Studies of Disciplinary Discourse by UBC Vantage College Students

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Thank you for visiting this UBC Wiki site featuring reports on micro-research project written and conducted by first-year international UBC students at Vantage College. Read on for a brief introduction to this site, or jump directly to students' projects listed below.

This UBC Wiki Sandbox is a space in which student projects can be posted, read and collaboratively discussed within the Vantage and larger UBC community. This initiative is part of a wider effort of the Academic English Program at UBC Vantage College for academic language and writing instruction to position learners early in their apprenticeships as active participants and knowledge creators in the academic communities in which they circulate.

UBC Vantage College (VC) students are relatively well-positioned among first-year students to carry out these studies. While VC students are academically well-prepared, their status as users of English as an additional language implies a particular interest in the explicit understanding of how language use (i.e., discourse) shapes and is shaped by scholarship in general and, more specifically, by disciplinary sub-cultures.

An important part of the program is to outfit students with theoretical and methodological resources for analyzing and interpreting the kinds of pedagogical and disciplinary discourses they encounter daily in their studies, from research reports to textbooks, lectures and, of course, the students' own written and spoken texts. Students are thus sensitized to and informed of the links between language choices and disciplinary meaning-making practices. These resources are in turn applied by students in novel ways to explore aspects of scholarly discourse of interest to them. The projects posted here have typically emerged from students' coursework in the research-based academic writing courses (e.g., LLED200; LLED201; WRDS150; SCIE113) as well as the more specialized VANT140 courses, which provide language support for specific content courses (e.g., Psyc101: Introduction to Biological & Cognitive Psychology or APSC178: Electricity, Magnetism & Waves).

While the kick-start contributions are from Vantage students in the Science stream - with discourse studies of specific sub-fields and/or genres of Biology, Chemistry, and Computer Science - projects from students in the other Vantage streams of Arts, Management, and Applied Science are very welcome. Comments and discussion on these micro-studies of disciplinary discourse are invited and encouraged from across the Vantage College and UBC communities: please participate in this innovative initiative!

We hope that that you will appreciate the students' efforts and ambitions in these small-scale studies while gaining insight into the scholarly disciplines, genres, and registers analysed.