This column features brief descriptions of Inkshedders' ongoing work.
My current project involves investigation of transfer in academic writing across disciplines. For this study, I have interviewed two academics who have changed majors (one from history to biology; the other one from art history to public policy). I am interested in whether their academic literacy in their first disciplines transferred to their second disciplines, and if so to what extent and how.
My presentation at Inkshed is based on this study, and I should have most (if not all) of the analysis finished by then.
Another project which may interest others is a survey of the writing center at Carleton University. I started from Aviva Freedman's article in 1984 and looked at some changes since 1984. I'm giving a talk in a third year linguistics course (a survey course on writing), but I won't have any written reports any time soon for I have other pressing priorities. The slides and my speaking notes are available upon request.
[on his way to Iowa State University in the fall]
What I'm up to at University College of the Fraser Valley:
I spent my Fall semester on a research leave to develop a few upper level courses in English. We are interested in offering a Writing and Language concentration within our English major. We now have a Drama and a North American Literature concentration. The Rhetoric (Writing and Language) stream we see as helpful to many of our students who want to become educators and see English as a "teachable" subject.
The courses we now have are a Survey of the Rhetorical Tradition, a survey of Composition Theory, a course in the Teaching of English and an Advanced Composition and an Advanced Composition: Theory and Practice course. We also offer a History of English, Structure of English and Canadian Dialect course at the upper level. We have an Introduction to Linguistics and a Language acquisition is in the works.