National Research Centre for Foreign Language Education
讲座题目：A Jack(al) of All Trades? Expertise in Studies of SLW
讲 座 人：Professor Alister Cumming（University of Toronto）
地 点：北京外国语大学 西院综合楼501教室
Studies of second-language writing (SLW) have become increasingly sophisticated, focused, multi-faceted, and comprehensive. Correspondingly, demands have increased in the expertise required to conduct, publish, and interpret research in SLW, and to do so systematically, rigorously, and intelligently. Scholars of SLW need to know, identify, and analyze key issues in the practices and policies of teaching and learning SLW, of course, to acknowledge how they have been investigated previously, and to approach them in ways that will make a difference for others. Scholars of SLW also need to appreciate and investigate how these issues occur: locally as well as internationally; for populations of different ages and societal statuses; across different multiple language combinations; from theoretical perspectives related to psychology, linguistics, socio-anthropology, and education; and using methods of qualitative and quantitative research appropriately and judiciously. Are all of these areas of expertise necessary to be able to produce research insights into SLW that are credible, innovative, significant, and useful? In turn, what do readers or users of research about SLW need to know in order to be able to interpret such research critically and sensibly? What constitutes the relevant knowledge, skills, and purposes to do and act on studies of SLW? Particularly, what constitutes expertise in SLW? Should a scholar of SLW strive to act like a jack of all trades, but risk being a master of none? Or should a scholar of SLW act like a jackal that roams cleverly, alone or in packs, in a few choice territories? I will review ideas about expertise, relate them to knowledge and abilities that students, teachers, and researchers should have about SLW and suggest certain directions for teachers’ professional development and professional inquiry.