Linguistics Professor Emeritus John M. Swales presented a video plenary talk for a conference at Moscow State Universoty (Latium 12), a conference that puts linguistic and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instructors together. His talk was based on the Corpus of Michigan Academic Spoken English (MICASE) and it was entitled "American Academic Speech: A Role Model for All, or for None?"

In addition to the Department of Linguistics, Swales was involved in the English Language Institute. Swales focused his talk on speech because he believes it to be a typically overlooked topic. He begins his talk by touching on popular beliefs about academic life, including some insider accounts. He continues on to compare this to the reality of one major American research university with data collected for MICASE.

MICASE consists of 1.7 million words recorded and transcribed (about 200 hours of recorded speech between 1997-2001), this acts as a time capsule for American academic speech as the end of the last century. They recorded 152 speech events (lectures, office hours, student presentations, PhD defenses, research group meetings) from up and down the university level to best capture events that students participated in. They were able to record many faculty, excluding law, business, and medical.

Is "American Academic Speech: A Role Model for All, or for None?" Find out by watching the entire talk above or on YouTube