English Language Specialist Dr. M. Sidury Christiansen spent two weeks traveling to three cities in Russia (Kazan, Samara and Moscow) to assist Russian universities in developing writing centers that focus on English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and to familiarize the academic community with the rules for academic writing and research for international journals. Christiansen offered seminars and workshops in English academic writing to scholars, faculty, English teachers, and graduate students that proposed a timeline of activities aimed to ensure that a research article is written following international standards and rigor for publication in a period of three months. Participants were walked through the research writing process, as well as the publication process. They were given ideas on how to form peer review groups and writing clubs. They were also given handouts and tips to carry out different projects at the same time. The workshops were aimed at specific areas of academic writing, such as writing the methodology section, in which participants had the opportunity to have hands-on experience revising a paper and ensuring that the methodology meets all components and standards needed for publication in an international journal.
Overall, Christiansen’s workshops and seminars provided participants with a better understanding of the nuances of the publication process and practical knowledge of how to use collaborative writing as a tool to facilitate the publication process. Soon after her project had concluded, Christiansen learned that three universities that she had visited during her project had reported that they were forming peer writing and peer review groups and research writing circles to revise papers before sending them to publication. In addition, participants gained a deeper understanding of multimodality, mulitiliteracies, and digital technologies. They were able to engage in discussions of research ethos, technology in the classroom, the role of digital literacies in academic writing, and the need to form partnerships for research and exchange programs between American and Russian schools.
Dr. M. Sidury Christiansen is an Assistant Professor of TESOL/Applied Linguistics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research interests include sociolinguistics and digital literacies, especially on learners’ engagement with each other in digital spaces. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Written Communication, Writing & Pedagogy, Journal of Sociolinguistics, International Journal of Bilingualism and Bilingual Research, and the Journal of Response to Writing.