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The Story of John. Pictures and Talk about His Work and Influence. Degrees. 1960: B.Sc. (Psychology) Cambridge. 1964: MA Cambridge. 1966: Post-graduate Diploma in Linguistics and ESL, Leeds. 2004: PhD (honoris causa), Uppsala University (Sweden). In his 20s. Early Positions.

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the story of john
The Story of John

Pictures and Talk

about His Work

and Influence

  • 1960: B.Sc. (Psychology) Cambridge.
  • 1964: MA Cambridge.
  • 1966: Post-graduate Diploma in Linguistics and ESL, Leeds.
  • 2004: PhD (honoris causa), Uppsala University (Sweden).
early positions
Early Positions
  • 1960-62: “Assistente,” Liceo Commerciale, University of Bari, Italy.
  • 1962-63: “Lektor,” the British Centre, Borlange and Falun, Sweden.
  • 1963-70: Lecturer, University of Libya.
  • 1970-73: Lecturer, University of Leeds.
  • 1973-78: Director of English Language Servicing Unit, University of Khartoum.
tripoli and more
Tripoli and More

“John was a keen and perceptive student of Arabic…his handwriting was excellent and no doubt his academic English style was influenced by Arabic prose style.”

“Throughout the 70s and 80s, he exerted considerable influence on our understanding of academic English through Writing Scientific English and his work on article introductions.”

“As always, he was generous with citing others and continuously interested in our work---and the work of others.”

Tony Dudley-Evans, University of Birmingham (retired), jazz impresario.

later work
Later Work
  • 1978-84: Senior Lecturer in EFL, Language Studies Unit, University of Aston. Course tutor for the M.Sc in Teaching English for Specific Purposes.
  • 1985-87: Acting Director, ELI, University of Michigan.
  • 1987-01: ELI Director and Professor of Linguistics, University of Michigan.
publications and presentations
Publications and Presentations
  • 16 books
  • 60+ articles
  • 48 + book chapters
  • 57 invited plenaries
  • A mind-boggling number of papers at conferences, colloquia, workshops, and consultancies throughout the world.
comments on john s personal and professional impact

Comments on John’s Personal and Professional Impact

900+ citations of Genre Analysis, and…

from the middle east
From the Middle East

“The Arab World should take pride in having provided the context for John Swales to start as a novice ESP teacher in the early 1960s. This initial experience, which culminated in Writing Scientific English (1971), already revealed a model ESP practitioner/applied linguist who was context sensitive and keen on finding solutions beyond structuralism.”

contributions to the middle east include
Contributions to the Middle East include
  • Publications, e.g., English for Specific Purposes in the Arab World (with Mustafa, 1984),
  • Numerous plenary presentations and course design contributions,
  • Training Arab ESP teachers at Aston and Michigan,
  • Encouraging professional contact among ESP practitioners in the region and with colleagues around the world.
final comment arab world
Final Comment: Arab World

“My colleagues and I highly value John’s early and continuing attention to the sociopolitical/educational, together with the linguistic/rhetorical factors, which constrain ESP research and practice in the Arab world. On a personal level, I highly appreciate his eagerness to coach Arab ESP students and admire his modesty and practical, but learned, ESP approach.” Mohamed Doud, Institute Superieur des Langues de Tunis

from south east asia
From South East Asia

“In South East Asia, where teaching and learning English has always been placed highly on the list of important skills, John’s influence has been far reaching.”

“At post-secondary level, John’s published work on EAP has facilitated advanced learners to see beyond the dreary, often confusing grammatical rules of English to how the language is and could be skillfully manipulated rhetorically for communicative goals.”

more from south east asia
More from South East Asia

“Teaching students professional writing while employing Swales’ rhetorical consciousness approach casts writing tasks in a different light; research writers learn to skillfully position their findings and maneuver their language.”

“Throughout his work, John has the greatest empathy for L2 speakers, helping them to assert control over language and chart their destinies.” Ummul K. Ahmad, Johor, Malaysia

influence in scandanavia
Influence in Scandanavia
  • “We scholars owe a lot to John. His CARS model has, by means of its genius and clarity, inspired many textlinguists.
  • John belongs to those scholars who have not only be creative and innovative but also able to formulate their ideas in a pedagogical way…
  • He acts as a bridge between the US and Britain and the rest of the ESP world.”
  • Britt-Louise Gunnarsson, FUMS, Uppsala University
support for graduate students
Support for Graduate Students

“He enabled all his students to come up with really interesting topics of study without coercing them into doing what he was interested in.”

“He was always very, very quick in reading our dissertation drafts and gave us feedback at all levels. This meant that we couldn’t expert to have a weekend off after completing a chapter because John…had comments for us the next day!”

“We often found articles in our mailboxes from him for us to read.”

support for graduate students1
Support for Graduate Students

“He gave us opportunities to review submissions to ESPJ, providing necessary professional experiences.

“He saw that we got financial support through the ELI to present at conferences.

He was also concerned with our personal well-being. After I had defended, he offered me a loan to tide me over until my first pay check.”Betty Samraj, San Diego State University.

encouraging and writing with colleagues
Encouraging, and Writing with, Colleagues

“John teaches his students and colleagues many things, including lessons about the playfulness of research.”

“John looks for the unusual or revealing in the data. Our article resulting from John’s question, ‘What’s interesting?’ was cited in The Wall Street Journal…”

  • Pris Rogers, Associate Professor of Business Administration, U of M.