ERC DAY AT ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE, UNIVERSITY OF YAOUNDÉ 1

ERC DAY AT ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE, UNIVERSITY OF YAOUNDÉ 1

it took place on March 27, 2017: 12-14 H
Discussion themes:
The European Research Council as a research funding body
Cameroonian/African Mythology, Archetypal cross-references with the
Graeco-Roman Heritage and the Relevance of Myths in Young Adults’
Education

The celebration of the 2017 ERC day at the Ecole Normale Supérieure of the University of Yaoundé 1 was animated by two talks: one on the scope of funding activities of the ERC with focus on the project: our mythical childhood… and the other on mythology, archetypal cross-references with Graeco-Roman heritage and the relevance of myths in young adults’ education. Over a hundred and forty attendees from the university stepped away from their different academic activities (classes and lectures) to take part. Prof. Daniel A. Nkemleke and Dr Divine Che Neba were the speakers of the day. They were pleased to see that over 25% of attendees were students from other departments other than English and literary studies. They came largely because of the publicity that had been made about the event a week before. Although the event was held at the premises of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, staff and students from the adjacent Faculty of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences were also present.Read more…

Postgraduate Students at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) Yaoundé comment on the Academic Writing class with Prof. Nkemleke, and the Network Centre for Academic Writing Excellence (Posted by the class committee, Dec. 4, 2016)

Postgraduate Students at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) Yaoundé comment on the Academic Writing class with Prof. Nkemleke, and the Network Centre for Academic Writing Excellence   (Posted by the class committee, Dec. 4, 2016)

One of the objectives of higher education is for students to express ideas coherently in writing. In the university students are usually expected to write in a way that reflects the training they have received. At the postgraduate level, we are expected to conduct research and present data with a certain degree of maturity in language use and writing style. Academic writing therefore comes in handy as the course that helps to train students in this project. In the Department of English at ENS Yaoundé, Professor Daniel Nkemleke teaches academic writing with a lot of assiduity and attention. The classes are usually very interactive and spiced with variety, as the professor exposes us to sample texts from different academic genres (e.g. research articles, book blurbs, dissertation excerpts, posters, abstracts). In addition, he created a forum for us to interact with Neele-Frederiche Mundt, a PhD student-in-resident at ENS from the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany. We have learned many things about academic writing conventions from her input, including anecdotes from her experience in Germany about academic writing, and student-professor relationship. To say the least, the 14-week academic writing lectures have been very enriching for us.

As novices in the field of research, and as teachers-to-be, the importance of this enriching course content cannot be overemphasized. In fact, the course lays a solid foundation for would-be teachers to grasp basic notions like hedging, signposting, and academic humility, which will eventually help us to teach students different ways of approaching specific text-types, as the case may be. Rather than merely brooding in the dark like most new brooms in the domain of research do, we have been exposed to writing conventions, which we believe will help consolidate our research presentation skills. Bearing all these in mind, it will not be an overstatement to say that the Academic Writing lessons we have received have prepared us to face the academic world, at least with a degree of confidence.

Above all, the Network Centre for Academic Writing Excellence, which we constantly visit to provide us with additional resources and motivation, including networking ideas and opportunities. Although we have learned a lot for this course, we regret that the time allocated for it is not enough. Consequently, we believe that if more time is allocated for this course, future students at ENS will even derived the most benefit than we have done.

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The Academic Writing Class with Professor Daniel Nkemleke

Neele-Frederike Mundt

University of Landau-Koblenz

(PhD student in residence at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, University of Yaoundé 1)

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After years of studying, all the effort comes to an end in the form of one important exam. For most of us, this comes in a form of a written work, an empirical study and numerous literature reviews that might haunt our consciousness for weeks, even months. Students put all their effort in their research, however it is also important to know how to present one’s results. While in Germany students are required to apply strategies to review current and relevant literature, students in Cameroon face a very different problem: access to research material, up to date studies or books.

Living in a globalized village has may advantages, for example enormous amounts of information are available at every minute and every hour of every day – as long as you have access to internet. It is one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century. Although the internet has spread its wings through central Africa, including Cameroon, access to it seems to be problematic for a lot of students. The internet leads the path away from small libraries that have not been filled with books since 1960; it takes away the excuse of missing ground breaking works, but this freedom has a price! Fast and unlimited internet access is only affordable by the rich and the majority – including teachers and researchers –  rely on the inconsistent, unreliable and slow connection that may or may not be found at the university. There is a certain degree of exclusivity attached to luxury goods, such as unlimited and fast internet.

Of course, this makes research more exhausting, it will take more effort and patience; however, it does not make research impossible! It is important to understand that the works produced in Cameroon are as outstanding as work produced around the globe. This is what is successfully taught in this academic writing class: it instructs students on how to participate in the field of academic research.