NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON ‘ACADEMIC WRITING’
The English Language Teachers’ Association of India (ELTAI) as part of its strategy to enrol members by offering teachers free teacher development programmes , recently conducted a free workshop on ‘Academic writing’ or 20 selected teachers—one from each of its chapters-- and they were required to conduct a similar workshop in their respective regions and thus strengthen their chapters. It may be pointed out that, with a similar objective in view, two other workshops—one on ‘Virtual learnng’ and another on ‘Mobile learning’ were earlier conducted
The Workshop on ‘Academic Writing’ was conducted on 07/01/2016 and 08/01/2016 at the Annammal College of Education for Women, Thoothukudi in South India.
At each of the four sessions conducted, there was first a brief presentation by a resource person, followed by ‘hands on experience’ on the part of the participants.
Training was given in the following academic writing skills:
1. Writing a paper for a professional journal.
2. Making a presentation.
3. Writing a research proposal and report.
4. Writing a project proposal and report.
In the session on ‘Writing a paper for a professional journal’, the participants were first given two research papers and asked to analyze their quality. The observations made during this exercise helped them understand the quality parameters for a good research article.
It was followed by discussion in the whole group.
In the session on ‘Making a presentation’, the following areas were covered::
1. Preparing for a conference presentation
2. Delivering a conference presentation
3. Responding to comments and questions
4. Preparing for oral presentations
5. Structure of an oral presentation
6. Checklists for presentation
The resource person also provided a lot of tips for successful conference and oral presentation.
In the session on ‘Writing Research Reports’ , the following areas were covered:
1. Features of academic English
2. Academic language styles
3. Documentation styles
Participants were provided examples in respect of choice of words, grammar, signposting and hedging. The resource person also pointed out common errors in academic English. The participants were given small tasks to be done in groups to understand academic language styles. The groups were finally asked to present a summary of the discussion in a chart.
In another session, participants were trained in writing a project proposal and report. The following areas were covered:
1. Need for writing a proposal
2. Kinds of proposal for projects
3. Format for proposal writing
4. Funding agencies for projects
5. Project for book publishing
The delegates were divided into groups of four. Each group was asked to choose a project title from a list given and asked to draft a proposal , stating its importance, objectives, methodology, budget, timeframe and evaluation of outcomes..
All the participants termed the workshop highly useful.