Results

  • Zotero database for ROGER relevant topics

    During the preliminary stages of the project, Dr. Claudia Doroholschi conducted searches and readings aiming at the realization of an extensive Zotero database of relevant studies in the areas of: “genre surveys”, “genre mapping”, “genres studies” and their Romanian correspondent fields (e.g. “Romanian academic writing”).

    For more information and sharing options, please contact Dr. Claudia Doroholschi.

  • ROGS Pilot Survey

    Multi-method approach
    The academic genre research in ROGER involves a multi-method approach in which several instruments are implemented: interviews, informative materials, survey, corpus, and the contrastive analysis of texts (genres written in Romanian versus genres written in English).

    Fig. 1: Genre research methodology in ROGER

    Survey preparation
    The first data-collection instrument was the Romanian Genre Survey (ROGS). The design and content of the questionnaire integrated the following pre-implementation stages: (a) a comparison of the surveying software for the selection of the appropriate online instrument; (b) discussions on the list of genres that seem to be part of curriculum for many disciplines; (c) collection of informative materials on genre use in the disciplines at the universities in Romania (course syllabi); (d) creation of a contact database with departments and departmental contacts relevant for ROGER data collection; (e) partner contacting campaigns; (f) performing interviews (nine) with faculty members; (g) interview transcriptions.

    After the analysis of both interview and genre-use informative materials, the first version of the survey (pilot version) was created. The questionnaire has two versions: Romanian and English.

    Fig. 2: Question categories in ROGS

    ROGS was created so that it can be distributed to students from many Romanian universities. The target informants are students from the Bachelor and Master programs offered in both Romanian and English, from departments such as: Philology, Engineering (or IT), Economics and Political Sciences.

    Fig. 3: ROGS Sample (1)

    Fig. 4: ROGS Sample (2)

    Results
    The survey was piloted in the period May-June 2018, at the West University of Timisoara. The number of respondents was 57, out of 226 viewers (25.2% response rate). Case-study analyses on genre mapping and genre descriptions has been performed and presented at conferences (see section News).

    Fig. 5: Pilot ROGS based analysis (Genres written at home by Romanian students)

    Considering semester structuring in Romania (exam time starting in June), a full round of survey implementation was planned to be carried out in October-December 2018.

    References

    This article:
    Chitez, M., Doroholschi, C., Luches, D. & Dinca, A. (2018). ROGER Report: ROGS Pilot Survey. Available at:  https://roger.projects.uvt.ro/results/

    ROGS Survey

    Chitez, M, Doroholschi, C. & Kruse, O. (2018). ROGS, Romanian Genre Survey. Survey developed in the frame of the ROGER project (Academic genres at the crossroads of tradition and internationalization:  Corpus-based interlanguage research on genre use in student writing at Romanian universities), financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation, coordinated by Dr Madalina Chitez and conducted at the West University of Timisoara, Romania, in the period 2017-2022; Copyright information: © West University of Timisoara, Romania / Faculty of Letters, History and Theology / Department of Modern Languages and Literatures / ROGER / Chitez, Doroholschi & Kruse 2018.

  • ROGS Survey – final version

    Survey validation

    A. The face-validity stage of the ROGS questionnaire involved several discussion rounds with three important groups:

    Target group - several groups of students have been asked to fill in the questionnaire and give feedback. The students expressed their criticism on:
    1.1. design of the questionnaire: a few students mentioned the fact that QuestionPro questionnaire interface is not as user-friendly as other survey platforms
    1.2. length of the questionnaire: a 10-minute survey is more attractive than a 20-minute survey
    1.3. repetitive character of some questions: the students find it annoying that the same question types are repeated several times
    1.4. difficulty of some open questions: a few students think they do not know the answer to the questions so these questions should be eliminated
    1.5. dilemmas concerning the personal information questions: some students are confused about the term “specialization” and need further explanations on what it is required from them to answer.

    Academic topic experts - experts that understand the topic of academic writing (faculty members and project team members) have suggested improvements regarding:
    2.1. clearer content for some of the personal information questions
    2.2. genre terminology in both Romanian and English
    2.3. prompts for open questions
    2.4. question set order.

    Questionnaire building experts – feedback from colleagues who have worked with survey construction and implementation (e.g. sociology):
    3.1. remarks on applied scales
    3.2. remarks on genre lists.

    B. The testing of the questionnaire on a sample of the intended population was performed in the pilot phase of the survey implementation (see ROGS Pilot Survey for details). We received answers from 57 respondents, from different disciplines at the West University of Timisoara.

    C. Raw data cleaning: data introduced in spreadsheet tables are checked for data entry errors.

    The questionnaire was designed in parallel in two languages: Romanian and English, with equivalences between the two languages discussed and established during the process of drawing up the survey. Problematic key concepts were mainly connected to genre names which were different in the two languages and for which cultural equivalence was imperfect. The sets of genre names included in the final version of the survey were established as follows:
    1. To ensure comparability of results, the English and Romanian version of the questionnaire include the same set of genre names, even in cases where we hypothesized that there is no equivalent genre in both languages.
    2. Equivalence between genre names in the two languages was based on:
    2.1. Research undertaken within earlier genre mapping research projects and discussions with specialists in different countries during these projects (COST Action IS0703 ERN-LWE, “The European Research Network on Learning to Write Effectively” and LIDHUM - Literacy Development in the Humanities: Creating Competence Centres for the Enhancement of Reading and Writing Skills as Part of University Teaching, SNSF SCOPES no. IZ74Z0_137428)
    2.2. Comparison of genre names in official faculty documents (course syllabi of courses that are taught in Romanian and English respectively)
    3. The translation was revised after the pilot study.

    D. Final revision: The ROGER researchers have analyzed both the preliminary results of the ROGS pilot implementation and the improvement suggestions above and made several changes to the questionnaire as follows: slight interventions for 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, and 3.2, or significant interventions for 1.4 and 2.3. As for the other remarks (1.1, 1.3, 3.1), discussions among project team members and experts clarified the necessity of such characteristics, which means that the survey remained in the initial form.

     Details on final version also in Article ROGS Pilot Survey.

    Survey data
    Respondents
    552 respondents from 9 Romanian universities, from 4 subject areas: Exact sciences (Mathematics and Computer Science), Humanities, Social and political sciences and Economics, as defined by the official Romanian classification of disciplines.

    Fig. 1 Distribution of respondents by subject area

    Some results
    Languages in which students write at university
    Out of the respondents, 513 report that at university they are required to write in Romanian and 453 write in English. Other languages students are required to write in are Romani, Croatian, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Korean, Japanese, and Lebanese.

    Fig. 2 Languages in which students are required to write at University

    Most important genres by disciplinary area

    Fig. 3: ROGS (final version) statistical analysis

    Preliminary conclusions
    -multilinguality is a prominent feature in our data: a significant proportion of our students (79.5%) write in two or more languages; 75% of students write in both Romanian and English
    - the four disciplinary areas analyzed have their specific genre profiles, but the Bachelor/Master thesis emerged as the most important genre written at university in all disciplines
    - most frequent genres across disciplines are the essay, the research paper and the referat. We hypothesize a certain degree of overlap among these genres, which is to be investigated during the corpus analysis stage of our study
    - prominent discipline-specific genres are: case study, technical report, translation, text analysis.

    References:

    This article:
    Chitez, M., Doroholschi, C., Luches, D. & Dinca, A. (2018). ROGS Survey – final version, available here

    ROGS Survey:
    Chitez, M, Dorohoslchi, C. & Kurse, O. (2018). ROGS, Romanian Genre Survey. Survey developed in the frame of the ROGER project (Academic genres at the crossroads of tradition and internationalization:  Corpus-based interlanguage research on genre use in student writing at Romanian universities), financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation, coordinated by Dr Madalina Chitez and conducted at the West University of Timisoara, Romania, in the period 2017-2022; Copyright information: © West University of Timisoara, Romania / Faculty of Letters, History and Theology / Department of Modern Languages and Literatures / ROGER / Chitez, Dorohoschi & Kruse 2018.

  • Academic writing in Romania: corpus-based case studies

    Context
    Since the beginning of the ROGER project (June 2017), several corpus-based studies have been conducted by or in collaboration with the ROGER project researchers.

    The studies imply the collection of written texts from the students of the West University of Timisoara and their compilation into small corpora. The texts have been collected by the teachers in different language disciplines, whereas the corpus compilation has been performed in collaboration with the corpus expert researchers. The corpus-based analyses have been correlated with the teacher’s classroom observations and integrated into pedagogical discussions or conclusions.

     

    Case-study #1:

    Corpus name: Academic Writing in Romania
    Acronym: ACRIWRO
    No. w.: 48.704
    No. Essays: 29
    Materials: academic essays
    Topics: e.g. The characterization of the main characters in Anna Karenina
    Format: digital format
    Informants: students English Department
    Year of study: 2
    Text collection by: Senior Lecturer Cristina Băniceru

    Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

    Corpus processing by: Dr Mădălina Chitez (Senior Researcher)
    Linguistic analyses by: Senior Lecturer Cristina Băniceru

    Dr Mădălina Chitez (PI ROGER)

    Topic: Academic essay writing in Romania: Didactic analyses of second year student texts using corpus data
    Papers presented at: ELN Conference (COST-Action IS1401), Winterthur. Switzerland, 7-9 February 2018 (more information here)

    BRITISH AND AMERICAN STUDIES / XXVIII, Timisoara, Romania, 17-19 May 2018 (more information here)

    Several conclusions of the study:

    • Even though the students’ basic vocabulary is fairly good, it does not measure up to that of a native. It tends to be repetitive and, at times, simplistic.
    • Students started using first person more confidently than before, but still reluctant due to the influence of Romanian academic practices.
    • Metalanguage is not yet internalised, thus artificially used. The same phrases or identifying tags are employed to introduce criticism: ‘according to’, ‘X claims or explains’. Quoting is preferred to paraphrasing because students do not have enough practice and tend to imitate the syntax and the phrasing of the original. That’s why they sometimes resort to plagiarism, being the easy way out

     

    Case-study #2:

    Corpus name: Academic Writing in Student Journals
    Acronym: JAWS
    No. w.: 21.083
    No. texts: 36 English + 41 Romanian
    Materials: Introductions of research articles published in Journal of Student Research in Languages and Literatures (6 issues) and Literacum (5 issues)
    Topics: e.g. 18th And 19th Century Perspectives – Everyday Struggle and Work
    Format: digital format
    Informants: Students English Department, Romanian Department
    Year of study: all
    Text collection by: Dr Loredana Bercuci (Junior Lecturer)

    Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

    Corpus processing by: Andreea Dincă (M.A. student / ROGER research assistant)

    Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

    Linguistic analyses by: Dr Loredana Bercuci
    Topic: The Influence of the Romanian Academic Style on Student Writing in English
    Papers presented at: 1st Literacy Summit, Porto, Portugal, 1-3 November 2018 (more information here)

    Several conclusions of the study:

    • In general, the Genitive case is problematic for Romanian learners of English, as they tend to choose the variant most similar to Romanian.
    • These are structures used to describe hierarchy and simultaneity, rather than other logical connections typical ofargumentative texts.

     

    Case-study #3:

    Corpus name: International Relations and European Studies English for Specific Purposes
    Acronym: RISEEP
    No. w.: 19.225
    No. texts: 36
    Materials: Opinion essays written by students of International Relations and European Studies
    Topics: e.g. The Role of Media in Elections
    Format: digital format
    Informants: Students of International Relations and European Studies at West University of Timisoara
    Year of study: 1 and 2
    Text collection by: Dr Loredana Bercuci (Junior Lecturer)

    Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

    Corpus processing by: Andreea Dincă (M.A. student / ROGER research assistant)

    Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

    Linguistic analyses by: Dr Loredana Bercuci
    Topic: Argumentative structures in English for Social Sciences Writing: A Corpus Analysis
    Papers presented at: GlobELY 2019, Kyrenia, Cyprus, 11-14 April 2019

    (more information here)

    References

    This article:

    Băniceru, C., Bercuci, L., Chitez, M., & Dincă, A. (2018). Academic writing in Romania: corpus-based case studies. Available here.

  • UVT in international research networks via ROGER activities

    By initiating or continuing collaboration with fellow academics from universities around Europe, the intention was, on the one hand, to disseminate the results in ROGER, and, on the other, to open up potential for common projects in research areas related or adjacent to ROGER: corpus linguistics, language teaching, language acquisition, or English as a Foreign Language.

    As soon as the ROGER project was launched (June 2017), Dr Mădălina Chitez actively started to look for possible networks in which ROGER can be included. More than that, through the project capacity building in different departments at the West University of Timisoara (UVT), the whole university can have access to such networks.

    In this way, UVT was included in the following international networks and associations:

     

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    MUST Project Network

    Area:
    Corpus Linguistics

    Topic:
    Multilingual Student Translation (MUST) project

    Coordinator:
    Professor Sylviane Granger and Professor Marie-Aude Lefer
    Centre for English Corpus Linguistics
    UCLouvain, Belgium

    Time of UVT inclusion (provisional):
    October 2018

     Contact person at UVT:
    Dr Mădălina Chitez

    Description:
    The Multilingual Student Translation (MUST) project is a new international project which aims to collect a large multilingual student translation corpus with rich, standardized metadata that combines insights from both Learner Corpus Research (LCR) and Corpus-Based Translation Studies (CBTS). The MUST corpus will be searchable via a web-based interface, called Hypal4MUST, a tailor-made version of the Hybrid Parallel Text Aligner (Hypal) developed by Adam Obrusnik from Masaryk University (Czech Republic). (Source here)

    Partners:
    See the complete list here.

     

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    QUALINT Network

    Area:
    English Medium Instruction

    Topic:
    Partnership for Quality Improvement in Internationalization of Higher Education

    Coordinator:
    Peter Eigenmann
    Head of the International Relations Office
    Berner Fachhochschule, Switzerland

    Time of UVT inclusion:
    November 2018

    Contact person at UVT:
    Dr Mădălina Chitez

    Description:

     Vision
    QUALINT aims to establish strategies and best practices for internationalisation activities, considering organisational structures and processes, stakeholders, and content.

    Mission Statements

    • QUALINT identifies thematic areas and promotes joint projects relevant to the internationalisation processes at member institutions.
    • QUALINT develops and evaluates quality assurance tools in the internationalisation of higher education institutions.
    • QUALINT stimulates the exchange of experiences and good practices between member institutions.

    Activities

    • Developing and establishing projects for the improvement of quality within the internationalisation of higher education institutions (HEIs), for example, quality assurance instruments, exchange platforms.
    • Supporting implementation of quality measures within home universities
    • Disseminating results and activities through multiplier events including publications, conferences, inter- and intra-institutional training events.
    • Opening channels of communication between QUALINT, university management and other stakeholders.
    • Holding annual network meetings for agenda discussion and exchange of results.
    • Opening new strategic partnerships with other HEIs.

    (source: QUALINT Mission Statement)

     

    Partners:

    • Berner Fachhochschul, Switzerland
    • Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Switzerland
    • Vicuniversitat de Vic – Universitat Central De Catalunya, Spain
    • Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg, Germany
    • Universita degli Studi di Padova, Italy
    • FH Joanneum Gesellschaft M.B.H., Austria
    • Seinajoen Ammattikorkeakoulu Oy, Finland

     

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    ELEXIS Observer Network

    Area:
    Digital Humanities (E-Lexicography)

    Topic:
    European Lexicographic Infrastructure

    Time of UVT inclusion:
    February 2019

    Contact person at UVT:
    Dr Mădălina Chitez

    Description:
    Reliable and accurate information on word meaning and usage is crucial in today’s multilingual and multicultural society. Traditionally, this information was found in dictionaries – monolingual, bilingual or multilingual. Print dictionaries are going out of use slowly, but dictionary databases are now integrated into websites, mobile apps, digital products and services. These databases need to be maintained and updated continuously. (Source here)

    Partners:
    See the complete information here.

    Observer list:
    Not available