Monolingual ideologies versus spatial repertoires: language beliefs and writing practices of an international STEM scholar

Valeriya Minakova, Suresh Canagarajah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper explores language beliefs and writing practices of an international scholar in Biochemistry working at a large U.S. research university. Although the participant articulated monolingual ideologies and a desire to become like a ‘native speaker,’ he did not consider advanced writing skills in English a prerequisite for publishing in English in his field. Through ‘talk-around-text’ (Lillis 2008) and visits to his laboratory, we examine what resources the participant deemed valuable in the process of producing a scientific article. Adopting a spatial orientation to writing (Canagarajah 2018a), we pay particular attention to the spatial repertoires that shaped his recent first-author publication. We bring out the tensions between his language ideologies and actual communicative practices and discuss the theoretical and pedagogical implications of our research. Ultimately, we argue that a spatial orientation to communication expands the notion of bilingualism by urging us to consider people’s actual creative practices of meaning-making in particular spaces rather than focus on isolated cognitive abilities.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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