The three components of Academic Writing (modules, tutorials, writers' groups) are designed to meet the varied needs of the Max Weber Fellows (both native and non-native speakers of English) and they are offered by the English Unit/FIESOLE group on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
Modules: Tuesdays 11.00-12.30 (October-December). Three modules, focusing on (i) pronunciation and research presentations, (ii) grammar and research writing, and (iii) corpus resources and textual structuring
- Pronunciation for research presentations (2 sessions)
This module is designed to assist non-native fellows to improve the intelligibility of their spoken academic English, by focusing selectively on segmental and prosodic features that contribute to successful communication in large-group settings. The module will be tailored to specific problem areas emerging from September presentations and will provide opportunities for rehearsing and obtaining feedback.
- Grammar in research papers (3 sessions)
This module addresses some key areas of English grammar that are central to persuasive research writing. The specific topics will be finalised after your writing samples have been analysed, but in past years have included modals and modalisation, the expression of writer stance in citing and paraphrasing the work of other scholars, typical patterns of time and tense in different sections of a research paper, as well as problem areas that often persist even at very advanced levels (e.g. use of articles and other elements contributing to discourse cohesion).
- Corpus resources and discourse structuring (3 sessions)
This module, taught in collaboration with Nick Groom (Centre for English Language Studies, University of Birmingham University/FIESOLE group), has the dual objective of introducing fellows to the use of specialised corpora as a support for academic writing in specific disciplinary areas and as a way of reflecting on strategic aspects of textual structuring.
Tutorials: Tuesdays 11.00-12.30 (October-Easter). Tutorials provide the opportunity for individual half-hour sessions with a member of English Unit to discuss and revise writing in progress. These sessions can also be used to practise ‘dry runs’ of seminar or conference presentations, check slides, cover letters, etc.
Writers’ groups: Wednesdays 9.00-11.00 (October-Easter). Writers’ groups provide an effective setting for exchanging constructive feedback on the readability and effectiveness of texts before e.g. submitting them for publication. The groups, organised according to discipline and facilitated by a member of the English Unit, meet once every three weeks and are open to both native and non-native speakers of English.
The FIESOLEgroup is a network of applied linguists, educationalists and language professionals from a number of European institutions of higher education committed to the development and dissemination of best practices in the field of academic communication, with particular reference to the English for academic purposes needs of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers and junior faculty in today’s multilingual Europe.
Constituted in 2006 on the occasion of a first meeting organised in Florence under the auspices of the EUI Language Centre and the Max Weber Programme (hence the group’s acronym Fine-tuning Innovative European Strategies to Orient Language Education), the group collaborates through face-to-face interaction, teaching exchanges and a collaborative Moodle platform in order to share teaching and learning practices which have proved successful in the members’ home institutions.
Through its activities, the group is dedicated to developing teaching materials, methodologies, and curricular guidelines particularly suited to multilingual settings in which English functions as an academic lingua franca. Areas of particular expertise include teaching and learning in university classrooms (with particular attention to issues of cultural diversity), academic literacy, writing for publication, para-academic communication. Jointly and as individuals, the group offers workshops, intensive courses and educational consulting services tailored to the needs of host institutions throughout Europe.
In addition to the members of the EUI Language Centre’s English Unit, members of the group include faculty and language professionals from the London School of Economics and Institute of Education (University of London), Humbolt University (Berlin), Collège d’Europe (Bruges), University of Siena.