Symposium on Linguistic Perspectives on Discipline-Specific Language

– Transforming the Teaching and Assessment of STEM Writing –

May 1-2, 2014
Memorial Union at Iowa State University in Ames

This symposium is convened as part of the Iowa State University Presidential Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research project called “The Language of Writing in STEM Disciplines.” The STEM writing project was launched to develop a network of researchers studying linguistic practices in STEM disciplines, to improve pedagogy of writing in STEM disciplines, and to develop and apply computational methods for analysis and assessment of discipline-specific writing. The research is intended to build upon existing findings in applied linguistics that show disciplinary variation in language use. The symposium brings together researchers who investigate linguistic characteristics and computational analysis of professional/academic and student discipline-specific language and those who examine actual writing practices as students move from university studies into their professions.

Thursday, May 1, 2014 (Gold Room, Memorial Union)
8:00-8:20 Carol Chapelle, Iowa State University
Opening remarks
8:20-9:50 Christine Feak, University of Michigan
Emerging Issues in Teaching EAP Writing
9:50-10:10 Break
10:10-11:40 Hilary Nesi, Coventry University
What do British engineering students write, and why?
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:30-3:00 Susan Conrad, Portland State University
Situating engineering writing within the universe of English discourse
3:00-3:20 Break
3:20-4:50 Natasha Artemeva, Carleton University
From school to work: The formation of an engineering communicator
Friday, May 2, 2014 (Gold Room, Memorial Union)
8:30-10:00 Scott Crossley, Georgia State University
Natural language processing tools and automatic essays scoring systems
10:00-10:20 Break
10:20-11:50 Jill Burstein, Educational Testing Service
Automated evaluation of writing: Expanding the body of knowledge for writing in the disciplines
11:50-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:30 Nick Pendar, Skytree Inc.
An overview of the state of the art of text data mining
2:30-2:50 Break
2:50-4:20 Elena Cotos, Iowa State University
Technology driven marshalling of genre theory and research for the teaching of discipline-specific writing
4:20-5:20 Discussion
6:00-9:00 Reception
Location: Prof. Volker Hegelheimer’s place (2510 Camden Drive)