Can Speech and Translation be Part of Academic Writing?

Umesh Patra
2020 Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry  
The paper is premised on the assumption that writing is privileged over speech in the pedagogy of undergraduate (UG), postgraduate (PG) and research programmes offered by English departments in three select central universities in India -Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (BHU); The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad (EFLU); and Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Motihari (MGCU)-where the author has been engaged with as a student or teacher. Besides these university curricula,
more » ... hortlisting criteria for entry-level jobs for teachers at Indian Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) also lay stress on candidates' writing skills. But training in academic writing can move beyond credit-based written assignments. The author suggests an emphasis on speech and encourages a 'heteroglossic' approach to students' involvement in speech exercises within the classroom. For this purpose, unorthodox heuristic tools such as karaoke, video lectures, stand-up comedy may be used in both the English classrooms as well as the prospective academic writing courses. As writing centres use verbal dialogues between tutors and students as primary mode of consultation, academic writing courses should pay adequate attention to the augmenting and testing of students' speaking skills which, as the paper will show, may lead to better academic output. Secondly, the paper suggests that academic writing courses in India could include 'translation' as a necessary component in the curriculum. Given the multilingual nature of Indian classrooms, students' knowledge of languages other than English can be utilised for translation projects to and from their native languages. Currently, the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in English already offer courses on Indian literatures, but only those available in
doi:10.35684/jlci.2020.7104 fatcat:rx2autd3dbbyvp476mog6wcqcy