive to enhance development of these knowledge/skills areas equip our students even better to play their part in furthering science and society added value of by-products

20 Oulu University Language Centre, Suzy McAnsh smac@cc.oulu.fi Thank you! smac@cc.oulu.fi


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