By Andries W. Coetzee
Feb 03, 2013
Emeritus professor John Swales gave the plenary address at the 3rd Annual International Conference of TESOL SUDAN on December 13. TESOL SUDAN was founded in 2009 as a professional organization for teachers of English as a foreign language in the Sudan. Since John could not attend the conference in person, his presentation was done via video-conferencing with the help of the UM's Language Resource Center. The theme for the conference was "In the Classroom", and John's presentation dealt with how graduate students and junior academics, especially from non-English speaking parts of the world, navigate the landscape of academic publication in English.
The title of John's presentation was "Graduate students and junior academics in a changed world: implications for EAP". The organizers of the conference describe the content of his presentation as follows: "Prof. John swales explained in his presentation ... that traditional NS-NNS distinctions are disappearing, being replaced by gaps between junior and senior scholars and between research centers and research peripheries. At the same time, publication in English–language international journals is spreading as the main route to promotion. In his talk, [Professor Swales] discussed these trends, illustrating the change with vignettes from his own 'peripheral' past in the Middle East. Then the focus turned to what might be done today to further develop research paper writing skills in our students. Issues that arise include taking students 'behind the scenes', training them as genre analysts, [and] assisting them to make better use of resources such as Google Scholar."