Treatment of Error in Second Language Writing
University of California, Davis, USA
As most second language writing instructors know, the treatment of error, variously known as "error correction," "grammar correction," or "written corrective feedback," has been a controversial topic for some years. Though researchers have not resolved all of the questions surrounding this pedagogical issue, the field is further along in its understanding than it was 15 years ago. Meanwhile, while researchers stew and argue, most teachers in the trenches still provide some form of feedback on errors to second language writers in their classes. This workshop will begin with a review of the issues and their implications for teaching but will focus most of its attention on the "how-tos": what techniques, approaches, and principles might teachers try (or have they tried), what seems to work (or not work) and why, and what questions remain unresolved or at least under-explored? Extensive time will be allowed for discussion and for practice/ application activities that participants can share in around the tables. This workshop is designed to be interactive and hands-on and to allow participants to contribute their experiences, their questions, their frustrations, and their concerns. While it is not quite a group therapy session for frustrated and burned-out writing teachers, it should be stimulating, thought-provoking, and practical.
Dana Ferris is Associate Professor in the University Writing Program at the University of California, Davis (USA), where she directs the first-year writing program. Her research focuses broadly on issues of teacher response to student writing, including the specific issue of
responding to/treating students' written errors. Her relevant books
include Treatment of Error in Second Language Student Writing (Michigan, 2002), Response to Student Writing (Erlbaum, 2003), and, with John Bitchener, Written Corrective Feedback in Second Language
Acquisition and Second Language Writing (in preparation, Routledge).
She recently completed a study of college writing teachers' response practices and is currently working on a study of individual student differences in responding to written corrective feedback.
Plagiarism vs. Legitimate Textual Borrowing
DePaul University, USA
Issues of plagiarism continue to provoke discussion among writing teachers and researchers, and they pose particular questions for second language writing professionals. How can teachers distinguish transgressional acts of copying from legitimate (and developmentally important) acts of textual borrowing? Perhaps more importantly, how can we help students make these distinctions? In this workshop, we will probe the murky middle ground between plagiarism and textual borrowing through interactive discussions and activities. Participants will share and develop an array of activities for helping students to develop effective strategies for borrowing. We will also examine a multi-step writing assignment that introduces formal citation conventions, practices effective borrowing skills, and draws on the cultural and linguistic strengths of multilingual writers.
Christine Tardy is an Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse at DePaul University in Chicago. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in writing, teacher education, and applied linguistics. She has also taught EFL and ESP in the Czech Republic, Japan, and Turkey. Her research interests include genre theory and practice, second language writing, voice and identity in academic writing, and policies and politics of English. Her work has been published in venues such as Journal of Second Language Writing, English for Specific Purposes, Written Communication, and ELT Journal. Her book, Building Genre Knowledge (Parlor Press, 2009), examines the nature and development of genre knowledge for multilingual writers. In her most recent project, she is examining language policies and ideologies in U.S. higher education, particularly in relation to writing instruction.