Victoria Tevs, Lecturer, Department of Foreign Languages for Humanities, Demidov Yaroslavl State University, Russia.

Title: Anchor Points for Teaching ESL Writing in the Changing Educational Landscape

The new vision that involves seeing language as a dynamic and non-leaner process rather than a conveyor of a fixed code has opened new avenues and posed new challenges for teachers and learners alike. Some of them are: (1) What skills and competencies do teachers have to equip students with? (2) What principles and tenets should permeate the syllabi of language courses? (3) What role do learners have to play in the shifting educational landscape?

Swarmed by a flock of questions and determined to answer them, we taught a four-month course on science communication for students at our university. The central premise of the study is that designing collaborative tasks, modeling real-world scientific communication, and introducing digitally networked technologies can bring a new vision into practice. It empowers learners to take the wheel of the learning process, exert social agency, and, eventually, get closer to seeing language as it is—a unique bridge to new knowledge, other people, and foreign cultures. Given that the CEFR supplies the theoretical vision of our research, we singled out three overarching principles of the volume, i.e., action-oriented approach, socioconstructivist paradigm, and mediation, and took them as anchor points of our course.

To illustrate the in-class implementation of the thesis and answer the outlined questions, we will consider the abovementioned tenets in a practical light. We will suggest assets and techniques for designing a course as an action-oriented scenario with a mission to fulfill and a roadmap to follow. We will outline the scaffolding strategies for breaking science competence into subskills and helping learners construct their expertise on a solid foundation through interaction and collaboration with peers. Finally, we will shed light on various forms of encouraging students to venture beyond the protective bubble and disseminate the results of their work to a broad range of audiences.