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Photos from past Symposia are available at flickr.com.



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About the Symposium

The Symposium on Second Language Writing (SSLW) is an annual international conference that brings together teachers and researchers who work with second- and foreign-language writers to discuss important issues in the field of second language writing.

sympThe SSLW was established in 1998 by Tony Silva and Paul Kei Matsuda as a way of facilitating the advancement of knowledge in the field of L2 writing and to build a sense of community among those who are involved in L2 writing research and instruction. The first Symposium featured sixteen internationally recognized experts in the field, who addressed issues in theory, research, instruction, assessment, politics, and articulation with other disciplines. 

In response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants and many requests from people who were not able to attend the first gathering, the Symposium became a regular event. Today, SSLW is a premier international conference providing a forum for the discussion of various issues that affect the field as well as a site of constructing knowledge related to L2 writing and writers.

Symposium Themes:

1998: Symposium on Second Language Writing
Purdue University, USA, September 25-26, 1998

2000: Contexts of Second Language Writing
Purdue University, USA, September 15-16, 2000

2002: Constructing Knowledge: Approaches to Inquiry in Second Language Writing
Purdue University, USA, October 11-12, 2002

2004: Second Language Writing Instruction in Context(s): The Effects of Institutional Policies and Politics
Purdue University, USA, September 30-October 2, 2004

2006: Practicing Theory in Second Language Writing
Purdue University, USA, June 8-10, 2006

2007: Second Language Writing in the Pacific Rim
Nagoya Gakuin University, Japan, September 15-17, 2007

2008: Foreign Language Writing Instruction: Principles and Practices
Purdue University, USA, June 5-7, 2008

2009: The Future of Second Language Writing
Arizona State University, USA, November 5-7, 2009

2010: Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries
University of Murcia, Spain, May 20-22, 2010

2011: Writing for Scholarly Publication: Beyond "Publish or Perish"
National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan, June 9-11, 2011

2012: Graduate Study in Second Language Writing
Purdue University, USA, September 6-8, 2012

2013: L2 Writing in the Global Context
Shandong University, Jinan, China, October 17-21, 2013

2014: Professionalizing Second Language Writing
Arizona State University, USA, November 13-15, 2014

2015: Learning to Write for Academic Purposes
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, November 19-21, 2015

2016: Expertise in Second Language Writing
Arizona State University, USA, October 20-22, 2016

2017: Assessing Second Language Writing
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, June 30-July 2, 2017

2018: Second Language Writing in Multilingual Contexts
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, August 2-4, 2018

2019: Agency and Second Language Writing
Arizona State University, USA, November 13-16, 2019

2020: Academic Integrity and Second Language Writing
Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, June 18-21, 2020

2020: TBD
Bali, Indonesia, December 12-14, 2020

Future Locations (Tentative)




On Second Language WritingOn Second Language Writing (2001)
Edited by Tony Silva and Paul Kei Matsuda

This edited collection of papers written by internationally-known L2 writing scholars who participated in the 1998 Symposium, was published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., now part of Taylor & Francis. Contributors include: Barbara Kroll, Ilona Leki, Pat Currie, William Grabe, Diane Belcher, Lynn Goldstein, Charlene Polio, Liz Hamp-Lyons, Trudy Smoke, Joy Reid, Sarah Benesch, Terry Santos, Joan Carson, Carol Severino, and Alister Cumming.

Early Second Language WritingJournal of Second Language Writing 11.4 (2002):
Special Issue on Early Second Language Writing

Edited by Paul Kei Matsuda and Kevin Eric De Pew

Inspired by the 2000 Symposium, this special issue explores an aspect of L2 writing that have been underrepresnted in the field--L2 writing development from birth through high school graduation. Contributors include: Jan Buckwalter and Yi-Hsan Gloria Lo, Linda Blanton, Dudley Reynolds, and Linda Harklau.

Second Language Writing Research
Second Language Writing Research:
Perspectives on the Process of Knowledge Construction
Edited by Paul Kei Matsuda and Tony Silva

In this book, established second language writing researchers who participated in the 2002 Symposium discuss issues in conceptualizing, designing, and conducting second language writing research by reflecting on their own processes of negotiating the complex act of knowledge construction in the field.

Contributors include: Tony Silva, Christine Pearson Casanave, Paul Kei Matsuda, Dwight Atkinson, John Flowerdew, Miyuki Sasaki, Robert Weissberg, Richard Haswell, Xiaoming Li, Susan Parks, Linda Lonon Blanton, Colleen Brice, Ken Hyland, Rosa Manchon, Liz Murphy, Julio Roca de Larios, Sarah Hudelson, and Dana Ferris.

The Politics of Second Language WritingThe Politics of Second Language Writing:
In Search of the Promised Land
Edited by Paul Kei Matsuda, Christina Ortmeier-Hooper and Xiaoye You

This volume is the first edited collection to present a sustained discussion of classroom practices in larger contexts of institutional politics and policies. Contributors focus on the policies on assessment, placement, credit, class size, course content, instructional practices, teacher prepara-tion, and teacher support. They examine politics in terms of the relationships and interaction between second language writing professionals and colleagues at the program, department, school, college, and university levels and beyond. Contributors also explore—through critical reflections and situated descriptions of their teaching practices in larger institutional con-texts—how these policies and politics affect pedagogical practices. Readers will learn why classroom practices are not neutral, pragmatic space but ideologically saturated sites of negotiation.

Contributors include Danling Fu, Marylou Matoush, Kerry Enright Villalva, Ilona Leki, Ryuko Kubota, Kimberly Abels, Angela M. Dadak, Jessica Williams, Wei Zhu, Guillaume Gentil, Kevin Eric DePew, Xiaoye You, Deborah Crusan, Sara Cushing Weigle, Jessie Moore Kapper, Christine Norris, Christine Tardy, Stephanie Vandrick, and Barbara Kroll.

Practicing Theory in Second Language Writing (2010)Practicing Theory in Second Language Writing (2010)
Edited by Tony Silva and Paul Kei Matsuda

Theory has been used widely in the field of second language writing. Second language writing specialists—teachers, researchers, and administrators—have yet to have an open and sustained conversation about what theory is, how it works, and, more important, how to practice theory. Practicing Theory in Second Language Writing features fourteen essays by distinguished scholars in second language writing who explore various aspects of theoretical work that goes on in the field.

The key issues addressed in Practicing Theory in Second Language Writing include the nature of theory in second language writing and the role theory plays in second language writing research, instruction, and administration; the possibility and desirability of developing a comprehensive theory or theories of second language writing; applications of theory, including the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of adapting theories from other areas of inquiry to second language writing research, instruction, and assessment; theorizing and building theory, including the ways in which second language writing teachers, researchers, and administrators develop theories of second language writing, what a theory of second language writing might look like; the relationship between the conceptual work of theorizing and data-driven theory building; practicing theory, including how second language writing teachers, researchers, and administrators might address theory; the practical issues of learning to work with theory; and the ways that theory informs instruction and administration as well as materials development.

Contributors include: Dwight Atkinson, Diane Belcher, A. Suresh Canagarajah, Joan Carson, Deborah Crusan, Alister Cumming, Doug Flahive, Lynn M. Goldstein, Linda Harklau, John Hedgcock, Alan Hirvela, Ryuko Kubota, Paul Kei Matsuda, Lourdes Ortega, Dudley W. Reynolds, Tony Silva, Christine Tardy, Gwendolyn Williams, and Wei Zhu.

Foreign Language Writing Instruction: Principles and Practices (2011)
Edited by Tony Cimasko and Melinda Reichelt

Much of what is known about teaching second language writing today has been based on research in English as a second language, writing in English in English-dominant countries and other contexts, without giving close consideration to the important work of teaching foreign language writing in many languages and contexts around the world. Foreign Language Writing Instruction: Principles and Practices takes a significant step in addressing this imbalance by examining many of the topics that influence foreign language teaching. Fourteen chapters researched and authored by scholars working in nine different countries and regions explore the contexts of foreign language writing pedagogy, the diversity of national and regional approaches, the role of universities, departments, and programs in pedagogy, and the cognitive and classroom dimensions of teaching and learning. This volume provides a cross-section of the current status of foreign language writing instruction, while developing a fuller appreciation for the broadened perspectives that it can bring to second language writing. Both teachers and researchers in foreign language writing will benefit greatly from this collection.

Contributors include Rachida Elqobai, Yukiko Abe Hatasa, Icy Lee, Natalie Lefkowitz, Rosa Manchón, Hui-Tzu Min, Marly Nas, Hadara Perpignan, Melinda Reichelt, Marcela Ruiz-Funes, Jean Marie Schultz, Oleg Tarnopolsky, Helga Thorson, Kees van Esch, and Wenyu Wang.

Graduate Studies in Second Language Writing (2016)
Edited by Kyle McIntosh, Carolina Pelaez-Morales, and Tony Silva

Graduate Studies in Second Language Writing advances scholarship on graduate study and professionalization in the field of second language writing by addressing the ways in which an array of processes and personal interactions shape the experiences of those who are entering the field, as well as those who provide them with guidance and support. By pairing several noted scholars with their former mentees, now established scholars in their own right, Graduate Studies in Second Language Writing takes select insights gained from that conversation and makes them available to a wider audience, including current graduate students in L2 writing and those looking to enter the field, as well as faculty advisors and university administrators involved in such programs. The chapters in this collection explore the intersections between personal, professional, and institutional demands of graduate study in L2 writing, highlighting the constant negotiation that occurs at different stages in one’s academic career. The contributors to Graduate Studies in Second Language Writing graciously offer their experiences with graduate study in L2 writing and recommendations for navigating its sweeping landscape to help current and future students to find their way to becoming part of the larger disciplinary community.

Contributors include: Dan J. Tannacito, Karen A. Power, Alister Cumming, Luxing Yang, Paul Kei Matsuda, Tanita Saenkhum, Christina Ortmeier-Hooper, Wei Zhu, Iona Sarieva, Tony Cimasko, and Tony Silva.

Professionalizing Second Language Writing (2017)
Edited by Paul Kei Matsuda, Sarah Elizabeth Snyder and Katherine Daily O'Meara

The field of second language writing has grown tremendously over the last two decades, and many teachers, scholars and administrators from various disciplinary perspectives and institutional contexts have come to identify themselves as second language writing specialists. While the disciplinary infrastructure has grown and opportunities for graduate education have expanded, and while there is a small but growing number of resources for graduate students (e.g., Casanave & Vandrick, 2003; McIntosh, Pelaez-Morales, & Silva, 2016), there is a dearth of resources for the professional development of L2 writing specialists who are transitioning from being a graduate student to becoming an early-career professionals in various institutional contexts. The goal of this volume is to bring together accomplished second language writing specialists at various stages of professional development to discuss the nature of professionalization in the field and to share stories of their entry into the profession and various issues and challenges they faced in the process.

Contributors include: Christine Tardy, Dwight Atkinson, Pisarn Bee Chamcharatsri, Atsushi Iida, Soo Hyon Kim, Todd Ruecker, Tanita Saenkhum, and Deborah Crusan.