Improving english for academic purposes
English has become the lingua franca of academic exchange. Researchers in all subject areas need the communication skills to present their findings in conferences and to publish in international peer-reviewed journals.
To help its members developing the professional skills required to better communicate(ing?), the GEDT has provided financial support for a 10-hour course pilot initiative, which took place at the University of Geneva from May 14th to June 18th 2018.
Such a training provided hands-on linguistic tools and strategies with a view to increasing the participants’ confidence when delivering lectures and writing for international publication.
The course was organized by the “Maison des Langues” and delivered by Vincent Cherif. The three GEDT participants (Lisa Levy, Serena Vanbutsele, and Raphaël Languillon) attended one session (1.5 hour) per week during five weeks. Each sessions followed the outline below:
- Short scientific talk from one of the participants, presenting key features and findings of his/her own research, usually followed by a Q&A session with peer review.
- Lecture on key academic vocabulary and the use of the tenses in academic writing.
- Group presentations based on the analysis of TED videos and intensive speaking practice of advanced language skills.
The course focused on the specific needs of the participants, starting from their own ongoing research and preparation for presentations. A special attention was paid to oral skills through a step-by-step approach aimed at encouraging the participants to find their own personal style when delivering talks.
From an institutional point of view, we now wish to develop further the collaboration between the “Maison des Langues” and GEDT members as well as staff from the Department of Geography. Since several members are working on the same project, a tailor-made workshop would greatly benefit all the participants. Short interactive modules may focus on preparing abstracts, proofreading papers and rehearsing presentations, with a common goal of enhancing the visibility of our research at GEDT4 septembre 2018
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