english for profesional n academic purposes

english for profesional n academic purposes

(Parte 1 de 7)

English for Professional and Academic Purposes

Utrecht Studies in Language and Communication 2

Series Editors

Wolfgang Herrlitz Paul van den Hoven

English for Professional and Academic Purposes

Edited by

Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido Juan C. Palmer-Silveira Inmaculada Fortanet-Gómez

Amsterdam - New York, NY 2010

Cover photo: Morguefile.com

The paper on which this book is printed meets the requirements of “ISO 9706:1994, Information and documentation - Paper for documents - Requirements for permanence”.

ISBN: 978-90-420-2955-2 E-Book ISBN: 978-90-420-2956-9 ©Editions Rodopi B.V., Amsterdam – New York, NY 2010 Printed in The Netherlands


Current trends in English for Professional and Academic Purposes Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido, Juan C. Palmer-Silveira and

Inmaculada Fortanet-Gómez 1

Section I. Discourse analysis of English for academic purposes

Formality in academic writing: The use/non-use of phrasal verbs in two varieties of English

Dushyanthi Mendis 1

The ‘dialectics of change’ as a facet of globalisation: Epistemic modality in academic writing

Carmen Pérez-Llantada 25

Hidden influencers and the scholarly enterprise: A crosscultural/linguistic study of acknowledgements in medical research articles Françoise Salager-Meyer, María Ángeles Alcaraz Ariza and

Maryelis Pabón Berbesí 43

Researching into English for research publication purposes from an applied intercultural perspective

Ana I. Moreno 57

Section I. Discourse analysis of professional English

Research reports in academic and industrial research

Philip Shaw 75

Information use and treatment adherence among patients with diabetes Ulla M. Connor, Elizabeth M. Goering, Marianne S. Matthias and Robert Mac Neill 89

“Check it out” – The construction of patient empowerment in health promotion leaflets

Inger Askehave and Karen K. Zethsen 105

Who “we” are: The construction of American corporate identity in the Corporate Values Statement genre

Pilar Garcés-Conejos Blitvich 121

Section I. EPAP pedagogy

Evaluating and designing materials for the ESP classroom

Ana Bocanegra-Valle 141

From text to task: Putting research on abstracts to work

John M. Swales and Christine B. Feak 167

Approaching the essay genre: A study in comparative pedagogy Ruth Breeze

Academic writing in the disciplines: Practices in nursing, midwifery and social work

English language education for science and engineering students

Thomas Orr 213

Notes on contributors 233

Current trends in English for Professional and Academic Purposes

Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido, Juan C. Palmer-Silveira and Inmaculada Fortanet-Gómez

1 Introduction

Specialised languages usually refer to the specific discourse used by professionals and specialists to communicate and transfer information and knowledge. There are as many specialised languages as there are professions. This is what has usually been known as Languages for Specific Purposes or, when applied to English, English for Specific Purposes (ESP), i.e., the special discourse used in specific settings by people sharing common purposes. It is not our aim to define the term or to carry out a historical review of the topic, as many authors have already done so in the last 50 years (e.g., Gunnarson, 1994; Dudley-Evans and St John, 1998; Engberg, 2006). Neither do we want to get involved in the debate over whether English for Academic Purposes (EAP) should be considered a subfield of ESP or if they are now two different areas of teaching and research within Applied Linguistics. That is the reason why we are continuing with the term English for Professional and Academic Purposes (EPAP) introduced by Alcaraz-Varó (2000) (the original term in Spanish being Inglés Profesional y Académico (IPA)), one of the most prestigious and prolific scholars in Spain. He rested his view on the opinion of Widdowson (1998: 4), who stated that “All language use is specific in a sense”, so that language serves a specific purpose wherever it is used. Therefore, we agree with Alcaraz-Varó (2000) in the sense that the term EPAP is much clearer and more specific to cover the domain we are dealing with here. The relevance of English in academic and professional settings began some decades ago, in the 1960s, and it has not decreased. Orr (2002: 1) said that ESP “is an exciting movement in English language education that is opening up rich opportunities for English teachers and researchers in new professional domains”. The spread of science and technology all over the world, together with the globalisation of the economy and the fact that the university world is becoming more international, has all helped to make the English language the current lingua franca of international communication. Despite the research carried out so far in the field, we still believe that much more ought to be conducted. As Orr (2002: 3) also points out:

Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido et al. 2

If systematic attention to actual needs continues to be its hallmark, ESP will clearly advance further in its study of specialized English discourse and in its development of effective methodologies to teach it.

From the title of the book it can easily be inferred that our volume is concerned with two main areas: Academic Purposes and Professional Purposes. Following Ypsilandis and Kantaridou (2007: 69), EAP “refers mainly to the academic needs of students and of future professionals who would seek a career in the academic environment” and English for Professional Purposes (EPP) refers to “the actual needs of (future) professionals at work”. As this distinction is currently widely accepted by many scholars, it is also true that those two broad fields or categories also involve many different areas and fields of interest and research. EPAP can cover hundreds of research topics as well as put them into practice in hundreds of academic and professional settings. For example, Hewings (2002) showed that EAP, including EST (English for Science and Technology), was the most common field of research in the ESP Journal and, at the same time, he found that text and discourse analysis was the most common topic scholars wrote about in the period of time observed. Hewings (2002) concluded by highlighting some new trends for the future, such as geographical internationalisation of authorship, analysis of more specific contexts, continued influence of genre analysis or corpus analysis, and the effect of English as an international language. A few years later, in an editorial of the ESPj, Paltridge (2009: 1) stated that:

ESP research is clearly not the property of the English-speaking world, nor is it taking place solely in English-speaking countries. In ESP, English is the property of its users, native and non-native speakers alike, something that was called for some years ago by Larry Smith (1987) in his discussions of the use of English as an international language.

The present volume is a clear example of this international language and the geographical variation of authorship. Contributors are currently based in Europe, America and Asia, and they are a mixture of native and non-native speakers of English (if we can still maintain such a difference). Some years earlier, Dudley-Evans and St John (1998: 19) said that “ESP is essentially a materials- and teaching-led movement” closely interlinked with Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching. When looking deeper into the research trends or approaches in ESP, they refer especially to register analysis, rhetorical and discourse analysis, analysis of study skills, and analysis of learning needs. Similarly, and complementing Dudley-Evans and St John’s ideas, Ferguson (2007: 9) pointed out that:

a key motif in ESP/EAP research has been “difference”: difference between academic disciplines, between professions, between genres and registers, between discursive practices; differences that, quite justifiably, have been explored in ever finer detail

Current trends in English for Professional and Academic Purposes 3 drawing on ethnography, corpora and well as more traditional techniques of discourse analysis.

Many of the approaches used in the research and teaching of EPAP are illustrated in the present volume. Although certain approaches, such as genre analysis (Swales, 1990; Swales and Feak, 1994) or contrastive rhetoric (Connor, 1996), are shown as relevant in the volume, other aspects such as corpus linguistics, textual analysis, rhetorical analysis, interculturality/crossculturality or the use of ethnographic tools are not neglected. As for the fields of study, the contents of this book illustrate research on discourse and the teaching/learning process in different academic genres (research articles, acknowledgements or essays), and in some professional areas, such as business, health science, or science and engineering. Concerning the pedagogical implications and applications of the research, we have devoted one section to this issue, apart from the specific references to the teaching/learning ideas included in most of the articles in the book. Some authors state that the application of research findings to teaching seems to be relatively limited (Poncini, 2006; Bocanegra et al., 2007), so we considered it necessary to include some articles dealing exclusively with teaching and learning the language. This section includes suggestions and tips on how to create materials, how to teach the writing of abstracts or essays better, different genres in discipline-specific writing, or the description of successful practices and a programme on English for Science and Engineering. The group of researchers who lead the present project belong to the research group GRAPE (Group for Research on Academic and Professional English) and have been working on different EPAP projects for more than fifteen years. The selected contributors have different geographical origins, but all of them have proved to have an unquestionable level of scholarship in the ESP academic world. The aim of this book is to offer an overview of several topics within the domain of discourse analysis applied to English for professional and academic purposes. This volume is not intended to cover all the issues within ESP but to show current trends in the research being carried out on the field and to offer new ideas for the future. The chapters included in the present volume show diverse perspectives in specific English language research, from topical points of view (abstract writing, essay writing, health discourse, etc.) or from methodological standpoints (cross-cultural studies, contrastive rhetoric, corpus linguistics, etc.). English is an international language and is considered the language of communication in the academic and professional worlds, and our volume supports that idea by offering diverse cross-cultural and international perspectives on the topic. Therefore, the general aim of this volume is to show how the English language is analysed as both the discourse of and for effective communication in academic and professional settings. At the same time, it also seeks to find out

Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido et al. 4 ways of applying the research to the teaching and learning of the English language. We hope this new manuscript about the research and teaching of EPAP will be helpful for those involved or interested in the field. It is our aim that the contributions compiled in this book not only reflect different fields of current research but also disclose possible lines of work for the short-term future.

2 Contents

The first section of the volume is devoted to some topics of written academic English, from very specific language features to more generic studies based on academic genres. The second section deals with discourse in professional settings and how it may help professionals to improve their communicative skills. In the final section, we move into a more pedagogical standpoint of ESP, with examples of applications of research to the teaching of English. In the first part of the book, four chapters present an overview of academic writing as an outcome of the work of international researchers. The authors of these chapters are mainly concerned with the difficulties users of English as a lingua franca may have when competing for publication with native speakers of that language. The first chapter on EAP comes from Asia, from Sri Lanka, and deals with one of the most relevant topics at the moment in that part of the world, namely, the identification of peculiar characteristics of their own variety of English. In this chapter, Dushyanthi Mendis compares the use of phrasal verbs in academic and non-academic writing in Sri Lankan and British English. In order to frame her research, Mendis provides data from a survey in which most of the speakers of Sri Lankan English identify their language as a different variety to the one spoken in other parts of the world, though they still see British English – the colonial language – as the target language to be taught in schools. Mendis’s results suggest that there is a different use of phrasal verbs in non-academic writing in Sri Lankan and British English. However, no relevant differences can be found when academic written discourse is compared. For this author, this indicates that although Sri Lankan English has evolved into a differentiated variety of English in more informal written genres, the hegemony of the British and American varieties of English in academic writing remains unchallenged for the moment. The second chapter, by Carmen Pérez-Llantada, is a contrastive analysis of the use of epistemic lexical verbs by NS and NNS writers of research articles in English. She hypothesises that NNS may be at a disadvantage because they do not have a good mastery of frequency, functional and pragmatic intentions in the use of epistemic lexical verbs and this may have an influence on their acceptance rate for publication in an English-only research world. However, her results seem to prove that academic English is no longer so standardised

Current trends in English for Professional and Academic Purposes 5 but is subject to culture-specific variability, which is not an obstacle for publication, since the articles analysed were published by Spanish researchers in prestigious biomedical journals. In the third chapter, Françoise Salager-Meyer, María Angeles Alcaraz Ariza and Maryelis Pabón Berbesí present an article dealing with the acknowledgment sections of medicine research articles in four research publication contexts: Venezuela, Spain, France and USA. They argue the importance of these sections in medicine articles and analyse the differences that can be found when comparing the four contexts. However, acknowledgements are much less frequent and much shorter in non-Englishmedium journals and this seems to be due to cultural factors rather than to academic conventions. The fourth chapter in this section deals with a contrastive analysis of academic writing. Ana I. Moreno claims the need to study the differences between the rhetoric habits of efficient Spanish and English writers, which should be observed, described and explained in a comparative way. This study should be complemented by questionnaires or interviews, which would shed light on the reasons why authors choose certain rhetorical expressions in their own language and not others. The results of this research can be very useful for teachers of English for research purposes, whose aim is to provide researchers with the necessary skills to produce efficient samples of research writing. The second part of the book, devoted to Discourse Analysis within a professional framework, pays attention to the different genre repertoires that anyone can see when fulfilling their everyday professional duties. Thus, the most important aspect of this section is that all the contributors have based their efforts on the study of the English language that arises naturally within the professional settings analysed. In the four chapters forming this second section of the volume, the authors pay attention to different types of discourse observed in professional settings. To start with, Philip Shaw observes how Swedish industrial doctoral students manage with writing, and how they improve their ability to do so when they are able to pay attention to its production conditions, as well as to their prospective audience. Technical reports, due to their high level of complexity, are discussed in detail by students in semi-structured interviews, in order to observe the fine nuances that take part in their creation. Shaw also pays attention to the main structural differences with classroom reports, which students are also compelled to write, thus creating an interesting writing repertoire. The concept of audience is a recurrent theme when observing the contribution by Ulla M. Connor, Elizabeth M. Goering, Marianne S. Matthias and Robert Mac Neill, as they try to observe how patients manage when receiving information on the type of medicines they have to use. The type of

(Parte 1 de 7)