NATALIA V. SMIRNOVA
Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics, Deputy Chair,
Department of Foreign Languages, National Research University
— Higher School of Economics | St. Petersburg, Russia.
Speaker's bio:
I am an associate professor and the Deputy Chair of the Department
of Foreign Languages at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia. I am an applied linguist and my current research interests lie in the field of writing for publication in the global context, how scholars work in the times of the increasing publication pressure. I draw on academic literacies research tradition and the conceptual frame of the geopolitics of academic writing which I see as sound theoretical and methodological grounds for exploring publishing experiences of scholars. I am also interested in the sociolinguistic aspects of academic and professional writing as well as in teaching writing for publication issues (f2f and online modes of instruction).

My empirical investigations inform the research writing modules I develop. I have designed and taught courses in research writing and communication, writing for publication, political rhetoric, argumentation and critical writing for students. I have also been serving as an independent editor for leading English-medium journals published in Russia. I have published a number of research papers and books with the leading Russian and international publishers (https://www.hse.ru/en/org/persons/26649302#sci).

I am a certified Cambridge ESOL examiner and currently doing my Ph.D. degree in applied linguistics with a leading UK University.
Keynote Speech:
How to Teach Research Writing: an Empirical investigation into Russian scholarly writers' publication practices.

In the times of the internationalization drive in higher education and English-medium publishing pressure and hegemony, there has been an increasing research interest into how to teach multilingual scholars writing for publication in English. Writing centers scholarship in the Anglo-American center as well as worldwide is built around the concept of teaching writing, including writing instruction for publication to postgraduates and academics whose native language is other than English.

In my talk, I problematize the notion of teaching writing for publication and argue that understanding what teaching writing means is deeply rooted in the epistemological orientations of writing instructors. In other words, corpus linguists, rhetoricians, and sociolinguists teach academic writing differently because they have different beliefs about what language is.

I draw on the academic literacies theory to show how its key premises inform my understanding of what teaching writing for publication involves. Its key theoretical premise is that writing is a type of social practice and text production is deeply rooted in its context of production. When we write a research text, we participate in the process of meaning-making which is always situated in time and space and is highly consequential for writers and knowledge production. In my talk, I emphasize the value of paying equal attention both to textual and contextual aspects of academic paper production when we teach writing for publication.

By drawing on the interviews with scholarly writers and a corpus of published research papers in three disciplines, I illustrate how the textual and contextual aspects intertwine during the process of a research paper production.
I discuss the importance of 1) access to resources, 2) variations in Russian/English writing cultures, 3) variations in disciplines and associated rhetoric, 4) values and beliefs of individual scholars in scholarly text production.

I conclude by raising awareness of writing instructors that seeing writing as a type of social practice allows exploring the complexities of 1) what it means to produce a scholarly text, 2) how to support and facilitate academic text production, and 3) how to sustain writers' values and beliefs in their English-medium writing for publication.

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