Scientific writing for non-native English speakers is one of the biggest struggles when writing a scientific paper. Your experiments or hypotheses may be spot on, but improving your written English can result in a better impression by your peers and other colleagues.
Responding to non-native speakers of English Sheryl Holt Writing Studies Most instructors encounter non-native speakers of English or ESL students students with English as their second language in their classes at one point or another.
Although native speakers of English also have problems with writing, non-native speakers' problems can be quite different, and the approach taken by the instructor needs to be different as well.
The following list of ideas and suggestions will help you recognize and respond to the typical problems for ESL students. Some services are available on campus to help non-native speakers, but the majority of the improvement will need to come from comments made by the instructor.
Although standards for grading must remain the same for native and non-native speakers in a class, the instructor may need to alter the approach of teaching and commenting slightly for the non-native speaker. Overall Generally, instructors find non-native speakers' papers overwhelming because there are several issues that need to be addressed.
It is sometimes difficult to determine if the student is simply a weak writer, or if too little time has been spent on the draft, or if the kinds of mistakes stem from a lack of knowledge and experience of U.
While their American peers are usually satisfied and sufficiently directed with a few well-worded comments, most non-native speakers expect and need more extensive commenting. In fact, the role of the teacher in most countries is to correct everything, so even the comments the American instructor gives may seem inadequate to many of the international students.
Most ESL-trained teachers say that they take the following approaches with their students. Put more direct, instructive and extensive comments on papers, for example, "You need a thesis statement at the beginning of this paper.
Try to focus on the content and ignore the grammar at first, so you can determine what else needs work. If only one draft will be seen, put comments about both the grammar and the organization, but don't just correct the grammar.
The exceptions are articles, prepositions, and word choice or idiomatic expressions, which need to be corrected because there are few rules or patterns or, as in the case of articles, they are very complex in English.
Try to put more marginal comments instead of just end or front comments.
Even if the paper looks filled with comments, it will help the student to see comments at the place of concern. Few non-native speakers have ever told me that they were overwhelmed when they saw all the comments.
Many, however, have told me that the comments were too brief and not instructional enough. Remember that most non-native speakers have not had years of American-style writing instruction and need to have more direction. Make sure the assignment sheets spell out organizational expectations and guidelines.
Non-native speakers often depend on printed materials instead of their listening skills. In class, write more on the board than you might for an all native-speaker class. It will help non-native speakers understand better and will reinforce what has been said in class discussions.
Often, non-native speakers have a hard time understanding their peers because of the students' poorly organized statements and the ESL students' poor listening skills.
Recognizing grammar problems is so easy that it tends to mask the more serious problems of the ESL writer. It may also mask the good points of the paper and cause you to overlook the depth or insights presented in the paper.
Writing grammar corrections all over a paper causes a student to focus only on grammar and not realize that "fixing the grammar" may not significantly improve the other problems.Dec 02, · Resources for Improving Academic Writing Skills, and Writing in English as a Second Language.
Below are some resources which may be useful to explore to help improve postgraduate academic writing skills, as well as helpful information for studying/writing in English when it is not your first language. Books. Crème, P. and Lea, M.R. Designed for advanced ESL speakers, this course covers essential skills for writing well in English in scientific or technical settings.
The specific styles and usage conventions of various scientific fields will be covered. Designed for advanced ESL speakers, this course covers essential skills for writing well in English in scientific or technical settings.
The specific styles and usage conventions of . Employ strategies for effective communication in the American academic context, including teaching in small groups, lecturing, presenting data, working in small groups of peers, writing, listening, speaking, and presentation skills with the use of instructor and peer feedback.
Spoken English for Non-native Speakers. Although native speakers of English also have problems with writing, non-native speakers' problems can be quite different, and the approach taken by the instructor needs to be different as well.
The following list of ideas and suggestions will help you recognize and respond to the typical problems for ESL students. Introductory academic grammar and composition course for the non-native speaker preparing to take courses for college credit.
Introduces the student to the foundations of English sentence structure and paragraph types required in higher level writing courses.