FOURTH International Symposium
on Academic Writing and Critical Thinking
~INNOVATION and EVALUATION~
8th - 9th February, 2019
All abstracts listed alphabetically by presenter's name
Teaching Marginal Annotations to Promote Slow and Deliberate Reading Behavior
Ahn, S. (Temple University)
Technology innovation not only influences the way students read but may also blur teachers’ perception of their students’ reading abilities. Online learning management systems enable easy access to course reading materials, and as students can be seen reading from their screen devices, college professors observe conforming reliance on technology among their students. At the same time, they are witnessing increased diversity in students’ experiences with and abilities in reading as their institutions become internationalized.
Beyond the first-year writing class, although discipline conventions may be different, most writing endeavors will invariably call on students to think critically, so much of which hinges on robust reading ability. It is then imperative for writing instructors to help students develop reading behaviors that will facilitate the critical responses asked of them in academic writing.
In this context, the presenter will advocate for creating space in the writing curriculum for teaching reading. The talk will focus, in particular, on teaching marginal annotations as a useful reading instruction method. Sharing from her first-year writing curriculum, the presenter will offer scaffolding strategies as well as assessment ideas that can be used to promote students’ close and self-regulated approach to reading.
Using Models to Improve Written Productions in Foreign Language Classes
Azra, J-L. (Seinan Gakuin University)
In this presentation, I will show how models can greatly improve students' written expression in foreign languages. A model, like a painter's model, is a representation of what one wants to achieve. Working according to a model can stimulate the imagination, improve one's know-how, and help memorize techniques in the long term. Using models is a direct, fast, and action-based approach suitable to correspondence, stories, documents, dissertations, essays and other types of texts.
Our Japanese students have trouble mastering communication in foreign languages for a number of cultural reasons. One is that they are not used to critical thinking. Another is that throughout their school years they have not been trained to write opinion papers or discussion reports. If introduced in a clear, step-by-step manner, models can help students overcome their lack of critical thinking and writing techniques, and their tendency to write very short texts.
Using models has a number of other benefits: students don't get blocked by their grammar level; they can write relatively long productions in short time frames; class time is entirely dedicated to the activity of writing. In most cases, they also allow avoiding lengthy explanations about what must be done, which is particularly advantageous for teachers who don't speak much of the language of their students.
L’instance postfacielle chez les traducteurs japonais, anglais et français
Bilodeau, I. (Aichi Shukutoku University)
Au Japon, les traducteurs littéraires tiennent le rôle de défenseurs de la littérature étrangère. Si le choix des œuvres à publier revient le plus souvent aux agents et aux éditeurs, c’est aux traducteurs d’en être les porte-parole à travers la pratique du yakusha atogaki. Texte aux conventions établies, le yakusha atogaki est un exercice d’écriture obligatoire pour le traducteur littéraire japonais, peu importe son désir personnel ou professionnel de visibilité. Face à cette obligation de s’adresser à « son » public, les approches rhétoriques se multiplient.
Dans mon exposé, je présente un échantillon aléatoire des publications littéraires contemporaines (tiré de l’Index Translationum de l’UNESCO) pour faire état de l’éventail des approches de l’instance postfacielle japonaise, en décrivant ses conventions d’une part et ses démarches hétérodoxes de l’autre. Ensuite, je compare ces approches aux pratiques dans l’édition de traductions en français et en anglais. Ce faisant, je dégage l’apport particulier du yakusha atogaki au prestige du traducteur dans le champ littéraire japonais.
On Determining What is an Academic Source versus not When Conducting Research
Chambers, J. (Temple University)
Academic writing is a challenge for all students. While they may have been exposed to some elements at the high school level, the rigors of university level writing are something not many are used to, both those with English as their native language and even more so for those who have it as a non-native language. While grammar and other factors will always be an issue, one component of the academic paper that native and non-native English speakers alike will find challenging is supporting their arguments with sources. Finding, assessing, and utilizing academic sources is the main topic of this presentation. Instructing new student in how to find their own sources, ones of quality, is sometimes covered in workshops or similar services provided by the university, but really making impactful development on how student search for, judge, and springboard into other sources is a much-needed skill to be taught. This presentation will highlight how to help learners identify what sources are of potential use and which are best to ignore. The goal is to go through stages with the learners where they see, mimic, and eventually conduct their own research with the goal in mind of finding quality sources. While elements may be covered in introductory workshops, the honed practices to be covered this in presentation take on new methods and creative strategies that are not as common place.
Le défi de l’acquisition de compétences argumentatives en français pour les apprenants japonais
Dassonville, N. (Aichi University)
Il existe au Japon une forte demande de la part des apprenants avancés du français de formations spécifiques à l’argumentation « à la française », tant à l’écrit qu’à l’oral. Les étudiants en master, les doctorants ou les enseignants-chercheurs de niveau B2, C1 voire C2 éprouvent souvent un fort sentiment d’insécurité communicationnelle lorsqu’ils se présentent à l’examen du DALF ou se trouvent confronté au contexte académique francophone. Rédiger un texte argumentatif structuré, présenter un exposé convaincant, participer utilement à une discussion, sont des défis particulièrement difficiles à relever pour les apprenants japonais. Cela ne tient pas tant à un niveau insuffisant en français qu’à une maitrise imparfaite de certains savoir-faire, comportements et figures imposées, ainsi qu’à des stratégies inadaptées de gestion du handicap linguistique inhérent à la condition de locuteur non-natif. Certains appréhendent la confrontation et renoncent, et pour ceux qui franchissent le pas et font leur apprentissage sur le terrain, les obstacles et les malentendus potentiels sont nombreux. Après avoir brièvement présenté les enjeux et les difficultés de l’acquisition de compétences argumentatives en français à l’université au Japon, je proposerai quelques pistes pédagogiques visant à faciliter cette acquisition et à aider les apprenants à mettre en oeuvre des stratégies adaptées à leur degré de maitrise de la langue. Je m’appuierai principalement pour cela sur l’expérience du cours « Argumentation » que j’ai animé de 2012 à 2017 à l’Institut français à Kyoto et à Osaka.
Allegory Increases the Impact of a Scientific Review Article: Implications for Innovating the Focus of Academic Writing Instruction
Deacon, R. (Nagoya University)
The value of teaching Academic Writing (AW) to a mixed disciplinary audience can be questionable. Advice very often only applies to a small subset of writers and rule based approaches to academic writing inherently fail to acknowledge the variety of mutating desires held by different readerships. This paper, however, proposes AW instruction can be valuable for mixed audiences if it focuses more on narrative options rather than concrete rules. Specifically the paper demonstrates the effectiveness of using allegory to explain bacterial research in a scientific review article published in a top-tier peer reviewed journal in the field of microbiology. The article’s use of allegory arguably increases its impact and provides evidence for the value of using literary approaches to knowledge in the hard sciences. It also makes science’s need for metaphor to understand the natural world explicit. While such overt allegory may not be frequently appropriate (i.e., accepted by a particular readership), an awareness of how people have understood concepts cross-culturally (i.e., something like a psychological scaffolding) will provide writers in a variety of fields with more options to explain their work both effectively and affectively. The AW instructor can help writers enrich themselves with a variety of historically useful narrative/information structure techniques coming from different fields. In this way, an audience of mixed disciplines may truly become interdisciplinary and, thus, the process becomes valuable for all involved.
Academic Culture as Content: Integrating Self-assessment in the Writing Classroom at the Japanese Liberal Arts University
Hale, C. C. (Akita International University)
This presentation will conceptualize content and language-integrated learning (CLIL) within the greater context of the English medium liberal arts university in East Asia, and offer a practical approach to student assessment by examining data from academic writing classes in Japan. The qualitative findings indicate that by carefully curating reading content and thoughtfully designing writing assessment prompts, and, most critically, incorporating students themselves into the assessment process (self-assessment), teachers can satisfy the immediate summative assessment needs of the course (that of evaluating content comprehension and language control), while strongly promoting the other formative learning goals espoused in the liberal arts.
Enough about Behavior: Authentic Teaching Roles as Confidence Builder in Student Presentations
Hamlitsch, N. (Mie University)
Most presentation textbooks dedicate a substantial number of pages on how to act during a presentation, such as where to look, the angles of how to stand, or the proper ways to move appendages. Still others will focus on recovering from mistakes such as script making. While these ‘error-centered’ tips may be useful in some instances, they can reinforce the idea that one ought to be nervous/anxious during a presentation (i.e., Lakoff, 2014), and overemphasizing them can lead to students losing confidence and focus of their idea. That is, to reduce cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957), an inexperienced student will either go through these behavioral motions unnaturally (i.e., the reason for textbooks tips), or give up altogether (i.e., the shy presenter). The central claim of this work is that students will become more effective presenters by presenting on a specific research topic of which they are the most knowledgeable person present (including the instructor). For effective presentations that build confidence, I propose that students need to be in the teaching position (e.g., Cortese, 2005) by presenting on a fairly complex research project. This can be accomplished by instructing students on the basics of building a thesis statement (Hamlitsch, 2015), that is, covering the components that answer the questions: 1)Why are you doing this research? 2) What do you want to do?, and 3) What is your main point? (What do you want to say?) Once put into this expert role, the other behaviors will follow with minimum instruction.
Scaffolding Critical Reading and Writing in a Demanding Source-based Writing Course
Harwood, C. (Sophia University)
The Faculty of Liberal Arts at Sophia University offers a diverse selection of sociology, humanities, business, and economics courses to its undergraduate students. All students who take these courses must complete a compulsory critical thinking course. In order to develop students critical thinking, the rigorous curriculum combines philosophical, cognitive psychological, and educational critical thinking approaches. Over a 15-week semester classes meet each week for two 90-minute classes. Students are typically required to read texts of between 10 to 20 pages in length for each class as well as write a 300 to 500-word response paper on each text. The reading and writing demands of a source-based writing course such as this are very high. The presenter will show how critical thinking instructors enable students to manage this demanding workload through the strategic use of out-of-class multimodal artifacts and in-class jigsaw reading activities. These pedagogic practices are used to scaffold student comprehension of the written texts they are required to read prior to class and further develop their understanding of the texts during class. Consequently, the class discussions related to the texts are more substantial and the subsequent written response papers are more complex and thoughtful.
CEFR as a Tool for Innovative Writing
Imig, A. (Chukyo University)
D’Angelo, J. (Chukyo University)
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) has become one of the most influential concepts in the field of language learning worldwide. Yet its reception in Japan tends to follow local national paradigms, with the goal of using it mainly as a tool for assessments. The paper is arguing that the usage of the CEFR in the academic environment in Japan needs certain adaptions, which will be demonstrated in the context of a case study for teaching and evaluation of (academic) writing in a fourth year University thesis-writing course in Japan. The preliminary results of our study show that the CEFR can be used as a tool for creative writing. Especially the argumentation scale, the new scales for written interaction, and the scales for mediation, are useful for scaffolding topic development in longer texts. However, using the CEFR as tool for writing innovation is not easy, since a reflection on topic development is often limited by the habits and time constraints of the students in the fourth year. The collected data is also useful for Curriculum-development at earlier levels of the writing program, because for unleashing the full potential of the CEFR a one-year period seems to be too short. Especially for writing centers, the self-assessment tools of the CEFR can be a valuable tool. Therefore, self-assessment tools for writing also will be introduced briefly in the presentation.
The Problem of Learning Transfer in Academic Writing and Critical Thinking
Kasaki, M. (Nagoya University)
Academic Writing and Critical Thinking Courses are widely offered and even required for first-year students in higher education. The teaching of academic writing at the general level faces a plethora of challenges and problems, most prominently the problem of learning transfer: students fail to transfer knowledge and skills to new domains and contexts. The problem of learning transfer is widely recognized in writing pedagogy and many theoretical and empirical studies contribute to the articulation of and the solution to the problem of learning transfer. A predominant type of solution recommends cultivating students’ transfer-promoting intellectual dispositions or habits of mind. The idea behind this solution is that knowledge and skills relevant to writing are domain-specific, whereas the pertinent intellectual dispositions are less domain-specific. The teaching of critical thinking at the general level, too, faces the problem of learning transfer, since knowledge and skills for critical thinking are, at least to some extent, domain-specific. Just as in writing education, a recent attempt to deal with the problem of learning transfer in critical thinking emphasizes the importance of cultivating certain intellectual dispositions. In this paper, I will argue that this line of response to the problem of learning transfer in both writing and critical thinking education is likely to fail because, as the situationist critique of virtue ethics and epistemology attests, intellectual dispositions are highly situation-dependent. Then, I will seek and outline other possible lines of solution.
From Critical Thinking to Innovation: Some Common Elements
Lau, J. (Hong Kong University)
Academic research and writing often involve both critical thinking and creativity. The former is essential in evaluating theories and arguments, and the latter is responsible for new and important innovations. One popular view is that these two types of thinking skills are distinct from each other, and sometimes even in opposition. This paper argues that they are actually complementary skills that are both necessary for problem-solving. Furthermore, there is a common factor that underlies the mastery of both types of thinking skills, namely the use of “patterns” or templates. There are at least three main types of patterns: patterns of thinking, patterns of construction (as in writing or presentation), and patterns of workflow. In teaching
critical thinking or academic writing, it is important to provide students with an inventory of such patterns that are easy to understand and practically useful. The paper will discuss how these patterns operate and how they enhance creativity. It will also highlight some of the limitations and potential pitfalls in the use of patterns.
University-wide Coordination of Writing Classes
Lee, J. (Gifu University)
Coordinating a university-wide general English class across faculties and departments poses an enormous challenge. In this presentation, I will discuss the logistics of putting together a coordinated curriculum for writing classes and show how the process can bring benefits for students, teachers, and administrative staff.
Gifu University is gradually implementing a coordinated general English program that covers every student at the university. As the writing coordinator of this program, I will share my experience of how we have designed our coordination in various areas including week-to-week lesson planning, midterm and final exams, and grading criteria.
In particular, I will focus on the principles and rationales behind the decisions made, and explain how the changes have served to increase synergy within the English Center and improve communication among both full- and part-time teachers. I will also provide an honest account of the difficulties and challenges we have encountered. At the end of the session, my hope is that the attendees will have gained some insight into what a university-wide coordinated writing programme might look like. In addition, I hope that people will take away some concrete suggestions that they may be able to apply in their own teaching situations.
Divergent Thinking through Breakout Boxes
McPhail, M. (Gunma Kokusai Academy)
Divergent thinking is key to producing students with the intelligence, creativity and problem solving skills needed to analyze and solve problems. This type of critical thinking is an expectation in the 21st century classroom, but many teachers do not know how to encourage this in the classroom. How does one encourage collaboration, yet expect students continuously look for new answers and new problems to solve? Breakout Boxes use the recent craze of Escape Rooms to have students work collaboratively, yet competitively to solve a series of problems using higher order thinking skills. This can be used in any classroom and curriculum and the limit is really in the mind of the educator. This isn’t another meaningless gamification done in the classroom, but if done correctly, pushes students in novel ways. I will show the research behind it, and how it is done in my English classrooms with both native speakers of English and English Language Learners. Lastly, I will offer resources for those who want to try their hand at incorporating this strategy.
Thesis statement のためのチュートリアル指導の有効性について
南 明世 (名古屋大学)
本稿はThesis statementを指導するにあたってのチュートリアルの有効性について実例を通して述べたものである。Thesis statement（以下TS）とはリサーチライティングにおいて研究における仮説に値するものであるとしている。（Lai（2016））また、研究は仮説の形成及び確認を通して進められるべきであり、仮説つまりTSを明確にすることは、特に研究の初期において重要であると述べている。更に、Lai(2016)では、TSは一文で表すべきものであり、その構築の方法としてThesis statement recipeを提唱している。(SROZ form) しかし、先行研究の大学院生は特に研究の初期段階で、TSを建てることにつまずく学生が多く見られる。その学生に対し名古屋大学ではチュートリアルを用い、大学院生に対し支援を行なっている。本研究は、そのチュートリアルでの音声データをもとに談話分析を行い、大学院生がTSを建てる上で、どのような点に問題があるのか、また、チュートリアルセッションを通して、どのように問題解決をしていくのかについて考察を行ない、チュートリアルの有効性について論じた。その結果、先行研究の問題点が明らかではないために、自分が何を研究したいのかを表すResearch Question（以下RQ）を明確に建てられないこと、（RQとはTSの質問にあたるものであり、RQが明確であれば、その解答としてのTSも自ずと明確になる（Lai2016））研究を組み立てる上で多くの問題が浮上しそのどれに注目すべきなのかが本人の中で明確でないという現状把握の点に問題があることが観察された。また、問題解決のプロセスについては、チューターからの質問に答える形が多く、そのことで自身の足りない点に気づき、問題点を自覚していくものが多く見られた。その点においてチュートリアルは有効性であると考えられる。
Paul W.L.Lai (2016) “The Thesis Statement Recipe” Textbook for the Nagoya University Library workshop series on Academic Writing & Logical Thinking Skills, Unpublished
Feedback and Assessment in the Japanese University Writing Classroom
Myskow G. (Keio University)
Wadden P. (International Christian University)
Hale C. C. (Akita International University)
Prior to entering university many Japanese secondary school students have little experience writing extended English composition beyond the sentence. It is unsurprising, therefore, that the often lengthy and challenging writing assignments in EMI, CLIL, and EAP university courses can be a source of anxiety for learners. One way to make this experience less burdensome for students is to ensure that we are as clear and explicit as possible in our feedback and assessment practices. Drawing on their extensive experience teaching writing in the Japanese university context, the presenters offer techniques for providing clear feedback and transparent assessment. The options for feedback include indirect forms (e.g., error identification and error location) and direct forms (e.g., correcting mistakes) as well as carefully staged peer feedback. Methods for assessment incorporate well-designed rubrics highly explicit in their grading criteria but not overly prescriptive in their expectations. Feedback and assessment options are discussed not just in terms of their pedagogical value but their contextual sensitivity and the extent to which they build on the learning preferences that students bring with them to the Japanese university classroom.
Challenges of Teaching the Literature Review to Students across Disciplines
Nuske, K. (Nagoya University)
Learning to write a concise, cohesive, and effective literature review can be one of the most daunting tasks that apprentice scholars encounter in the course of being socialized into communities of practice within their discipline. To the untrained eye, a literature review may seem to consist of discrete summaries of previous relevant studies. However, in many contexts, a successful literature review depends upon the subtle performance of textual “moves” anticipated by readers, including journal reviewers (in the case of article submissions), or audience members (in the case of conference presentations). Through these moves, authors place sources into conversation with each other and establish the strengths and limitations of existent bodies of work, culminating in an implicit or overt justification for the present research (Swales, 2011).
While studies have been conducted on the efforts of graduate students’ efforts to learn strategies and techniques for writing literature reviews in English, their second language (e.g., Swales & Lindemann, 2002), participants often shared a common field. Thus, the unique challenges that emerge in research skills courses attended by students across disciplines, such as those offered in the Mei Writing program, are in need of further attention. Drawing upon sample literature review sections from published research in various academic domains, this interactive presentation aims to identify several content types and rhetorical functions which are customary in multiple disciplines, if not universal, along with several that appear to be more subject specific. In doing so, it will grapple with issues such as the value of “niche creation” statements (Hyland, 2002) in fields where establishing the replicability of previous findings is a major pursuit. Throughout the presentation, audience members will be invited to share their interpretations of the sample literature reviews and discuss their own experiences.
Laboratory Report Writing Assignment for First-year College Students
Nilep, C. (Nagoya University)
This presentation reviews the use of simple laboratory experiments and lab reports in a first-year English class for students majoring in science, and argues that such assignments can help students focus on argument and evidence while improving their English writing ability. Although logic is one of the elementary skills of a classical liberal education, logical argument is sometimes neglected in teaching writing to undergraduate students. While analysis of formal logic may be unnecessary for learning academic writing and critical thinking, the ability to make an argument in which a conclusion is supported by specific information – a type of informal logic – is useful in almost any academic writing. Logic in this sense is similar to reasoning, and this approach does not oppose the two. The English course described here does not treat formalism, validity, or abstract arguments. Instead, classes alternate among discussions of introductory science essays, lectures reviewing the writing process, and simple experiments. Students produce hypotheses at the start of each experiment, and make empirical observations of their results. They submit a lab report for one of the experiments in which they describe their hypothesis, methods, and results, and discuss how the results relate to their hypothesis. The reports are graded by the instructor or a teaching assistant, and students are offered feedback with a grading rubric and specific comments. Half of the points awarded are for clear, coherent, and correct English, while the other half are for adequate development and logical connections among the scientific observations.
Analysis of the Fallacy of petitio principii from a Normative Analogical Criterion
Peláez, J. (Beijing Institute of Technology)
The fallacy of petitio principii is committed when an argument uses the conclusion itself, or a statement that depends on that conclusion, to justify this, so that no justification is produced.
However, in practice it is difficult to determine whether or not this fallacy is committed in a real argument. The deductive criterion is useless since the petitio principii is in fact a deductively valid argument. The epistemological criterion, (the premise must be better known than the conclusion and independent of it) depends on the different epistemologies assumed by those involved in the debate. Using the dialectical criterion (the argument uses premises that are not accepted by the opponent), the question runs the risk of becoming a subjective issue.
I will apply to the analysis of the petitio principii an analogical normative criterion, which compares the use of warrants in similar arguments. Every argument, to be justifying, must have a warrant in the form of a hypothetical statement that relates premises and conclusion, and that must be applied universally to all arguments of the same type. Applying this criterion we can determine if the warrants of the argument (and the objections of the opponent) are reasons that are applied in a general way, in which case the argument would be acceptable and there would be no petitio principii, or if for the otherwise they are used in a biased manner, and consequently the argument is unacceptable.
Can You Summarize Your Research?
Können Sie Ihre Forschung zusammenfassen?
(Lecture-workshop 90 min)
Rude, M. (Nagoya University)
In diesem Vortrag und Workshop geht es darum, die eigene Forschung einem Nicht-Fachmann in 5 min und begrenzter Komplexität zu erklären, also um angewandte akademische Kommunikation. Nach einer kurzen Einführung, wie man die Essenz seiner Forschung ausdrücken könnte (Forschungsfrage, These, etc.), werden wir dies in Kleingruppen praktizieren; zunächst in Paaren, dann zu viert. Die Zeiten sind vorgegeben, die Komplexitätsstufe – sprachlich und fachlich – ist auszuhandeln, ebenso die Sprache selbst: Hierbei wird auch zu Code-Switching und. „Mediation“ ermuntert, zu einem bewussten Wechseln zwischen Sprachen (z. B. zwischen Deutsch, Englisch und Japanisch). Der Workshop wendet sich nicht nur an japanische Germanisten, sondern an alle Studierende oder WissensschaftlerInnen jedes fachlichen und sprachlichen Backgrounds, die über den Tellerrand ihrer eigenen Forschung greifen möchten. Ungefähr die Hälfte der Veranstaltung ist eine Art Tandem-Unterricht. Sie können hier etwas über die Forschung anderer erfahren sowie üben, diese oder die eigene Forschung anderen mitzuteilen.
This lecture-workshop on applied academic communication will be held mainly in German (plus English, depending on the audience). The main workshop-part is a kind of pair & group work, in which you and a partner mutually communicate the essence of your research, on an agreed level of complexity and in any common language (e.g. through code switching between German, English and Japanese). Finally, you may re-tell your partner’s research to other group members.
Potential Benefits and Drawbacks of Machine Translation in L2 Writing Classes
Sakakibara, T. (University of Tokyo)
With an increasing number of second-language (L2) writing students using online machine translation (MT) services, MT appears poised to find a solid position in L2 writing pedagogy in the near future. This trend will likely require language teachers to be more aware of the positive and negative effects that MT may have on the way students learn L2 writing. In this presentation, I will examine the question of what would happen if universities began teaching L2 writing students how to use MT in the classroom—more specifically, if they taught them how to observe and analyze MT output properly. If used appropriately, would MT help to improve learners’ writing skills, perhaps by addressing some of the problems with existing methods of teaching? I will illustrate this issue by demonstrating a simple exercise in which learners would use MT to translate a set of sentences from L1 to L2 and analyze the output with the help of an instructor. This MT-based exercise is designed as part of a process-oriented approach to teaching L2 writing that may be combined with standard written corrective feedback and/or involve comparing MT output with student-produced sentences in L2. The goal of my presentation is to evaluate the pedagogic value of MT in teaching L2 writing, by identifying some of its potential advantages and disadvantages, mainly in the areas of grammatical accuracy, learner motivation, knowledge of forms, and readiness for the growing prevalence of MT.
Academic Presentation Populism
Toohey, D. (Nagoya University)
There have been calls to present in jargon-free language to make it easier for a.) layman, and b.) in EFL classes that teach effective presentations skills, for fellow students outside of one’s chosen academic discipline to understand presentations. The benefits for laymen are that someone can present their academic research to the general public. The benefits for fellow students seem pedagogically related to conducting academic seminars about academic presentation that are open to all disciplines, as opposed to those within one single academic department. While both can be beneficial, this paper explores some dangers of expecting jargon-free academic presentations. In particular, do we reproduce some elements of what political scientists (Müller 2017) call “populism”? Populism is defined as a democratic appeal to an idea of the people that requires no improvements for such people and ultimately dispenses with expertise, deliberation and democracy. In other words, assuming that all academic work could be understandable and in line with non-academics’ interests and intellectual understanding both undermines the importance of deep intellectual study and makes promises of general understanding that cannot be fulfilled. Additionally, since these promises cannot be fulfilled, does jargon-free presentation lead to replacing academic deliberation with overstated confidence, becoming an academic equivalent of what democratic theorists call inviting a demagogue to replace civic debate? (see Stanley 2016). This paper hypothesizes these concerns as real dangers not just to the quality of academic research and presentation, but also to relations with the general public.
Transforming Formalism and EAP: Primary Research, Critical Thinking, and the Empirical Research Essay
Wadden, P. (International Christian University)
EAP, EFL, and academic writing instruction often take a largely formalist approach, focusing on five-paragraph personal essays, TOEFL/IELTS writing tasks, or informational reports. Such pedagogy often fails to inspire curiosity, deepen critical thinking, or utilize research skills. This talk—invoking Dewey and Da Vinci and their inquiry-, project- and problem-based learning—advocates reinvigorating writing courses by focusing not only on conventions of academic writing and secondary research but also drawing on simple fieldwork and student-led primary research. This talk briefly presents the intellectual backdrop to the empirical research essay and outlines its writing process and organizational form, then shares some sample essays and student reactions.
Research Communication as Pragmatic Nomadism
Weeks, M. (Nagoya University)
A research group or laboratory functions as a “community of practice” (Wenger, 1998). There, researchers engage in joint endeavor or at least share important conceptual frames and goals. Aspects of their vocabulary and even identity are formed within this context, so leaving that environment to present research to those from outside represents a major challenge—although an essential one in a world in which interaction across fields is intensifying (Klein, 2005). How can the individual researcher effectively negotiate that shift? And how can a constructive functioning community be formed among researchers from sometimes extremely disparate areas—as in a cross-disciplinary “research presentations” classroom, for example? In this paper, I adapt the notion of “nomad thought,” as proposed by the philosopher Deleuze (1975), to the practice of cross-disciplinary communication. When committed researchers do not share a specific base of knowledge (an intellectual territory) a potential for community may yet reside in their shared adventure of moving beyond the known. In entering new, unchartered territory, I argue, research entails a kind of nomadism. In that nomadic mode, conventional discourse communities (Swales, 1990) and territorial discursive rules may cede some influence to the operation of adaptive discursive tools and practical cooperation. Thus, out of an apparently “idealistic” concept of research endeavor comes a pragmatics of research communication.
Keywords: communication, cross-disciplinary, discourse, nomadism, pragmatics, presentations
How Socratic Interactive Questioning Works in Academic Writing Education
Yamada, T. (Hokkaido University)
In April 2009, the first course on critical-thinking-based academic writing in Hokkaido University, “Logical Thinking in Academic Writing Skills I”, was started. A team of four philosophers accepted 30 students from 15 countries, each of whom was studying in one of more than 10 different graduate schools and institutes in Hokkaido University at that time. In October that year, 15 students out of the above 30 were accepted in an advanced course, “Logical Thinking in Academic Writing Skills II”. The experience of teaching these two courses were highly exciting and we learned many things through teaching. In this talk I will present one of the things we have learnt: how Socratic interactive questioning works in such courses.
As may be expected, we invited students to present their researches in class and asked questions whenever we found something unclear, unconvincing, inconclusive, or strange as well as something of which we had never heard of before. Since the questioning was interactive, students were often led to notice what they had failed to, but must have been able to, say. Moreover, since our questioning was Socratic in the sense that we were usually ignorant of the subject matters the students were studying, they could not rely on their jargons or implicit assumptions shared among colleagues. Thus, they were often forced to address very fundamental or foundational issues in their fields, and this sometimes seemed to let them have a clearer understanding of their own subjects.
余 文龍 (京都大学)