How an editor helps academia to be inclusive of ESL students.

The English language is quickly becoming the primary and preferred language of academic discourse. Not only are there more EFL/ESL speakers than native speakers, but universities all across the world are also introducing more courses taught in English. [1]

While it’s wonderful that academia is finding this common ground in communication, we must remember that it is not, in fact, as common as we would like to think. 

There is a risk of putting non-native speakers at a linguistic disadvantage. 

  1. Colloquialisms, traditions, history gets lost in translation. 
  2. Your idea may also get lost in translation 
  3. Language should not be a barrier. 

Over 50% of scientific literature is published in English. This automatically excludes academics who do not write in the English language. The larger consequence of this is that the production of academic literature itself becomes biased and narrow. Besides excluding people, we end up excluding entire perspectives.

 

One way to address this, since there is a need to find common ground, is to introduce reliable resources to ESL or EFL researchers.

We say that one of the ways for this to happen is through editors.

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