An international scientific conference dedicated to new trends in intercultural research and publication activity of scientists was held at RUDN University Institute of Foreign Languages
Among the participants was Keith J. Topping, a professor at the University of Dundee (272 QS WUR, Scotland), spoke about a joint project with the University of Barcelona («Peer Assisted Language. Learning between Countries»). The purpose of the study was to show how effective the learning process (peer-assisted learning) in which students from different countries are involved as a learner (non-native language) and a teacher (mother tongue) for joint pair and group work. This method of teaching through teaching (learningbyteaching) has justified itself - the improvement of language skills has occurred not only in a foreign language, but also in the native language.
A report by Steven L. Thorne, a professor at Portland University («From culture to culturing in online intercultural pedagogy») was devoted to the problem of understanding culture and interpreting cultural imperatives in the process of online teaching foreign languages. The phenomenon of cultural exchange, cross-cultural, intercultural, transcultural communication in the conditions of modern online reality and multilingualism was presented both at a deep methodological level («intercultural turn», «virtual turn», new turn of «linguistic relativism», constructivist structuralism) and on specific examples of empirical research using the methods of social pedagogy (group and online work with native speakers, an online portfolio of the project of integrated language, gaming and mobile learning using popular literature, online games, wiki communities, etc.).
During the conference, was organized a round table on «Thematic trends of scientific publications and ethical policies of journals» with the chief editors of leading journals in the field of linguistics and pedagogy (Q1).
Professor Susan Gass told about the main, in her view, trend - the quality of scientific research, and the quality is directly related to the ethics of research, there should be a critical assessment of the results, transparency, research materials should be open and available for verification. Susan Gass gave an example of the IRIS database, which more than 30 journals on applied linguistics support it, but only some of the researchers are registered there.
In her speech, Professor Edda I. Weigand (Language and Dialogue) focused on dialogue and morality as the centrifugal concepts of the humanities, which are directly related to the thematic focus of her journal.
Professor Rita E. Silver (Language and Education) represented Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore). At the moment, it is one of the most promising universities in Asia and the youngest (12 position QS WUR). Her report was directly related to her responsibility for observing the research ethics and integrity of the research by all members of the academic community of the university. So what is the integrity of the study? - honesty, accountability, effective management, professional politeness. All these parameters are recorded in international and regional protocols (Nuremburg Code (1947), Declaration of Helsinki (1964), European Science Foundation Code of Conduct (1974-2014), US 'Common Rule' (1981), The Singapore Statement of Research Integrity (2010)).
The editor-in-chief, professor of University College London, Norbert Pachler spoke about the editorial policy and thematic focus of The Language Learning Journal, highlighting the main criteria for accepting a publication — the originality of the research and its contribution to the subject area. Norbert Pachler gave examples of the topics of the most recent publications in his journal.
Anna K. Mauranen, a professor at the University of Helsinki and the editor of Applied Linguistics magazine, presented a historical and retrospective analysis of the use of foreign languages as a language of science. At the moment, English is dominant in modern science. However, this should not be an obstacle for those whose English is not native: «editors and reviewers should not criticize authors, not native speakers for their grammar ... but appreciate science» (Celleditorial, 2012). Speaking about the prospects for the development of research ethics, Anna Mauranen considered this topic from three sides: from the standpoint of the development of science (high level), from the point of view of academic journals (prestige, impact factor) and, of course, from individual author-research views (tough competition).
Professor Grigory Konson, member of the Russian Expert Council (ANRI / Scopus), expert at the Times Higher Education World University Rankings - 2018 described the problems of the russian scientists' publication activity, it is first of all the danger of falling into the «predatory» journals and the difference of institutional approaches of the Russian and foreign higher education systems. In the course of the discussion, the participants touched upon the problem of reviewing articles by Russian authors and the main points of «missing» articles. The experts gave important advice, shared important resources, in particular, such as patenting a research base in the humanities, including in the field of linguistics (opendata, openmaterials).
At the section meetings scientists discussed the problems of intercultural communication: various case studies of the functioning of dialects, language niches, content analyzes of media texts, and stereotyped speech patterns, problems of adequate translation and interpretation, the influence of the factor of intercultural interaction on the educational process.
A team of linguists from RUDN University established that a person’s ability to accurately differentiate between vowel sounds of a foreign language correlates with the size of their vocabulary in said language.
A geneticist from RUDN University studied the effect of Bifidobacterium (intestinal bacteria) on the inflammatory process and discovered that their surface protein is capable of stopping excessive or uncontrollable inflammation, like the one observed in COVID-19 patients. A fragment of this protein can be used as an anti-inflammatory medication when treating coronavirus and other diseases.
A mathematician from RUDN University developed a matrix representation of set functions. This approach is vivid and easy to check, and it makes the calculations easier. Among other things, the new development can be applied to cooperative game theory.