Asia-Pacific LSP (Languages for Specific Purposes) & Professional Communication Association Conference 2017

Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-conference workshops will be presented by keynote speakers and other recognised specialists on the morning of Wednesday 26 April in the Old Government Buildings, Victoria University of Wellington. Entry to the pre-conference workshops is not included in the conference registration. Entry is by ticket only and the entry fee is shown below. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first in basis. Tickets can be purchased during registration.

Pre-Conference Workshop Fees
All fees are in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) and include Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15%.

Category Early Bird
(until 3 March 2017)
(from 4 March 2017)
Per workshop   $75 $125

Workshops can be booked during the registration process.

Teaching academic writing using a text bank of student disciplinary writing

Presenters: Neil Matheson and Helen Basturkmen, University of Auckland
Venue: tbc
Date: Wednesday 26 April 2016
Time: 9:00am - 10:30am

Many tertiary education institutions provide generic English for Academic Purposes (EAP) writing courses. However, criticism is often levelled at the overly-generalised and de-contextualised view of academic writing that such courses may present. Teachers can feel instruction does not adequately prepare students for the challenges of writing in their disciplinary studies. This is a valid concern given research evidence of disciplinary variations in academic writing, including genres such as student-written essays.

In this workshop, we describe briefly the text bank of student writing (texts which had been written for disciplinary courses) we collated at the University of Auckland for use in our EAP writing courses offered to first year students. Using samples from the text bank, workshop participants consider how they might draw on such samples in their teaching and materials development, and how similar text banks might be created and utilised in contexts other than teaching academic writing.

Investigating the discourse and vocabulary of a disciplinary area: The case of Carpentry

Presenters: Jean Parkinson and Averil Coxhead, Victoria University of Wellington
Venue: tbc
Date: Wednesday 26 April 2016
Time: 9:00am - 10:30am

This workshop focuses on the discourse and lexis of Carpentry as a discipline, drawing on a three year study of written and oral communication of Carpentry trainees and training.  The lexical data for this workshop comes from a spoken and written corpus of Carpentry texts, developed in collaboration with staff and students at a local Polytechnic.  The lexical analysis involved questions such as 'What is the specialised vocabulary of Carpentry?'  and 'How big is a specialised vocabulary?'.

For the discourse and visual analysis, we analysed student writing in the form of Builder's Diaries for rhetorical moves, linguistic features, and visual elements.

Participants can expect to eyeball some data from the lexical discourse and visual aspects of the study, and discuss learning and teaching the specialised language of a discipline.


What is academic style and how can we help students develop a more meaningful understanding of it?

Presenter: Christine Feak
Venue: tbc
Date: Wednesday 26 April 2016
Time: 11:00am - 12:30pm

Among the many learning goals of academic writing courses, one of the most challenging is helping students understand what we mean by academic style. When asked what academic style is, students often respond that it is formal; that it is objective; and that it is logical. When pressed to explain these characteristics, however, students are often at a loss and may refer to items on a list of do’s and don’ts, such as the directives to avoid contractions or to never use slang. In short, it is often easier for students to suggest what academic style is not, rather than what it is.

Academic style is a concept that is difficult to define, even if we recognize it when we see it, and, for students, it is even more difficult to grasp. In this workshop, we will explore the notion of academic style and consider how we might shape our instruction to move beyond the typical focus on language shifts and the formal-informal dichotomy associated with the construct.

Engaging with the city: how the Language in the Workplace Project researches workplace discourse. Let's explore applications.

Presenter: Janet Holmes, Victoria University of Wellington
Venue: tbc
Date: Wednesday 26 April 2016
Time: 11:00am - 12:30pm

The contributors to this Panel will describe the ways in which the results of the LWP Project research have been used in a range of employment contexts in the 'real world'.

The LWP team members will (a) outline how they collect and analyse their workplace data, (b) describe how this research is used in developing teaching and learning resources to assist skilled migrants and refugees seeking employment in New Zealand.

Representatives from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment will outline how the LWP research has been used by the Settlement Division in developing their website for employers and potential employees.

Members of the Rotary Club and Employment Consultants will describe how the LWP research contributes to assisting new employees settle more comfortably into New Zealand Workplaces.

With this background, those enrolled in the workshop will be asked to assist in identifying additional areas where the LWP approach could be valuable, including future challenges which members of the workshop may be able to assist with.

The goal of the workshop is thus to assist in developing the design of the future LWP research agenda and identifying real world applications.