Experience from ENIEDA conference on linguistic and intercultural education
The 4th ENIEDA conference on Linguistic and Intercultural Education took place in Vrshac, Serbia, 29 Sept- , 2011.
The focus was placed on negotiating and constructing European identities across language and cultures.
It was a small scale conference, a combination of plenary speakers (Cornelia Ilie, Maguelonne Dejant-Pons and Srikant Saranji), workshops and paper presentations. I personally, expected more interactivity both during workshops and discussions. And the fact that there were no students present (at least I didn’t meet any at the sessions I attended) was confusing. In my opinion, these conferences should be aimed at helping our students become better communicators in a variety of professional settings by acquiring skills for multicultural cooperation.
My colleague, Bela Gligorova, and I gave a workshop entitled “Multicultural Literacy as Learning Outcome (in/through academic writing) – to what Extent?
Our leading motivation for this workshop was trying to answer the burning question: How can we, as ESL/EFL/L1/L2 teachers, in our respective academic settings (high-school and universities in Macedonian ans Serbia) and sub-disciplines, be prepared to control the extent to which our students are to showcase their self-confidence when presenting their research in a written format, especially when working with/through language (L1 and L2)? What are own limitations and strengths?
My exploratory study tried to measure and describe “self-presentation” by genre analysis (rhetorical moves) and lexico-grammatical analysis of research articles written by Macedonian scholars and published in the Annual collected works of the Faculty of Philology in Skopje, R. Macedonia.
The results showed that my participants do not follow the rules present in the majority of foreign journals. They position themselves interpersonally, always suggesting what should be done, but it does not seem that they are doing that consistently. Do they wish to do so? or they are limited by some norms of publishing in a certain environment?
Then, the way abstracts were written by these scholars lacked informational value and often it is not clear what to expect in the rest of the article.
My biggest dilemma, and a question I pose to all of you in this doctoral community is: How should our students express themselves in reaserach articles in their future academic careers ? How much should they stick to the norms constructed by journal editors or some influential scholars? can they negotiate their self-presentation?
Professor Fay and I saw each other at this conference and shared our views on this topic. I do feel that when you are at the beginning of your academic and publishing career you need to follow the norms; however, professor Fay is more liberal; he emphasized the idea of genesis instead of filling-the-gap/niche standardized norms.