NFEAP 2021 abstracts and biographies

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This list is organized alphabetically, according to the last name of the first presenter for each talk.

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Plenary Speakers

Pat Thomson, University of Nottingham, UK

Staging revision: some musings on academic writing advice

Academic writing advice often suggests that it is good/normal/desirable to produce a messy first draft that then needs to be revised. In this presentation, I examine the “staged” notion of revision that is implicit in this advice. While there are clear benefits of encouraging researchers to get words down on paper, I ask whether there may be unintended consequences which arise from glossing over inter-connected revising practices. My (informed) suspicion is that supervisors and reviewers often see the results of rituals of revision which are more a performance than the artisanal crafting required in authoritative and persuasive text work-identity work.  I propose a heuristic for somewhat better advice.  And, oh yes, this is a first outing of some of a new book on revision!


Pat Thomson is Professor of Education, School of Education, The University of Nottingham. Her research is primarily around arts and cultural education, school change and alternative education. Her academic writing and doctoral research blog is and she tweets as @ThomsonPat.

Raffaella Negretti, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and Lisa McGrath, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

Setting the stage(s) for research writing: actors, audiences and learning the craft

The stage is an apt metaphor for how the EAP community has come to understand research-based writing: scholarly writers are actors, performing genres to disciplinary audiences who have expectations based on familiarity with those genres and the recurrent rhetorical contexts in which they operate. Research writing is of course a textual practice, but it is also inherently social, with both cognitive and affective dimensions. As such, another intriguing facet of stage and its relationship to genre is the series of stages of writer development – how the writer acquires the ability to perform and have agency across rhetorically recurrent situations. The aim of our talk today is to bring new insights to our understanding of these “stages” by presenting a data set derived from a metacognitive scaffolding task completed by a group of doctoral students in the sciences. The task was designed to foreground primarily social facets of writing: writing as genre performance on a specific stage, for a specific audience and as a form of situated, purposeful communication against the backdrop of the current knowledge within a field. Further, the task foregrounded writing as a form of development towards a self-directed, agentive and possibly creative adaptation of one’s authorial choices. On the basis of this new data and our previous research, we present three main arguments: first, we show that a straightforward disciplinary framing of research-based writing is not reflective of the hybridised, fluid and multidisciplinary audiences that our students write for; second, given their complex writing contexts, we argue that students need support in recognising this complexity and in developing rhetorical adroitness in order to write effectively; and third, we call for deeper engagement with well-established theories of learning such as self-regulation and metacognition so that EAP teachers and researchers can design tasks that investigate and promote student learning, and that encompass the social, cognitive and affective dimensions of genre performance.


Raffaella Negretti is an Associate Professor in academic and scientific writing at Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Communication and Learning in Science. Her research spans academic writing, metacognition, and genre pedagogy, appearing in English for Specific PurposesJournal of Second Language WritingApplied LinguisticsHigher Education and Written Communication.

Lisa McGrath is a Senior Lecturer at the Sheffield Institute of Education. Her research interests include academic writing and genre, appearing in Applied Linguistics, English for Specific Purposes, Higher Education, and Journal of Second Language Writing. Lisa is Associate Editor of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes.


Shazia Nawaz Awan, Dalhousie University, Canada

The Stage is All Yours!! Students showcase academic writing 

Every winter term since 2013, a student-led conference is the stage for students of Academic Writing and Research Skills course at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. Economics major students in a joint program from China, United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), critical thinking, social responsibility, Summer Olympics 2020, and a student-led conference: all this is part of the capstone academic writing and communication course this Winter term. Academic writing, while students are studying their discipline-specific courses at a university, usually involves teaching and learning of writing mechanics, grammar, structure and logic, and development of argument from the points of view of accuracy and research writing conventions. However, in this course, students in a 3rd year joint Economics program at Dalhousie University in Canada and Shandong University of Finance and Economics in China develop academic writing and research skills simultaneously while using critical thinking skills to understand and express the discipline-specific, content-based ideas of economics and contextualized economy and their relationship to social and environmental responsibilities and global events. It sounds quite exhausting to think about how all these elements converge in a good research-based writing paper; nevertheless,  it has proven to be an exciting and invigorating process both for the instructor and the students in the sense that students take control of the process and the product. In this presentation, the presenter will share experiences from a capstone course that constantly keeps innovating itself in terms of content (from monodisciplinary to multidisciplinary) while staying true to the objectives of academic writing and research skills where students are at the center of each stage of the process.  


Dr. Shazia Awan is the coordinator of the Academic Communication and Writing and Research Skills course at Dalhousie University English Language Programs in Halifax, Canada. She has also developed the curriculum of the course and has also taught the course. Her curriculum designing is based in the principles of Internationalization of Curriculum (IoC).

Lyudmila Belomoina, Illinois State University, USA

The Use of L1 in the Transitional Stages of Academic English Writing Development

When intermediate English Language Learning students enter U.S. universities, they face many challenges, including learning to write in academic English. In fact, it often presents the greatest challenge for such students as writing is a multidimensional process, which involves higher-order concerns, such as focus, development, and organization, and lower-order concerns, such as word choice, grammar, and punctuation. As a result, intermediate ELL writers may easily become discouraged, experience waves of doubt, and write in a limited, stilted English.

Research in second language writing, however, emphasizes the importance of ELL students’ writing backgrounds as an important resource rather than a hindrance in learning to write in academic English. The transitional model of writing development suggests that ELL students use their first language as a means of developing their voices in writing, to explore topics and ideas, to free write, or to work on their initial drafts. 

According to the model, ELL students’ native language serves as a transfer mechanism and helps further develop newly gained writing skills in English. In addition, the L1 may be used in brainstorming, finding an appropriate topic, selecting the right details to elaborate on a piece of writing, and, in general, to continue the thinking process. One of the examples of how to use L1 for academic writing development in English is to have students freewrite about the assigned writing prompt in order to think about and write about various aspects of the chosen topic. Such freewriting activity in L1 has proven to help ESL writers to discover their topic, find their voice, and gain confidence.

This presentation will focus on the role of L1 in the transitional stages in intermediate ELL’s academic English writing development. As a non-native writer, the presenter will also share her insights on L1 use in her academic English writing development.


I am a doctoral candidate pursuing my PhD in TESOL and Applied Linguistics at Illinois State University. My research interests include second language writing, English language variation, genres and English academic writing, and teaching linguistics to pre-service English teachers.

Loredana Bercuci, West University of Timișoara, Romania

Claudia Doroholschi, West University of Timișoara, Romania

Andrei Stavilă, West University of Timișoara, Romania

“Stages” of academic writing: a diachronic corpus analysis of history writing in English and Romanian 

In recent years, increasing publication in English has transformed research publishing across the world, with publishing in national languages being either abandoned, or influenced by English writing conventions. In the present paper, we build on intercultural rhetoric (Connor et al., 2008) and corpus linguistics in order to understand to what extent research writing in L1 Romanian has been influenced by academic English in the past 50 years. We will focus on the discipline of History, in which writing holds a central role, and which has a long research tradition in Romania, but has seen an increase in publication in English in recent years. For this purpose, we compiled three corpora: (a) a corpus of 50 research articles in the field of History in Romanian (L1) (b) a corpus of 50 research articles in the field of History in English (L2), written by Romanian scholars; (c) research articles in the field of History in English (L1). First, we look at discipline-specific terminology frequency, academic writing discourse markers, as well as interpersonal markers (Hyland, 2000), using corpus linguistics methods. Second, based on sample texts from different periods, we analyze the evolution of paper structure and rhetorical moves.  

The purpose of this investigation is (1) to identify features of the “Romanian style” of academic writing, (2) to look at how history writing in Romania has changed over the course of 50 years and (3) to gauge the degree of anglicization in the discipline of History in Romania. This will enable us to identify the “stages” in the transformation of History writing and identify the role and influence of English in research publication in this field.


Connor, U., Nagelhout, E., & Rozycki, W. V. (2008). Contrastive rhetoric: Reaching to intercultural rhetoric. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Hyland. K. (2000). Disciplinary discourses: social interactions in academic writing. London: Longman.


Loredana Bercuci is a junior researcher at the Department of Modern Languages of the West University of Timișoara in Romania, where she also teaches English for Specific Purposes in the Political Science Department, as well as Applied Linguistics and American cultural history in the English Department.

Claudia Ioana Doroholschi is a lecturer at the West University of Timișoara, where she teaches literature and academic writing. She is coordinator of the Centre for Academic and Professional Writing at the Faculty of Letters, West University of Timișoara, and has been involved in research regarding writing practices and the teaching of writing in Romania.

Andrei Stavila holds a PhD in History from the West University of Timisoara. He is currently a junior researcher at the Faculty of Letters, History and Theology at the same university. His research interests are related to prehistoric archaeology, Bronze and Early Iron Age în SE Europe and geosciences applied in archeology.

Averil Bolster, University of Turku, Finland and the University of the Basque Country

Peter Levrai, University of Turku, Finland and the University of the Basque Country

Setting the stage for student collaboration

One role of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is to prepare and support students in their academic careers. While EAP may feature at any stage of higher education studies, from undergraduate through to PhD level, the focus of this talk is the early stage of a university student’s career. At this point, EAP not only has a language development role, it also plays a crucial role in developing academic skills and competencies. These may involve academic skills like engaging sophisticated search strategies, being able to evaluate sources and structuring a sound, supported, academic argument. They may also be broader soft or transferable skills.  

One of the key skills for 21st century learning is collaboration. Collaboration features at every stage in a students’ university degree across disciplines, whether that is undergraduate novice in Social Sciences taking their first steps into academic discourse by writing a group essay or PhD candidates in Engineering working as part of a research project. Being able to work with others to produce a piece of work is an increasingly important skill, both within academia and beyond. However, successful collaboration does not just happen and collaborative assignments require careful planning and scaffolding. This talk will explore the role of collaborative assignments in EAP and the four stages of preparation, set-up, facilitation and assessment.  

The preparation stage relies on developing a clear conception of the collaborative assignment and we will be introducing a definition for collaboration in EAP to help with assignment design. The vital set-up stage considers initial steps that need to be taken to help student groups understand the requirements of collaborative assignments and develop positive working relationships. The facilitation stage looks at ways tutors can monitor and support student collaboration, while the final assessment stage considers approaches for assessing an individual in a group effort.  


Averil Bolster is a University Teacher of English at the University of Turku, Finland and PhD candidate at the University of the Basque Country. She is a co-author of the British Council ELTon Award-winning “Develop EAP: A Sustainable Academic English Skills Course” in 2017.

Peter Levrai has been a teacher in ELT since 1995 and now works at the University of Turku, Finland while undertaking a PhD with the University of the Basque Country. His co-authored “Develop EAP: A Sustainable Academic English Skills Course” won an ELTons Award in 2017.

Giovanna Carloni, University of Urbino, Italy

EAP and text mining: a stage-based model for academic literacies

Teaching EAP entails enabling learners to develop a series of skills suitable for mastering academic literacies. Within a Systemic Functional Linguistic framework, language is conceived as a meaning-making process (Halliday and Matthiessen 2014); as a result, in EAP, language learning is viewed as language users’ development of academic literacies (Byrnes 2019). In this perspective, the present study aims to illustrate how EAP students can use ‘text mining’ (Zhai and Massung 2016) to develop academic literacies. A digitally-enhanced stage-based model, which requires students to use different text mining tools to reach specific objectives during the various stages of the writing process, has been devised for a course implemented at Urbino University (Italy) to help students accomplish academic written tasks in English. 

Moretti’s distant reading claims that to understand texts it is necessary to retrieve their underpinning language patterns making them available through visualization (Moretti 2013). In keeping with distant reading, during the pre-writing stage, the stage-based model devised requires students to use text mining to retrieve the main genre-specific features of the English academic text types assigned and to identify how the main subject-specific topics are usually organized in the text. Afterwards, during the writing stage, students use a different array of text mining tools to find the most suitable lexicogrammatical features useful to write their texts. Then, during the editing stage, students use another set of text mining tools to edit their work. Upon completion of each in-class writing session, students fill in an online journal; in addition, upon completion of the writing assignments, students fill in an online questionnaire. The evaluation of the academic texts produced takes into account both the processes with which students engage during the various stages and the final written text. The results emerged from the present study may be useful to similar EAP contexts.


Giovanna Carloni is a research fellow at the University of Urbino, Italy. She holds a PhD from the University of Urbino. Her fields of expertise are foreign language didactics, EAP, CLIL, educational technology, telecollaboration, applied corpus linguistics, English linguistics, and teacher training. She has extensively published in these research areas.

Irene Clark, California State University, USA

Performing Critical Thinking: Insights from Neuropsychological Research

Referencing current research in neuropsychology, this presentation will maintain that critical thinking is a form of performance, discuss how performance can enable students to become aware of non-logical forms of persuasion, and argue that conceptualizing critical thinking in terms of performance can help students self-identify as members of a critical thinking community. While acknowledging that critical thinking is already considered important in post-secondary education, this presentation will suggest that in addition to prioritizing logic-based strategies, teachers need to provide opportunities for students to “perform” as critical thinkers and that when students engage reflectively, socially, and self-referentially in critical thinking activities, they will become aware of their own predispositions and emotional biases. Current neuroscience research, particularly the concept of neuroplasticity–the idea that the brain can change– provides support for this idea, because it has established that what we do, what we experience, what we practice, and what we find emotionally relevant is registered in the brain. It indicates that we can and often do become what we have practiced, as is the case when we exercise a muscle. Therefore, playing the role of a critical thinker can be viewed as a form of mental exercise that builds neurons and synapses in the brain. Thus, this presentation will stress that helping students become critical thinkers requires more than knowledge, models, or strategies. It will emphasize that critical thinking is a process that involves repetitive practice that will enable students to understand that information presented by governments, political candidates, and private corporations often do not persuade us primarily with logic-based information and rational argument. Rather, beliefs and behaviors are now being influenced through appeals to our non-rational motivations and unconscious biases. The presentation will discuss relevant insights from neuroscience research and include possibilities for classroom implementation, including examples of critical thinking dialogues


Irene Clark is Professor of English and Director of Composition at California State University, Northridge. Her research focuses on genre, identity, imitation, critical thinking, assessment, and neuropsychological research, and her most recent book, Concepts in Composition: Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Writing 3rd edition was published in 2019.

Katrien Deroey, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Setting the stage for lecture listening: how representative are EAP coursebooks?

An important role lecturers perform is guiding students’ perceptions of the relative importance of lecture points. This discourse structuring can benefit both attention and note-taking and so help students appreciate the relative significance of lecture discourse for their discipline and assessment. To prepare students for their degree lectures, EAP lecture listening coursebooks should therefore arguably train students to recognize lexicogrammatical ‘importance markers’ (Deroey, 2015) using language that is representative of what they may encounter in their lectures.

The aim of this paper is two-fold. First, I will present an overview of importance markers in lectures from the British Academic Spoken English corpus and the Corpus of English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings. Second, I will confront these with importance markers from a wide selection of lecture listening coursebooks.

We will see that the main importance markers are not the intuitively obvious and explicit ones (e.g. ‘the important point is’, ‘I want to stress this’). Instead the corpora yielded a wide variety of markers, the prevalent ones of which are multifunctional markers whose interpretation depends heavily on their cotext and prosody (e.g. ‘the thing is’, ‘remember’) (Deroey & Taverniers, 2012). However, by and large this is not reflected in the coursebooks (Deroey, 2018), thus setting a ‘stage’ for students that differs from the one they will encounter in their lectures. We will discuss the reasons for this and ways forward.

Deroey, K. L. B., & Taverniers, M. (2012). Just remember this: Lexicogrammatical relevance markers in lectures. English for Specific Purposes, 31(4), 221-233.

Deroey, K. L. B. (2015). Marking importance in lectures: interactive and textual orientation. Applied Linguistics, 36(1), 51-72.

Deroey, K. L. B. (2018). The representativeness of lecture listening coursebooks: language, lectures, research-informedness. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 34, 57-67. doi:10.1016/j.jeap.2018.03.01


Katrien Deroey is an Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics and Language Teaching at the multilingual University of Luxembourg. Her main research interests are lecture discourse and lecturer training for English Medium Instruction.

Darren Downing, Dalhousie University, Canada

Micro-credentials and Digital Badges for EAP Programs

Micro-credentials and digital badges allow language programs to reward skill development in smaller stages.  Language programs that focus on English for specific purposes can adopt micro-credentials to act as evidence of specific skill achievement that can then be recognized by other institutions or potential employers.  Programs that focus on more general language acquisition can utilize digital badges to improve motivation and allow students to create a specialized language learning path that works for them.

This presentation will have three parts.  First, I will explain both the distinctions and origins of digital badges and micro-credentials along with their technological and ideological evolutions.  Second, I will present two major reasons for the increase in attention that micro-credentials and digital badges are receiving. The first reason has to do with the shifting understanding of higher education in a globalized and increasingly technical world.  The second reason has to do with the potential concrete benefits that companies, students, and institutions all envision.  The third part of this presentation explores the different ways digital badges and micro-credentials can be applied to an EAP program both formally and informally to benefit students, instructors, programs, and employers.  This section will include a description of the challenges that a language program will need to address as well as concrete suggestions on how to apply these concepts to an established program.  


Dr. Darren Downing has been a language instructor for 20 years and has been an administrator and teacher in California, Uzbekistan, the UAE, and Canada.  He has an MA in TESOL/Linguistics and an EdD in Education from the University of Calgary.  He currently teachers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

Malgorzata (Gosia) Drewniok,  University of Lincoln, UK

Operating in the margins: the benefits of EAP occupying the Third Space

In recent years there has been a growing discussion on the identity of EAP practitioners, on both sides of the Atlantic (see for example MacDonald 2016, and Ding and Bruce 2017), including several papers at EAP-focused conferences (EAP in Ireland 2018 and 2019, and BALEAP 2019). On the one hand, EAP practitioners are often marginalised, and their position within the academic context is very unclear. This is problematic and organisations such as BALEAP are working towards raising EAP status, but there is still much work to be done. On the other hand, this in-between positioning of EAP can have benefits and allow some freedoms.

In this paper, I would like to focus on the benefits of EAP occupying the Third Space (Whitchurch 2008 and 2013, MacDonald 2016). In this context, EAP practitioners are able to perform several different roles, switching between them depending on the context and the situation. I believe it is important to explore such benefits particularly because of the marginalisation many professionals in this area feel. On the example of the English Language Centre at University of Lincoln, UK, I will discuss specific advantages of the Third Space for the EAP and then draw more universal conclusions, applied to the wider EAP community.

My starting point will be MacDonald’s (2016) article in which she calls for embracing the Third Space to enhance professionalism – encouraging ‘extended professionalism’ within EAP teams and seeing ‘freedom in the margins’. I will show how Lincoln ELC puts these recommendations into practice and how it benefits our work and the students we support. I will discuss what roles our team has to perform – both within our immediate remit of EAP provision and within wider university community – and how it affects our EAP delivery. 


Malgorzata (Gosia) Drewniok has a PhD in Linguistics from Lancaster University, UK. In the past, she worked at University of Southampton, UK (2013-17 MA Research Skills module) and University of Warwick, UK (2017-18 Warwick International Foundation Programme). She is now the Head of the English Language Centre at University of Lincoln. UK. She is a qualified EFL teacher, and is research active, with interests in the language of popular culture.

Cathinka Dahl Hambro, University of Oslo, Norway

Academic Writing Centres as Stages of Performance: Experiences from two Norwegian Institutions

Academic writing centres are relatively new in the Norwegian higher education system, and approaches to feedback, academic writing mentoring and process-oriented writing are still explored and tested. Writing centre research and practice commonly distinguish between so-called ‘directive’ and ‘non-directive’ mentoring (cf. e.g. Brooks 1991, Carino 2003), and Norwegian writing centres normally adhere to a variant of one of these two approaches. 

Ideally, we would like students to regard writing centres as neutral places where they can share and discuss their texts away from the judgmental gaze of their professors. Nevertheless, a writing centre is also a ‘stage’ upon which both writing mentors and students perform, even if we succeed in making it a comfortable zone for the students. This paper argues that the two approaches to mentoring make up two highly different scenes for both student and mentor. Moreover, with an increasingly digitalized university environment, various digital types of consultations become yet another set of stages of performance that are more or less suited for mentoring. Consequently, new questions and challenges arise. 

The stage upon which the writing consultations are performed may be crucial for the outcome of the consultation, both in terms of the student’s sense of accomplishment and learning process, and the mentor’s sense of success in helping the student become a better writer. Therefore, writing centre practitioners often have strong opinions about the effectiveness, suitability and ethics of the approach to which they (do not) adhere. Drawing on experiences from two Norwegian writing centres, one with a directive and the other with a non-directive approach to writing mentoring, this paper discusses how the ‘stage’ upon which the writing consultations are performed may affect the outcome of the consultation. 


Cathinka Dahl Hambro (PhD) is senior research librarian and co-director of the Academic Writing Centre at University of Oslo. Her academic background is within medieval studies, Irish philology, English and theology. 

Marion Heron, University of Surrey, UK

Nadya Yakovchuk, University of Surrey, UK

The PhD confirmation report and viva: ‘stages’ for performing knowledge 

In the UK, the PhD confirmation often happens at the end of the first year of full-time doctoral study and involves the submission of a written report followed by a viva. In the confirmation report the candidates must convince the examiners of their academic and competency and the feasibility of their research project. Despite its crucial importance for academic success, this genre ‘has largely escaped linguistic and contextual scrutiny in EAP field’ (Jiang and Ma, 2018:1).  The viva ‘complements’ the written text by offering the examiners the opportunity to check, and the candidate the opportunity to further prove, competency. The final PhD viva has been referred to as a ‘secret garden’ (Wellington, 2010:71), making it effectively an occluded genre, and the confirmation viva is no exception. 

The high-stakes nature of the PhD confirmation renders it important to explore its components and understand the complex ‘staging’ involved: both he temporal stages of the PhD process, and the metaphorical stages of performance and presentation. In this context, the candidates are ‘performing’ their knowledge and thinking, as well as their ‘academic personae’ (Mežek & Swales, 2016:363) on two different ‘stages’, albeit for the same audience. Firstly, the candidates must ‘perform’ their writing (Jiang & Ma, 2018) as a text and, secondly, they ‘perform’ their knowledge as a spoken, interactive event. For ESL doctoral students these two performances can be anxiety-inducing, and the rhetorical and linguistic expectations may be challenging and daunting. This presentation reports on a study aimed at exploring two doctoral students’ experiences of the confirmation report and viva, with a specific focus on the linguistic and discoursal challenges and affordances of these two modes of knowledge performance. Recommendations are offered for EAP professionals, subject academics and researcher developers on how to help ESL doctoral students better prepare for their PhD confirmation. 


Jiang, F. K., & Ma, X. (2018) ‘As we can see’: reader engagement in PhD candidature confirmation reports. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 35, pp. 1-15.

Mežek, Š., & Swales, J. (2016) PhD defences and vivas. In Hyland, K. and Shaw, P. (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of English for Academic Purposes, pp. 361-375. London: Routledge.

Wellington, J. (2010) Supporting students’ preparation for the viva: their pre-conceptions and implications for practice. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(1), pp. 71-84.


Marion Heron is Senior Lecturer in Higher Education at the University of Surrey. Her research interests are classroom talk in educational settings, oracy skills in higher education, second language teacher education, observation and feedback, peer observation and flipped learning. She has responsibility for overseeing and supporting the Surrey Excellence in Teaching (SET) Framework.

Dr Nadya Yakovchuk is a Teaching Fellow in Academic Writing in the Doctoral College at the University of Surrey, UK. She provides academic writing support for doctoral and early career researchers. Her professional interests include writing and knowledge construction in the disciplines, writing transfer, and authorial voice and identity.

Iben Brinch Jørgensen, University of Southeastern-Norway

Merete Morken Andersen, University of Southeastern-Norway

The uncanny little text doctor: creativity and aesthetic digital experience in the teaching of academic writing 

Writing is a creative process, and academic writing is no exception. Teaching others to write is not any less part of the creative process, and this is true regardless of where the teaching takes place. When it comes to academic writing there are certain stages and aspects of the writing process that needs to be taken into consideration, for instance has research on creativity established the importance of questioning assumptions and shifting perceptions when it comes to problem-solving. 

In our presentation we show how we have put these insights to good use by fusing them with findings from the didactic discourse on aesthetic education when developing a digitally based resource called “Skriveriet” (Norwegian for “The House of Writing”) aimed at enhancing academic writing skills for students and faculty staff at the University of South-Eastern Norway. The resource is formed as a digital house with multiple rooms and several possible routes to navigate to rapidly find help with specific writing issues. The different rooms are decorated with images meant to rhetorically activate the creative and healing process, by giving them various means of thinking through, testing out, reflecting and sorting out different pieces of advice. One of the visual elements is a figure of a boy with a doctor´s stethoscope and a Mona Lisa smile. His home is in the “emergency room” where he kindly greets the writer seeking advice, and quickly makes his first diagnosis. This text doctor oddly shows up at different places in the house at the same time; sometimes accompanied by a dog, other times various different figures of strange, mythical and slightly odd origin. The aim of The House of Writing is to give a jump start and enhance the writing process by ways of wonder, curiosity and fun. In our presentation we will show how this works and explain why we think this is a valuable didactic teaching method.


Hwang, S. Y. (2017). Rethinking creativity: Present in expression in creative learning communities. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49(3), 220-230.

Runco, M. A. (2015). Meta-Creativity: Being Creative About Creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 27(3), 295-298.

Lindström, L. (2012). Aesthetic Learning About, In, With and Through the Arts: A Curriculum Study. The International Journal of Arts & Design Education, vol. 31, 2, 166-179


Iben Brich Jørgensen is associate professor at the University of South Eastern Norway. She has her background from rhetorics and nonfiction creative writing.

Merete Morken Andersen is associate professor at the University of South Eastern Norway. She has her background from creative and nonfiction writing and comparative literature.

Baraa Khuder,  Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Bojana Petrić, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

Authorial voice development of an exiled academic: an ethnographic investigation

Authorial voice refers to the extent to which writers see (i.e., authorial voice conceptualization) and represent (i.e., authorial voice textual representation) themselves as authors (Ivanič, 1998). EAL (English as an Additional Language) exiled academics, who experience a loss of social, linguistic and other types of capital (Bourdieu, 1986), are likely to face difficulties in expressing their authorial voice. In this presentation, we focus on the stages in authorial voice development of an exiled UK-based Syrian academic, following his endeavours to publish in EAL. Data is taken from a larger multiple-case study which investigates academic literacies development of exiled Syrian academics in Turkey and the UK, supported by CARA (Council for At-Risk Academics). The study uses ethnography as a method, via talk-around-text interviews; ethnography as methodology, via multiple methods: questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, writing logs, network plots, and textual analysis; and ethnography as deep theorizing (Lillis, 2008), via analysis of voice development. Specifically, we investigated our participant’s authorial voice development using textual analysis of his research writing in addition to his co-authors’ and gatekeepers’ comments on these texts and by interviewing him and his co-author. Our findings show that the two aspects of authorial voice develop in distinct ways; for example, the participant’s conceptualization of his authorial voice development via the different positioning of the academic self in different academic communities as a result of the different types of capital (Bourdieu, 1986) owned by the academic. On the other hand, his authorial voice textual representation developed via his textual interaction with co-authors and gatekeepers. Moreover, the different aspects of authorial voice developed at different stages in the participant’s academic journey in exile, with authorial voice conceptualization developing at a slower pace. We conclude with pedagogical implications for the necessity of raising awareness and overtly addressing the multilayeredness of voice in teaching.


Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (pp. 241–58). Greenwood: Westport, CT. 

Ivanič, R. (1998). Writing and identity : the discoursal construction of identity in academic writing. London: John Benjamins.

Lillis, T. (2008). Ethnography as Method, Methodology, and “Deep Theorizing.” Written Communication, 25(3), 353–388.

Lillis, T., & Curry, M. J. (2010). Academic writing in a global context : the politics and practices of publishing in English. London: Routledge.


Baraa Khuder is a Post-doctoral Researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Communication and Learning in Science. 

Bojana Petrić is Reader in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at Birkbeck, University of London. She was one of the founding members of the Professional, Academic and Work-Based Literacies SIG within British Association for Applied Linguistics.

Michèle le Roux, University of Birmingham & Durham University, UK

Exploring EAP Practitioner Identity in a Circle of Trust

My proposal for NFEAP 2021 is to present an interim report on two research projects into EAP Practitioners’ (PEAPs’) identity and agency, which give centre stage to the ethical imperatives for SoTL outlined by Gurung et al., 2007 (cited in Martin, 2013: 62-3): Respect for Persons, Beneficence, and Justice. The projects are rooted in the intentions to support PEAP autonomy and agency through the co-construction of the research; to contribute to PEAPs’ wellbeing through the experience of participation; and to benefit PEAPs by creating opportunities to publish or present outcomes of the work.

Creating and holding safe space is necessary to enable PEAPs to articulate their experience from a place of authenticity and trust. This need for safe space emerged as a key theme in the 2020 Leeds University CELT Practitioner Precarity event, and is modelled in the work with BAME students recently reported in THES by Palladino & Sharma (2020). My thinking is also informed by the suggestion that a phenomenographical approach may be “therapeutic”, in that it can facilitate emergent meaning-making (Marton, 1986).

The “vessel” for holding safe space is the Circle of Trust work, which integrates “soul and role” through supporting participants’ capacity to “hear each other into speech”, to attend to the wisdom of the inner teacher and to find an authentic voice within a community of truth (see: The projects aim to contribute to the small but growing body of research which evaluates the impact of this work in HE contexts (Palmer & Zajonc, 2010; Michalec & Bower, 2012), and will be the first such studies conducted with PEAPs.

Each project will explore stages in PEAPs’ careers: 1. a year-long project exploring how PEAPS and PEAPs in Precarity experience the rhythm of the calendar/academic year; 2. a project focusing on the elder wisdom of mature PEAPs: their career/life stories, trajectories & thresholds. The process of engaging in this reflective, slow and nurturing work is intended, in itself, to contribute to participants’ wellbeing, regardless of other outcomes and outputs. However, my presentation will also explore the methodological challenges of making “public” a private and confidential process; the respectful situating of participants as co-creators of the research design; and the justice of supporting participants’ agency to write up/publish/present on their experience.


Center for Courage & Renewal Circle of Trust Approach

Leeds University CELT Practitioner Precarity and the Coronavirus blog (2020)

Martin, R.C. (2013) Navigating the IRB: The ethics of SoTL New Directions for Teaching and Learning 136: 59-71

Marton, F. (1986) Phenomenography – A Research Approach to Investigating Different Understandings of Reality Journal of Thought, 21.3: 28-49

Michalec, P. & Bower, G. (2012) Soul and role dialogues in higher education: Healing the divided self, New Directions for Teaching and Learning – Special Issue: Teaching and Learning from the Inside Out: Revitalizing Ourselves and Our Institutions,130: 15-25

Palladino, M. & Sharma, S. (2020) To combat racial inequality, university classrooms must be more inclusive, THES, 7 November 2020

Palmer, J.P. & Zajonc, A. (2010) The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass


Michèle le Roux is a Teaching Fellow in English for Academic Purposes at the University of Birmingham. She also works as MATESOL supervisor and assessor for Durham University, as an online tutor for the Cara Syria project, and as EFL instructor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. A founding committee member of the Social Justice in EAP SIG of BALEAP, she researches into the use of the Circles of Trust model in EAP Practitioner wellbeing, identity and development. Michèle is also qualified in Spiritual Accompaniment and in the facilitation of Nonviolent Communication. She seeks to position herself with integrity at the interface of these two professional identities and to build bridges, resilience and community.

Jonathan W. Leader, University of Southampton, UK

Risk Assessment: Setting the Stage for More Daring Performances in Academic Essays

As its point of departure, this presentation concurs with Richard Poirier’s observation in The Performing Self that ‘Performance in writing, in painting, or in dance is made up of thousands of tiny movements, each made with a calculation that is also its innocence’ (1971: p. 71). The EAP essay, I suggest, is no exception. What is it, however, that could transform a student’s performance from being mediocre to being memorable? What precisely are those ‘movements’ the student must learn to make that will be key to her or his academic success?

They are, I argue, not reflected purely by a student’s confidence in their ability to think critically about subject content but, just as importantly, they are disclosed by the commitment a student demonstrates for using language accurately and effectively to articulate their ideas. This is achieved by, for instance, drawing on a rich academic vocabulary, employing complex grammatical structures and by using lexis to convey the intellectual relationships between both the authors and the ideas a student has cited.  But then, each seemingly ‘tiny movement’ implies a potentially big risk – of making a mistake, of inaccuracy, of not getting the language right – with the consequences this could mean in terms of losing marks. Better then, to keep it simple and not take risks? 

Drawing on, for instance, the SOLO taxonomy elaborated by Biggs and Collis in their 1982 seminal study, Evaluating the Quality of Learning, this paper will demonstrate how marking criteria can be used to encourage students to take calculated risks when it comes to applying to their writing, strategies introduced and then rehearsed in the safety of the classroom. What I hope to demonstrate, offering some practical suggestions in relation to teaching and designing marking criteria, is that assessment should include the recognition of, and reward for, risk-taking. 


A Senior Teaching Fellow at Southampton University, Jonathan leads the Pre-Masters programme in the Academic Centre for International Students (ACIS). He is also Director of Programmes in the Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP). Jonathan is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE (SFHEA) and researches on Hannah Arendt.

Jennifer Lewin, University of Haifa, Israel

Revising in Parallel Stages

According to the work of Joseph Harris and others, the emphasis we place on revision in English for Academic Purposes can sometimes take precedence over, or come at the cost of, teaching students how to identify and develop “the actual concerns and perspectives students bring with them to their writing” (quoted from Harris, A Teaching Subject: Composition Since 1966). By paying closer attention to our students’ own interests and passions, their argument goes, we can better address and improve the quality of their writing. Their “concerns and perspectives” keep them invested in the process more than the mastering of structural, grammatical, and otherwise formal techniques. In my paper, I describe an approach to revising that highlights a parallel movement from draft to final product both in terms of the writing’s improvement and the students’ articulation and understanding of their own ideas. Through in-class discussion, editing, and professorial feedback as well as through the portfolio system’s mechanisms for meta-analysis of the writing process, the revision process in these parallel stages gives students confidence and investment in their work and the work of the academic writing class itself.


Jennifer Lewin is a lecturer at the University of Haifa, where she specializes in teaching Academic Writing to undergraduates. She previously taught as a visiting assistant professor in Boston University’s Writing Program and at Sewanee-University of the South, training both graduate students and undergraduates. She also publishes on poetry.

Weijia Li, University of Rochester, USA

Using Mixed Methods in EAP Writing Research

Most EAP writing research has been either qualitative or quantitative, both of which have been well documented over the years. However, a small number of studies have recently adopted a mixed methodology that utilizes the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative methods.  This suggests that EAP writing research is approaching a new stage to embrace a more diverse research methodology. This paper reviews the use of mixed methods in EAP writing research in the last 15 years, summarizes strengths and weaknesses in methodology, and makes recommendations for future research. First, researchers have used both convergent parallel design and explanatory sequential design. In a convergent parallel design, both qualitative phase and quantitative phase occur simultaneously, and data triangulation may happen during the data analysis and/or data interpretation. On the other hand, in an explanatory sequential design, the quantitative phase proceeds before the qualitative phase; in return, the qualitative findings help explain the quantitative results. Second, one aspect of validity in mixed methods research stems from research questions asked and mixed methods designs employed (Hesse-Biber, 2010). Although some studies indicated research designs through research questions, others could have been more fine-tuned to showcase that relationship. Third, in the methodology section, researchers could have given more detail when providing the rationale for using mixed methods. The mixing is not just melding the two strands of research traditions but incorporating them based on certain logics, such as theories, methods, and practice (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2018).

Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2018). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (3rd ed.). SAGE Publications.

Hesse-Biber, S. N. (2010). Mixed methods research: Merging theory with practice. The Guiford Press.


Weijia Li is a third-year doctoral student in Teaching and Curriculum at Warner School of Education, University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, U.S.A. Her research interests are academic writing for English as an additional language graduate students and tutor experiences at university writing centers.

Jenny Mattsson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden  

Writing Retreats and Writing Groups – Significant Stages of Doctoral Writing Support

Academic writing retreats and writing groups are ways for doctoral students and researchers to acquire time, space and other necessary conditions to get writing done (cf. Moore 2003; Murray & Newton 2009; Murray 2014; Sword 2017). At The Unit for Academic Language (ASK), a university-wide unit providing writing and language development for students and staff at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, one-day structured writing retreats for doctoral students and researchers have been offered since the autumn term of 2017. After attending a writing retreat, many retreat participants have spontaneously formed writing groups, largely motivated by the structure, concentration and social elements of the retreats. A recent study of some of these writing groups (Mattsson et al. 2020) displays the positive influence that the groups have on doctoral student writing but also the difficulties of forming and sustaining a writing group. The study motivated ASK to start offering writing group support to all university staff, doctoral students included.

This presentation is going to outline the work ASK does with both writing retreats and writing groups as two different but clearly related stages of doctoral writing support. Focus will be on our current development of support for writing groups (lately mainly online) across the university, and the presentation will offer an insight into what benefits or challenges writing group members experience in their groups.


Aitchison, C. & C. Guerin (eds). (2014) Writing Groups for Doctoral Education and Beyond. London/New York: Routledge.
Kamler, B. & Thomson, P. (2006) Helping Doctoral Students Write. Pedagogies for Supervision.
London: Routledge.
Mattsson, J., Brandin, E.-K., & Hult, A.-K. (2020). Get a Room! How Writing Groups Aid the Development of Junior Academics’ Writing Practice and Writer Identity. Journal of Academic Writing 10(1), 59-74.
Moore, S. (2003) ’Writers’ Retreats for Academics: Exploring and Increasing the Motivation to Write’. Journal of Further and Higher Education 27 (30), 333-342.
Murray, R. (2014) ’Doctoral Students Create New Spaces to Write’. in Writing Groups for Doctoral Education and Beyond ed. by Aitchison, C. and Guerin. London/New York: Routledge, 94-109.
Murray, R. (2015) Writing in Social Spaces. London/New York: Routledge.
Murray, R. & Newton, M. (2009) ’Writing Retreat as Structured in Intervention: Margin or Mainstream?’ Higher Education Research and Development 28 (5), 541-553.
Sword, H. (2017) Air & Light & Time & Space. How Successful Academics Write. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.


Jenny Mattsson holds a PhD in English Linguistics from the University of Gothenburg (GU), Sweden. She currently works at the Unit for Academic Language at GU as a writing and language advisor for university staff (doctoral students included). Her academic interests include academic writing, translation studies, pragmatics, etc.

Anita Normann,  Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Hildegunn Otnes, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Interactive annotation in higher education: Staging student teachers’ collaborative reading and writing through the Lacuna Platform

We will present and discuss findings related to a pilot project where student teachers were tasked with using the annotation tool Lacuna Stories, in relation to working on a reading response assignment.

Our main research question was: What affordances does an annotation tool as Lacuna offer for students engaged with academic assignments? Two additional questions guide the discussion:

1. How did the participants experience the use of Lacuna as a way of working collaboratively with reading, thinking and writing?

2. How may collective annotation facilitate critical reading, dialogue, and the writing process?

Lacuna Stories is an online platform that allows for collaborative reading, thinking and writing, offering tools for highlighting key passages and creating various annotations.

11 undergraduate student teachers in year 3 in Teacher Education, enrolled in a course in English, participated in the study. The material consists of students’ written response texts and print screens from the annotation dashboard. Some technical and pedagogical challenges will be presented, and the student voices will be used as a resource in the discussion of improvements. Preliminary findings suggest positive experiences related to increased awareness around the reading material, noticing and the possibilities of interacting with each other and with the text. On the negative side, students point to various technical features of the tool. A theoretical framework for a tool like Lacuna will contain concepts such as “learning through dialogue”, “exploring multiple perspectives”, “participating in discourse communities”, “integrating reading and writing processes” (Schneider et al, 2016)


Emily Schneider, E., Hartman, S., Eshel, A. & B. Johnsrud: Making Reading Visible: Social Annotation with Lacuna in the Humanities Classroom. The Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy, Vol. 9


Anita Normann is associate professor (førstelektor) at the Department of Teacher Education, NTNU. Her research interests revolve around development of pupils’ writing skills, student teachers’ writing, digital storytelling, school-based competence development and international school collaboration.

Hildegunn Otnes is professor at Department of Teacher Education, NTNU. She has conducted research on listening skills, digital literacy, writing instruction, language didactics and the relation between grammar and writing competence. Currently, she focuses on studies of student teachers’ writing.

Andrew Northern, Imperial College London, UK

Hilary Glasman-Deal, Imperial College London, UK

The academic writing rehearsal: learning from the performance

The Centre for Academic English (CfAE) at Imperial College London (ICL) has expanded and enhanced its academic writing provision by moving to an institution-facing approach, supporting native and non-native students and academic staff in their academic communication. Adopting an institutionfacing stance has allowed the CfAE to achieve a ‘circular economy’: what we learn from our institution-facing work directly informs and feeds into our student-facing work. Our starting point is the real-world performance of ICL academics. We use what we learn from working closely to support the outputs of these academics to inform the way we develop student writers at the so-called ‘rehearsal’ stage. This is a working practice that enhances the work we do with students, positions us optimally within the institution, and empowers the institution as a whole. In addition, working across the whole institution forces us to keep up with the shifting sands of academic communication platforms, which further enhances our legitimacy and credibility.

To illustrate our approach, we present a case study of our work with a cohort of native and nonnative software engineers who were at the rehearsal stage in terms of their writing. This cohort of Master’s students was assigned to write a research paper in lieu of a dissertation. We will show how we used our experience of working to support high-level Imperial software engineers with their publications to develop real, credible, up-to-date and relevant input that effectively scaffolded these students into the assignment.


Andrew Northern teaches academic STEMM communication at Imperial College London. He works with both students and researchers to support Imperial’s Learning and Teaching Strategy as well as its research output. He has over 10 years’ experience designing and teaching academic language and literacy programmes at Imperial and other STEMM institutions.

Hilary Glasman-Deal teaches academic STEMM communication at Imperial College London. She works with native- and non-native speaker researchers and delivers workshops on research writing around the world. Hilary’s book Science Research Writing is used as a course book at more than 30 universities; a 2nd edition is coming in 2020.

Ingunn Ofte, Norwegian University of Technology and Science

Opening dialogic spaces: Meaning-making in teacher educators’ conversations with colleagues about academic writing instruction practices

Meaning-making is a social endeavor, negotiated and maintained in the interaction between individuals. This social constructionist perception of learning as a collaborative enterprise constitute the foundation of this study. Following an interdisciplinary group of teacher educators who meet regularly to share and discuss various aspects of their academic writing instruction practices, it investigates ways in which such collegial conversations can represent opportunities for shared meaning-making, looking in particular at the role of talk as a mediating tool in such processes.

The five conversations were recorded and transcribed by me. Following this, I analyzed 22 episodes from the conversations to gain insight into how the teacher educators interact to construct a shared understanding of their experiences, and their use of language in the process of collaborative meaning-making. Open coding was used to compare and conceptualize the data into categories to identify discourse strategies employed by the participants in the episodes.

The findings suggest that the discourse strategies employed in the episodes are predominantly cumulative and descriptive, promoting collegial alignment and consensus. However, the analysis points to a more precise understanding of the function of descriptive talk in knowledge construction contexts: such talk seems to carry the potential to be transformative, as a tool through which the teacher educators share their experiences and gain a deeper understanding of their own as well as their colleagues’ perspectives. The episodes, then, come to represent spaces for both performance and development, as they constitute opportunities for sharing one’s perspectives, understandings and beliefs, and co-constructing knowledge about academic writing instruction in teacher education. Thus, this study concludes, interdisciplinary collegial conversations in teacher educations seem to carry the potential to add to knowledge about writing in teacher education in general, and constitute a way to increase a greater “collective awareness” across disciplines.


Ingunn Ofte is a PhD candidate at the Department of Teacher Education, NTNU. Her PhD project focuses on academic literacy practices in teacher education. Following a group of teacher educators, she investigates how the group negotiate, develop and expand their knowledge of academic writing instruction practices in teacher education.

Sharon Smith, Imperial College London, UK

Staging Speaking Provision along the Doctoral Journey

Key stages in the Doctoral journey are described in research as points of transition determined by core tasks or programme requirements (Tinto, 1993; Weidman Twale, & Stein, 2001).  In the development of our Doctoral speaking provision at Imperial College London, we have chosen to root our support at significant points on that journey, tying our courses to key transition periods.  

This presentation traces the development of our provision.  We first identified tasks or programme requirements critical at given stages in our specific STEMM context through discussion with department heads, student focus groups and a feedback loop approach to teaching. Our suite of four short courses were then designed from a pedagogical perspective (supporting students in key tasks at time-relevant points) and a practical observation (students have limited time and want purposeful support). Crucially, sessions not only allow students to prepare for events, but also to explore the impact of external ‘shapers’ such as shifts in delivery to reflect the formality of settings.  In short, we provide task-focussed practice to meet specific needs whilst allowing students the space to develop an understanding of the numerous considerations in effective STEMM communication.  This presentation will also consider how our provision further supports students in the development of their academic identities by  reflecting on how they and others perform, as fellow students ‘represent an important source of learning and have the rare ability to share in students’ challenges and successes within programmatic and disciplinary contexts’ (Pifer & Baker, 2016).  Together, they develop not only the skills requisite to succeed at a given stage but also their individual and collective identities.  


Pifer, M. J., & Baker, V. L. (2016). Stage-based challenges and strategies for support in doctoral education: A practical guide for students, faculty members, and program administrators. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 11, 15-34. Retrieved from  

Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Weidman, J C., Twale, D. J., & Stein, E. L. (2001). Socialization of Graduate and Professional Students in Higher Education: A Perilous Passage? ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, 28(3). Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


Sharon Smith works in the Centre for Academic English at Imperial College London.  Her main area of expertise is in the oral communication of science and she has been involved in the writing and design of numerous speaking courses during her fifteen years at IC.  She works with the entire college cohort but is particularly involved in delivering courses to Doctoral students and academic staff and lecturers.

Ingrid Stock, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Andrea Karsten, Paderborn University, Germany

Nancy Eik-Nes, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Different possibilities for engagement with sources in different stages of a text

Different parts of an academic text can be described as different stages of a text, or as different parts of an academic performance: ‘setting the scene’ in the beginning of the text; the actual ‘story’ or performance, where the writer presents own work; and finally, the researcher’s interpretation of the ‘story’. Especially in the stage of ‘setting the scene’ and the interpreting of the story, the academic writer is expected to place own work within the established knowledge of the disciplinary field and document the sources. Whereas ‘setting the scene’ often entails presenting or ‘re-telling’ the field’s established knowledge, interpreting and discussing findings require the writer to transform knowledge by making use of the established knowledge, i.e. using sources for her/his own purposes. Through the analysis of students’ use of sources in 15

bachelor theses from the humanities, we developed two continua that illustrate the complexity of referencing and gradients of students’ engagement with sources as they are aligned between knowledge telling and knowledge transforming. Together with specific examples from the data, the continua provide a useful contribution to writing pedagogy, going beyond technical issues of source use. Showing how sources are used in various ways in different stages of a text will help students to understand sources as conversation partners and shed light on the largely implicit

disciplinary conventions for referencing in academic writing. It will help students to understand how they can use sources in various ways to construct their own voices at different stages of their texts.


Ingrid Stock is an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of Language and Literature at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway (NTNU).

Andrea Karsten directs the Writing Center at Paderborn University, Germany.

Nancy Lea Eik-Nes is Associate Professor Emerita of Applied Linguistics in the Department of Language and Literature at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway. The authors’ research interests include developing disciplinary identity through writing and the analysis of voice(s) in utterances and texts.

Natalia Tager, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Seven stages of dealing with EAP mixed-ability groups: from lesson planning to writing

All EFL instructors know that CEFR levels are just an approximation and do not expect any homogenous classes at the beginning of each semester. Dealing with such classes is a difficult enough task when teaching general English, but EAP mixed-ability classes present a new set of challenges that have to be tackled in order to ensure a productive learning environment. My presentation explores these challenges and offers an effective lesson framework that covers seven stages – from lesson planning to writing.

In my presentation, I would like to focus on teaching academic writing to a mixed-ability class in the broader context of an EAP course. The lesson framework and types of tasks presented can be adapted to a variety of genres and text formats. Special attention will be paid to the limited amount of time that can be dedicated to teaching writing due to the demanding syllabi in place at most universities.

Another important consideration is eliminating lecturing where possible to allow for more guided discovery and learner autonomy. I would like to demonstrate how EAP teachers could take on a role of a facilitator and give students a sense of achievement by letting them take charge of their learning –from choosing the level of complexity that they are comfortable with to observing and interpreting certain patterns in academic writing.


Natalia Tager is a lecturer for academic, technical, and business English at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. She has been working in the field of TEFL for over 10 years in Mexico, Russia, Vietnam, Hongkong, and Germany.

Ramona Tang, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Performing solidarity: Helping students to negotiate the explicit encoding of writer-reader alignment in their writing

Within the EAP and Academic Literacies communities, there is increasing recognition that success in academic writing depends not only on writers mastering the propositional dimension of academic writing (e.g. having a well-substantiated argument) but also on writers mastering the interpersonal dimension (that is, performing the right kinds of identities and constructing appropriate interactional dynamics on the page). In this paper, I focus on one aspect of writer-reader interaction that students often appear to have difficulties managing – the construction of writer-reader solidarity through the explicit encoding of attitudinal alignment in their writing. This includes the use of rhetorical questions as well as expressions such as obviously, predictably, and it is hardly surprising, all of which convey that writers expect a proposition to be viewed as uncontentious. 

 This paper takes as its focus Martin and White’s (2005) notion of “Concurrence”, a dialogically-contractive ENGAGEMENT resource whose functionality is to privilege one position by presenting it as the natural or expected position with which everyone “concurs” or agrees (e.g. Obviously, all students want to do well). Drawing on examples from student essays, I suggest that encodings of Concurrence signal textual locations where writer-reader alignment is explicitly being negotiated, and these can serve as focal points around which a critical discussion about solidarity negotiation in texts can be carried out. Some questions that could guide discussions in an EAP class include: Are student writers attempting to construct writer-reader alignment with propositions which really are uncontentious? What are the consequences of positioning a reader as concurring with a proposition he/she does not in fact agree with? What kinds of propositions does the student position his/her reader as concurring with? Is the concurrence being asserted based on something which the student has demonstrated within the text, or based on assumptions of readers’ text-external beliefs?


Ramona Tang is Associate Professor in the English Language and Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her teaching and research interests include Academic Literacies, EAP, discourse analysis, and issues associated with teaching and learning in Higher Education, particularly involving the use of technology and multimodality

Josh Thorpe, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

Text is Material

This presentation argues that text is not a medium for ideas, but a material to be worked, and a force that works us. I will present an unusual slide presentation that performs the materiality I’m talking about. I’ll show how language takes up physical space and can be played with as one might play with paint. I’ll also show how this can enter the classroom, the writing tutorial, and the work of academics. I’ll show how a dyslexic student found emancipatory energy in materialist constraints and a Farsi-speaker got tripped out by the word “around”. The presentation will challenge popular notions of academic literacies, of writer as identity, and chart an alternative path where language is like landscape, as we are like linguanauts.


Writer, artist, musician, and academic development tutor, Josh Thorpe has exhibited text-based art work internationally and teaches at Glasgow Caledonian University. See and hear some of his work at

Lin Zhou, Northeastern University, USA.

Collaborative Pedagogical Drama Game Play as Part of Writing Process

This is a design-based (Barab, 2014) research project with an ecological, dialogical, and distributed cognitive (EDD) (Linell, 2009; van Lier, 2004; Thibault, 2011) theories-driven design of learning environment enriched by an online pedagogical drama game. The games, Finding Jolin’s Way Home (first and third iteration) and God of Time (second iteration), were designed as part of writing process. The purpose of this research is to study the relationships between the EDD framework, Internet pedagogical drama game-supported second language writing (English) process, and the implementation of a ten-day course. The course was built on a flipped classroom concept in which participants read teacher-chosen articles about a socio-political topic before three-hour face-to-face sessions consisting of group discussion, a game session, and a timed-writing session. Three iterations of design and implementation were completed in July 2017, July 2018, and July 2019, respectively.

A parallel comparison between the computer pedagogical drama-game engendered group discussions and group discussions guided by discussion questions showed that the former demonstrated students’ languaging behavior (Swain, 2009) in ways not found in the latter. Further findings show that first, second language writing pedagogies can be advanced by collaborating with gaming that is rooted in an ecological (van Lier, 2004) and dialogical approach (Linell, 2009) to language learning and use; second, students respond positively to such a language use-based, experience-oriented and process-focused second language writing course; and third, such a game-supported writing course is not only feasible in a large classroom, but also generates an authentic writing process that engages students in a series of languaging (Swain, 2006) activities including collaborative dialogue about socio-political issues embedded in the game and game quest planning which scaffolded critical thinking events  such as formulating a clear point of view, evidence-finding, evidence explanation, and recognition of alternative points of view.


Barab, S. A., Dodge, T., Ingram-Goble, A., Pettyjohn, P., Peppler, K., Volk, C., & Solomou, M.

(2010). Pedagogical dramas and transformational play: Narratively rich games for

learning. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 17(3), 235-264.

Linell, P. (2009). Rethinking language, mind, and world dialogically. IAP.

Swain, M. (2006). Languaging, agency and collaboration in advanced second language

proficiency In H. Byrnes (Ed.), Advanced Language Learning: The contribution of

Halliday and Vygotsky (pp. 95–108). London: Continuum.

Thibault, P. J. (2011). First-order languaging dynamics and second-order language: the

distributed language view. Ecological Psychology, 23(3), 210-245.

van Lier, L. (2004). The semiotics and ecology of language learning. Utbildning & Demokrati,

13(3), 79-103.


Lin Zhou is an assistant teaching professor at Northeastern University. Her research interests are materials development, game design and second language writing. She just completed a three-year design-based study centering around the creation of a pedagogical drama game-supported second language writing course.