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“It’s Not the Way We Use English”—Can We Resist the Native Speaker Stranglehold on Academic Publications?

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Abstract

English dominates the academic publishing world, and this dominance can, and often does, lead to the marginalisation of researchers who are not first-language speakers of English. There are different schools of thought regarding this linguistic domination; one approach is pragmatic. Proponents believe that the best way to empower these researchers in their bid to publish is to assist them to gain mastery of the variety of English most acceptable to prestigious journals. Another perspective, however, is that traditional academic English is not necessarily the best medium for the dissemination of research, and that linguistic compromises need to be made. They contend that the stranglehold that English holds in the publishing world should be resisted. This article explores these different perspectives, and suggests ways in which those of us who do not wield a great deal of influence may yet make a small contribution to the levelling of the linguistic playing field, and pave the way for an English lingua franca that better serves the needs of twenty-first century academics.
publications
Perspective
“It’s Not the Way We Use English”—Can We Resist the
Native Speaker Stranglehold on Academic Publications?
Pat Strauss
School of Language and Culture, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006,
Auckland 1142, New Zealand; pat.strauss@aut.ac.nz
Received: 14 November 2017; Accepted: 6 December 2017; Published: 8 December 2017
Abstract:
English dominates the academic publishing world, and this dominance can, and often does,
lead to the marginalisation of researchers who are not first-language speakers of English. There are
different schools of thought regarding this linguistic domination; one approach is pragmatic. Proponents
believe that the best way to empower these researchers in their bid to publish is to assist them to gain
mastery of the variety of English most acceptable to prestigious journals. Another perspective, however,
is that traditional academic English is not necessarily the best medium for the dissemination of research,
and that linguistic compromises need to be made. They contend that the stranglehold that English
holds in the publishing world should be resisted. This article explores these different perspectives,
and suggests ways in which those of us who do not wield a great deal of influence may yet make a small
contribution to the levelling of the linguistic playing field, and pave the way for an English lingua franca
that better serves the needs of twenty-first century academics.
Keywords:
academic publishing; dominance of English: native/nonnative speakers of English;
resistance; academic lingua franca
There is widespread acceptance of the importance of English in academia [
1
4
].
Hyland ([2], p. 83)
notes that it is “now unquestionably the language of international scholarship”. Academic writing for
publication takes place all around the world and involves over 5 million scholars and over 17,000 higher
education institutions; more than 95% of indexed natural science journals and 90% of social science
journals use all or some English in their publications [
3
]. The impact of English in the academic world is
self-perpetuating. Academics who wish to be most visible in their fields need to publish in English [
2
].
This dominance is illustrated by the fact that many European and Japanese journals are now publishing
in English, and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of second-language speakers of
English publishing in English journals [
2
]. The editors of the journal Brazilian Administration Review
decided at the journal’s inception in 2004 that articles would only be published in English. They noted
that this decision had been taken because “there is a growing need to bring our scientific work to a
wider audience, which inevitably means taking it to countries where Portuguese is not the dominant
language” ([5], p. 1).
On the face of it there appears to be little point in struggling against the tide, and a pragmatic
acceptance of the importance of English for publication seems the most sensible way to go. Moreno
illustrates this pragmatic approach in her discussion of the problems facing Spanish scholars who
wish to publish in international journals. She notes that “protesting against and criticising mainstream
practices would be a disservice to the scholars” ([
6
], p. 58). Although she agrees that current publication
practices discriminating against second-language (L2) writers should be critiqued, it is clear that her main
focus is on helping these writers publish in English-medium journals. She argues that publication in
prestigious journals will help academics qualify for tenured positions and gain promotion. Unfortunately,
such pragmatism comes at a price.
The ideology of pragmatism works “to reduce all human problems to the level of technical
difficulties and solutions” ([
7
], p. 255). This means that the importance of critiquing current academic
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publication practices will become very much a side issue, and the focus will remain on practical
solutions to getting published. Academics who are second-language speakers of English (L2) are also
driven by the publish-or-perish mentality of higher education, and will be forced to “perpetuate and
legitimise the infrastructures of power” of the worldwide publishing industry ([8], p. 215).
There are, of course, a number of L2 scholars who do speak out against the status quo. Hanauer
and Englander note the dissatisfaction of Mexican academics who feel that conforming to English
language requirements means that the articles they publish do not do justice to their work [
9
], a feeling
that is echoed by academics in a Spanish study [
10
]. Canagarajah argues [
11
] that L2 scholars are
increasingly questioning the way in which English native-speaker norms are taken for granted in
academic communities, noting that “they are not prepared to treat writing
. . .
for academic purposes
as devoid of values or voice” (p. 108). The Finnish academic Anna Mauranen, editor of a book entitled
English as a Lingua Franca: Studies and Findings [
12
] makes it clear out that all of the chapter authors,
whether L1 (first-language speakers of English) or L2 speakers, were regarded as “expert users of
English” (p. 123). She points out that the book is aimed at an international audience and that the
language employed by the authors is “effective English as an international lingua franca” (p. 124).
The case put forward by L2 academics such as Canagarajah and Mauranen is a strong one.
I believe as they do, that it is essential that academic English becomes more responsive to the needs of
the international academic community. In the following pages I will attempt to justify this perspective,
and highlight what I believe I can do in my own limited capacity.
Interest in Academic English writing has its roots in student writing, and initially the writing of
L2 students. The focus was on how best to assist these students’ writing endeavours in higher education.
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is based on the experience of writing tutors, and research into
specific discipline practices. It is viewed as a practical response to the needs of students, and focuses
largely on the text [
13
]. The strength of this approach lies in its contributions to the teaching of
academic writing, but it has been criticised for not paying sufficient attention to the broader context in
which the writing plays out. Ruecker argues that students have busy lives and that what is important
to them is it that they learn “a privileged standardised variety of English” ([
14
], p. 116). However,
there are a number of EAP academics who support a more nuanced approach to the teaching of
academic writing. This has led to the rise of Critical EAP [
15
]. The 1990s also saw the rise of the
Academic Literacies model developed by Lea and Street [
16
]. This approach focuses on practices rather
than texts, and the way in which these practices are embedded in different disciplines [
17
]. It takes
into account factors such as notions of identity, power relations, and differing institutional practices.
Critical EAP scholars acknowledge the importance of context and exploration of social identities and
the impact of power relations. Although there are still differences between the two approaches they
now share much common ground.
While both the academic literacies movement and EAP have traditionally focused largely on
students, growing attention is being paid to the writing of L2 academics. Much of what is said about
students applies equally to these L2 academics writing for publication. For example, Lillis and Scott’s
exhortation [
18
] that the academy values what L2 student writers bring to higher education is mirrored
by Flowerdew with regard to L2 academics. Flowerdew points out marginalising these academics can
be “impoverishing in terms of creation of knowledge” ([19], p. 122).
However, wider acceptance of what these L2 academics bring to the academy does not appear to
extend to how this contribution is expressed. Hyland rejects the idea of writers having an original voice,
arguing that the wish to develop such a voice points to a failure “to grasp the essentially social nature
of writing for publication” ([
2
], p. 89). In what sounds very much like a warning, he says that authors
will only be published if they use language with which readers are familiar. In an environment where
editors are often inundated with articles, they might well be looking for reasons to reject manuscripts
and “non-standard language may serve as good a reason as any to justify this” ([
2
], p. 89). Jenkins
maintains that “the attachment to native English
. . .
still pervades global academic life” ([
4
], p. 927).
However, the views of those opposed to a radical rethink of current academic writing norms are not
Publications 2017,5, 27 3 of 7
consistent. Even Hyland, in what appears to be an about-face, argues that we need to challenge the
privileged status of academic writing, instead evaluating its appropriacy and effectiveness in a given
context [
20
]. This point is taken up by Lillis et al., who argue that current conventions are not valued
because they “offer meaningful, valid and creative resources for knowledge production, evaluation
and participation in the contemporary world” ([
21
], p. 9), but simply because they ensure that articles
are written in a way that is familiar to those who control what is published in journals.
Canagarajah gives an example of a second-language speaker of English who employed
a non-standard grammatical feature in a piece of writing. When she was asked about this, she replied
that she could not find a grammatical structure in English that conveyed accurately what she wanted
to say. As Canagarajah points out “to treat each use of deviation from academic discourse as a sign
of unproficiency or failure is to underestimate the agency of the students” ([
22
], p. 33). Interestingly,
in Canagarajah’s own words we have an example of non-standard use of English. Most English
speakers would use “lack of proficiency” rather than “unproficiency”, but there is no confusion as
to what is meant, and Canagarajah’s standing in the academic world would mean that few would
challenge his use of English.
However, the average journal editor is not dealing with academics of Canagarajah’s standing,
and what is acceptable from Canagarajah may not be tolerated from another writer who does not enjoy
the same reputation. We native English speakers are often courted by journals to act as reviewers,
and we hold a great deal of power in our anonymous hands. Belcher points out that journal editors rely
on their reviewers to maintain the standards of their journals [
1
]. Earlier, I noted Hyland’s warning
that editors spoiled for choice in the articles submitted might well turn down an article if it does not
adhere to familiar conventions. Reviewers, therefore, who raise concerns about non-standard use of
language might well sound the death knell for an aspiring author. All too often, these academics seem
to regard themselves as “owners” and “custodians” of English ([
4
], p. 933). The problem with this
gatekeeping is that it appears to be based on linguistic criteria whose relevance for intelligibility has
not been proved [
23
]. However, it seems difficult for English native-speaking academics to accept
English that is not like their own. It is possible, too, that they might be concerned that editors would
think they lacked the linguistic competence required to ensure that journal standards are maintained.
A colleague who was reviewing an article for a journal asked my opinion of the phrase
“strongly wanted” employed by the author. She was uncomfortable with the word “strongly”. She felt
that the word “clearly” would have been more acceptable. I pointed out to her that the two words
are not synonymous, and “clearly” would not have conveyed accurately what the author wanted
to say. I added that the more common phrase “really wanted” would probably have been viewed
as too informal for an academic text, and that in addition “strongly wanted” seemed to me to be
more powerful than “really wanted”. She conceded the point but argued that the sentence, although
grammatically acceptable, should be rewritten, and that a comment along the lines of “this is not
incorrect but it’s not the way we use English”, would be appropriate.
The understanding seems to be that the “we” refers to those fortunate enough to use the English of
the Inner Circle countries. These countries are defined as “the traditional bases of English, dominated
by the ‘mother tongue’ varieties of the language” ([
24
], p. 3). We both agreed that the grammar was
correct, and the meaning was not obscured in any way. It was simply that the phrase is not used
commonly by first-language speakers.
My colleague and I are from New Zealand, one of the Inner Circle countries. Both of us are
first-language speakers of English who came to New Zealand as adults, she from another Inner
Circle country and I from South Africa, which is not. I have suffered the indignity of having my
English-language ability challenged. An editor of an Australian journal queried my use of the word
“timeously”, saying that it was “a made-up word”. I pointed out that the word was in the Oxford
dictionary. The response was a veiled threat about publication—I capitulated and replaced one
perfectly good word with four “in a timely manner”.
Publications 2017,5, 27 4 of 7
These incidents illustrate the claim that the function of grammar is not primarily to ensure that
comprehension is easy but rather a way of expressing social identity. It operates, Widdowson claims,
as a gatekeeping system, “a shibboleth” ([
25
], p. 381). The reactions of English-speaking academics
often seem to be out of proportion to the minor linguistic errors they criticise. The possibility for
different varieties of English “appals or even terrifies some who think there is a ‘purity’ to be defended”
([
26
], p. 60). Advocates for the use of English as a lingua franca give as an important motivator the fact
that the native speakers of the language would no longer feel that “their language” is being “abused
and distorted” ([27], p. 152).
There are success stories, though, where L2 authors have successfully defended a non-standard
choice of grammar. Bhatia tells of an incident where, as an author who had “no academic standing” ([
28
],
p. 47), he resisted the request of an editor of a prestigious journal to change an expression he had used in
an article submitted to the journal. The expression had clearly “jarred on the ears of a well-established
native speaker” ([
28
], p. 47) of English. While aware that his actions might imperil his chances of
publication, Bhatia chose to resist, and wrote what he described as the most important letter of his life,
justifying his employment of those particular words. The editor withdrew his objection.
Perhaps that editor shared these sentiments: “The very idea of a standard implies stability, and this
can only be fixed in reference to the past. But language is of its nature unstable. It is essentially protean
in nature, adapting its shape to suit changing circumstances. It would otherwise lose its vitality and its
communicative and communal value” ([25], p. 384).
It is not merely that language use is changing. The context of higher education is in a state of flux.
New discipline areas are being introduced to the academy and these new fields require new genres. [
29
].
However, simply focusing on textual practices will not be sufficient. If these new genres are to serve
the new disciplines well, practices both inside and outside the academy need to be examined [
29
].
Lillis expresses much the same sentiment, advocating for dialogue around text so that all stakeholders
can explore ways “in which alternative meaning making practices can be institutionally validated”
([30], p. 44).
While this would appear to be a sensible solution, the matter is far more complicated. Many of
these new disciplines battle for recognition at universities. In order to gain the esteem of colleagues
in other fields, academics in these new disciplines are determined to be “more traditional than the
classics” ([
31
], p. 937), and are hesitant to challenge current academic writing expectations, fearing
that this will simply confirm their status as inferior disciplines.
In many ways, academics in new discipline areas share the same challenges as L2 academic
authors. Both groups struggle to use traditional academic language in a way that serves their purpose;
both are constrained by current writing conventions from exploring new ways to disseminate their
research. Proponents of a more open approach to academic language maintain that an academic
approach that was genuinely international would listen to the views of the diverse populations that
make up higher education. What should count is “clarity, effectiveness and contextual appropriateness
of communication. While high academic standards are vital, native like English is not” ([4], p. 932).
It appears that many of the issues raised in this article could be addressed by the development
of a written English academic lingua franca. This would enable academics around the world to
communicate with each other, and offer greater visibility to their research. However, in order to
achieve such a lingua franca, native speakers of English would need to abandon demands that L2
academics accommodate “a narrow assimilationist model of English” ([
4
], p. 927). We need to consider
these words: “it is a matter of considerable pride and satisfaction for native speakers of English that
their language is an international means of communication. But the point is that it is only international
to the extent that it is not their language. It is not a possession which they lease out to others, while still
retaining the freehold. Other people actually own it” ([25], p. 384).
Canagarajah maintains that all acts of communication and literacy involve “shuttling between
languages and a negotiation of diverse linguistic resources for situated construction of meaning”
([
32
], p. 1). He notes too that while geographical locations are used to contextualise languages
Publications 2017,5, 27 5 of 7
“the social negotiations and rhetorical encounters that create alternative spaces (original italics) for
creativity and understanding” is of far greater importance ([
32
], p. 6). It would appear logical that
academic journals should be at the forefront of these alternative spaces. Unfortunately, this is not
the case, and Inner Circle English remains dominant despite the fact that the sociolinguistic reality of
modern universities is not reflected in current language policies and practices [
4
]. English-speaking
academics, it appears, are loathe to quit a comfort zone that offers them both familiarity and a measure
of control.
For me the question is: what can I do to help create alternative spaces? Benfield and Feak [
33
]
argue that L1 academics have a responsibility to help L2 colleagues in the same discipline area.
In addition, they feel that educational institutions should make the services of language professionals
available to these L2 researchers. The authors acknowledge the difficulties in this approach; finding L1
academics who are willing to assist is not easy. Clavero notes wryly that one runs the risk of losing all
one’s L1 “science friends” ([
34
], p.552). In addition, the services of language professionals are costly,
and institutions are often unwilling to provide ongoing support. All too often, L2 academics turn to L1
speakers who do not have expertise in the subject matter. They can, of course, pay to have their work
edited—some journals recommend specific editing services but this is at the academic’s own expense
and risk [34].
Clearly, if I wish to make a difference, I need to assist my L2 colleagues, and I do where I can; but,
as Clavero points out, this assistance is not without difficulty. L2 colleagues are often unwilling to
encroach on fellow academics’ time, realising that they too are under pressure to publish, and often
contending with heavy teaching loads. In addition, as indicated above, while we may work in the
same broad discipline area, it is unlikely that we will have the same nuanced understanding of the
topic as the author does.
However, these concerns are unimportant when measured against the real issue, and that is that
the proposed ‘solution’ simply reinforces the status quo. L2 writers are positioned as deficient, and in
need of L1 colleagues to ‘guide’ them onto the correct linguistic pathway. A good example of this can
be found in an article published in a journal about academic writing [
35
]. The authors were comparing
British and Sudanese writers producing medical texts. They noted that the differences between the
two groups were “subtle” (p. 87), but nonetheless concluded that while they “would not wish to
suggest that Sudanese writers should mindlessly copy the linguistic and rhetorical features found in
British writing,
. . .
such exploration might raise awareness of generic requirements and constraints,
and promote communicatively effective self-expression” (p. 94). In other words, subtle though it might
be, the L1 writers were doing it better.
It would, of course, be naïve to assume that there are not a large number of L2 researchers who
do need help with academic English. I am not for a moment suggesting that it is not the responsibility
of L1 colleagues to support and help where they can. What I am saying, though, is that such help
does not exclude the possibility of examining current academic writing conventions, and challenging
them where appropriate. I would put this more strongly. I believe it is the duty of L1 academics to
explore current writing standards more openly to see whether texts they dismiss as inferior are not
simply different.
The question I have not answered yet is: what do I do? I start with the students to whom I teach
academic writing. I echo what others have said to their students [
4
], telling them that while their
lecturers will welcome native-like English, the students can point out the inconsistency of a university
that regards itself as international insisting on New Zealand English language norms. I do not really
expect that there will be any real challenge to teaching staff; the power distance is too great, and the
students simply want to pass. I hope, though, that these remarks might return to them at a later stage
in their academic careers, perhaps when they are writing theses or dissertations.
I try, when I am marking their work, to resist the old chestnut ‘This is not how we say it in
English’, and look past the strangeness, to see if that which is different is not perhaps better, clearer or
more interesting. Even if it is none of those things, if it is intelligible, should I indicate that change
Publications 2017,5, 27 6 of 7
is desirable? I try to rekindle the indignation I felt when the Australian editor ridiculed my use
of English.
As a reviewer, I can approach my work with the same thoughts, and if necessary defend the use
of non-standard English in the articles I review. I can encourage L2 colleagues to follow the examples
of resistance cited earlier in defending their choice of English to reviewers and editors.
In addition, I have started to publish some of my concerns, and to speak up at conferences when
I get an opportunity. In my limited experience, I have found that my concerns resonate with many L2
academics, but are less well received by their L1 colleagues. A number of highly respected researchers
believe that the English currently used in prestigious journals is the best vehicle in which to report
research. They are concerned that changes to the language will impact on the clarity and succinctness
of such writing. I, on the other hand, believe that their concerns might well stifle the development of
an English best suited to contemporary academic society.
These are, admittedly, very small steps, but they are a way of resisting the current domination of
Inner Circle English. The language that we use as academics needs to better reflect the sociolinguistic
reality of modern higher education. We should acknowledge that there are many Englishes and that it
is “both futile and inappropriate” to attempt to hold on to a single standardised English (
[36], p. 572
).
What we need is a lingua franca for 21st-century higher education. If that lingua franca is to be
English, it needs to be a “living English, one that rejuvenates the language by contesting standardized,
dominant English terms, phrasings, and meanings in the light of ongoing, and differing, lives, contexts,
values” ([36], p. 573).
Conflicts of Interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.
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... Otherwise, those without those funds of capital are threatened to be socially excluded (Brown, 1995) and, alternatively, called 'nobody' (Kettle, 2005). Therefore, the fact that Standard English is more appreciated as an exhaustive property of native speakers is likely to create a hierarchical gap between English-language speakers (Kirkpatrick, 2007;Strauss, 2017) despite the absence of measures to identify Standard English (Kirkpatrick, 2007). ...
... However, Daniel's later more active participation in academic activities potentially helped him exercise re-positioning where he resisted the initial inferior positioning (Davies & Harré, 1990;Kayi-Aydar, 2019) to become 'somebody' as an agentive subject in his community with interactive others (Kettle, 2005) and to be audible to others in the community (Miller, 1999). Furthermore, his decision on active engagement with not only several academic but also community-based activities (e.g., local community-service campaigns) could reduce his fear of being marginalised as a non-native speaker of English, as well as acknowledge his linguistic and cultural capital (Phan, 2009;Strauss, 2017) at the expense of his so-called 'social exclusion' due to his limitation of native-like proficiency and accent (Bourdieu, 1991(Bourdieu, , 1997Brown, 1995). ...
... This paper is an effort to eliminate native-speakerism ideologies and reinforce the positioning of nonnative English teachers. The experiences of the Vietnamese EFL teachers illuminated the transformation of their positioning as inferior to well-recognized non-native speakers within the discourse communities in English-speaking countries (Davies & Harré, 1990;Kayi-Aydar, 2019;Kettle, 2005;Strauss, 2017). It is essential to argue for the values and acknowledgement of English language varieties, enhance the teachers' self-esteem, and engagement in their discourse communities with little exposure to the cultures of native-like proficiency and accents. ...
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This paper is an effort to eliminate native-speakerism ideologies and reinforce the positioning of non- native English teachers. The experiences of the Vietnamese EFL teachers illuminated the transformation of their positioning as inferior to well-recognized non-native speakers within the discourse communities in English-speaking countries (Davies & Harré, 1990; Kayi-Aydar, 2019; Kettle, 2005; Strauss, 2017). It is essential to argue for the values and acknowledgement of English language varieties, enhance the teachers’ self-esteem, and engagement in their discourse communities with little exposure to the cultures of native-like proficiency and accents. While having native-like proficiency and accents may have some merit (Bourdieu, 1991), acknowledging many English varieties and enclosed values of non-native EFL teachers can ultimately contribute to developing their teaching performance and professional development (Le & Phan, 2013). The study offers an innovative perspective of EFL teachers whose English is an additional language and their (re)positioning for success and confidence in their teaching. It is necessary for these teachers to recognise the long-lasting contested native-speakerism that proposes hierarchical positions among speakers of English language.
... By 'multilingual realities', we mean both practices that involve the use of languages as relatively discrete semiotic resources (e.g., talking and/or writing 'in Spanish' as compared with talking and/or writing 'in German') as well as translingual practices (after García, 2009;Williams, 1994) involving the mixing of linguistic/semiotic elements in acts of spoken or written communication (see Lillis & Curry, in press). We view multilingualism in academic contexts as encompassing not only the use of 'standard' varieties of named languages (e.g., English, Spanish, Russian) but also 'non-standard' or vernacular varieties (Strauss, 2017). This point surfaces the problematics of labelling and categorizing language(s) as descriptors of the semiotic resources being used across contexts, recognizing that labels are as much artifacts of historical and political forces as descriptors of linguistic variation. ...
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We are living in an era characterized by multilingualism, global mobility, superdiversity (Blommaert, 2010), and digital communications. Mobility and multilingualism, however, have long characterized most geolinguistic contexts, including those where monolingual ideologies have influenced the formation of contemporary nation states (Cenoz, 2013). As language is a pillar of both curriculum and instruction, in many academic spaces around the world efforts are on the rise to acknowledge the colonial origins of English, decenter the dominance of Standard English(es), and decolonize knowledge production (e.g., Bhambra et al., 2018; de Sousa Santos, 2017). Additionally, many ‘inner circle’ (Kachru, 2001) Anglophone contexts have long witnessed the centrifugal forces of multilingualism. Yet what prevails in institutional academic contexts is a centripetal pull toward what has been captured in phrases such as ‘linguistic mononormativity’ (Blommaert & Horner, 2017) or ‘Anglonormativity’ (McKinney, 2017). Nowhere is this pull more evident than in the sphere of writing for publication, relentlessly construed as an ‘English Only’ space, as exemplified in Elnathan's (2021) claim in the journal Nature : ‘English is the international language of science, for better or for worse.’
... Akademik yazma alanına yön veren isimlerden biri olan Ken Hyland (2016) uluslararası akademik yayın zümresinde Genişleyen Çeperdeki yazarların bilimsel verilere dayalı şekilde kanıtlanabilecek bir ayrımcılığa maruz kalmadıklarını öne sürse de pek çok yazar (Buckingham, 2014;Canagarajah, 2014;Strauss, 2017) bu tarz ayrımcılığa değin araştırmalarını sunmuş, bir kısmı da araştırma verileriyle Hyland'in iddiasını çürütmeye çalışmıştır (Politzer-Ahles vd., 2016). İngilizceyi anadili olarak konuşan araştırmacılar için saygın dergilerde yayın yapmanın dil yetkinlikleri sayesinde doğal olarak daha kolay olduğu ve üstelik hakem ve editörlerin anadili İngilizce olan yazarların lehine bir tutum sergilediği vurgulanmıştır. ...
... (Canagarajah, 2004. p. 266) Academic writing has been guided by conventions established by native English writer norms (Strauss, 2017;Lillis & Curry, 2015;Turner, 2018), when today's many, if not most, academic writers and their readers originate from non-English-speaking countries (Akst, 2020;Hanauer & Englander, 2011). This situation leaves these non-first-English-language writers at a disadvantage, since these scholars face the double challenge of both producing rigorous academic research and writing papers that meet the English-language expectations of journal editors and reviewers (Corcoran & Englander, 2016). ...
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In today's global society, a majority of academic writers come from diverse linguistic backgrounds, where English is an additional language. Publishing in most academic journals, however, is governed by native-English norms. As instructors and tutors guiding novice plurilingual writers through these conventions so that their papers meet publishing standards, we feel that their voices and styles get lost in the process, and fear that the academic and scientific community may be losing out when these writers' work is not accepted. To understand how plurilingual novice writers experience writing for publication, we conducted in-depth interviews, followed by a content analysis of the interviews, which revealed recurring themes relating to barriers and gains from writing in English. We present these along with exemplary quotes from the respondents. Additionally, we examine the ways in which the publication world is changing and how these changes can aid novice writers, as well as consider ways in which academic writing boundaries can become more elastic and inclusive.
... 10 Another language orientation is "language-as-right." 11 Restricting individuals to English violates the right to use the first language as well as the freedom to be themselves, impacting identity. Language-as-problem orientation and subtractive bilingualism negatively influence multilinguals' self-esteem, self-image, and identity, as well as their physical, spiritual, and mental health, impeding academic achievements. ...
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In today’s political and social climate in the United States, news stories focusing on language-related conflicts are becoming increasingly common. For example, two Montana women filed a lawsuit earlier this year against U.S. Customs and Border Protection for being detained after they were overheard speaking Spanish in a local convenience store.
... Различия между родным языком (L1) и языком перевода (L2) могут привести к нечёткому выражению мыслей автора на неродном для него языке, поскольку очень часто слова исходного языка имеют совершенно другое значение на языке перевода. Лингвисты и преподаватели английского языка как иностранного обращают внимание на многие сложности, возникающие при коммуникации представителей разных культур на английском языке [1-3] и предлагают оценивать уровень владения иностранным языком (language competence) через умение общаться в социуме (social practice) и межкультурную компетенцию (intercultural competence) [3]. При этом Сереш Канагараджа (S. ...
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The commentary touches upon the topic which is relevant to hundreds of thousands of researchers in the world. When trying to publish in English, they are often advised to ask the native speakers of the language for their opinion. However, as English has become the international, cross-border language of science, it may have ceased to be the property of the native speaker researchers, who constitute a small minority in the community. In addition, when English is used as a lingua franca, it is the message which counts, not the particular style or spelling. The commentary finishes with an appeal not to hinder the development of science by slowing down the editing process, and thus not to close the door for diversity and new perspectives.
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