Centro de Lenguas Extranjeras (CELEX) / Escuela Superior Polit├ęcnica del Litoral (ESPOL) (ECUADOR)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 3068-3077
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Academic writing and scientific research are essential goals in university communities around the world. In Ecuador, few universities pursue the effort of generating academic papers and research at the level required by international standards for research. The university where this study was carried out, enforces the scientific research and has a policy that strongly supports academic writing and publication in scientific journals. In the university where this case study was carried out, professors who participate in international conferences, do research and publish research articles are considered for permanent tenure with all the employee benefits and social security. Ecuadorian professionals need to develop their academic writing skills otherwise they will not fit the paradigm.Thus, academic writing in English (L2) represents a challenge in a Spanish (L1) speaking community. The issue of English hegemony in education and research is one that concerns me as a Ecuadorian academic and citizen. In this case study, I described the case of a pilot course Writing for the International Academic World (WIAW) course within the cultural context of Ecuadorian tertiary education. This research study employed qualitative case study research methods. I chose this research paradigm because it was the most appropriate to describe, explain and evaluate a social issue and perceptions of partipants.
The findings from the data of this study revealed the need for academic writing courses in the university of this case study. The registration of 22 participants in the Writing for the International Academic World (WIAW) course from many different disciplines, attests to the need for a course like this. Despite the demanding agendas of the professors and graduate students, their regular attendance at the writing course sessions demonstrates their interest in their academic writing in English. Common writing errors were: faulty parallelism, run-on-sentences, punctuation and word choice. The writing style weaknesses identified were: Capitalization, punctuation, translation, run-on sentences, lack of transition, spelling, parallelism, wordiness and word choice. The most common grammar errors found in the samples were: wrong usage of the article, preposition choice, word order, unclear pronoun reference, verb tense, wrong use of the article. The highest percentage of grammar errors found in the writing samples were: verb tense , preposition choice , wrong use of the article , unclear pronoun reference. Participants stated that topics like paraphrasing, summarizing, plagiarism and sexist language were new information for them.
The information presented in this case study is the first one in the field so, there is an infinite range of possible research specifically in academic writing, and generally in the ELT field to be done. The interest in academic writing courses was confirmed during this research.
Academic writing, L1, L2, writing errors.