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Mikä sua vaivaa? 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST1 Teekkari Nothing really in English or Finnish…

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Presentation on theme: "Mikä sua vaivaa? 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST1 Teekkari Nothing really in English or Finnish…"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mikä sua vaivaa? 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST1 Teekkari Nothing really in English or Finnish…

2 Except one thing… ”I did a lot of writing but I didn’t really learn much about writing in high school in Finnish or English.” 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST2 What is the best way to help our students learn to write academically both in Finnish and English?

3 Finnish and English Academic Writing: Future together or apart? Richard Van Camp Heli Harrikari Lauri Tolkki

4 Hypothesis There is enough overlap in the aims and syllabi of English and Finnish academic writing courses in technical universities to warrant a combined syllabus. 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST4

5 Solution 1.Examine the current status quo: what current overlap is there in aims and topics? 2.Devise a model course 3.Collect opinions from stakeholders 4.Pilot the course 5.Evaluate the results 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST5

6 Technical Universities in Finland 1.Aalto University 2.Tampere Univ. of Technology 3. Lappeenranta Univ. of Technology 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST6 English* 3 ECTS English* 3 ECTS Finnish Integr. Finnish Integr. English* 6 ECTS English* 6 ECTS Finnish Integr. Finnish Integr. English* 2-6 ECTS English* 2-6 ECTS Finnish Integr. Finnish Integr. MSc. + (little) MSc. + (little) MSc. + (little) MSc. + (little)

7 In Finnish technical universities English and the mother tongue live in close proximity 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST7 Undergraduate Graduate Post-graduate

8 The ambivalent status of the native tongue in Finnish technical universities Right to study in mother tongue (Finnish or Swedish) Aalto-University School of Economics announced (2013) that all of its Master’s degrees will be taught in English. Some undergraduate courses offered only in English (e.g. Strategic Management at TUT) Some departments allow/encourage bachelor’s theses in English (e.g. Signal Processing and biomedical engineering at TUT) Some departments have adapted English as their (un)official working language 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST8

9 Importance of a grammatical subject (about 30% of Finnish sentences do not have one) The importance of short subjects and early verbs in English Reliance on passives in Finnish Increased reflexivity in English Punctuation Appositives in English Outlining Narrower scope in introductions and conclusions 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST9 Talk of Finnish in the English course: Attention is mostly paid to sentence level differences

10 Talk of English in the Finnish course: Attention is to mistaken translations and borrowed usages from English to Finnish Word order, e.g. use of a transition word like ”however” (kuitenkin) at the front of a sentence Use of conventions, e.g. ”ss 23-45” from ”pp 23-45” Translation of technical words into Finnish 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST10

11 We collected syllabi and course descriptions, identifying the range and frequency of topics covered Formal Style Paragraph/ Topic sent. Peer Review Introduct- ions Cohesion (linking) Paraphras- ing Editing/ Proofread- ing CitationOrganizat- ion Data comm. GrammarReadability /Sentence style Purpose OutliningCohesion (info flow) Abstracts Policies & Eval. Conclus- ions Punctuat- ion Genre, i.e. thesis Summariz- ing Tools, e.g. corpora ProcessFormatHeadings/ titles Stance in writing/ hedging Illustrations Popular- izing Argumen- tation Exemplific ation (havainnoll istaminen) ”kieliasu” 5/4/ ? ? ? ? EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST

12 An example of a combined writing syllabus 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST12 Writing process + Peer review Policies & Evaluation Citation Organization: The Bachelor’s Thesis Introductions and Conclusions Paragraphs Argumentation CORE WRITING SYLLABUS Formality Sentence Structure Cohesion Grammar Punctuation Readability Tools Kieliasu Sidosteisuus Tyyli ja sävy Välimerkit Yleistajuistaminen Abstracts

13 Opportunities A more inclusive, richer discussion about the aims of teaching academic writing Common understanding about requirements and conventions, i.e. the bachelor’s thesis Better use of resources Closer to our students’ lived reality 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST13

14 Challenges Traditions ”Academic freedom” Lack of common vocabulary Integration of language studies with subject studies Possible diversification of undergraduate population 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST14

15 I would appreciate your comments, criticisms and questions! Contact: Richard Van Camp 5/4/2015EATAW 2013 BUDAPEST15


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