Writing for Scholarly Publication in English for Researchers in the Fields of Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education in Taiwan

  • Chien, Shih-Chieh (PI)

Project: A - Government Institutionb - Ministry of Science and Technology

Project Details

Description

Writing for scholarly publication in English is competitive and demanding for English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) researchers in the fields of social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and medicine, particularly in light of the pressure to publish and the difficulties of mastering the English language. This study aims to explore the problems of researchers in the fields of social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and medicine with regard to writing for scholarly publication in English in Taiwan. The objective of the study is twofold: (1) to determine difficulties encountered by Taiwanese researchers writing and publishing scholarly papers; and (2) to make recommendations that address researchers writing needs so that it may allow researchers to be confident and lifelong scholarly writers in English. The study will include 30 researchers in the field of social sciences, 30 researchers in the field of natural sciences, 30 researchers in the field of engineering, and 30 researchers in the field of medicine at universities in Taiwan. It will address the questions as follows. 1. For researchers in the fields of social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and medicine, what are their perceptions of publishing in English? 2. What are their problems of publishing in English? 3. What are their needs for successful publishing? 4. Along with the current ongoing NSC project (NSC 101-2410-H-038-005-) aiming to explore issues of writing for scholarly publication in English for researchers in the field of arts and humanities, what are similarities and differences of publishing in English in the fields of arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and medicine? Drawing upon evidence from the pilot study on interviews with 11 researchers in the field of arts and humanities at a university in Taiwan, the pilot study identified a number of problems which confront Taiwanese scholars in the field of arts and humanities in writing for publication in English and which they feel they are in particular at a disadvantaged position when writing English. These problems are that compared with native English speakers, they have little knowledge of criteria and standards for English academic writing. They have problems in fully expressing their viewpoints in English. Unlike their first language, they do not have sufficient vocabulary. They find it relatively difficult for them to construct a good argument for their research in English. More often than not, they need to look up the dictionary to check the appropriate use of particular words and their usages. Therefore, more time is usually needed from them to write English papers. In addition, their vocabulary use and sentence varieties are to some extent limited and simple. Their writing processes are largely influenced by their L1 and thus they may write their papers in ‘Chinese English” (i.e. it is primarily based on their Chinese thoughts and then they translate the Chinese words/sentences into English). Findings of this study will contribute to not only the understanding of how to foster the awareness of writing English in an academic community but also learning to write in an academic discourse requires, at the deepest level, a conceptual understanding of knowledge construction and writing conventions in English. In addition, the information obtained from this study will be beneficial to teachers as well as researchers. Finally, some recommendations in terms of writing for scholarly publication in English will be made in light of the findings of this study when guiding school planners in developing academic writing programs and activities for helping EFL researchers in professional development and learning in different disciplines.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/1/137/31/14

Keywords

  • social sciences
  • natural sciences
  • engineering
  • medicine
  • English academic_x000d_ writing
  • writing for scholarly publication
  • English as a foreign language
  • Taiwan