Cheery greetings!Cheery greetings! Welcome to our new online courses: Teaching Genre in the Writing Center and Developing Course Materials for a Distance Course on Scientific Writing. It is now time to closely follow the latest developments in the teaching English for academic purposes.
COVID-19 Free educational ResourcesCOVID-19 Free educational ResourcesDid the quarantine take you by surprise? Don't worry! Especially for you, we have compiled a selection of educational portals that provide free access to their services during the quarantine period so that you can spend this time usefully. Here you can find recommendations for distance learning:
Days of Science at NUST MISiSDays of Science at NUST MISiSAs part of the 75th anniversary of Days of Science, NUST MISIS launched a large-scale project: “The School of Young Scientists.” During the project, meetings were held with the Directors of Institutes aimed at familiarizing themselves with the capabilities of laboratories and centers. Academic mobility programs implemented by the University were also presented.
Understanding the Role and Purpose of Writing Centers
Although writing centers have been around for thirty or more years, academians still struggle to understand the essential role and purpose of these tutoring centers; students and faculty alike tend to think of the center as a place limited to remediation because there is not a clear understanding of the tutorial instruction and methodology that is implemented in these centers. In other words, the writing center is perceived as a place where only bad writers go to learn how to write, and it is the responsibility of the writing center to perfect students’ grammar skills so that afterwards, they return to the classroom as “better writers” and faculty members can then grade students’ essays without having to worry about certain problems.
Since this concept is so common, it is important to understand where this idea originated. The majority of collegiate-level writing centers were created in reaction to the 1970’s “literacy crisis” and the subsequent “back-to-basics” movement in academics. “Initially conceived as a means of providing supplementary instruction for inadequately prepared students, writing centers were too often viewed from the outside as little more than remedial services or “fix it” clinics where students memorized comma rules and mended fragments.” This “fix it” shop mentality, unfortunately, still prevails in some academic settings. Thus, the question of “what is the purpose and role of a writing center” remains unanswered.
Purpose of Writing Centers
The Baylor Writing Center Tutor Guidebook defines a writing center as a “beyond-the-classroom space where students can explore confusing or challenging educational issues through dialogic relationships.” In other words, a writing center is a place for conversation and dialogue. This means that a writing center is not a place for monologues or one-sided instruction. Tutors do not take on the role of professor or expert, meaning that tutors do not edit, correct, or tell students how to “fix” their papers. Rather, writing centers are founded on the idea that tutors and students work collaboratively through open communication to discover effective writing strategies and approaches to reading and writing that are particularly useful to the individual student.
Writing centers are not tutor focused; they are student-centered. They seek to enhance students’ self-worth and confidence by working within non-evaluative relationships of trust. We believe that absence of evaluation by the tutors allows the students to express concerns and doubts, take risks, draw on personal resources and knowledge, and make choices about their work. This approach is a useful strategy that creates a low-risk environment that promotes student self-confidence and autonomy, and, more importantly, can serve students throughout their education and beyond as they enter the workforce. It also helps students become confident writers and better writers over time.
Role of Writing Centers
Through these practices, writing centers aim to change student perspectives on writing and our centers. Because writing centers tend to focus on the individual student more than a single paper and seek to tackle big problems (higher-order concerns such as voice, organization, content) before little ones (lower-order concerns such as grammar, citation), a student’s attitude towards writing shifts. They become more aware and comfortable with the writing process as a whole (brainstorming, analysis, drafts, revisions, etc.) and begin to develop the fundamental skills required to write for any discipline. Additionally, students and faculty alike realize that writing centers are not an editing “day-care” service—we do not correct students’ papers from start to finish, we do not correct every error, we do not let students drop off their papers and expect these types of services, we do not support the mentality that a visit to our center will yield a perfected paper, and we firmly reject the notion that our center is a place where bad writers come to be better writers.
Writing centers have come a long way since the 1970’s—we went from “fix-it” shops to creating our own theory, rhetoric, and discussion about writing centers. Each writing center is different and unique, but we all have the same core values and responsibilities. We embrace the idea that no matter what level of writing our students are at when they come into our centers, it is our duty to look beyond the students’ “lack of preparation” and meet students wherever they are in their learning. Our mission as administrators, professors, and tutors, is to work with our students to move forward. We must continue to make progress so that our students can arrive at a place of success, satisfaction, retention, and understanding.
International Writing Centers Association. (n.d.) Writing Center Concept. (Originally produced by Muriel Harris and published by The National Council of Teachers of English in 1988.) Retrieved from http://writingcenters.org/resources/writing-center-concept/
Penti, M. E. (2007). Baylor School Writing Tutor Manual. Retrieved from
Creativity involves looking at issues from different perspectives, connecting and merging concepts, and questioning traditional assumptions. This skill isn’t limited to writers, musicians, or artists; it’s a valuable skill for all kinds of people. Creativity is akin to a muscle, so you must exercise it regularly. And that involves stretching and challenging it every day. Here are 8 surefire tips to boost your creativity.
Let’s face it: Rejection is a part of life, and there’s no way you can escape it, no matter how old you are. And for screenwriters, rejection can be crippling at times.
Countless screenwriters want to turn their scripts into movies and TV shows; they want to make a living by writing and selling scripts. So, with the expectation of putting scripts to film, they begin to realize that there tends to be only a few slots for Hollywood to fill. And, with a few slots to fill, screenwriters will become fearful of rejection.
As we explore this mental health issue a bit further, we’ll also discover how screenwriters can combat these negative feelings of sending a script out only to be rejected. And although rejection can hurt at first, we hope that writers can find it in their hearts to cope with the possibility of rejection and learn from their experience.
Writing correctly and clearly is an important part of learning basic professional skills that you can later use anywhere. If you are not easily understood by your reader, it will be quite hard for you to establish an online presence or build any online relationships. However, in this era where the online environment is taking over, writing effectively is one of the biggest assets you could develop. From writing e-mails to official letters or even essays, you should be preparing yourself for what is to come. Here is a guide on how to write correctly and efficiently and how to improve yourself on this subject.
Dear colleagues and friends!
A worldwide conference of the Russian-speaking academic scientists association (“RASA-Global”) along with the XI Annual Conference of the Russian-American Science Association – RASA (America) will take place on December 5-6, 2020. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will be held in a virtual format and around the clock, which makes it possible to combine in a single program presentations of Russian diaspora scientists working in America, Asia and Europe. This year the Conference will be dedicated to outstanding members of the Struve science family, astrophysicist Otto Ludwigovich Struve and historian and economist Pyotr Berngardovich Struve, whose 150th birthday is celebrated this year.
The conference will feature scientific presentations of established and young Russian-speaking scientists from different countries and regions across the World. The speakers at the scientific sessions and round table discussions will represent diverse scientific areas including – mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, economics, humanities and others. Among the invited speakers are biologists Evgeny Koonin and Ruslan Medzhitov, economist Sergei Guriev, the 2020 laureates of the RASA George Gamow Award material chemist Yuri Gogotsi and physicist Mikhail Lukin. The president of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev will also take part in this meeting. Traditionally, the Conference is a platform for meetings and exchange of views between scientists, science organizers, innovators and entrepreneurs.
We invite you to take part in the Conference. Additional information will be disseminated through this site: http://www.rasa-usa.org/
Welcome to our new course!
In this elective course, students will explore storytelling concepts and narrative nonfiction techniques, with an emphasis on how these strategies are increasingly used by scientists and academics to convey their research to a wider public.
Students will analyze contemporary and classic examples of narrative storytelling and identify elements of powerful and effective storytelling. Students will create multimodal content to convey personal and nonfiction narratives.
This course is about applying established principles to tackle media and research problems and opportunities that are timely and relevant. Students will be given ample opportunity to practice their oral storytelling techniques over the course of the sessions. Students must come prepared to think critically and creatively.
Students who wish to enroll in this intensive, 5-week course must demonstrate the following:
· Level B2 or above on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
· high-level critical thinking skills to comprehend, analyze, evaluate, and respond to complex texts
· willingness to produce digital and oral narratives and share them with a wider public
· access to reliable, high-speed internet and willingness to connect via video in every session.
Participants will be able to:
· develop and apply storytelling techniques to demonstrate critical thinking skills
· expand vocabulary to increase class participation and comprehension of literary and academic texts
· expand vocabulary knowledge and the ability to pick up context clues to make inferences
· understand the main ideas and details of complex academic sources
· communicate accurately and fluently using effective presentation skills on research-based topics and participate in active discussions
· produce clear, well-structured oral storytelling presentations
· create and deliver multimodal presentations
· use online and campus academic resources and support services.
Students will be awarded a certificate of completion when they meet/fulfill the following requirements:
· Complete all writing and presentation assignments as scheduled on the syllabus.
· Actively participate in classroom discussions when we meet via Zoom and in Discussions on Google (details will be provided in the syllabus).
· Complete numerous audiovisual presentations using PowerPoint, Slides, Prezi, or any similar online presentation platform via Zoom, Google, or other similar platforms (details will be provided in the syllabus).
· Maintain satisfactory attendance in Zoom at or above 85%.
The schedule is being finalized but our first meeting would be this Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 18:00 to 20:00.
Course author: Leticia Medina
A report from a special Russia-Brazil collaboration, featuring Dr. Elena Bazanova (MISiS, Russia), Jennifer Uhler (Regional English Language Officer, U.S. State Department), and Dr. Ron Martinez (CAPA-UFPR, Brazil). In this webinar, we will focus on the forces that have given rise to the growth in writing centers in both Russia and Brazil, and to what extent they have proven effective in the internationalization endeavors in HEIs in those two countries.
Time: 17:00 UTC+03