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English for Researchers: A Study of Reference Skills
Ravindra B. Tasildar
Assistant Professor, Dept of English,
S.N. Arts, D.J.M. Commerce and B.N.S. Science College, Sangamner - 422 605
Dist. Ahmednagar (Maharashtra State), INDIA
English for Academic Purposes (EAP), one of the dominant branches of English for Specific Purposes (ESP), is the teaching of English with the specific aim of helping learners to study, conduct research or teach in that language (Flowerdew and Peacock, 2001:8). India has a large scientific research community but is under-represented in international research journals (Dudley-Evans and St John, 1998:161). According to Garfield (1982), poor communication in English is often cited as a primary reason. The present paper is an attempt to deal with one of the facets of research in India - the researchers’ knowledge of reference sources and reference skills. In this questionnaire-based study, it was found that academic reference skills (or research skills) of the researchers in Arts and Science in Indian universities are inadequate. The examination of courses on Research Methodology offered in some postgraduate (PG) programmes in Indian universities reveals that the focus of these courses is not on basic research skills. As it is assumed that academic reference skills are learnt automatically, these skills are not incorporated in such courses. The present study emphasizes the need to incorporate reference skills in the courses on research methodology offered in Indian universities.
Keywords: ESP, EAP, Reference Skills, Researchers, Indian Universities.
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