Developing Russian Phd Students’ Academic Culture in EAP Courses for International Communication and Co-Operation


  • Victoria V. Safonova Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, professor at the Department of Foreign Languages and Area Studies Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation



intercultural academic communication, academic culture, cross-cultural barriers, multidisciplinary problem-solving tasks, ELT.


The paper gives a didactic insight into the concept of “intercultural academic communication” /IAC/ analyzing its types, forms, structure and bilingual input for the purposes of improving Russian advanced students’ communication skills as intercultural speakers and writers in English-speaking academic settings. On the basis of the 2015-2017 cross-cultural analysis of Russian Master’s Degree - PhD Students’ experiences of intercultural communication it provides a didactically-oriented and competency-based classification of communicative barriers to effective cross-cultural academic communication, describing such of them as linguistic, pragmatic, sociocultural, cognitive and visual communication barriers. The paper argues that the theoretical framework for designing tasks aiming at improving PhD students’ bilingual pluricultural competence to use English as a lingua franca in intercultural academic settings is to be based on L. Vygotsky’s cultural historical theory, A.N Leontiev’s activity theory, A.A. Leontiev’s psychological theory of communication, S. Hall’s theory of cultural factors and contexts and culturally-oriented FLT approaches to developing students’ bilingual academic competences on a multidisciplinary basis. The paper concludes with some recommendations on creating a hierarchical set of multidisciplinary problem-solving tasks and activities specifically designed to help PhD students meet new 21st century challenges of intercultural communication - co-operation, avoiding culture-bound academic pitfalls in today’s extremely complicated world. Among these tasks are those that involve PhD students’ into: a) observing and generalizing the similarities and differences of communicative and/or cognitive academic schemata in Russian and in English; b) classifying communicative barriers between intercultural speakers or writers (incl. English native - non-native speakers); c) interpreting the appropriacy of academic products in a FL from a global intercultural perspective; d) making suggestions for necessary pluricultural academic self-education in order to be able to foresee and/or identify communication barriers and find effective communicative tools to bridge intercultural academic gaps; e) doing thought-provoking case-studies in IAC; f) transforming interculturally inappropriate academic products in a FL into appropriate ones; g) group role-playing of IAC schema modes involving different academic roles that are typical of English-speaking international science co-operation settings; h) doing “Study - Innovate” projects.




How to Cite

Developing Russian Phd Students’ Academic Culture in EAP Courses for International Communication and Co-Operation. (2018). European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 4(2), 103-114.