scholarly writing in l2

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A presentation of a book chapter that dealt with research about scholarly writing in L2.


  • 1. Scholarly Writing in L2 Chapter 7 Leki, I, Cumming, A, & Silva, T. (2008). A Synthesis of Research on Second Language Writing in English. New York: Routledge. Presented by: Entisar Elsherif
  • 2. What is scholarly writing? Why L2 scholars write and publish in English? Research into L2 Scholars writing/publishing in English
  • 3. The first reaction is often: what is a scholarly paper? How does it differ from other types of papers?
  • 4. What is scholarly writing? Type of writing required by academics/experts and associated with research papers/reports Written by academics for an academic audience - Authors are academics/experts in particular disciplines or fields - The targeted audiences are researchers, professors, and college/university students Editing is done by experts in the field who review the articles submitted for publication The publishers are normally the universities, research institutes and scholarly press.
  • 5. Articles are more sophisticated and advanced than those in the general magazines The language used is specialized vocabulary of the discipline covered. The purpose of the article is to give a report on original research, experimentation, and methodology, as well as theory. The articles include bibliographies and footnotes, which cite the authors of researched materials.
  • 6. Differs from other writing in four fundamental areas: content, references, format, and the writing process itself. The content of a scholarly paper is characterized by critical thinking including: comparison and contrast, evaluation, analysis, synthesis, and integration in order to form new insights and draw new conclusions, and finally application to a real situation.
  • 7. Why L2 scholars write in English? Research showed that L2 scholars write in English for different reasons
  • 8. L2 Scholars write in English for different reasons Dominance of English in international publications (Crystal, 1997; Gaddol, 1997) Articles published in English-language journals get more citations and attention (St. John, 1987) To add scholars voices and their home countries perspectives (Casanave, 2002) To get hired, promoted, tenured, or conferral of PhD degrees (Braine, 2005; Casanave, 1998; Curry & Lillis, 2004; J. Flwoerdew, 2000; Gosden, 1992, 1996)
  • 9. Research into Professional L2 Writing Research focused on cross-linguistic, cross-cultural, and cross-disciplinary text analysis Surveys and interviews with novice and successful L2 authors of scholarly publications Surveys and interviews of editors of international publications Case studies of bilingual authors First-person accounts by L2 scholarly authors writing in English
  • 10. Research into Professional L2 Writing Studies about L2 scholars problems in producing and publishing in English Studies about Editors views and comments about L2 scholars writing in English Studies about bilingual authors
  • 11. Canagarajah (1996) Drew attention to some of the nondiscursive problems that afflict nonnative speakers. Canagarajah was primarily interested not in any linguistic problems they might have but in problems of a material and logistical nature. These problems include lack of physical resources, such as libraries, typewriters or computers word processors, emails, paper, and even money for postage.
  • 12. These problems also included physical marginalization and exclusion. (Canagarajah,1996) Sense of being outside, away from the center of the disciplinary conversation (J. Flowerdew, 2000)
  • 13. Flowerdew (1999) He conducted a survey of NNS academics in Hong Kong to find out their perceptions, problems, and strategies regarding publication in English. One of the significant findings of this survey was that just over two thirds of subjects felt themselves to be at a disadvantage in publishing in English as compared with NSs. More disturbing, nearly a third of the respondents felt that prejudice by referees, editors, and publishers placed NNSs at a disadvantage when writing for publication.
  • 14. Flowerdew (2001) Conducted a set of interviews with leading international journal editors. His purpose was to find out how the editors of leading journals in English viewed the issue of NNSs publishing in their journals and to gain insight into how the chances of successful publication by NNSs might be enhanced.
  • 15. NNS contributions in general tended to contain surface language errors. In general, editors felt that these were not problematic, as they would be dealt with by a copy editor. Failure to show the relevance of the study to the international community, parochialism. Their contributions tended to be too localized. NNS writers failed to indicate how their research addressed current issues in the international community of scholarship.
  • 16. Two sections of the article were particularly problematic that needed special attention: the introduction/literature review and, to a lesser extent, the discussion/ conclusion. Lack of authorial voice was identified as a major problem by many editors.
  • 17. Need to control linguistic and rhetorical features of English (J. Flowerdew, 2000; Gosden, 1996; Sionis, 1995; St. John, 1987) Language plays a role in the decision to publish (L2 writers problems with language usage) (J. Flowerdew, 2001; Gosden, 1992, 1995)
  • 18. Problems L2 scholars encounter when they attempt to produce and publish their texts Length of time and effort Being limited to a simple style Being limited to a quantitative paradigm Difficulty of making claims Difficulty of revealing or concealing the authors commitment to those claims
  • 19. These problems resulted in the emergence of English-language editors who exist worldwide to edit, rewrite, or help such authors revise their manuscripts.
  • 20. English-language editors created a number of problems: Editing services are expensive. Editors may not be familiar with the writers disciplinary discourse. Ethical issues arise of whose text it is: editor as co-author of the article (Burrough-Boenisch, 2003; J. Flowerdew, 2000; Gosden, 1996; Quian, 1995)
  • 21. Despite the pull from one side to publish in English, some scholars experienced a counterpull to publish in their first language to participate and contribute to the development of their home academic communities.
  • 22. being unable to think or write about disciplinary issues in their L1s (Casanave, 1998, Flowerdew, 2000; Shi, 2003) scholars might be unable to communicate their scholarly findings in their L1 to their L1 audiences and in focusing on issues of importance to the international community at the expense of locally significant issues (Skutnabb-Kangas, 2000) By writing in two languages, scholars experience the two publishing worlds and the demands of two different professional roles. (Casanave, 1998)
  • 23. Summary and Conclusion L2 scholars engage in message reduction allowing ideological reformulation by reviewers and editors Displacement of other languages as likely means of communication Distortion of scientific knowledge and skewing of meta-analysis through the failure to include materials published in languages other than English Expensive professional English-language editing service
  • 24. Summary and Conclusion Reported reactions of L2 scholars (acceptance of the unavoidable, irritation, frustration, and discrimination) L2 scholars might chose not to publish at all These cause information of vital scientific interest to be distorted or to go unreported (Baldauf, 1986; Baldauf & Jernudd, 1983; Canagarajah, 2002, J. Flowerdew, 1999; Tardy, 2004; J. Flowerdew, 2000; Sionis, 1995 )
  • 25. How could


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