American Psychological Association Publication Manual, 7th Edition

Many of you will have noticed the recent publication of the 7th edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual (American Psychological Association, 2019).

Some of the changes should be welcomed.

Referencing

For example, in referencing:

The publisher location is no longer included in the list of reference.

Where the 6th edition (American Psychological Association, 2010), required this:

Gillett, A. J., Hammond, A. C. & Martala, M. (2009). Successful academic writing. Harlow: Longman.

the 7th edition requires:

Gillett, A. J., Hammond, A. C. & Martala, M. (2009). Successful academic writing. Longman.

I think that is good. Although, there was probably a time when a book published in, for example, New York was different from the same book published in London, this has not been the case for many years. I wonder when other versions of the Harvard system will catch up.

Another welcome change is the standardisation of the URL or doi references. URLs are now embedded directly in the reference, without being preceded by “Retrieved from,” unless a retrieval date is needed.

For example previously, a blog entry would have been included in the references list as

Gillett, A. J.  (2017, February 23). EAP and student motivation [Blog post]. Retrieved October, 14, 2019, from http://www.uefap.net/blog/?p=176

Whereas, unless the site is likely to change, the following should – I think – be used now:

Gillett, A. J. (2017, February 23). EAP and student motivation. UEfAP. http://www.uefap.net/blog/?p=176

DOIs are now formatted as urls (https://doi.org/xxx). The label “DOI:” is no longer necessary.

Previously

Gillett, A. J. & Hammond,  A. C. (2009). Mapping the maze of assessment: An investigation into practice.  Active Learning in Higher Education, 10, 120-137. DOI: 10.1177/1469787409104786

Now

Gillett, A. J. & Hammond, A. C. (2009). Mapping the maze of assessment: An investigation into practice. Active Learning in Higher Education, 10(2), 120-137 https://doi.org/10.1177/1469787409104786

(Note that the issue number is now always given.)

Another possibly useful change concerns the citation of multi-author works.
Previously, when a work had three, four, or five authors, all the authors were cited the first time the citation occurred; in subsequent citations, only the surname of the first author, followed by ‘et al.’ (not italicised, and with a full stop after ‘al’), was included.

Whereas now, when a work has three or more authors, the name of only the first author followed by ‘et al.’ (not italicised, and with a full stop after ‘al’), is cited always.

Another change I like is the explicit instruction not to provide database or other online archive information is a reference, unless absolutely necessary. The reference should provide enough information for a reader to find the work, possibly by a different method. In addition, such URLs will normally require a login and will therefor not be accessible to most readers.

For example, the following is not acceptable:
https://uhvpn.herts.ac.uk/,DanaInfo=www.emeraldinsight.com+journals.htm?issn=0263-080X&volume=20&issue=5&articleid=1477391&show=html

Style

From a stylistic point of view, the singular “they” or “their” is now accepted as a gender-neutral pronoun.

References

American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). American Psychological Association.

American Psychological Association (2019). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). American Psychological Association.

Languages for Specific Purposes: Review.

Language for Specific Purposes. Sandra Gollin-Kies, David R. Hall, and Stephen H. Moore. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Theoretical and practical books about ESP teaching are rare, so I was happy to see this book available recently. Although the title is “Languages for Specific Purposes”, most of the examples are from English and as well as that useful research from other languages is included. The book is highly recommended to all ESP, including EAP, teachers.

In Language for Specific Purposes, Gollin-Kies, Hall, and Moore provide a good overview of the history, concepts, application, pedagogy and research of language for specific purposes (LSP).

Continue reading

ESP and Common Sense

I remember a number of years ago, after a morning of evaluating student oral presentations with a colleague and wondering why they sometimes said strange things, I mentioned that it seemed to me that people lost their common sense when they were speaking a language they were not very confident in. My colleague – who was a good linguist and had never experiences such issues – disagreed. Continue reading

How to write – What to write.

I’ve often quoted Frank Smith when discussing writing.  In Writing and the writer, Smith distinguishes between “composition” and “transcription” in writing. “Composition” is deciding what you want to say, and “transcription” is what you have to do to say it. His advice is “The rule is simple: Composition and transcription must be separated, and transcription must come last. It is asking too much of anyone, and especially of students trying to improve all aspects of their writing ability, to expect that they can concern themselves with polished transcription at the same time that they are trying to compose. The effort to concentrate on spelling, handwriting, and punctuation at the same time that one is struggling with ideas and their expression not only interferes with composition but creates the least favorable situation in which to develop transcription skills as well” (Smith, 1982, p. 24).

After watching Juzo Itami’s 1995 film Shizukana seikatsu (A quiet life) recently I decided to read  Nobel prize winner Kenzaburu Oe – on whose novel the film is based. In his novel The Changeling, he deals with a similar situation: Continue reading

IATEFL ESP SIG PCE, 2016 – Overview

I’ve just returned from the IATEFL English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Special Interest Group (SIG) Pre-Conference Event (PCE) in Birmingham, UK.

The theme of the PCE was tensions and debates in ESP and EAP.

As usual it was a very interesting day with teachers from many parts of the world discussing how they go about trying to meet the academic and professional linguistic needs of their students, sometimes with limited resources. Continue reading

Feedback – Who is it for?

I was visiting a colleague’s office recently and he showed me a piece of student work from another university where he was an external examiner. The piece of work was covered with red ticks, crosses, under-linings, crossings out and illegible comments. We discussed it and came to the conclusion that this feedback – if that’s what it was – was not very useful and that it was something that he – as an external examiner – should comment on. As I was leaving the office, I suddenly thought of something and went back to look at the text again. As I thought, the text was on formal examination paper and it was clear that the writing we had been looking at was an examination answer, something that the students would (might) never see again. It made me realise that comment/feedback on student writing – as with all writing – depends on purpose and audience, something that does not seem to have been discussed elsewhere. Continue reading

Development of EAP, through BALEAP PIMs

I’ve been asked to give a short talk at the next BALEAP PIM on the the history of BALEAP PIMs (Professional Issues Meetings). As I was preparing this, I thought it would be interesting to see how the topics, as shown by the titles of the presentations, have changed over the years. Continue reading

“The Harvard System” of referencing.

I was recently working with a group of students who had been asked to write a list of references using “The Harvard System”. The students asked me how to reference a particular source type. I wasn’t sure exactly what the lecturer wanted so I asked him. He was a little annoyed and simply told me to tell the students to use “The Harvard System”, not realising that there is no such thing, and that such pieces of advice are not helpful. By that I mean that there is no definitive documented version, so he needs to be more specific. Continue reading

The role of published materials in an ESAP course.

EAP is usually considered to be a branch of ESP, along with English for Professional Purposes (EPP) and English for Occupation Purposes (EOP). In that sense, as with all ESP, the EAP teaching content is explicitly matched to the language, practices and study needs of the learners. Most definitions of ESP (e.g. Robinson, 1991, pp. 2-5; Dudley Evans & St John, 1998, pp 4-5) include the following essential feature: ESP is goal directed and based on an analysis of needs.

For that reason, any ESP course needs to specify as closely as possible exactly what it is that the learners have to do through the medium of English, and therefore what their purpose is in learning English. A central role of the EAP lecturer or course designer, then, is to find out what the learners need, what they have to do in their academic work or courses, and help them to do this better in the time available.

Every EAP course is therefore different, as every student has different needs, and therefore needs to be designed from scratch. What, therefore, can the role of a published textbook be in this process?

Continue reading

History of EAP through textbooks

I have been collecting old EAP textbooks for a while now and have quite a good collection.

You can see a summary of them at:

http://www.uefap.net/materials/materials-history

I’ve been trying for some time to come up with an analysis of trends in EAP as shown through these books. It needs more work, but this is what I have come up with so far, with some examples: Continue reading