Previous Events 2008

Category Date Participant Title Venue
Seminar 24 Nov Dr Vincent Ooi "The death of English: LOL"?: The case of electronic communication in Southeast Asian Englishes CityU
Workshop 3-5 Nov Prof J.R. Martin;
Dr Susan Hood
Workshops on Genre-based Literacy Teaching: the Sydney School (Part III) CityU
Seminar 4 Nov Dr Peter White Authorial voice, interpersonal stance and appraisal in student writing CityU
Workshop 1-4 Sep Prof William S. Greaves Intensive Workshop: Intonation in English PolyU
Conference 4 Nov HCLS The Second HCLS Conference: Translation, Language Contact, and Multilingual Communication CityU
Seminar 1 Aug Prof Alan K. Melby Introduction to Translation Technology CityU
Workshop 17-26 Mar Prof J.R. Martin Workshops on Genre-based Literacy Teaching: the Sydney School (Part II) CityU
Seminar 1 Feb Prof John M. Swales Worlds of Genre - Metaphors of Genre CityU

Dr. Vincent Ooi

"The death of English: LOL"?: The case of electronic communication in Southeast Asian Englishes

Date : 24 November 2008
Time : //
Venue : //


This seminar aims to survey the plurality of computer-mediated communication with respect to three Southeast Asian varieties of English, and touch on what this type of linguistic evidence means for the practice of corpus and Hallidayan linguistics.

Computer-mediated communication - a rubric term for "Netlingo", "Textese", "Netspeak", and "Weblish" - is increasingly under scrutiny by educators and linguists alike. This view is complicated by the fact that there is not just one 'universal' type of electronic communication in English. In Southeast Asia alone, there is a whole range of computer-mediated discourses in Singaporean, Malaysian, and Filipino Englishes - notably in instant messaging, text messaging, online chatrooms and personal blogs.

As the younger generation increasingly goes online 24/7, such types of linguistic evidence have to be factored into linguistic theory, corpus building, dictionary-making, software compilation, and educational discourse.

Professor James Martin and Dr. Susan Hood

Workshops on Genre-based Literacy Teaching: the Sydney School (Part III)

Date : 3 - 5 November 2008
Time : //
Venue : //

Workshop 1
[3 November, Monday]

Classroom interaction and metalanguage in relation to Rose's recent development of genre-based literacy programs (Reading to Learn/Learning to Read)

For this workshop I will introduce a model for analysing classroom interaction focussing on moves in exchanges and exchange complexes. This analysis will then be applied to David Rose's innovative Reading to Learn/Learning to Read pedagogy, in order to interpret the ways in which he has adapted Sydney School initiatives to include a reading focus alongside writing. In particular we will be concerned with his design of both micro-and macro-interactions between the teacher and students, and the way his use of metalanguage brings text to consciousness in a way that develops all students as more proficient readers and writers, across sectors.

Workshop 2
[4 November, Monday]

Part 1: What do writers evaluateand how?

In the first half of this seminar I explore the ways in which published academic writers legitimise their research in the introductions to their research articles (RAs). The data I will draw on are from published RAs in the fields of education and applied linguistics. My theoretical tool is Systemic Functional Linguistic theory, most particularly theories of meaning making at the level of discourse semantics, with specific reference to with reference to Appraisal theory (Martin & White 2005). The analyses reveal a differentiation of two key fields in the discourse, one to do with the actual object of study, the other to do with the processes of knowledge building around this object of study. Typically each field is evaluated using different evaluative strategies.

Part 2: Ways of creating spacefor new knowledge: The role ofGraduation

In the second part of the seminar I focus in on one key resource for evaluating that was encountered in Part 1, namely that of Graduation (Hood & Martin 2007) to consider how and why Graduation functions as a key resource in evaluation in academic writing. The analyses reveal that by grading experiential meanings writers are able to imply a stance while avoiding potentially divisive dichotomised positive or negative evaluations, and by blurring categorical boundaries they are able to create space for new knowledge.

Finally we can return to the title and reflect on how it is that academic writers in English manage the apparently contradictory expectations that they be both persuasive and 'objective' in creating a space for new knowledge. And most importantly consider the context of pedagogy, and how we can make the demands of academic writing more transparent to novice writers of academic English.

Hood, S. and J.R. Martin. 2007. Invoking Attitude: the play of graduation in appraising discourse In R. Hasan, C. Matthiessen, and J. Webster (Eds) Continuing discourse on language, Vol 2. pp 739-764. London: Equinox.

Martin, J.R. & D.Rose. 2003/2006. Working with discourse: Meaning beyond the clause. London: Continuum.

Workshop 3
[5 November, Monday]

Part 1: Summary writing in academic contexts: Implicating meaning in processes of change

Being able to summarise source texts is an important component in writing multi-voiced texts as essays, literature reviews, research proposals and reports. Typically students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the key meanings encoded in source texts by recording those meanings in note form, and then reconstructing them as a shorter summary text relying minimally on the original wording. What may appear a relatively straightforward process is made considerably more complex when we consider that any change in wording necessarily impacts on meaning in some way. So what is involved in the task of satisfactorily re-presenting meanings from one source as new wordings in a second text? To explore this question I draw on Systemic Linguistic theory to analyse one pedagogic model of summary writing. My aims are two-fold: to explore how meaning is implicated in changing wordings; and to consider at a theoretical level what is involved in these changes. It is hoped in this way to develop a framework that can help academic language educators to better understand and articulate what summarising, reviewing, and re-drafting involve in terms of changing meanings, and to better scaffold this process for students and novice writers in academic English.

Part 2: The embodied practice of teaching: Analysing gesture in teacher talk

This paper draws on a study of gesture in teacher talk in face-to-face classrooms. The study proceeds from a social semiotic perspective that approaches gesture as a meaning potential. The study questions how meanings are realised in bodily movements and how those bodily movements relate to speech and interact with other visual semiotics. The analyses explore the potential for metafunctional meanings to be realised in gestures, resulting in the construction of tentative and partial system networks of meaning choices. Gestures and speech can be seen to cooperate as co-expressive and as complementary ways of meaning. The study contributes to a growing body of work in social semiotics that enables us to better understand practice as multimodal meaning making.

Dr. Peter White

Authorial voice, interpersonal stance and appraisal in student writing

Date : 4 November 2008
Time : //
Venue : //


This seminar will explore the application of the appraisal framework to investigations of how students develop the authorial voices and interpersonal stances which are conventionally associated with school and university text types/genres. The seminar will focus on both school and university-level texts and on the writing of both native and non-native speakers. Discussion will be provided of how the appraisal framework can be applied to describing the different stances constructed by student writers (what Martin & White 2005 term evaluative "keys") and for exploring the potential communicative effects associated with these stances/keys. The use of the framework for tracking the development of students writers longitudinally will also be explored.

Professor William S. Greaves

Intensive Workshop: Intonation in English
Organized by Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and supported by HCLS, City University of Hong Kong.
Date : 1-4 September 2008
Time : //
Venue : //

The 2nd HCLS Conference on Translation, Language Contact, and Multilingual Communication

Visit the official conference website for more information

Professor Alan K. Melby

Introduction to Translation Technology

Date : 1 August 2008
Time : //
Venue : //


The intended audience of this presentation is those who are not yet using any translation-specific technology such as a translation memory system. The only assumptions made on the part of the attendees is that they have some experience in translation as a student or as a professional, that they know how to use a word processor and a Web browser, and that they use e-mail. The presenter will describe the eight types of translation technology that are used by the American Translators Association to categorize translation technology. Word processors, Web browsers, and e-mail clients are all part of the first type: infrastructure. The other seven types will be explained, and cases will be identified when translation technology can improve speed, accuracy, or consistency in translation. A demo will be given of a Web 2.0 approach to developing terminology resources.

Professor James R. Martin

Workshops on Genre-based Literacy Teaching: the Sydney School (Part II)

Date : 17-26 March 2008
Time : //
Venue : //


In this series of workshops Professor Martin presents a basic introduction to the genre-based literacy initiatives of the Sydney School. The basic aim of the workshops is to lay down some theoretical and applied foundations which can be recontextualised in relation to the e-literacy programs being developed at City U.

Professor Martin began in the first series of lectures with genre, the pedagogy developed to teach students genres, grammatical metaphor and knowledge structure. In this second series of lectures he will focus first on genre systems and how they can be used to design curriculum (Day 1), and appraisal theory as a resource for analysing evaluation in discourse (Day 2).

Professor John M. Swales

Worlds of Genre - Metaphors of Genre

Date : 1 February 2008
Time : //
Venue : //


This presentation opens with a discussion suggesting that a consensus has been growing among genre theorists and scholars since Hyon's 1996 article outlined "three traditions". Professor Swales then raises the issue of defining genre itself and goes on to propose that a metaphorical approach is a viable alternative. Two extensive illustrations follow. The first deals with the US PhD dissertation defense, drawing on Grimshaw (1989) and three transcripts from the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English. Is this "a meaningless ritual" or a true test? The second explores the art history monograph. Among other facets, Professor Swales suggests, despite appearances to the contrary, that a book-length study describing an artist's life and work is no longer the "top genre" in the fine art field.