ICIC News & Updates

Posted on May 6th, 2022 in Publications by Matthew Hume

ICIC’s latest publication will appear in Lingua: An International Review of General Linguistics as part of a special issue on metadiscourse. Lingua is a well-regarded international journal that publishes articles on linguistics and closely related fields. Written in collaboration with our most recent visiting scholar, Xuemei (Nancy) Tan of Jilin University, this publication analyzes one example of the diverse range of intercultural rhetoric’s applications and highlights ICIC’s continuing dedication to collaboration with visiting scholars.

Publication Information:

Connor, U., Tan, X., Zhang, Y., and  Hume, M. (2022). An intercultural analysis of metadiscourse in international mathematical contest papers: From research to EAP practice. Lingua: An International Review of General Linguistics 271. 

Article abstract:

Practitioners of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) are responsible for preparing students to fulfill the expectations of an ever-growing number of written genres. One emerging application of the research paper genre is found in a related pair of highly competitive international contests, the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) and Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM). Through a lens of intercultural rhetoric (IR) and English as a lingua franca (ELF), this paper examines a metadiscourse analysis of 38 summary and 38 conclusion sections of MCM/ICM Outstanding Winner papers, half of which were written by Chinese teams and the other half by American teams. The study found that while both Chinese and American writing depended heavily on the use of metadiscourse in the two sections, there are distinct differences in the frequency and linguistic realization of metadiscourse across cultures. The paper concludes with proposed pedagogical applications of findings in designing an EAP course to prepare international student teams to be more competitive in their MCM/ICM writing. In line with recent research in IR and ELF, the current research demonstrates that the MCM/ICM contests do not require students to hold strictly to “native-speaker” levels of writing as long as the contest papers are mathematically and logically sound.