IATEFL Conference 2022

Last month I attended the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL), held in Belfast, Northern Ireland from 17-20 May 2022. This was my first time at an IATEFL. I was looking for ideas to use in the PhD level course that I teach at Uppsala University: “Writing Scientific English.” For most of these PhD students, English is not their first language.

With over 300 lectures to choose from, it was an intense week. Most days I was at the conference site from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. so as not to miss anything. Exhausting, but worth it.

What was the most useful tip I learned? Storytelling. No matter what you are writing—fiction or non-fiction, popular science or academic papers—it’s all about constructing a coherent story line.

If you can make that story line engaging, all the better. And yes, you can do that even in academic papers.

My new book is out now

If writing a journal article is a like running a 10K race, editing a book is the equivalent of an ultra-marathon.

Or so it felt.

The idea to update the second edition occurred to me in November, 2019. I contacted the publisher of the first two editions and he agreed to produce a third one. So, with his enthusiasm backing me up, I started after Christmas that year.

Then came the pandemic. I almost wanted to call this book the “Journal of a Plague Year”. However that title was already taken, by Daniel Defoe in 1772.

But now, almost two years and one (still ongoing) pandemic later, the third edition is available as an e-book. A softcover version is underway.

I thank my wonderful colleagues who contributed chapters, the publisher, and the many coworkers who assisted in fact-checking, indexing, and photography.

And finally, I thank my grandson Alex, now 7, for being quiet hours on end. Due to the quarantine, he had to put up with me working from home on this book for months.

European Medical Writers Association workshop coming up

The next EMWA workshop will be held  7- 9 November in Malmö Sweden. This is only a 7-hour train ride from Uppsala where I live, so of course I will be attending. I’ll take the night train from Stockholm. Luckily there are a few night trains still running in Sweden.

The workshops I signed up for are: Beyond simple editing, Medical communication, Using readability  tools to help edit biomedical research articles, and Clinical appraisal of medical literature. It was a difficult choice because there are over 30 workshops being offered.