Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Recent research/writing activities

Well, besides commenting on and grading student papers, I've tried to fit in some time for working on some projects. The urgent keeps getting in the way of the important, though (sounds like something Stephen Covey would say). I've got a conference presentation at the end of the month to work on and another conference paper due in early May. I've also got to continue reading through and annotating the archival documents for this summer's trip. But right now I'm working on revising an assignment that students will be working on starting next week, and after that I have to work on the merit eportfolio that lecturers in my program have to put together every year. I guess I shouldn't complain, though; most professors seem to need to do an annual 自我批评 self-evaluation.

I did get some work done on the conference presentation for the end of the month. I'm going to be talking about an opportunity I extended to some students in my business writing class last semester to write one of their projects in their native languages rather than in English. Of course they had to supply me with a translation and a "context memo" that explained the particulars of their document, but I wanted to give them the chance to write in another language since their intended audience were government officials in their home country. I've been thinking about this kind of opportunity lately because I have been getting quite a few students recently who don't intend to stay in the US after graduation (at least not for long) and who will need to write professional or scholarly documents in their native languages--a task that is not easy to do even if they're practiced in writing those kinds of documents in English. I know I can't teach them how to write all those kinds of documents in their native languages (it's arguably not even my job), but I can give them an opportunity to try if they want to... for one project... if it makes sense in terms of their intended audience... if they provide a translation... (I have a feeling I'm going to hedge a lot in this presentation...)

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