Dr Eszter Szenes

Associate Lecturer

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 5067  
Fax +61 2 9351 4865

Website Profile

Biographical details

I am an Associate Lecturer at the Learning Centre, Academic Enrichment, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Registrar Portfolio, The University of Sydney. I am also currently a Visiting Researcher at Vantage College, The University of British Columbia in Vancover, Canada. My current multi-disciplinary research projects focus embedding disciplinary and professional literacy development into the curriculum and exploring the knowledge practices of critical thinking and reflective writing in a range of academic disciplines such as Education and Social Work, Business or European Studies. My work (both research and pedagogy) primarily draws on the theoretical foundations and methodologies of Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory in the sociology of education. Prior to joining the Learning Centre in 2013, I was a lecturer and tutor at the Department of Linguistics and Business Programs Unit (former Faculty of Economics and Business) at the University of Sydney for 5 years. I hold a PhD in Linguistics from The University of Sydney and a Master of English Language and Literature (Applied Linguistics specialization) from Eotvos Lorand University, School of English and American Studies, and TESOL from Eotvos Lorand University, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Budapest, Hungary in 2005.

Research interests

Systemic Functional Linguistics, Legitimation Code Theory, educational linguistics, Sydney-school genre-based pedagogies, Higher Education, academic writing, embedding academic literacy support, TESOL, sociology of education, knowledge practices of critical thinking and critical reflection, social semiotics, social realism

Teaching and supervision

The fundamental principles underlying my teaching philosophy are social justice, critical knowledge-building and inclusiveness. I continually recontextualise the latest research in linguistics and the sociology of education to equip students of all social and cultural backgrounds with equal access to academically valued resources of knowledge and language across a wide range of disciplines. In my teaching this philosophy is put into practice by designing a visible pedagogy and making both expectations and academically valued knowledge and language explicit, inspired by the ‘Sydney School’ genre-based approach. Teaching within the curriculum (in the University of Sydney Department of Linguistics and the Business School) and the co-curriculum (Learning Centre) has enhanced my cultural sensitivities and my ability to relate to students from different backgrounds and learning needs, including students fromEAL and NESB backgrounds, mature students with industry experience and students with minor learning disabilities. I continually seek feedback from both students (via evaluations) and staff (via peer-observations) to reflect on and adapt my teaching to enhance student learning.

In my current role as Associate Lecturer at the Learning Centre, Academic Enrichment, DVC Education Portfolio, The University of Sydney, I contribute to cross-scientific co-curricular support programs for students at all tertiary levels in the areas of English language communication, academic integrity, professional and disciplinary literacy development; work collaboratively with faculties to embed communication and English language development; provide interdisciplinary support for learning, the development of graduate qualities and academic integrity in the curriculum, co-curriculum or blended and online learning resources.

Current projects

Research Projects and Collaborations

Knowledge practices of critical thinking in higher education: Understanding the disciplinary requirements of undergraduate reflective writing (with Dr Namala Tilakaratna & Professor Karl Maton).

I am the Principal Investigator of this international, interdisciplinary and collaborative research project between the USyd Learning Centre and LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building and the Centre for English Language Communication at National University of Singapore. Drawing on Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory, this project aims to explore the nature, linguistics features and knowledge practices of reflective writing in a range of applied disciplines.

An extension of this project, Reflecting in undergraduate nursing: An interdisciplinary approach to embedding critical reflection in undergraduate nursing practice (with Lau, Tilakaratna, Brooke, Monbec, Wu & Shih), aninternational multidisciplinary collaboration between the National University of Singapore and The University of Sydney, has been recently awarded funding, $17,000SGD. This project aims to embed SFL and LCT-informed learning resources into undergraduate nursing critical reflection writing tasks, conduct pre- and post-intervention interviews with lecturers and pre- and post-intervention analyses of student assignments, and design marking rubrics for teaching and grading critical refection assignments in Nursing.

Bridging sociocultural Incongruity in the undergraduate Education Curriculum(BIEC): The development of critical reflection in undergraduate pre-service teachers (with M. Stevenson, M. Kim, B. James & A. Harvey).

This funded Widening Participation project aimed to embed Critical Thinking into a large, first-year core unit in Education (EDUF1019) at The University of Sydney. The evaluation results of the intervention showed a statistically significant change in students’ pre- and post-intervention awareness of how to demonstrate critical reflection in their discipline. This project provided a theoretically-informed, sustainable curriculum-embedded model to communication, learning and language development (Stevenson, James, Harvey, Kim & Szenes, 2018), now fully embedded and delivered without Learning Centre support: in further iterations of the project, delivery and tutor training were handed over entirelyto the unit coordinator and the tutors (2015 to date).

Embedding – sustainable and strategic approaches to embedding academic language and learning in the curriculum (with Dr Bronwyn James and Dr Arlene Harvey).

The aim of this project is to further develop and adapt the model of language and learning embedding work developed for the BIEC project described above.

Higher Degree Research: PhD in Linguistics

My PhD thesis titled ‘The linguistic construction of business reasoning: Towards a language-based model of decision-making in undergraduate business'(http://hdl.handle.net/2123/16815) reports on a linguistically theorised understanding of the process of decision-making in undergraduate business studies. Specifically, it makes a significant contribution to Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) genre theory by clarifying existing SFL descriptions of genres and describing the generic structure of long, complex undergraduate business country reports; and theorising the linguistic construction of ‘business decisions’ and ‘business reasoning’ by identifying three types of cause-effect relations and three types of rhetoric at the level of discourse semantics.

From a pedagogical perspective, my PhD research was also intended to contribute to the development of tertiary business students’ skills of ‘decision-making’ and professional report writing in higher education. Drawing on this research, I developed the course Professional Report Writing in 2013. The course has been since offered regularly in the LC Central Program and was updated in 2017 based on the final results of my thesis.

Associations

I am a core member of the LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building Management Committee, School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia

Membership of professional associations

  • Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association (ASFLA)
  • Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL)
  • Language and Society Centre, Monash University (LASC)

Contributions as reviewers/editors to professional journals

Reviewer at

  • Journal of Linguistics and the Human Sciences,
  • TESOL Quarterly

Awards and honours

University of Sydney Postgraduate International Scholarship (USydIS)– PhD Research Degree Scholarship

University of Sydney Postgraduate Research Support Scheme (PRSS):

  • conference paper (38th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC) Portugal)
  • conference paper (37th ISFC, Canada)
  • conference paper (15th International Association of World Englishes, The Philippines)

Selected grants

2017

  • The Research Writing Tool: writing development for higher degree research students in science-related faculties (- Open Learning Environment - HDR); Economou D, Salis (nee Sainsbury) A, Hey-Cunningham A, Szenes E; DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Stevenson, M., James, B., Harvey, A., Kim, M., Szenes, E. (2018). Reflective writing: A transitional space between theory and practice. In K. S. Miller & M. Stevenson (Eds.), Transitions in writing, (pp. 264-300). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N., Maton, K. (2015). The Knowledge Practices of Critical Thinking. In Martin Davies, Ronald Barnett (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education, (pp. 573-591). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]
  • Mahboob, A., Szenes, E. (2010). Construing meaning in world Englishes. In Andy Kirkpatrick (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of World Englishes, (pp. 580-598). Oxon, UK: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis. [More Information]

Journals

  • Mahboob, A., Szenes, E. (2010). Linguicism and racism in assessment practices in higher education. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 3(3), 325-354. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N. (2018). SFL and LCT working together in pedagogy. 45th International Systemic Functional Congress, Not Applicable: Not Applicable Records.
  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N. (2018). Using SFL and LCT in developing undergraduate students� critical thinking skills: Insights from an international cross-institutional study. 45th International Systemic Functional Congress, Not Applicable: Not Applicable Records.
  • Tilakaratna, N., Szenes, E. (2017). Axiological cosmologies for writing about �self-reflective� praxis. 2nd International Legitimation Code Theory Conference (LCTC2), TBA: 2nd International Legitimation Code Theory Conference (LCTC2).
  • James, B., O'Carroll, P., Szenes, E. (2017). Summary writing � beyond a simple �skill�. 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8), TBA: 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8).
  • Szenes, E. (2017). The linguistic construction of business decisions: construing investment opportunities and risks at the level of discourse semantics. 44th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC), Wollongong: The Organising Committee of the 44th International Systemic Functional Congress.
  • Tilakaratna, N., Szenes, E. (2017). The linguistic construction of critical �self-reflection� in social work and business. 44th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC), Wollongong: The Organising Committee of the 44th International Systemic Functional Congress.
  • Szenes, E., Harvey, A., James, B., Drury, H. (2017). The role of SFL and genre-based pedagogy in disciplinary literacy instruction: driving curriculum renewal in tertiary disciplines. 44th International Systemic Functional Linguistics Congress, Wollongong, NSW Australia: 44th International Systemic Functional Linguistics Congress.
  • Tilakaratna, N., Szenes, E. (2017). �I comply but deeply resent being asked to do so�: Ethical considerations of assessing students� reflective writing. 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8), TBA: 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8).
  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N. (2017). �I comply but deeply resent being asked to do so�: Ethical considerations of assessing students� reflective writing. 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8), TBA: 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8).
  • Szenes, E. (2016). Unpacking the rhetorical moves of business decision-making in successful tertiary �Country Reports�: an exploration at the stratum of discourse semantics. International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC).
  • Szenes, E. (2015). How do texts get bigger than a page? revisited: constructing depth in long business reports. 42nd International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC), Germany: RWTH Aachen University.
  • Harvey, A., James, B., Szenes, E., Kim, M., Stevenson, M. (2015). The theoretical shaping of embedded writing instruction. Academic Writing in Multiple Scholarly , Socio-Cultural, Instructional and Disciplinary Contexts: Challenges and Perspectives: 8th Biennial Conference of the European Association for the Teaching and Academic Writing (AETAW). European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (EATAW).
  • Kim, M., Stevenson, M., Harvey, A., James, B., Szenes, E. (2014). Assessment rubrics and assignment models - student interpretations: curriculum implications. Sydney Teaching Colloquium: Is Our Assessment Up to Standard?.
  • Kim, M., Stevenson, M., Simpson, A., Chan, A., Johnson, R., Pollard, N., Raymond, J., Shirley, D., Harvey, A., James, B., Szenes, E. (2014). Assessment: Engaging with communication standards. Sydney Teaching Colloquium: Is Our Assessment Up to Standard?.
  • Harvey, A., James, B., Szenes, E., Kim, M., Stevenson, M. (2014). Embedding at the pointy end of faculty concerns: Curriculum renewal. AALL Symposium, TBA: Queensland University of Technology.
  • Stevenson, M., James, B., Kim, M., Szenes, E., Harvey, A. (2014). Moving between practice, theory and reflection: First year education students becoming reflective practitioners. SIG Conference on Writing Research, TBA: SIG.

2018

  • Stevenson, M., James, B., Harvey, A., Kim, M., Szenes, E. (2018). Reflective writing: A transitional space between theory and practice. In K. S. Miller & M. Stevenson (Eds.), Transitions in writing, (pp. 264-300). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N. (2018). SFL and LCT working together in pedagogy. 45th International Systemic Functional Congress, Not Applicable: Not Applicable Records.
  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N. (2018). Using SFL and LCT in developing undergraduate students� critical thinking skills: Insights from an international cross-institutional study. 45th International Systemic Functional Congress, Not Applicable: Not Applicable Records.

2017

  • Tilakaratna, N., Szenes, E. (2017). Axiological cosmologies for writing about �self-reflective� praxis. 2nd International Legitimation Code Theory Conference (LCTC2), TBA: 2nd International Legitimation Code Theory Conference (LCTC2).
  • James, B., O'Carroll, P., Szenes, E. (2017). Summary writing � beyond a simple �skill�. 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8), TBA: 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8).
  • Szenes, E. (2017). The linguistic construction of business decisions: construing investment opportunities and risks at the level of discourse semantics. 44th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC), Wollongong: The Organising Committee of the 44th International Systemic Functional Congress.
  • Tilakaratna, N., Szenes, E. (2017). The linguistic construction of critical �self-reflection� in social work and business. 44th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC), Wollongong: The Organising Committee of the 44th International Systemic Functional Congress.
  • Szenes, E., Harvey, A., James, B., Drury, H. (2017). The role of SFL and genre-based pedagogy in disciplinary literacy instruction: driving curriculum renewal in tertiary disciplines. 44th International Systemic Functional Linguistics Congress, Wollongong, NSW Australia: 44th International Systemic Functional Linguistics Congress.
  • Tilakaratna, N., Szenes, E. (2017). �I comply but deeply resent being asked to do so�: Ethical considerations of assessing students� reflective writing. 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8), TBA: 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8).
  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N. (2017). �I comply but deeply resent being asked to do so�: Ethical considerations of assessing students� reflective writing. 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8), TBA: 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (APCEI8).

2016

  • Szenes, E. (2016). Unpacking the rhetorical moves of business decision-making in successful tertiary �Country Reports�: an exploration at the stratum of discourse semantics. International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC).

2015

  • Szenes, E. (2015). How do texts get bigger than a page? revisited: constructing depth in long business reports. 42nd International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC), Germany: RWTH Aachen University.
  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N., Maton, K. (2015). The Knowledge Practices of Critical Thinking. In Martin Davies, Ronald Barnett (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education, (pp. 573-591). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]
  • Harvey, A., James, B., Szenes, E., Kim, M., Stevenson, M. (2015). The theoretical shaping of embedded writing instruction. Academic Writing in Multiple Scholarly , Socio-Cultural, Instructional and Disciplinary Contexts: Challenges and Perspectives: 8th Biennial Conference of the European Association for the Teaching and Academic Writing (AETAW). European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (EATAW).

2014

  • Kim, M., Stevenson, M., Harvey, A., James, B., Szenes, E. (2014). Assessment rubrics and assignment models - student interpretations: curriculum implications. Sydney Teaching Colloquium: Is Our Assessment Up to Standard?.
  • Kim, M., Stevenson, M., Simpson, A., Chan, A., Johnson, R., Pollard, N., Raymond, J., Shirley, D., Harvey, A., James, B., Szenes, E. (2014). Assessment: Engaging with communication standards. Sydney Teaching Colloquium: Is Our Assessment Up to Standard?.
  • Harvey, A., James, B., Szenes, E., Kim, M., Stevenson, M. (2014). Embedding at the pointy end of faculty concerns: Curriculum renewal. AALL Symposium, TBA: Queensland University of Technology.
  • Stevenson, M., James, B., Kim, M., Szenes, E., Harvey, A. (2014). Moving between practice, theory and reflection: First year education students becoming reflective practitioners. SIG Conference on Writing Research, TBA: SIG.

2010

  • Mahboob, A., Szenes, E. (2010). Construing meaning in world Englishes. In Andy Kirkpatrick (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of World Englishes, (pp. 580-598). Oxon, UK: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis. [More Information]
  • Mahboob, A., Szenes, E. (2010). Linguicism and racism in assessment practices in higher education. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 3(3), 325-354. [More Information]

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