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62 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
William G. Tierney, "Get Real: 49 Challenges Confronting Higher Education" (SUNY, 2020)
Listen to this interview of William Tierney, University Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. We talk about his book Get Real: 49 Challenges Confronting Higher Education (SUNY, 2020), about what people really believe when it comes to higher education, and also about what people need to do when it comes to higher education.William Tierney : "Oftentimes the board and the administration and the faculty are in cahoots with one another, in the sense that the marker is only how to improve in the rankings. And you can see this when a teaching college becomes a state university, and then it will try to move away from teaching and move towards research. And a board member will feel good about that: 'Boy, I came in, and my institution was ranked 250th, and now it's a 100. We the board are doing a great job.' And what the administration will say is: 'I transformed the institution. We were 250, and now we're 100.' And the faculty will say, 'Yup, the students are better.' And all this impacts on writing centers like this: Writing centers are often seen as problems–––you know, that kids go to the writing center because they have a problem. Well, then, if we don't have writing centers, then we don't have students who have problems–––which is, of course, the exact wrong way to think about an essential skill that we need for the twenty-first century." Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.
61 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Brooke Rollins, "The Ethics of Persuasion: Derrida's Rhetorical Legacies" (Ohio State UP, 2020)
Listen to this interview of Brooke Rollins, Assistant Professor of English at Lehigh University. We talk about lots of Greeks and about one Frenchman and (if you write) also about you.Brooke Rollins : "I think there is a way that practice in reading and writing–––that it lines up so nicely with physical training. You know, to run a marathon, you don't simply just run 26.2 miles every day to practise for that. There are things that gradually take you up to that, but it's persistent. It's over an extended period of time. Regularity in reading and writing is important. And I certainly feel like the contemporary university doesn't do enough of that with writing. There's first-year courses, and then the thinking is, 'Well, they've had that, they've passed that bar, and now they can move on to their fields and not worry about writing anymore. We've taken care of that.' But in fact, writing development is necessary along the whole course of study. That's why writing-in-the-discipline programs are so important." Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.
54 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Iain McGee, "Understanding the Paragraph and Paragraphing" (Equinox, 2018)
Listen to this interview of Iain McGee (PhD, Cardiff University) a PhD student in the Department of Religion and Theology at the University of Bristol (UK), and an EAP teacher at Cardiff University. We talk about his book Understanding the Paragraph and Paragraphing (Equinox, 2018), the paragraph as a break in the text, about the paragraph as a unit of the text, and about the ¶.Iain McGee : "Often writing instruction in classroom environments is readerless in terms of the actual text and in terms of who will engage with it. Many writers in classrooms know that the only reader will be the teacher. But when it comes to writing for purposeful reasons, then we will be thinking of the reader, and the reader will have certain (as Michael Hoey puts it) textual colligation expectations, that means that the reader will be expecting paragraphs to flow in a certain way, will be expecting certain ways of organizing that text. And so, for the writer in that environment, the writer needs to be aware of those discourse-specific ways in which we communicate. One of the points I make in the book is that, Alexander Bain and his work in particular never really considered the reader and as such, made rather prescriptive, one-size-fits-all comments on what good paragraphing is. But in reality, the genre very much determines how we will go about writing our paragraphs, for example, how many sentences we might have, or the kinds of links between the paragraphs, for example, those links will be very different between reading an article in a newspaper and reading a journal article. And so, that sensitivity to genre is one of the focal points of my research, and I want to draw attention to the fact that we need to understand genres better so that we can make comments about the paragraph which are more intelligent, more specific, and more relevant to the actual readers of real genres and to the writers engaged with those genres."Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.
63 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Martin Paul Eve et al. "Reading Peer Review: PLOS One and Institutional Change in Academia" (Cambridge UP, 2021)
Listen to this interview of Martin Paul Eve (Birkbeck, University of London), Cameron Neylon (Curtin University), Daniel Paul O'Donnell (University of Lethbridge), Samuel Moore (Coventry University), Robert Gadie (University of the Arts London), Victoria Odeniyi (University College London), and Shahina Parvin (University of Lethbridge) about their book Reading Peer Review: PLOS One and Institutional Change in Academia, published this year by Cambridge University Press. The book is part of Cambridge UP's "Elements" series. It's also open access. We talk about excellence in higher education and about excellence in scientific research, and we talk about all the trouble that can bring.Martin Paul Eve : "Yeah, I think that's right that in scholarly communication, we're dealing less with language and more with discourse. And the most frustrating defenses of the humanities disciplines try to claim some exclusivity around language and expression and so on. And really, when you're dealing with extremely complicated scientific concepts, the way you express them does matter, and if there isn't clarity in your expression, it leads to poor communication. I mean, part of the challenge here is that the evolution of the research article in the sciences means that you're only ever really getting a description of what has been done. And so making the description as perspicacious as possible is a core part of that. Now the questions is: Since we have practices like open data, like replication studies that attempt to give more of an insight into the process, into what's going on–––Do they obviate that need for such careful language usage, given that you're exposing more of the process itself or does it remain as important as ever. I think it's probably the latter. But it's interesting to me that this need for precision has evolved, that it does play a role, and that reviewers nearly always comment upon it when they think it's lacking."Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.
84 minutes | May 31, 2021
Martin Paul Eve and Jonathan Gray, "Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access" (MIT Press, 2020)
Listen to this interview of Martin Paul Eve and Jonathan Gray, editors of Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access (published open access by MIT in 2020). We talk about a lot, and all of it, really, falls under the head "Ethics of Scholarly Communication."interviewer : "How did you conceive of a project of this diversity on the subject of open access and publishing?"Martin Paul Eve : "What's really interesting to me is that most academics think they know about scholarly publishing because they have all published. This is a bit like me saying that I'm an expert in how car engines work because I can drive. It doesn't equate to the same thing. And so what we really wanted to do was to put together a volume that did not really attempt forcibly to synthesize all of the propositions made under its roof, but rather to give a space for a debate to develop, a space for argument and conversation to flourish about the difficulties surrounding open access."---------------------interviewer : "The book just tells all it has to tell from every perspective, and these disagreements, and agreements, make for the feel of a real discussion. I wonder what your basic view of scholarly communication was throughout the, surely, long editing process."Jonathan Gray : "Well, we thought of it like this: so if you look at work on the sociology of art––rather than looking at the artwork, you look at everything around that artwork which is required for it to be seen and appreciated as an artwork. You look at the supply chains involved in producing print and canvas, you look at the gallery workers, you look at ticket sales and so on. And I guess we were keen to kind of do a similar thing with this book, to perform a kind of inversion around scholarly communication and open access, and really situate it and re-world it in relation to all sorts of issues, communities, forms of labor, and infrastructures."Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.
69 minutes | May 18, 2021
Ken Hyland, "Second Language Writing" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Listen to this interview of Ken Hyland, Professor of Applied Linguistics in Education at the University of East Anglia, UK. We talked about his book Second Language Writing (Cambridge UP, 2019), the importance of reflection to teaching, and about the importance of teaching to research, and about the importance of research to reflection.Interviewer : "I wonder whether second language writing isn't sometimes identifying itself too closely with language learning, and not–––well, it should be writing in a second language, shouldn't it? You know, put something up front which is what this is really about."Ken Hyland : "Yeah, I think that one thing that an emphasis on second language writing has given us is the recognition that writing is important. I don't think that there is a university anywhere now that doesn't have a writing center or at least an office where students can go and get consultation about their texts. Writing has been recognized as important, and also in native-English-speaking contexts as well, and in UK universities. And in fact, when we look at writing at advanced levels, like PhDs and writing for publication, language doesn't really come into it anymore. It's a rhetorical issue. And this crude native/nonnative polarization I think breaks down entirely. You know, it's counterproductive, because it demoralizes second-language writers who are trying to get their PhD or publish in journals, and it ignores the very real writing problems experienced by native English speakers, by L1s, you know. So, the L1s get ignored, in favor of the L2s, who get the courses, but everyone's unhappy because it's seen as a language issue rather than as a writing issue."
93 minutes | May 7, 2021
John B. Thompson, "Book Wars: The Digital Revolution in Publishing" (Polity, 2021)
Today I talked to John Thompson, Emeritus Professor, Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, about his new book Book Wars: The Digital Revolution in Publishing (Polity, 2021). We discuss crowdfunding, audio books, distribution chains, social media, self-publishing, ebooks, Amazon, retail, and oh, also those things that are made of paper and glued together and have words printed in them.Interviewer: "One of the real eye-openers for me in the book was the distance, historically speaking, between readers and publishers. Now, as I think about it, and as I compare what a company like Amazon does to what traditional publishers do, well, I begin to notice that publishers are on the side of authors and content and that publishers have an obligation, even, on that side."John Thompson: "Yes, they have an obligation to authors. Publishers are good and professional at developing content. And if they're good publishers, they have a well thought-through and sophisticated marketing and publicity operation that helps to create visibility for books. But on this last point alone–––making books known to others–––the opportunity created by the digital revolution is not just that you make books visible by using traditional media like advertising in the newspaper, but that you are able to reach out directly to readers and consumers and make your books visible to them directly, in much the way that Amazon does when they send an email blast to an Amazon user that says, 'You might be interested in this book.' But why can't publishers do that themselves? Now, thanks to the digital revolution, the opportunity is created for publishers to develop relationships with readers, and to do so at scale. It simply wasn't possible, prior to the digital revolution and prior to the Internet. But now it is. And so that is a huge transformation that publishers are beginning to avail themselves of and which will, I think, continue to change the industry."Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.
77 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Helen Sword, "Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write" (Harvard UP, 2017)
Today I talked to Helen Sword about Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write (Harvard UP, 2017). We talk about what not enough people talk about when the subject is writing.interviewer : "You offer the advice of forming a writing group, because writing groups are, well, just all-around terrific for helping people write as they want to."Helen Sword : "Exactly, and well, so I try not to be didactic about just about anything having to do with writing––I'm much more about, 'Here's a range of possibilities. Make a considered decision here,' rather than, 'I'm going to tell you what to do.' But if I were to give one piece of advice concerning the social dimensions of writing, I would say, 'Really, really strongly consider belonging to some kind of writing group.' And I define a writing group as being two or more people who meet more than once to talk about any aspect of writing. So, if you have somebody you meet with for coffee once a month, one other person, and all you do is you sit there and complain about your supervisor and how you wish that they were more sympathetic to your writing––That's already a writing group. So, it doesn't have to be some big kind of formal thing. It's opening yourself up to the social dimensions of writing and particularly to the idea of having supporters in your corner, having some cheerleaders, having some people you can talk to about writing who are not there to criticize you––who are there to help you."Daniel Shea heads Scholarly Communication, the podcast about how knowledge gets known. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Daniel's YouTube Channel is called Write Your Research.
76 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
The Writing Center Today: An Interview with Gerd Bräuer
Listen to this interview of Gerd Bräuer, Head of the Schreibzentrum, the writing center, at Freiburg University of Education. We talk about the place of the internet in writing development, we talk about views on writing in German higher education and more widely in German society and culture, and we talk about Bert Brecht's journals.Tnterviewer: "What part does a person's biography play in their writing? And I mean the academic writing students do, or also, the academic writing we publish, and not just literature and memoir."Gerd Bräuer: "Well, in the writing process, there's something we call writer-based prose. And here the writer would really get the chance, from the institution and from the instructor, to pay attention to this first phase within the writing process, where the writer struggles with his or her own thoughts and ideas and also reconnects to what he or she has learned through the writing––or however else they've learned it––and the writer gets the chance to be always trying to figure out what to explore and how to explore it, before he or she starts to think about how to say it to a certain audience within a certain text genre. This writer-based prose is focused on immediate work with knowledge, with creating new knowledge. Peter Elbow, an American writing researcher that I admire greatly––he speaks about cooking, about letting your ideas boil and simmer, and then tasting to find out whether you like it and what to change. And all this I see as part of biographical work. You work on your biography as a learner, and that phenomenon, learning, is lifelong and includes everyone. So, with every single new writing assignment you get a learning chance. But of course, the institution or whoever assigns the writing would also have to provide the framework to make this learning happen."Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Heidelberg Writing Program, a division of the Language Center at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write Daniel.Shea@zsl.uni-heidelberg.de
78 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
Christopher Thaiss, "Writing Science in the Twenty-First Century" (Broadview Press, 2019)
Listen to this interview of Christopher Thaiss, author of Writing Science in the Twenty-First Century (Broadview Press 2019). We talk about the research article, about writing styles, and about the uses of rhetoric to scientists.Interviewer: "Too many students learning to write in the sciences lack helpful feedback on their writing, and this causes them to experience, quite personally, that disconnect we were talking about, between doing science and writing science."Christopher Thaiss: "Feedback is one of the things I return to again and again in the book. And in my teaching, I think that one of the ways that feedback is used––I think that the most effective way that feedback is used is not so much the feedback that I give students about their writing, although the students will always say, 'We love your feedback!' But what's really important is the feedback that they learn to give and get in peer response workshops. I'm very careful in designing peer response so that students feel that sense of responsibility to give good feedback to one another, but also how to ask for feedback on the work that they're doing themselves. I think that peer response is so important in the scientific context, but it is, you know, in any writing context, and so I really try to foreground that within the course. The way I talk about it in writing in STEM is actually in the context of how research is done and how scientific discoveries and advancements are made: It's through the process of peer review. And if we can teach students early on to become good readers and then careful, conscientious givers of feedback to one another, we have achieved so much in terms of their ability to become contributing members of the scientific community."Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Heidelberg Writing Program, a division of the Language Center at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write Daniel.Shea@zsl.uni-heidelberg.de
68 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Joan Turner, "On Writtenness: The Cultural Politics of Academic Writing" (Bloomsbury, 2018)
Listen to this interview of Joan Turner, author of On Writtenness: The Cultural Politics of Academic Writing (Bloomsbury Academic 2018). We talk about writers, writing, writers writing, unwritten subtexts, and written text.Interviewer: "What do you see as the step which writing practitioners can take in the direction of their discipline-based colleagues, and what's the step that researchers can take toward writing practice?"Joan Turner: "Well, obviously, it has to be something that has to be ongoing, and in many respects, it comes down to individuals. There are a lot of well-meaning researchers who value collaboration with writing practitioners, as there are many who don't. And I think is it probably incumbent upon the writing practitioners to kind of put themselves forward more, to kind of slough off the sense of inferiority that might surround them because of how institutions position writing development, and they just have to attempt to begin the conversation. I think that often, when they do, on an individual level, it works. Although often, another problem that occurs with that, is, if you're actually making contact with a particular department where you've got a lot of students, then you might make contact with a particular individual, who then leaves that institution or goes on to a different role in the institution, and is no longer collaborating with the writing center, and then you have to begin again with another one. So, it can be an uphill struggle, but I do have some optimism that things will get better."Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Heidelberg Writing Program, a division of the Language Center at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write Daniel.Shea@zsl.uni-heidelberg.de
72 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Robert Samuels, "Teaching Writing, Rhetoric, and Reason at the Globalizing University" (Routledge, 2020)
Listen to this interview of Robert Samuels, author of Teaching Writing, Rhetoric, and Reason at the Globalizing University (Routledge, 2021). We talk about grammar, which is what everything really fits inside of. Mostly.Interviewer : "Clearly, the liberal globalist position will cause some pushback. What would you say to our listeners, what would you say to your readers to help them make that pushback into counterargument?"Robert Samuels : "Well, it's difficult, because on one hand, if I'm saying we should focus on logic and reason, it seems like I'm saying that we should ignore emotion, but what I'm also saying is that we should really think about how emotion is manipulated through language and the role that language plays in communication. And so the problem is you want to have a more complex argument, where it's not just either-or. But in our current debate culture it seems that everything often comes into this very polarized either-or discourse. And so it's difficult to figure out how to get people who are not already on your side to listen to you. And I think that's a general problem we have within culture and society, at least in the United States: that is, how to open up this space where people can try to judge arguments based on facts and their merit and their logic and not on some predetermined ideological investment."Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Heidelberg Writing Program, a division of the Language Center at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write Daniel.Shea@zsl.uni-heidelberg.de
78 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
Joe Essid and Brian McTague, "Writing Centers at the Center of Change" (Routledge, 2020)
Today I talked Joe Essid and Brian McTague about their book Writing Centers at the Center of Change (Routledge 2020). We discuss about critical thinking through writing and we talk about what it is that's critical to writing.Interviewer: What's the next big change you see coming?Brian McTague: I don't know exactly what that's going to be, but I think it's going to have something to do with adapting what the previous 'normal' model was for writing centers into this new normal that definitely takes into account technology on a broader scale and how we communicate. You know, we can communicate face-to-face via technology, so does it have to be in person? One example from my own writing center: Over the last year we have done a lot of online-Zoom group workshops. And group workshops are something that we've always offered in person, and sometimes we'd get ten people, sometimes we'd get nobody. Now, we have a Zoom workshop, and we get up to eighty students, or actually, eighty participants, because there are also often some faculty and staff there, too. So to me, that shows that there's potential to learn a lot from what we've done well in this very challenging past year.Joe Essid: Brian, that's grounded optimism. And I think it's something I will do on our campus, once I have the breathing space. That's a post-pandemic opportunity to begin to host some workshops, and use Zoom, because then faculty can attend them from home, students don't have to trek to a room that we have to book. So, I think our writing workshop program is going to move to Zoom, and I can bring in outside experts.
75 minutes | Mar 12, 2021
David Payne on the Community of Scientists and Diversity
Listen to this interview of David Payne, who is Chief Careers Editor at Nature. We talk about high quality writing, about the gracious community of scientists, and about diversity, diversity, diversity.Interviewer : "What is the one thing you hope, for sure, that every piece of Careers content will achieve?"David Payne : "Oh, that's a question, isn't it? You know what, I think it is about emotion. And I just want it to––not tug at your heartstrings, that sounds cheesy––but I feel, we spend so much time at work, and work does define us, rightly or wrongly, actually. So much of what we do is mediated through the jobs that we do. We spend so much time with our colleagues, and probably more than we do with family members often. So, I just hope that every piece we publish resonates. We can't resonate with everybody, of course, because it's a very diverse workforce in science. But, whenever I read any piece of content, I always think, how many boxes are we ticking here. You know, who is going to be interested in this. Of course, the target audience is currently the early career researcher, but of course you have all sorts of halo effects, as well. You want to think that funders are reading it, that they're finding it a useful take; people like yourself, who train people to write as a scientist; lab leaders; policymakers; thought leaders; and all the way down the line."
98 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
Common Ground Scholar: A Discussion with Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis
Listen to this interview of Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis, creators of the website newlearningonline.com and also professors at the College of Education, University of Illinois. We talk about monastic instruction in the sixth century, we talk about textbook learning in the sixteenth century, and we talk about cybersecurity education in the twenty-first century, but overall we talk about imbalances in self agency.Interviewer: "Could you describe one pedagogical affordance of the technology on your learning platform CGScholar?"Bill Cope: "So, what we're doing is we're using big data and learning analytics as an alternative feedback system. So, what we say, then, is, okay, well: 'The test is dead! Long live assessment!' We have so much data from CGScholar. Why would you create a little sample of an arrow or two at the end of a course, when we can from day one be data mining every single thing you do? And by the way, by the end of the course, we have these literally millions of data points and for every student. Now, the other thing, as well, is, our argument is––and we call this recursive feedback––is that every little data point is a piece of actionable feedback. Someone makes a comment on what you do, you get a score from somebody on your work against a Likert scale...so what we're doing is, we have this idea of complete data transparency, but also, we're not going to make any judgments for you or about you, or the system's not going to do it, without that feedback being actionable, so that you can then improve your work. It feeds into your work. So, the difference is, instead of assessment being retrospective and judgmental, what we're doing is making micro-judgments which are prospective and constructive and going towards your learning."Visit the Learning Design and Leadership Program here and visit CGScholar here.
71 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Writing in Disciplines: A Discussion with Shyam Sharma
Listen to this interview of Shyam Sharma, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric at Stony Brook University. We talk about how mutually appreciative attitudes advance Writing in the Disciplines, about how other languages matter to writing in English, and about how US Presidents have changed the ways we teach writing and learn to write.Interviewer: "Where does language come in to the sort of writing development called Writing Studies or English for Academic Purposes or Academic Literacies?"Shyam Sharma: "Well, there are language-focused academic curriculums around the world. But language is not writing. If it was, then I wouldn't have my job. You know, for the most part, students who speak English as a native language wouldn't need to learn anything about genres and conventions and writing and rhetoric and communication. And so, where English is taught in non-English-speaking regions, the concern about language buries everything so far down that it is difficult for people to foreground it and to pay specialized attention to it and to develop research programs and to be funded and to be recognized and so on."Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Heidelberg Writing Program, a division of the Language Center at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write Daniel.Shea@zsl.uni-heidelberg.de
70 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
Scholarly Communications: A Discussion with Elisa De Ranieri, Editor-in-Chief of "Nature Communications"
Listen to this interview of Elisa De Ranieri, Editor-in-Chief of Nature Communications. We talk about knowing the research you have done, but communicating the message you want said.Interviewer: "When a submission lands on your desk, or better said, you call it up on your screen, what are you pleased to see, what makes your work easier?"Elisa De Ranieri: "Yeah, well, I guess what makes the job easier for an editor is to receive a paper that is well-written and well-constructed and where the authors are so experienced that they know how to pitch their story. It's nice because it, obviously, spares the editor the trouble of having to unpick what's being said. You know, there are papers where––I'm not saying that they're badly written––but they are so dense because it's not a story, it's a dump of facts, so that you have to start unpicking the facts until you've made your own version of the story that the authors are trying to tell, and only then can you assess that story based on your criteria."Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write Daniel.Shea@zsl.uni-heidelberg.de
72 minutes | Nov 20, 2020
Shyam Sharma, "Writing Support for International Graduate Students" (Routledge, 2020)
Listen to this interview of Shyam Sharma, author of Writing Support for International Graduate Students: Enhancing Transition and Success (Routledge, 2020). We talk about international students and rhetoric, international students and confidence, international students and community-based programming, and vision.Interviewer : "Could you give an example for how teachers can foster agency among international students?"Shyam Sharma : "Let's say you walk into a class and you ask, 'How do people greet in a formal academic setting.' If you say, 'How do people greet in a formal academic setting, in your local community' –– Just add that phrase at the end –– what happens is that the Chinese student versus the American student versus the Brazilian student get to share their ideas about how people (in English, of course), about how people greet each other formally. But by giving them a platform where their ideas can be brought in order to explore, that allows many of things, one being to set the terms of engagement which are, then, not my terms and you are the foreigner. Instead, at least it's a starting point. It allows the student to create these different terms of engagement on their own."
82 minutes | Nov 18, 2020
Helen Sword, "Stylish Academic Writing" (Harvard UP, 2012)
Listen to this interview of Helen Sword, author of Stylish Academic Writing (Harvard UP, 2012). We talk about bad writing, but a lot more about how to make it good. There's even a dog.Interviewer : "What is it that keeps most students and then, too, many early-career academics away from making the effort to write well?"Helen Sword : "Writing is seen as this utilitarian thing. You've got to learn it. It's got lots of rules. If you get things wrong, somebody's going to put red ink on there or red tracked changes or whatever. There's a lot of emotional baggage tied up with the hard work of writing well, and yet when I interviewed successful academic writers, what I heard over and over again, was about the pleasures that they take in the hard work of the craft. And that's where, for me, I link the pleasures of writing well back to stylish academic writing, to the craft of writing well. Those two things have got to go hand in hand to be a long-term sustainable kind of enterprise."
80 minutes | Nov 13, 2020
Jo Mackiewicz, "Writing Center Talk over Time: A Mixed-Method Study" (Routledge, 2018)
Listen to this interview of Jo Mackiewicz, author of Writing Center Talk over Time: A Mixed-Method Study (Routledge, 2018). We talk about talk, tutor talk, student talk, spoken written-language, and Wisconsin.interviewer : "Now, this is pretty much something that a writing center is aiming for, isn't it? I mean, you don't want that––just as in the classroom with the teacher––you don't want that the writing tutor is doing all of the talking, do you?"Jo Mackiewicz : "Oh, yeah. One of the biggest goals of the writing center tutor is to try to get the student to talk. Because there's a great tendency for students to backchannel, to show they're understanding––and of course, that's their role and it makes sense that they would do that. But what a tutor wants to try to do, in the best case, is to get them to start talking, to try to start putting words together themselves, to try to reshape their words, to try to orally shape the words that would go in their papers."Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Writing Program at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write Daniel.Shea@zsl.uni-heidelberg.de
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