At the beginning of July, Charity Givens - an Instructor in the English Department at LCC - has participated in the 10th Conference of the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (EATAW) in Gothenburg, Sweden. During the conference, Charity presented her workshop titled “So My Old English Teacher Was Wrong. Adapting Cultures to New Ways to Write”. The conference lasted for a couple of days, during which Charity was able to attend different workshops, lectures, and teaching practice sessions.
Charity, could you share about your experience at the conference?
Like many other conferences, EATAW selected the participants from those that were submitted to them. Before I received approval to present at this conference, I worked up a proposal and had to wait to be fully accepted. The theme of EATAW conference was “Academic writing at intersections: Interdisciplinarity, genre hybridization, multilingualism, digitalization, and interculturality.” 150 participants took part in the conference and we had workshops, paper presentations, teaching practice sessions, as well as some other things. Three keynote speakers had specific lectures that they presented. One of the presentations discussed using technology in the classroom, how does it look like, benefits and drawbacks. Another presentation was about online education and blended education, and the last one was about students' perceptions of writing.
Who was your audience at the workshop presentation?
I had a smaller group that I presented to, which was about six people. It was a good-sized group because we got to talk about what was happening in the classroom. We were able to share our experiences with the techniques that each of us uses and why they worked. My workshop was about looking for patterns in student writing. During our workshop, the group I was presenting to, also had to do a style analysis. We were looking for patterns in students’ writing’, so the participants could identify strengths and weaknesses and then know how students should be able to identify those themselves. I showed them a couple of electronic tools for style analysis as well. We talked about strategies for adapting the student writing to a more western way of academic writing and how we do that in a classroom. The participants of my workshop also used some of the student papers from LCC. Of course, I got an IRB clearance to use some of the student’s papers from one of my classes. Mainly, the audience was professors, instructors, and teachers who were interested in strategies for adapting writing.
What was the benefit of attending and presenting at EATAW?
The big benefit of such conferences is networking opportunities and this is why people get together. I made connections with a few people as well. One professor from the Netherlands invited me to contact her about doing the guest lecture at her institution. I talked with another professor who had several recommendations for Ph.D. programs that I can do based on my research interest. I also met with one other professor who is teaching at an American University in Lebanon about doing a research project together. The population of students at an American University is quite similar to LCC students since there is a similar idea and style of education. These are just a few benefits that I got from this experience. By meeting different people and networking I got different ideas for teaching, research, and I also see where trends are going. Being at EATAW was a nice way to share about our institution and meet people from universities with a similar population as we have at LCC.