Academic Literacies (AL 102)

2021 Summer
School of Languages
Academic Literacies(AL)
3
5.00 / 5.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Ali Nihat Eken -eken@sabanciuniv.edu,
English
Undergraduate
--
Formal lecture,Interactive lecture,Seminar,On-line task/distance,One-to-one tutorial,Group tutorial
Interactive,Learner centered,Communicative,Discussion based learning,Project based learning,Task based learning,Jigsaw learning,Guided discovery
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CONTENT

The Academic Literacies course aims to expand the communicative, critical thinking and academic skills of students required for success at undergraduate level. In addition to oral presentations, discussions and the facilitations of seminars, students will develop the research and writing skills needed to construct sound, evidence-based arguments. Throughout the course emphasis is placed on the need to analyze and critically approach a variety of texts such as academic articles, media resources and short fiction. Students participate in formal sessions as well as intensive, personalized tutorials with instructors and peer groups utilising the latest information technology. Successful completion of this course equips students with the skills needed for sustained academic achievement as proficient and autonomous English Language communicators.

OBJECTIVE

Academic Literacies 102 Objectives

Critical Thinking and Research Skills

Reading and Text Exploitation
? Utilize a variety of texts ranging from academic articles, media resources to short fiction
? Recognize purpose and intended audience
? Understand attitude presented towards the subject
? Determine argument(s) and support used
? Critically examine the arguments
? Use texts in various ways in order to prepare for/carry out tasks such as
a) identifying useful quotations
b) summarizing
c) text-marking
d) note-taking
e) noting bibliographic details
? Deal with complex grammar and academic lexis
? Synthesize information from multiple sources
? Comprehend meaning beyond the text level
? Evaluate the context and purpose for which texts are produced, distributed and
consumed
? Apply arguments, findings, ideas, theories to different contexts e.g. social, historical,
ideological


Research Skills
? Identify research goals and create a program of work
? Become familiar with a variety of available sources to utilize e.g. electronic databases,
academic search engines
? Develop search skills to find appropriate and effective sources to support arguments
? Develop information literacy in order to assess the reliability of information
? Develop skills to visually represent data collected from research (e.g. graphs, tables, bar charts)
? Review a variety of texts to determine relevance to argument (e.g. graphics, abstracts, charts, visuals, social media commentary)
? Read for information: search texts for specific content
? Recognize patterns of text organization (situation ? problem ? solution ? evaluation, etc)
? Distinguish different text types and their characteristics
? Collate and/or interpret research data to utilize in structuring unique argument or
exploring research problem
? Develop tools to collect data for further support in oral/written tasks

Communication
Presentation Skills
? Plan a presentation
? Select and synthesize information from several sources to provide evidence for the argument
? Ensure accuracy and clarity of evidence
? Organize content: introduction, development, conclusion and Q & A stage
? Demonstrate an ability to critically analyze, evaluate and apply information
? Use appropriate content specific vocabulary
? Develop fluency, pronunciation & intonation,
? Employ paralinguistic behaviors (body language, eye contact, volume)
? Demonstrate an awareness of audience (e.g. appropriate register, definition of key terms, interest, knowledge)
? Incorporate visual materials effectively
? Deal with questions adequately


Discussion Skills

? Ask for clarification and check own interpretation
? Express doubt, disagreement, and agreement in an appropriate manner
? Establish connections with other ideas/texts/experience
? Challenge ideas by
a) querying speaker?s statement
b) presenting counter-argument
? Use appropriate vocabulary for delivery of information (e.g. register, style, circumlocution, reformulating, signposting)
? Employ appropriate group interaction strategies by
a) signaling desire to speak
b) avoiding time-wasting and repetition when given the opportunity to speak
c) asking relevant questions at appropriate times
d) turn-giving (encouraging others to speak)
e) facilitate group dynamics
? Demonstrate an awareness of participants (e.g. appropriate register, interest, knowledge)

Academic Paper Writing
? Analyze research questions
? Plan in order to develop and shape argument
? Create an effective outline providing a clear and detailed overview of the response to the question being addressed
? Answer the question in a relevant and meaningful way with fully developed ideas
? Write an effective introduction: focusing / more general ? specific; thesis statement
? Form effective topic sentences, including paragraph subject and controlling idea
? Provide evidence to support arguments in the form of definitions, explanations and examples
? Make effective transitions between paragraphs and topics
? Organize paragraphs in a manner which leads logically to the conclusion
? Write an effective conclusion
? Edit and revise papers taking feedback into account
? Use appropriate citation skills


Academic Style and Linguistic Literacy

? Become more aware of one?s individual spoken and written language systems in order to use in appropriate contexts (e.g. social media commentary vs. academic journal articles)
? Develop an awareness of linguistic variation in terms of genre and register
? Use impersonal or depersonalized style, e.g., uses of passive voice, the impersonal ?it?
(e.g., ?It has been argued that?? ?It could be considered??)
? Use cautious language
? Use citations effectively: incorporating summaries, quotes, paraphrases in order to ensure academic honesty
? Write references in APA style
? Make clear the distinction between writer?s own ideas and cited material
? Interpret/comment on quoted material
? Use appropriate vocabulary: both subject-specific and general academic vocabulary

Creativity and Innovation
Project/Research Work and Collaboration

? Identify project goals and create an action plan
? Set up systems that enhance the team?s progress e.g. task delegation,
role assignment, establishment of ground rules, decision making, problem solving
? Identify potential strengths and weaknesses of the team to enhance collaboration and meet project goals
? Monitor team?s progress through regular update meetings and reports
? Utilize skills required to produce and present an original piece of academic work/research in written and/or oral form (e.g. literature review, outline)
? Explore specific topics and issues to engage with critically
? Formulate unique research questions to guide and structure own research
? Develop a unique argument based on collaborative research
? Develop literacy in technology in order to collaborate and express ideas uniquely e.g. use tools such as slideshare, wordpress, tubemogul, yammer
? Develop strategies to deal with the multicultural profile of the team
? Promote a non-judgmental and motivational working environment
? Develop an awareness of academic culture, honesty and ethics
? Reflect on the collaborative process used and the outcomes of the project work

Exploring Fiction

? Explore alternative perspectives
? Deconstruct the meaning of literary texts
? Identify themes, characters, settings and styles common to contemporary literature
? Further their interests in social, cultural and scientific issues
? Question, interpret, connect and explore social, cultural and scientific issues through literary works
? Explore the course themes in literary contexts

Strategy Learning
Reflection and Self-management Skills
? Develop new skills, techniques and strategies for effective learning
? Identify strengths and weaknesses of personal learning strategies (self-assessment)
? Focus on the process of individual vs collaborative learning
? Develop awareness of multicultural environment and adopt appropriate strategies for
effective collaboration
? Develop an understanding of academic culture and ethics
? Reflect on individual and collaborative learning processes e.g. through the use of
reflective journal writing
? Reflect on time management and develop skills to cope with the stress and demands of
an academic environment
Vocabulary Development
? Develop awareness of personal responsibility for vocabulary learning
? Build a personal bank of new general academic and subject specific vocabulary using a variety of tools ranging from traditional vocabulary journals to digital applications such as awl-builder, mynotebook
? Acquire new vocabulary through extensive reading
? Determine word meaning by using contextual clues (contextual analysis)
? Utilize knowledge of a word?s part such as root, prefix, suffix to determine meaning
? Enhance understanding of new vocabulary by making connections and associations to related ideas and other words
? Make active use of new vocabulary in speaking and writing
? Aim to continually use practiced strategies to enhance reading comprehension and acquire new vocabulary
? Reflect on the effectiveness of personal vocabulary learning strategies

LEARNING OUTCOME

Students will have developed their critical thinking and research skills by synthesizing information from
various sources and applying arguments and ideas to different contexts.
Students will have developed their communication skills by developing their presentation, discussion
and academic paper writing skills. They will have learned to use appropriate vocabulary for delivery of
information (e.g. register, style, signposting, etc). They will have developed their academic skills such as
using citations effectively and writing references in APA style
As they collaborate in groups to finish the projects they run, students will have enhanced their capacity
for originality and invention. They will have gained knowledge on how to work well with others and take
on responsibility.
The ability to create one's own learning approach will be taught to the students. As students
concentrate on the process of individual and collaborative learning while working in teams, they will
have improved their capacity for reflection and self-management.

ASSESSMENT METHODS and CRITERIA

  Percentage (%)
Participation 20
Written Report 30
Presentation 50

RECOMENDED or REQUIRED READINGS

Readings

Hutchison, P., Nyks, K., Scott, J. P., Chomsky, N., Francis, M. (2015). Requiem for the American Dream.
Harari, Y. (2019). 21 lessons for the 21st century. Vintage
Kirszner, L. G., & Mandell, S. R. (2017). Becoming a critical reader. In The Blair Reader: exploring issues and ideas. Boston: Pearson.

Optional Readings

Tatum, B. D. (2000). The complexity of identity: Who am I. Readings for diversity and social justice, 2, 5-8.
Shafak, E. (2020). How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division: The powerful, pocket-sized manifesto. Profile Books.
Pleyer, Geoffrey. (2020). Interconnected Challenges of the 21st Century. Global Dialogue (Magazine of International Sociological Association). Retrieved from: https://globaldialogue.isa-sociology.org/
Tale, Prival. (2021). Challenges of the 21st century: Can we conquer them? We are Restless (Young Voices On the Issues That Matter Them). Retrieved from: https://wearerestless.org/2021/05/11/challenges-of-the-21st-century/