Acquiring inter cultural academic writing skills
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Acquiring Inter-Cultural Academic Writing Skills. A European Perspective. Claudia Maria Riehl Universität zu Köln. Structure of the talk. Studies on academic writing in Europe Studies on semi-professionals Empirical data: Writing in L2 German Conclusions and impacts on L2 teaching.

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Acquiring inter cultural academic writing skills

Acquiring Inter-Cultural Academic Writing Skills

A European Perspective

Claudia Maria Riehl

Universität zu Köln


Structure of the talk

Structure of the talk

  • Studies on academic writing in Europe

  • Studies on semi-professionals

  • Empirical data: Writing in L2 German

  • Conclusions and impacts on L2 teaching

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Acquiring inter cultural academic writing skills

Studies on academic writing

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


A short cut overview

A short-cut overview

  • Pioneering works on intercultural differences in academic writing: Kaplan (1966ff), Clyne (1981ff), Galtung (1985)

  • Cultural differences in text organization

  • In the following: a wide range of studies on different aspects (macro-structure, style, self-reference etc.) in various languages

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


European studies

European studies

  • Studies on complex text types (manuals, text books etc.) (French-German, Adamzik et al. 2001)

  • Subjectivity and involvement ('Eastern European academic style', Breitkopf (2006ff), Vassileva 1998ff)

  • Contrastive Rhetoric German-English-Russian (Baßler 2003, Baßler/Auer 2007)

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Acquiring inter cultural academic writing skills

Studies on semi-professionals

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Why contrastive analysis of students texts

Why contrastive analysis of students' texts?

  • Contrastive analyses in the area of academic communication represent idealized prototypes of professional writers

  • If we want to assess students' texts we have to ask:

  • What do they know?

  • Where do we pick them up?

     We need a sample of students' texts in different languages

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


The european perspective

The European perspective

  • There has been a variety of publications on ESL students (pioneering work: Kaplan and Connor)

  • Here: Two studies on German-Spanish and German-Czech

  • German-Spanish: Kaiser (2002): contrastive analysis of students' texts in Spanish L1 and German L1 (ensayo vs. Seminararbeit)

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Differences between german speaking and spanish speaking students kaiser 2002

German students

convey an objective stance

set great store on formal correctness (quotations, references etc.)

express insecurity and doubts (it seems, possibly, it appears as if)

Spanish-speaking students

are oriented towards rhetorical and stylistic quality

set great store on an eloquent style

evaluate, express personal feelings (I'm interested in..., I'm very surprised that ...)

Differences between German-speaking and Spanish-speaking students (Kaiser 2002)


Explanations for differences

Explanations for differences

  • Impact of curricula (school and university)

  • Influences of writing manuals

  • Impact of writing instructions

     culturally shaped expectations about text production

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Acquiring inter cultural academic writing skills

Research Project:

Writing in L2 German (Heinrich/Riehl)


Some details of the project

Some details of the project

  • Starting point

    • analysis of expository texts written by L2 students in both languages

    • comparison with a German control group

  • Participants:

  • 200 students of German L2 in various universities of the Czech Republic (year 1 to 4)

  • 50 students of the University of Cologne (year 1 and 2)

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Acquiring inter cultural academic writing skills

Task

To guarantee better chances on the global market, leading representatives of industry and economy demand a compulsory semester abroad for every university graduate.

The research unit "Studium und Beruf" carries out a survey at various universities. In this context, you are requested to express your opinion on this demand and to give reasons for your judgement.

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Criteria of analysis

Criteria of analysis

  • Macro-structural level

  • Discourse stance: objective vs. subjective

  • Stylistic level: conceptual orality vs. literacy

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Level of macro structure

Level of macro-structure

  • linear-developing:

    • associative chaining of thoughts, from an intrinsic perspective

  • material-oriented:

    • order is based on the content and on the perspective of the writer

  • pattern-oriented

    • formal order, consistent macro-structure

  • reader-oriented

    • formal order, includes the addressee

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Differences in macro structure

Differences in macro-structure


Discourse stance involvement

Discourse stance: Involvement

  • Direct speaker-hearer deixis

    • self-reference

    • address to the reader (rhetorical questions)

  • Evaluation

    • use of evaluating adjectives: toll, super, unsinnig and modal particles: sicherlich, natürlich

    • Das wäre wirklich wunderbar (AH, 1.3)

      ['This would be really wonderful']

    • Das ist nicht so super (MH, 1.4)

      ['That's not so super']

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Levels of self reference

Levels of self-reference

  • Differences in the intensity of involvement: reference at different levels

    • Level of discourse

    • Level of evaluation

    • Level of argumentation (content)

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


1 level of discourse

1. Level of discourse

  • Comments at the level of discourse (e.g. advance organizers)

    • Alles, was ich gerade geschrieben habe, sind die Vorteile (EK, 1.9)

      ['Everything I have written so far, are the advantages']

    • Eins noch möchte ich sagen (MD, 4.4)

      ['There is one thing left I would like to say']

  • Differences in frequency and style

    • Worin sehe ich die Vorteile? Was kann positiv sein? (MP, 1.25)

      [Where do I see the advantages? What can be positive?]

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


2 level of evaluation

2. Level of evaluation

  • Relativizing a statement

    • Ich denke, dass es eine gute Idee ist, wenn… (KD, 1.15)

      ['I think it's a good idea, when…']

    • Meiner Meinung nach ist dieser Gedanke sehr gut (EN, 2.21)

      ['In my opinion this thought is very good']

  • Examples differ in the way of judgment and in frequency

    • Die Pflicht – dieses Wort habe ich nicht gern (BB, 1.31)

      ['The duty – this word I don't like']

    • Sonst finde ich diese Idee unsinnig (IT, 1.29)

      ['Otherwise I find this idea stupid']

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


3 level of arguments

3. Level of arguments

  • Using personal experience as an argument

    • Ich persönlich verbrachte kein Semester im Ausland als Studentin einer Universität. Ich arbeitete als Au Pair in Deutschland. Wir haben auch Freunde im Ausland, die ich oft besuche. Als ich so 14 Jahre alt war, nahm ich mehrmals in den Ferien an den Ferienlager mit der deutschen Kindern teil. (KK, 4.7)

      ['I personally never spent a semester abroad as a student at a university. I worked as au pair in Germany. We also have friends abroad, whom I often visit. When I was about 14 years old, I attended a holiday camp with German children.']

  • Referring to personal attitudes and desires

    • Wenn ich Glück hätte, möchte ich natürlich im Ausland studieren, arbeiten, tanzen und den Yoga turnen. Es wäre nicht schlecht dort für ein paar Jahren leben und später vielleicht bleiben (AH, 1.3)

      ['When I was lucky, I of course would like to study abroad, work, dance and do the yoga. It wouldn't be bad to live there for a couple of years and perhaps stay there later on.']

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Differences between the levels of self reference

Differences between the levels of self-reference


Acquiring inter cultural academic writing skills

Some explanations


Impact of cultural standards

Impact of cultural standards

  • Differences in cultural standards (Schroll-Machl/Nový)

  • Germany: "orientation towards facts", "planning"

  • Czech republic: "orientation towards persons", "improvisation"

  • On discourse level:

  • discourse of knowledge vs. discourse of experience

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Impact of learning traditions

Impact of learning traditions

  • A language community decides via curricula what kind of text types are transmitted to the next generation

  • the Czech uváha is completely different from the German Erörterung

  • Culture-specific patterns are transmitted by

    • Teaching authorities: teachers, lecturers

    • Model texts, manuals, writing instructions

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


Consequences for sl learning

Consequences for SL learning

  • Language teaching has to include discourse traditions and culturally shaped learning traditions

  • One has to get an insight into the function of particular elements in the discourse tradition of a language

  • Acquiring an idiomatic expression doesn't necessarily mean acquiring its function in the discourse:

    • vgl. daher folgt es, dass ich auf alle Fälle dafür bin (Z. 29)

      ['thus it follows that I support this in all respects']

Claudia Maria Riehl, University of Cologne, II LASC Roundtable, 18 Feb 2010


References

References

  • Adamzik, Kirsten (2001): Kontrastive Textologie. Tübingen: Stauffenburg.

  • Auer, Peter/Baßler, Harald (eds.) (2007): Reden und Schreiben von Wissenschaftltern. Frankfurt/New York: Campus.

  • Auer, Peter/Baßler, Harald (2007): Der Stil der Wissenschaft. In: Auer/Baßler (eds.) 9-30.

  • Augst, Gerhard/Faigel, Peter (1986): Von der Reihung zur Gestaltung. Untersuchungen zur Ontogenese der schriftsprachlichen Fähigkeiten von 13-23 Jahren, Frankfurt/Bern/New York: Lang.

  • Adamzik, Kirsten (2001): Kontrastive Textologie. Tübingen: Stauffenburg.

  • Auer, Peter/Baßler, Harald (eds.) (2007): Reden und Schreiben von Wissenschaftltern. Frankfurt/New York: Campus.

  • Auer, Peter/Baßler, Harald (2007): Der Stil der Wissenschaft. In: Auer/Baßler (eds.) 9-30.

  • Baßler, Harald (2003): Russische, deutsche und angloamerikanische Zeitschriftenabstracts der Soziologie: Worin unterscheiden sie sich? In: Gruber, H./Menz, F./Panagl, O. (eds.): Sprache und politischer Wandel. Frankfurt a. M.: Lang, 189-212.

  • Breitkopf, Anna (2006): Wissenschaftsstile im Vergleich: Subjektivität in deutschen und russischen Zeitschriftenartikeln der Soziologie. Freiburg i. Br.: Rombach.

  • Breitkopf, Anna (2007): Involvement im mündlichen wissenschaftlichen Diskurs: Deutsche und russische Tagungsvorträge kontrastiv. In: Alman dili ve edebiyatı dergisi – Studien zur deutschen Sprache und Literatur: Universität Istanbul 19, 47-82.

  • Breitkopf, Anna/Vassileva, Irena (2007): Osteuropäischer Wissenschaftsstil. In: Auer/Baßler (eds.), 213-227.

  • Clyne, Michael G. (1987): Cultural differences in the organization of academic texts. In: Journal of Pragmatics 11, 211-247.

  • Clyne, Michael (1993): Pragmatik, Textstruktur und kulturelle Werte. Eine interkulturelle Perspektive. In: Schröder, H. (ed.): Fachtextpragmatik. Tübingen: Narr, 3-18.


Acquiring inter cultural academic writing skills

  • Čmejrková, Svetla (1996): Academic writing in Czech and English. In: Ventola/Mauranen (eds.), 137-152.

  • Connor, Ulla (1996): Contrastive Rhetoric. Cross-cultural aspects of second-language writing. Cambridge: CUP.

  • Ehlich, Konrad/Steets, Angelika (eds.) (2003): Wissenschaftlich schreiben – lehren und lernen. Berlin: de Gruyter.

  • Heller, Dorothee (2006): Wissenschaftskommunikation zwischen Variation und Konvention. In: Neuland, E. (ed.), Variation im heutigen Deutsch: Perspektiven für den Sprachunterricht. Frankfurt a. M. et al.: Lang, 305-316.

  • Hornung, Antonie (2002): Der saure Weg zur tessina oder: Wie italienische Studierende des Deutschen lernen, eine kleine (vor)wissenschaftliche Hausarbeit zu schreiben. In: Portmann-Tselikas, P./Schmölzer-Eibinger, S. (eds.), Textkompetenz. Neue Perspektiven für das Lernen und Lehren. Innsbruck: 197-232.

  • Kaiser, Dorothee (2002): Wege zum wissenschaftlichen Schreiben. Eine kontrastive Untersuchung zu studentischen Texten aus Venezuela und Deutschland. Tübingen: Stauffenburg.

  • Kuo, C.-H. (1999): The use of personal pronouns: role relationships in scientific journal articles. In: English for Specific Purposes 18, 121-138.

  • Sachtleber, Susanne (1993): Die Organisation wissenschaftlicher Texte. Eine kontrastive Analyse. Frankfurt a. M.: Lang.

  • Schroll-Machl, Sylvia/Nový, Ivan (2000): Perfekt geplant oder genial improvisiert? Kulturunterschiede in der deutsch-tschechischen Zusammenarbeit. München: Hampp.

  • Vassileva, Irena (1998): Who am I / who are we in academic writing? In: International Journal of Applied Linguistics 8, 163-190.

  • Vassileva, Irena (2000): Who is the Author? A Contrastive Analysis of Authorial Presence in English, German, French, Russian and Bulgarian Academic Discourse. Sankt Augustin: Asgard.

  • Ventola, Eija/Mauranen, Anna (eds.) (1996): Academic Writing. Intercultural and Textual Issues. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.


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