The series of classes 'English for Research Purposes', specifically aimed at young researchers, will cover a variety of topics and questions on scientific English.
Firstly, we will discuss a research text as a communicative act. In the second class, we will learn about the aspects of scientific style, possible intercultural aspects in scientific writing, and the importance of terminology. Then, we will pay attention to text organization and issues of hedging, vagueness, sensationalism, and exaggeration. In the fourth class, we will look at some of the constraints in scientific writing such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Fifthly, we will study the process of describing, comparing, contrasting, and narrating. Finally, we will consider some aspects of revising, editing, and proofreading.
Guntars Dreijers (pictured) holds a PhD and the position of Associate Professor in contrastive linguistics and translation studies. He has been actively cooperating with universities both nationally (Ventspils University of Applied sciences, RISEBA, University of Latvia), and internationally (Université Bretagne Sud in Lorient, France; TEI of Serres in Greece, Duzce and Bandirmas Universities in Turkey, University of Porto in Portugal). Promoting the academic exchange, Guntars Dreijers has delivered classes at the University of the West of England in the UK, and he participated in the academic exchange programmes at universities in Finland, Czech Republic, and the USA. His research interests include language aspects of translation and legal linguistics. He has been regularly invited as a plenary speaker for international conferences and has been involved as a scientific reviewer in a number of editorial boards. Guntars Dreijers is also participating in the national research programme 'Latvian Language', Erasmus+ programme 'Translating for Linguistic Diversity', and 'Teachers in the Distance'.
Outline of the course
Research Text as a Communicative Act. Language of Research Decisions
Firstly, we are exploring a research text as a communicative act with a specific organization, aim and objectives. To clarify text-specific aspects, we will pay attention to language of research decisions that encompasses a range of topics – precision, accuracy, planning, outlining, defining, etc.
Scientific Style. Intercultural Aspects in Scientific Writing. Terminology
Do scientific texts have stylistic markers or are they devoid of them? Language for research purposes highlight terminological density and clarity. Can we establish any intercultural patterns across a diversity of domain-specific scientific texts? We will analyse some samples and ideas on the possibility of intercultural aspects in research texts.
Hedging, Vagueness, Sensationalism, Exaggeration. Errors of Reasoning versus Linguistic Creativity
When writing we may fall into traps of unpolished and unrefined language usage. How do we detect some major issues of being caried away from the main focus? What are some errors of reasoning as reflected by language? Here, we will consider some pros and cons of the authorial idiolect and claims we make in scientific writing.
Constraints in Scientific Writing: Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling
Accuracy reflects reasoning and compliance with requirements. We will look at select problems of the foundation of the text – grammar, punctuation, and spelling. However, they are not only constraints, but they also contribute to clarity and precision.
Describing, Comparing, Contrasting, Narrating
Research texts involve a variety of modes of informing about the study. Processes of informing entail specific vocabulary, syntactical and textual organization. Here, we will also do some short practical exercises to establish differences among modes of informing.
Revising, Editing, Proofreading
Research texts require a thorough reviewing of language and content before submitting the final version. Patience, diligence are personal attributes that should be supplemented with a critical overview on the final draft. In what ways can we facilitate the process of polishing the draft?
After each class, participants will also receive the course materials. We will use the zoom platform for meeting. Any other additional links will be provided during Zoom classes. Participants will be kindly asked to participate in doing online exercises and quizzes during classes.