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Understanding Scientific And Academic Texts In Higher Education :Obstacles And Welcome To A New Culture

Understanding Scientific And Academic Texts In Higher Education :Obstacles And Welcome To A New Culture
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Name: Understanding Scientific And Academic Texts In Higher Education :Obstacles And Welcome To A New Culture
Affiliation: Unaffiliated
Join Time: December 11, 2017 at 05:39AM EST
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About Me: In order to understand some reasons for the reading difficulties of a large part of the university students (difficulties that their teachers recognize), we analyze the intervening elements in the bibliographic reading required in higher education. The ideas we raise are based on the notions provided by the currents called "New studies on written cultures", "Academic literacy" and "Writing and reading in the disciplines", and our experience of course.

We know that it is necessary to reconceptualize what is at stake when students are faced with understanding the texts proposed by the university. The central thesis of their work is that it is not just that they arrive ill-formed from their previous secondary studies; it is that upon entering higher education they are required to change their identity as thinkers and text analyzers.

The academic texts that the students have to read in this educational level are usually derived from scientific texts not written for them but for knowing the lines of thought and the internal controversies of each field of studies. They are texts that take for granted what the students do not know. Likewise, in the university they are usually required but not taught to read as members of the discursive communities of their respective disciplines. It is the implicit nature - both of the knowledge contained in the texts and of the reading practices, which teachers consider natural (and not cultural) - which poses obstacles to the performance of many students, especially in writing or even editing research papers. If you need to edit, you are suggested to edit your research papers at

To analyze

To analyze how reading is generally understood in higher education, we will rely on a comment, made in a collective transport, by who seemed to be a secondary school teacher, about their students:

If [students] have comprehensive reading, they should not have problems with the text."

This idea, which appears here in the mouth of a teacher, is a widespread belief among us. However, we are going to question it. We will question the assumption that reading is a basic and transferable skill, acquired once and for all, that serves to understand any text that falls into our hands. We will debate in favor of the notion that there are different ways of reading and understanding writings, ways that are part of different reading cultures.

And we will start at the end, by the conclusions of our reflection:

1. It is necessary to reconceptualize the "problems" of reading of many students. Their difficulties in understanding what they read at university are not due to lack of basic and generalizable skill or technique, but when entering higher studies they are faced with new written cultures, corresponding to the different fields of study.

2. However, despite the magnitude of the change required, the values and norms of behavior of the academic communities are demanded but not taught. What poses obstacles to the performance of many students is the implicit nature of university reading practices and the tacit nature of the knowledge contained in the texts that are given to them to read.

Consequently, we will try to establish that, in order to avoid the abandonment of a large part of the candidates and to help develop the thinking of those who remain, it is essential that teachers of all subjects share a responsibility.
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