Tzipora Rakedzon

Tzipora
Tzipora Rakedzon, Ph.D. Student

I was born in New Jersey, and moved to Israel at age 20. I live in Yaad, Misgav with my husband and three sons. In Israel, I completed my B.A. and M.A. at Haifa University in English linguistics.

Since 2002, I have worked at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, teaching a variety of academic courses in English. For the past 7 years, I have served as the director and primary lecturer and of the Academic Writing for Graduate Students course at the Technion. This is a compulsory course in academic writing in English designed primarily for PhD students, as well as Master’s students on a thesis track.

In addition to my work here, during 2013-2017, I completed a Ph.D. program in the Department of Education in Science & Technology under the supervision of Assistant Professor Ayelet Baram-Tsabari. My research describes the development, validation and research based on two new assessment tools:

  1. A rubric for assessing advanced English-as-second-language (L2) STEM graduate students’ writing in academic (specifically, an abstract) and popular science writing (specifically, a press release). The rubric was developed based on an academic writing course and science communication intervention module, as well as guidelines in the literature on rubric development (articles: 1, 2).
  2. A computerized jargon identifier, the De-jargonizer at http://scienceandpublic.com . This tool assesses the use of vocabulary and jargon in written texts so scientists and professionals wishing to adapt their message to a lay audience can identify problematic vocabulary. In each of the 5 development stages, I compared the rating of the De-jargonizer with other validated programs in the literature, and tested it on students’ work from the Academic Writing course. The final version is an open site that labels vocabulary in a text at three levels: high-frequency, mid-frequency, and jargon.

After developing and validating the tools, I conducted research on the academic writing course with a popular science intervention to investigate the writing outcomes and vocabulary use of graduate students’ academic and popular science writing genres before and after an Academic Writing course with a popular science intervention lesson.

Findings indicated significant improvement in academic and popular science writing as well as improvement in students’ English language proficiency. In assessing jargon, less jargon was found in lay summaries than in academic abstracts written by both students and scientists; however, the percentage of jargon in the summaries exceeded the amount recommended for the public to understand the text.

My research interests include a variety of subjects related to science communication and language, including language teaching, acquisition, and learning.

Publications

Rakedzon, Tzipora & Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet. (2017) Assessing and improving L2 graduate students’ popular science and academic writing in an academic writing course. Educational Psychology.
Rakedzon, Tzipora & Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet. (2017) A rubric for assessing graduate written science communication: to make a long story short. Assessing writing.
Tzipora Rakedzon, Elad Segev, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Noam Chapnik, Roy Yosef. Automatic jargon identifier for scientists engaging with the public and science communication educators (2017, submitted).

Projects

  1. HELPING SCIENTISTS COMMUNICATE WITH THE PUBLIC
  2. AN AUTOMATED JARGON IDENTIFIER FOR EVALUATING VOCABULARY IN SCIENCE COMMUNICATION
    Communicating science to the public requires the use of nontechnical vocabulary and clearer language. Both graduate students and scientists have difficulty communicating their research with these restrictions in language, yet American and European surveys have shown that the public is interested in science and in need of scientific information to make decisions in everyday life. Therefore, to aid students and scientists in adapting and writing science for the public, we have designed a program that addresses the problem of technical language and identifies which word may be inappropriate and problematic in a text. The site, entitled the De-jargonizer (http://scienceandpublic.com/), can help scientists identify problematic jargon when communicating science to non-experts, and be implemented by science communication instructors when evaluating the effectiveness and jargon use of participants in science communication workshops and programs.

Presentations and Invited Lectures

Tzipora Rakedzon, Elad Segev, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Noam Chapnik, Roy Yosef. An automated jargon identification program: evaluating STEM students’ use of jargon in written scientific genres.” Paper (accepted) to be presented at the NARST Annual International Conference, San Antonio, TX, USA, April 22 – 25, 2017.
Tzipora Rakedzon, Elad Segev, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Noam Chapnik, Roy Yosef. “Different audiences, different writing: Improving genre in popular science and academic writing among graduate STEM students.” Paper (accepted) to be presented at Metadiscourse Across Genres (MAG 2017) at METU, Northern Cyprus, March 30-April 1, 2017.
Tzipora Rakedzon, Elad Segev, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Noam Chapnik, Roy Yosef. An automated jargon identification program: evaluating STEM students’ use of jargon in written scientific genres.” Paper (accepted) to be presented at the 12th Chais Conference for the Study of Innovation and Learning Technologies, Raanana, Feb 14-15, 2017 The Open University of Israel.
Tzipora Rakedzon, Elad Segev, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Noam Chapnik, Roy Yosef. “Supporting scientists in engaging with the public: The development and validation of an automated jargon identification program.” Poster presented at the Fourth LINKS Annual retreat. Technion – IIT, September 5-6, 2016.
Rakedzon, Tzipora. “How to give effective presentations in science.” Invited lecture for the International Space University (ISU) at the Technion -IIT, August 18, 2016.
Rakedzon, Tzipora & Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet. “Writing in STEM in and outside academia.” Paper presented at the third international (IFAW) conference on academic writing in Tel Aviv, Israel. June 27-28, 2016.
Rakedzon, Tzipora & Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet. “Genre assessment of scientific writing in and outside academia.” Paper presented at H-INET (Higher education in Israel network of English teachers). International spring conference, Tel Aviv University, Feb. 8-9, 2016.
Rakedzon, Tzipora & Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet. “Teaching Science and Technology Graduate Students to Write Science for Academia and for the Public.” ESERA (European Science Education Research Association) 2015 Conference at Helsinki, Finland, August 31- September 4, 2015.
Rakedzon, Tzipora & Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet. “Teaching Science and Technology Graduate Students to Write Science for Academia and for the Public.” Pre-conference of the Junior Researchers of EARLI (European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction) at the Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, August 23-24, 2015.
Rakedzon, Tzipora & Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet. “Teaching Science and Technology Graduate Students to Write Science for Academia and for the Public.” The Sixth Israeli Science Communication Conference, Tel Aviv, Israel, June, 24-25 2015.
Rakedzon, Tzipora & Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet. “Written science communication as an art.” The 2nd International Conference: Science, Technology and Art Relations – STAR at the Technion, Haifa, Israel, November 19-20 2014.
Rakedzon, Tzipora. “Wordiness: one of the seven deadly sins of writing? Teaching wordiness and using corrective feedback.” IFAW (Israel Forum for Academic Writing) mini-conference: The Challenge of Academic Writing in Today’s World, MOFET Institute, Tel-Aviv, Israel, June 29, 2014.
Rakedzon, Tzipora. “Graduate students’ writing skills: Teaching and learning style and genre.” IFAW (Israel Forum for Academic Writing) meeting at Oranim Academic College of Education, May 2014.
Rakedzon, Tzipora & Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet. “Teaching and assessment of communication skills of science and engineering graduate students in popular science texts.” The Fifth Israeli Science Communication Conference, Tel Aviv, Israel, November, 2013.