Writers’ Groups (an integrative part of the APW Publishing and Writing component of the programme) and the various Academic Communication Skills offerings (ACS modules, tutorials, support for teaching exchanges) are designed to meet the varied needs of the Max Weber Fellows (both native and non-native speakers of English). They are offered by the English Unit/FIESOLE Group on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
WG - Writers’ Groups
Tuesdays 11-12.30 starting Oct. 18th, or other times by arrangement (October - May)
Experience with postdocs and junior faculty in various contexts (UK, Australia etc.) shows that Writers’ groups provide an effective setting for giving and obtaining peer feedback on the readability and effectiveness of texts before submitting them for publication, thus supporting the publishing process and helping to boost output. Groups (normally 4-5 fellows per group) are organised on a disciplinary basis according to fellows' writing aims for the year (publication of articles in peer-reviewed journals, book proposal plus monograph, etc.). Facilitated by a writing expert (and practising academic) from the English Unit, groups meet once every three weeks. For fellows on the job market, specific sessions in October-November will include support for job-market related writing.
ACS - Academic Communications Skills Modules
Tuesdays 9.15-10.45 (October-December)
The ACS modules are designed to assist fellows in fine-tuning their academic communication skills in English. Two modules are offered, focusing on (i) pronunciation and public speaking in the context of research presentations, and (ii) aspects of academic writing in English central to persuasive research writing.
Pronunciation and public speaking (3 sessions, starting Oct. 11th)
This module is designed to assist non-native fellows in improving 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.
Finetuning your academic writing in English (6 sessions, starting Nov. 8th)
This module focuses on some key aspects of the lexico-grammar and stylistic of English central to persuasive research writing. The specific topics will be finalised on the basis of fellows' writing samples and participants' choices from a 'smorgasbord' of options, 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). A special session session will be dedicated to how corpus linguistics tools (concordancing software and disciplinary-specific corpora) can be used to support the writing process. Fellows can choose to attend the whole module or specific sessions according to their needs and interests.
TUT - Tutorials
Tuesdays 11.00-12.00 (Oct.-Dec.) 9.30-11.00 (Jan-Jun), and Fridays 10.00 -13.00 (Oct.-June)
Weekly tutorials provide the opportunity for individual sessions with a member of the English Unit to discuss and revise writing in progress. These sessions can also be used to practice ‘dry runs’ of seminar/conference presentations or job talks, check slides, cover letters, etc. Fellows can also arrange for on-site observation and feedback on small and large-group teaching.
The FIESOLE Group 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.