Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

Research-Related and Profile-Oriented Mediation Competences as a Must for the 21st Century PhD Students

Victoria Safonova, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russian Federation)


In accordance with the four broad profiles for researchers outlined by the European Commission in “Towards a European Framework for Research Careers”, a PhD Student is identified as a First Stage Researcher (R1) whose desirable competence includes integrated language and communication skills, especially in an international context. And it is a real challenge for those PhD students who undergo their doctoral training in non-English-speaking academic environments, because it has been already proved in a number of didactic studies undertaken at Lomonosov Moscow State University that PhDs students’ success as researchers in international settings depends much not only оn the level of their language proficiency in using English as an international language of science, but on their lingua-cultural academic sensitivity as well. The results of the 2019-2021 semi-structured interview of Russian and Chinese PhD students of the faculty of Foreign Languages and Area Studies suggest the following: being constantly involved into acting as self-made translators (as many of PhD students are not professional translators) and cross-lingual (amateur) mediators in international settings, PhD students have often faced unexpected difficulties in choosing and using appropriate research-related strategies for delivering their research results and mediating a research text to the representatives of international academic community at some academic events. They have also brought into focus the necessity for adding mediation competences to the list of European necessary and desirable competences required of different categories of researchers. The paper argues that as far as PhD students (First Stage Researchers) are concerned, the latter are to be quite competent in mediating different genres of an academic text (C1-C2 levels) and partly in mediating academic communication (mostly at those scholarly events in which they are expected to be involved, first, as PhD students, and ,second, as PhD holders in perspective). The paper gives a culture-bound vision of research-related mediation competences in terms of PhD students’ knowledge, skills, capacities & experiences as international academic writers (from non-English-speaking countries). While describing the structure of research-related bilingual competences in mediating an academic text, the author also introduces & conceptualizes the lingua-didactic notions of lingua-cultural academic sensitivity, lingua-cultural academic adaptability, academic international writer, dialogue of academic cultures & intercultural translatology.

Keywords: Doctoral training stage, international academic writer, research-related mediation competences, professional bilingualism


  • Council of Europe. (2020) Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment: Companion volume. Strasbourg: Education Policy Division Education, Department Council of Europe.
  • Towards a European Framework for Research Careers. (2011) – Brussel: European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation.

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