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.
Although it is not completely out of place to feel a sense of nervousness before your test, test anxiety presents with nasty symptoms. These symptoms could cause you to lose your ability to recall what you studied or affect your thinking capacity negatively.
Symptoms of test anxiety include:
- Increased heart rate
- Roaming thoughts
- Stomach upset
- Sweaty palms
- A feeling of anger, fear, or dread for the test
- Panic attack in some instances
In most cases, lack of self-confidence, fear of failing, or not being ready for your test can cause test anxiety. If you’ve had a terrible experience while taking a test in the past, leave it at that. Do not allow that to cause you to panic.
Here are effective ways to help you overcome test anxiety.
- Get yourself adequately Prepared and Ready for the exam.
No doubt, getting yourself prepared helps you overcome test anxiety. It gives you that sense of confidence you need to take your exam. Also, your mind will be at ease with no fear in you. This helps you face your exam without any form of anxiety.
Other things you can do to get yourself prepared include:
- Avoid cramming instead, study your books, and seek to understand all concepts.
- Be a part of a study group that has similar goals as yours.
- Have a study routine and stick to it to help you cover all your learning schedule.
- Update your study skills.
- Get to know about the test and go through past materials to help you have a clue of how the test is.
- Ask your friends and tutors whenever you are lost to help perfect your understanding.
- Get Enough Sleep Days to Your Test.
While it is good to study hard and at night, do not form the habit of depriving yourself of it. Not getting enough sleep can cause a wide array of symptoms similar to test anxiety. Getting enough sleep can help you combat stress and keep your memory performing at its best. Overcome test anxiety by getting enough rest days or weeks to your test.
Here are a few tips to help you get enough sleep to help you prevent test anxiety.
- Create your sleep and wake-time hours and stick to it.
- Create a study time-table and maintain it.
- Study all through the semester to avoid cramming or crashed reading.
- Avoid watching TV or using a computer just before bedtime.
- Doing all this will enable you to stay up to date in your studies while having to enjoy enough sleep.
- It is alright for you to take naps to make up for lost sleep hours.
- Avoid taking caffeine a few hours before bed-time.
- Get to the Test Venue as early as possible.
Ensure that you get to your test venue at least 10 minutes to your exam time, as this will decrease your anxiety due to rushing. Get everything ready the night before your exams and wake up early. Eat your breakfast and get some snacks if possible, to help keep yourself energized.
Also, you can keep yourself pacified by going through any piece of literature if you find yourself getting anxious while waiting for the exam. Stay away from colleagues who are having test anxiety to avoid working yourself up before the exam.
- Have a positive mental attitude.
Fill yourself with positive thoughts and boost your morale with positive words. There is nothing that works better than believing in yourself and having faith that you can strive through the high tide. Also, you must know that one exam is not enough to define whether you are a success or failure. Having a positive mental attitude is crucial for any exam, especially long and challenging ones like the USMLE Step 2 for medical students.
Stay positive because negativity can only make you ask the following anxiety-inducing questions:
- What areas will the exam cover?
- Will it be too difficult?
- Will I pass the exam?
Tell yourself positive things like:
- I can do this.
- I am prepared and there is no need to be afraid.
Summarily, combating test anxiety is a process that one needs to be actively involved in. to this end, ensure that what should be in place is in place. Get yourself prepared, never deprive yourself of sleep, and maintain a positive mental attitude. Doing such will keep your test anxiety at bay.
By Maia Steel
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.
The forum was attended by more than 200 people: world-class experts, representatives of senior management of higher educational institutions of more than 50 Russian and foreign universities, leading scientists from 5 countries, researchers, and students throughout Russia. The forum discussed the existing barriers to the advancement of women in the academic field and ways to overcome them. During the discussion panels, a number of key issues were discussed: the gender gap in science and technology education, the gender division of labor, the dynamics of future jobs, and the success stories of women in science. All speakers of the forum stressed in their speeches that barriers to promotion in the academic environment for women do exist. In this regard, the forum discussed the best practices for restoring gender balance in scientific and educational organizations.
“Gender equality is a linear ethical paradigm, in which no one thinks about the gender of his interlocutor, colleague, or manager. This is an opportunity to be a professional and not feel any artificial barriers. This is a confidence that our competencies, thoughts, and achievements will be noticed,” said Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST “MISiS”, at the opening of the forum.
This forum is the first online forum within the framework of the UK-Russia University Alliance project. In total, it is planned to hold eight Russian-British events dedicated to a variety of topics: from issues of academic mobility of students to the problem of climate change.
The next forum, titled “Academic mobility (students/scientists)”, will be held on January 19, 2021.
See you at the next event!
The Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow in association with the National University of Science and Technology “MISiS” has launched the UK-Russia University Alliance online forums series with the first event on gender parity in the academic leadership.
This forum will cover the following topics:
-Gender Gap in STEM Fields
-Occupational Gender Segregation
-Gender Dynamics of Future Jobs
-The Case for Gender Parity
The online forum is scheduled for December 17, 2020, from 14:00 to 18:40 in Moscow time.
For more information, please check: http://uk-russia-alliance.ru/gender/eng
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