Graduate Writing Research
A.1 The Future of Graduate Writing Research, Pedagogy, and Program DesignChair: Steve Simpson, New Mexico Tech, USA
Terry Zawacki, George Mason University, USA
Paul Rogers, George Mason University, USA
Anna Habib, George Mason University, USA
Karyn Mallett, George Mason University, USA
Jennifer Haan, University of Dayton, USA
Talinn Phillips, Ohio University, USA
Nigel Caplan, University of Delaware, USA
Michelle Cox, Cornell University, USA
Over the past several decades, scholars in second language writing have developed a robust body of research and pedagogy on working with L2 graduate students and the processes of writing for publication in scholarly and scientific journals. Such research and pedagogical inquiry have led to the development of graduate-level English for Academic Purposes classes.
Recently, researchers and higher education administrators outside second language writing have also expressed interest in graduate writing support for all students, prompted in part by international concerns about the overall structure of graduate education, graduate student retention and time-to-degree, and job placement. For example, in the US, the Council of Graduate Schools' (2010) report on PhD completion identifies writing support at the dissertation stage as critical to student success, and lists notable programs and strategies that have been developed across US institutions. This broader interest in graduate writing support presents second language writing researchers with both an exciting opportunity and an interesting challenge. Because of our longstanding interest in L2 graduate writers, we have the opportunity not only to bolster our own field's research but to impact discussions of graduate writing research and pedagogy outside our field. Doing so, however, requires us to identify and tackle new and emerging issues for graduate writing in institutions worldwide, to consider the broader implications of our field's knowledge base, and to explore ways our programs can intersect with others across our institutions.
The purpose of this colloquium is both to reflect on our field's current body of knowledge on graduate writing pedagogy and to explore future trajectories for research, pedagogy, and program design. We also would like to announce the creation of the new Consortium on Graduate Communication, a network of scholars and teachers worldwide who work with both L2 and L1 graduate student writers.
L2 Writing Across CALL Contexts
A.2 L2 Writing Across Diverse CALL Contexts
Chair: Bryan Smith, Arizona State University, USA
Idoia Elola, Texas Tech University, USA
Ana Oskoz, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA
Jeff Kuhn, Ohio University, USA
Bryan Smith, Arizona State University, USA
This colloquium will present on L2 writing across diverse CALL contexts.
Idoia Elola's presentation will highlight how the development of research agendas based on the connections between L2 writing (in Spanish) and the use of technology (e.g., the use of social tools) is at the core of the professionalization of FL writing. Ana Oskoz's presentation will highlight new forms of interaction among the authors themselves and with their audience when using social tools. This presentation, therefore, will focus on the purposes, implementations and outcomes of writing practices that keep in mind the learners' writing development within wider educational and professional contexts. Jeff Kuhn reports findings from a study on a digital game-based course in which students co-created a shared context via technology. The course was freshman composition composed of 15 university non-native English speakers, and the digital game was a modified version of Minecraft. This qualitative study seeks to explore students' experiences in this learning environment, focusing on how the environment affected student engagement and subsequent writing. Bryan Smith will discuss a study (conducted with Marije Michele, Lancaster University) that employed eye tracking technology during synchronous written computer-mediated interaction (chat) among advanced-level L2 learning peers. The eye gaze of each participant was recorded while performing weekly dialogic writing tasks over two months. Eye gaze records were correlated with instances of learner lexical and structural alignment during the interaction. How eye tracking can help shed light on the nature of learner alignment during the task as well as lexical and structural convergence in subsequent writing tasks will be discussed.
Idoia Elola’s presentation will highlight how the development of research agendas based on the connections between L2 writing (in Spanish) and the use of technology (e.g., the use of social tools) is at the core of the professionalization of FL writing. Research on writing in Spanish as a FL has formulated two specific needs: (a) the development of FL writing courses for graduate students, who see the need to teach writing using social tools for both linguistic and rhetorical purposes; and (b) the development of research studies that address, for example, how learners write in these new tools-related genres, and how FL writers write collaboratively while interacting and scaffolding each other.
Ana Oskoz’s presentation will highlight new forms of interaction among the authors themselves and with their audience when using social tools. The discussion and reflection on rhetorical concepts of traditional texts as well as more recent technology-created genres have allowed Spanish language learners to engage in the production of written texts and the acquisition of technological knowledge that can be directly applied to their personal and professional environments. This presentation, therefore, will focus on the purposes, implementations and outcomes of writing practices that keep in mind the learners’ writing development within wider educational and professional contexts.
Jeff Kuhn reports findings from a study on a digital game-based course in which students co-created a shared context via technology. The course was freshman composition composed of 15 university non-native English speakers, and the digital game was a modified version of Minecraft. This qualitative study seeks to explore students’ experiences in this learning environment, focusing on how the environment affected student engagement and subsequent writing.
Bryan Smith will discusses a study (conducted with Marije Michele, Lancaster University ) that employed eye tracking technology during synchronous written computer-mediated interaction (chat) among advanced-level L2 learning peers. The eye gaze of each participant was recorded while performing weekly dialogic writing tasks over two months. Eye gaze records were correlated with instances of learner lexical and structural alignment during the interaction. How eye tracking can help shed light on the nature of learner alignment during the task as well as lexical and structural convergence in subsequent writing tasks will be discussed.
B.1 Collaborative L2 Writing in Social Media Environments: Student Interactions and Pedagogical Insights
Neomy Storch, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Mimi Li, Marshall University, West Virginia, USA
Neomy Storch, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Amir Rouhshad, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Greg Kessler, Ohio University, USA
Recent developments in Web 2.0 technology have revolutionalized the ways in which we create, communicate and share information, with a greater focus on collaboration. For L2 learners, these new technologies can provide opportunities for extended and genuine collaborative writing practice. Yet to fully understand the opportunities these new technologies afford our learners, we need to investigate how learners approach online writing tasks, how they interact with each other, and the texts they produce.
In this colloquium, the three presenters (Li, Storch and Kessler) present findings of studies conducted in three different L2 writing contexts. Mimi Li reports on a qualitative study that explored and interpreted ESL students' dynamic interactions during wiki-based collaborative writing in an EAP context. Neomy Storch reports on a study conducted with Amir Rouhshad which investigated how mode of communication impacts on learners' collaborative writing activities. In the study, the same pairs of low intermediate pre-university ESL learners completed a collaborative writing task in two modes: face-to-face and computer mediated (Google Docs). Greg Kessler will discuss findings from a number of recent studies into pair and larger group collaborative writing practices. He will focus upon the behavior of students and emerging pedagogical practices that are explored in these studies. The findings of the three studies shed light on the complex nature of learners' interactions when engaging in collaborative online writing, and bear important implications for L2 writing pedagogy.
Early-Career L2 Writing Specialists
C.1 Exploring the Professional Pathways of Early-Career L2 Writing Specialists
Chair: Tanita Saenkhum, Unviersity of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
Tanita Saenkhum, Unviersity of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
Pisarn Bee Chamcharatsri, University of New Mexico, USA
Soo Hyon Kim, University of New Hampshire, USA
Atsushi Iida, Gunma University, Japan
Todd Ruecker, University of New Mexico, USA
Respondent: Christine Tardy, University of Arizona, USA
As the field of L2 writing has grown over the past few decades, an increasing number of people have pursued PhDs in this field. They come from diverse graduate programs, ranging from applied linguistics to TESOL to rhetoric and composition or combined programs. They enter institutions where they are situated in English departments, linguistics departments, intensive English programs, education departments, or elsewhere. As professionals like Shuck (2006) have noted, they are often the lone L2 writing person in their new institution, which means their services are requested by a variety of institutional individuals and bodies, potentially putting their tenure bids at risk. As public professionals, they need to negotiate the expectations of different fields, whether citation style or expected research methodologies. The diverse landscapes that emerging L2 writing scholars navigate make their professionalization processes unique compared to those who pursue careers in less interdisciplinary fields.
In order to explore some of these pathways and provide guidance for graduate students preparing to transition from student to faculty, this panel brings together early-career L2 writing specialists from different institutions. Five emerging professionals will give brief presentations on their experiences and discuss some issues and challenges they have encountered in local or broader disciplinary contexts, which were not clearly addressed during their PhD studies. They will also describe strategies they have developed along the way to be successful.
After the presentations, an established member of the field will respond to the presenters, offering advice for them and audience members as they move forward in L2 writing careers. The panel will leave ample time for discussion at the end.
Presenter 1 will draw on her experience directing an ESL writing program as junior faculty to discuss how she has grappled with expectations from her department and institution, and how she has developed ways for making administrative work visible and valuable to her colleagues. As a pre-tenure writing program administrator, a position that an increasing number of junior faculty members are asked to take on, she will explore the strategies employed while negotiating the workload in order to balance research, administrative duties, and teaching.
Presenter 2 will share his experience as a joint appointment, and how he negotiates his identities as an L2 writing/TESOL specialist, mentors graduate students, and balances administrative work between two colleges in College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences. As an early career faculty member, he will focus on emotional aspects of being an L2 writing/TESOL scholar, sharing effective strategies of how being a joint appointment can create a unique opportunity to create changes in the two departments.
Presenter 3 will take the audience through the transitions that occurred as she stepped into her new role as faculty in an interdisciplinary English department; she will explore the delicate balancing act of further developing her areas of expertise in applied linguistics and SLW, while also broadening her knowledge base in composition studies and English Education to better meet the needs of her institution. Based on this experience, she will reflect on possible ways in which graduate programs can help mentor and prepare the next generation of L2 writing scholars who will likely find themselves working in various institutional contexts.
Presenter 4 will share his experience as a coordinator of a first-year engineering English curriculum at a national university in Japan and discuss struggles and challenges of an early-career faculty member coordinating a program. As an L2 writing teacher-researcher, he will explore how he has developed his scholarship in this context and describe some strategies to negotiate workloads while maintaining a good balance among teaching, research, and administrative duties.
Presenter 5 will move beyond institutional contexts to explore his experience creating and disseminating knowledge across the intersecting fields of SLW, composition studies, and applied linguistics. Drawing on feedback commentary from mentors, reviewers, and editors, he will explain the successes and challenges he has faced in publishing in venues across the different fields, such as TESOL Quarterly and College Composition and Communication, and how he has had to adapt to differing expectations in doing so.
Shuck, G. (2006). Combating monolingualism: A novice administrator’s Challenge. WPA: Writing Program Administration, 30 (1/2): 59-82.
L2 Writing in K-12
D.1 L2 Writing in K-12 Contexts
Chair: Luciana de Oliveira, Teacher's College, Columbia University, USA
Luciana de Oliveira, Columbia University, USA
María Estela Brisk, Boston College, USA
Christina Ortmeier-Hooper, University of New Hampshire, USA
Ditlev Larsen, Winona State University, USA
This colloquium will address the teaching and learning of L2 writing in K-12 contexts. Presenters describe research at the elementary and secondary levels as well as the preparation of teachers to work with L2 writers. Colloquium participants are invited to discuss the transition from elementary to secondary to post-secondary levels.
L2 writing in K-12: An overview
Luciana C. de Oliveira, Teachers College, Columbia University
The presenter describes current work done on L2 writing in K-12 and provides an overview of key issues for L2 writers and the teaching and learning of L2 writing in K-12 contexts.
Bilingual fourth graders develop a central character for their narratives
María Estela Brisk, Boston College
Instruction of narratives tends to focus on features of text structure such as setting, recounting events that lead to a crisis, a resolution, and a conclusion (Wright, 1997). However, the main characters in a narrative drive the plot and hold the readers’ interest (Roser, Martinez, Fuhrken & McDonnold, 2007). This presentation reports on a study of bilingual 4th graders’ character development resulting from targeted instruction on external attributes and internal qualities. This instruction used character development rather than plot as the point of departure in narrative writing instruction. In addition, the study analyzed how features of characters impacted the plot.
An Adolescent Refugee’s Experiences in High School
Christina Ortmeier-Hooper, University of New Hampshire
Currently, refugee students in U.S. high schools remain an understudied group in SLW research. To address this gap, I will share recent data on the refugee children in U.S. schools and consider the challenges faced by many refugee second-language students and their teachers. Drawing on a recent book chapter, I will share one example of how language history and political pasts impacted one adolescent refugee’s sense of English ownership, “writerly” identity, and academic experiences in the U.S. high school setting.
Preparing elementary and secondary teachers for teaching L2 writing
Ditlev Larsen, Winona State University
This presentation reports on a study that surveyed practicing elementary and secondary ESL teachers about their preparedness for teaching L2 writing after completing their teacher education programs (results published in partly in de Oliveira & Silva, 2013). The teachers reported that their programs offered very little or no specific instruction on L2 writing pedagogy, which is problematic as the teachers also reported that they deal with English language learners’ writing every day in their ESL classrooms on both the elementary and the secondary level. The presentation suggests that in order to make sure teachers become adequately prepared for teaching writing, ESL pedagogy needs to include explicit recognition of L2 writing as a major component of second language acquisition.
D.2 European Perspectives on Professionalising L2 Writing
Chair: Bojana Petrić, University of Essex, UK
This colloquium will present the work of European associations dealing with second language writing and their approaches to supporting professions and professionals in the field. The colloquium will start with a brief overview of the European second language writing landscape, which will provide a general background to what constitutes second language writing in the European context, where it occurs and what professions are involved in it. This will be followed by presentations of three different Europe-based association dealing with an aspect of second language writing: BALEAP (originally the British Association of Lecturers of English for Academic Purposes), EATAW (European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing), and EWCA (European Writing Centre Association). The presenters, Diane Schmitt (Chair of BALEAP), Łukasz Salski (EWCA Board member) and Bojana Petrić (EATAW Board member), are long-standing members of their respective associations and are actively involved in their work. The speakers will provide a brief overview of their association's history, goals, membership, scope of activities and current projects of interest, with a particular emphasis on the association's approach to professionalising second language writing. This will lead to a discussion of common strategies, challenges, and directions for the future. The discussion will also provide an opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas about possible collaborative activities with similar organisations in other parts of the world.
Non-English L2 Writing
E.1 L2 Writing in Non-English L2s
Chair: Melinda Reichelt, University of Toledo, USA
Yukiko Hatasa, Hiroshima University, Japan
Marcela Ruiz-Funes, Georgia Southern University, USA
Nur Yigitoglu, Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus, Turkey
This panel presentation addresses writing in L2 Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese in the panelists’ teaching contexts, which include Japan, the U.S., and Turkey. Panel members describe how writing and writing instruction in these L2s differs from ESL writing and ESL writing instruction. They also discuss how sociolinguistic factors influence writing and writing instruction in these languages and contexts. Panel members describe the role that writing may play in the overall curriculum for teaching these L2s, as well as the various purposes and motivations students have for writing in these L2s.
The presentation provides a brief description of Japanese writing and its difficulty for L2 learners of different orthographic backgrounds. It includes discussion of the similarities and differences in the college-level Japanese writing instruction between Japan and the US, focusing on learner population and needs. The session also provides an overview of the role of writing in Spanish in the foreign language curriculum at the university level in the USA. It examines writing in FL Spanish as a means to learn the language, to learn content, and to develop composing and critical thinking skills. In addition, it explores the purposes--social, academic, and professional--for students to write in FL Spanish, taking into account sociolinguistic factors that affect their interest and motivation. Additionally, this panel includes a report of a study of Turkish students learning Arabic, Russian and Chinese as foreign language. The report includes contextual information about the teaching of these FLs in Turkey. It also reports on the students’ perceptions and goals regarding FL writing, as well as information about how FL writing influences the students’ language learning in general.
L2 Writing in China
E.2 Teaching of EFL Writing in the Chinese Higher Educational Institutions: Curriculum, Textbook, Instruction, and Assessment
Chair: Wang Junju, Shandong University, China
Wang Ying, Shandong University, China
Zhang Cong, Purdue University, USA
Shao Chunyan, Shandong University, China
Wang Junju, Shandong University, China
EFL Writing Curricula in the Chinese Universities: Situation and Reform
WANG Ying, Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics, Professor, Dean of English Department, School of Foreign Languages and Literature, Shandong University, China
English writing course is one of the most important core curricula for Chinese EFL learners in Chinese higher education. This presentation will first talk about the current situation of EFL writing curricula in different types of universities by focusing on time allocation, titles of writing courses, levels of writing courses, teaching objectives, as well as problems related to writing curricula. Then changes and reforms in the area of EFL writing teaching and curriculum design will be introduced and discussed. Suggestions are also offered for developing a new EFL writing curriculum that could accommodate university variety, discipline-specific courses, the overall English proficiency, and students’ needs.
A Sketch of English Writing Textbooks in Chinese Universities
ZHANG Cong, Ph.D. Candidate in English Department at Purdue University, USA
Despite the important role textbooks play in English writing teaching, there is a dearth of research on English writing textbooks used in Chinese universities. What is worse, for the already limited studies, most of them are published in Chinese and therefore, cannot be accessed by the majority of SLW scholars. Therefore, in this colloquium, I will present a sketch of the textbooks for English writing teaching that are used in Chinese universities. This will be done through the introduction and description of some textbooks as well as presenting the results of related studies conducted by other scholars.
Teaching of EFL Writing to English Majors: Course design and Implementation
SHAO Chunyan, Ph.D. in Linguistics, Lecturer, Department of Applied English Studies, School of Foreign Languages and Literature, Shandong University
This presentation reports on a writing course design and its implementation for English majors. The course entails a progressive curriculum, an integrative design, a multi-lateral participation and a critical-thinking-oriented practice. This presentation first introduces the school context and curriculum guidelines, describes the course organization by specifying its class activities and evaluation process. Then it provides a case analysis to explore the effectiveness of the course in the overall improvement of students’ writing ability and reports students’ feedback on the course design. Finally, the issues and challenges related to the course design are discussed, together with its implications for both curriculum design and the teaching of writing in other contexts.
A Review of Writing Tests for EFL Students in Chinese Universities
WANG Junju, Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics, Professor, Dean of the School of Foreign Languages an d Literature, Shandong University, China.
Numerous English tests are available to Chinese university students and these tests have been playing a key role in Chinese higher education. This presentation will focus on domestically designed English writing tests administered to EFL students in Chinese universities. First, it introduces the design and format of six nation-wide tests for English writing. Then it summarizes the shared features and variations in the requirements of the tests, followed by a discussion of the backwash effects of these tests on the teaching and learning English writing. Suggestions tackling the current problems are finally provided.
F.1 The Benefits of Genre-Based Pedagogy for Second Language Writing Development (TESOL Second Language Writing Interest Section [SLWIS])
Chair: Silvia Pessoa, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
Silvia Pessoa, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
María Estela Brisk, Boston College, USA
Nigel Caplan, University of Delaware, USA
Luciana de Oliveira, Columbia University, USA
The goal of this colloquium is to demonstrate the benefits of genre-based pedagogy for second language writing development. Genre-based pedagogy (Rose & Martin, 2012) draws on Systemic Functional Linguistics in order to make the structural elements and linguistic features of school and professional genres explicit for students (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004). Genre-based literacy programs invest heavily in front-loaded pedagogy through intensive scaffolding using the Teaching and Learning Cycle (TLC) where learners and teachers work with texts in three stages: Deconstruction, Join Construction, and Independent Construction of texts. Research has demonstrated the potential of genre-based pedagogy in enhancing literacy development.
By sharing the findings of four research projects that employed genre-based methodologies, the presenters aim to answer the following question: Does genre-based pedagogy lead to second language writing development in classroom contexts? The presenters will first provide an introduction to genre-based pedagogy and the TLC highlighting their benefits for enhancing literacy development. Two research projects that focus on writing at the elementary school level will be discussed emphasizing the role of genre-based pedagogy in enhancing the writing of science and the writing of narratives and expository texts. At the university level, the presenters will discuss the benefits of collaborating with faculty across the curriculum in the Text Deconstruction phase of the TLC in order to understand the linguistic demands of academic texts in various disciplines and then make those explicit to students. Using data from student writing after being exposed to the Joint Construction phase of the TLC, the benefits of Joint Construction for helping students develop their writing skills will also be discussed.
Ultimately, the attendees will develop new ways of thinking and talking about language to enhance the teaching of writing to linguistically and culturally diverse students.
Future of L2 Writing at CCCC
G.1 The Future of SLW at CCCC: Why CCCC and SLW Need Each Other
(CCCC Standing Group on Second Language Writing)
Chair: Todd Ruecker, University of New Mexico, USA
Christine Pearson Casanave, Temple University, USA
Dana Ferris, University of California-Davis, USA
Maria Jerskey: LaGuardia Community College, USA
Julia Kiernan: Michigan State University, USA
Christina Ortmeier-Hooper: University of New Hampshire, USA
Over the past few decades, the SLW community at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) has grown dramatically thanks to the work of a variety of individuals involved in the creation of the CCCC Statement on L2 Writers, annual workshops and panels, as well sub-organizations like the SLW Special Interest Group, Committee on SLW, and the new SLW Standing Group. Interest in language diversity at CCCC has exploded in recent years with the creation of the Transnational SIG in 2009 and the emergence of translingual pedagogies advocated for by writing studies and SLW scholars alike (e.g., Canagarajah, 2013; Horner et al, 2011). In light of the heightened interest in language diversity among writing studies colleagues, this colloquium seeks to clarify and reinvigorate SLW's role within CCCC.
The interest in transnational perspectives on writing has provided more entry points into the CCCCs organization for international students graduating with PhDs in composition, domestic graduate students, and international scholars who are coming to the discipline. It has brought both opportunities and challenges, drawing in many not previously focused on working with linguistically diverse student populations while raising the concerns of prominent scholars like Matsuda (2013; 2014). Several SLW scholars have noted that while translingual pedagogies are theoretically attractive, their practical implications/applications are much less clear (Crusan, 2014; Ortmeier-Hooper, 2014), causing concern among some as universities hire translingual scholars to help them design programs and curricula to serve increasingly diverse student populations. The members of this colloquium, involved at various times to various degrees with the SLW community at CCCC, will open with short position statements followed by a guided discussion in which they will explore what it means to be a SLW professional at CCCCs as well as their thoughts on the future of SLW at CCCCs.