21.02.2014

Laura McCambridge

My research investigates the norms and ideologies of academic writing on an International Master’s Programme in Finland. It focuses on several case studies of students with diverse cultural backgrounds and follows their experiences with writing through their studies. A range of qualitative data has been gathered over several years, including interviews with the students and their teachers, the students’ texts over the years, teachers’ feedback on those texts and instructional materials for writing on courses.

The study takes an academic literacies approach to student writing, where writing is seen as a social practice, intertwined with the purposes, ideologies and power structures of a community. The aims are both sociolinguistic and pedagogic. On the one hand, my goal is to understand the norms of English writing in contexts such as these, considering the diversity of the community, its mixture of local and global social scales, and its use of English as a lingua franca. On the other hand, my goal is to understand how such a diverse group of students manage the expectations for writing on the programme and in turn how teachers might help them succeed.

 

Publications:

McCambridge, L. and Pitkänen-Huhta, A. (2012). Discourses of literacy on an International Master's Programme: examining students' academic writing norms. In A. Pitkänen-Huhta and L. Holms (Ed.), Literacy in Transition: Perspectives from the Nordic Countries. Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 165-188.