The aim of this project is to investigate the writing competence of PhD students in Computer Science with respect to IELTS scores.The factors that relate to the progress of PhD students in their competence in English, in particular for scientific documents written during their candidature, and the match between this competence and the requirements for entry to PhD study, will be explored.
Start (5/2016) and finish (4/2017)
This project is funded by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) ($56k)
A PhD in Computer Science requires a significant level of English language skill and many students find it difficult to write scientific documents of sufficient quality due to their level of English proficiency. In Australia the graduate employability statistics for 2014 show that the lack of communication skills is a major reason why existing positions are not filled, with Computer Science graduates being the hardest to place (53.5%). Anecdotally, companies eager to attract high calibre graduates often refrain from doing so because of their poor communication skills.
The relationship between assessed English writing skills (measured by IELTS results) and the quality of research manuscripts in Computer Science will be studied. Methods used in the research will include nation-wide surveys and written tasks, completed in the early and final stages of their degree, assessed by supervisors and an IELTS examiner.
This study represents a significant and important step in the understanding of mechanisms, resources and processes towards improving writing for research among PhD students.
Project dates: start (5/2016) and finish (4/2017)
- Dr Alexandra L. Uitdenbogerd
- Dr Charles Thevathayan,
- Dr Kathleen Lynch,
- Associate Professor James Harland,
- Associate Professor Margaret Hamilton and
- Dr Daryl D’Souza