SSLW Institute

Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ USA
November 13, 2019

SSLW Institute provides professional development opportunities to second language writing teachers, researchers and program administrators at various stages of their career. This year's Institute is a one-day, pre-conference event featuring a series of workshops on L2 writing instruction, research, administration and advocacy.

Limited seating—book early!

Registration is per session and on space-available, first-come-first-served basis. You can register for one morning and one afternoon session, a morning session only, or an afternoon session only. AM1 and PM1 offer the same content (Publishing in the JSLW) during two different time slots.

Morning (09:00 - 12:00) Afternoon (14:00-17:00)
Publishing in the JSLW (Lee & Tardy) Transfer of Skills (Johns & Ferris)
Collaborative Writing (Storch) Classroom Assessment (Crusan & Ruecker)
Placement (Saenkhum) Administration (Matsuda)
Intercultural Rhetoric (Connor & Ene)  

Morning Sessions

Publishing in JSLW (Lee & Tardy)
Publishing in the Journal of Second Language Writing

Icy Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Christine Tardy, University of Arizona, USA

Publishing in academic journals can be intimidating to newcomers. The goal of this workshop is to help demystify the review and publication process, especially for scholars who are relatively new to publishing. The workshop, facilitated by a current and past editor of the Journal of Second Language Writing (JSLW), will draw on behind-the-scene insight into the JSLW to address questions such as: Is JSLW the right venue for my research? What pitfalls should I avoid in preparing my paper? How can I successfully turn dissertation research into an article? What are editors and reviewers looking for in submissions? How should I respond to reviews? The workshop will follow a two-part structure, beginning with a full-group workshop with some interactive activities, and ending with two smaller discussion groups, in which we address individual questions.

Icy Lee is a Professor at the Faculty of Education of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where she is currently serving as Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her research interests include second language writing, classroom assessment and feedback, and second language teacher education. Her publications have appeared in international journals such as the Journal of Second Language Writing (JSLW), Language Teaching, and TESOL Quarterly. She is currently co-editor of JSLW and a principal associate editor of The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher. 

Christine Tardy is a Professor of English Applied Linguistics at the University of Arizona, where she teaches courses in TESOL, applied linguistics, and second language writing to undergraduate and graduate students. Her research interests include second language writing, genre theory and pedagogy, academic writing, and institutional policiesand politics of English. Her work appears in numerous journals and edited collections; her recent ebook, Genre-Based Writing: What Every ESL Teacher Should Know, is published with University of Michigan Press. She served as co-editor of JSLW from 2011 through 2016.


Collaborative Writing (Storch)
Implementing and assessing collaborative writing activities

Neomy Storch, University of Melbourne, Australia

Collaborative writing is an activity which involves the co-authoring of a text by two or more authors who share responsibility for the creation of the entire text (Storch, 2013). A growing body of research (e.g. Kim, 2008; Shehade, 2011; Storch, 2002, 2005; Yeh, 2014) has shown that when second language (L2) learners engage in collaborative writing activities they are exposed to different ideas, they negotiate how to express their ideas, and they give and receive peer feedback on language use.  In other words, these activities can provide L2 learners with opportunities for language learning as well as for learning to write in the L2. However, simply assigning students to produce a text jointly will not necessarily result in a successful learning activity. Successful collaborative writing activities need to be carefully designed and implemented.   

In this hands-on workshop we focus on these design and implementation decisions. We consider first the different kinds of writing tasks that have been employed in research on collaborative writing in terms of their suitability for the specific teaching context and student population.  We then deal with issues related to grouping of learners, including the advantages and drawbacks of same proficiency versus mixed proficiency groups, the size of the group, and whether the teacher should allocate students to writing groups or allow students to self-select. The final issue relates to how best assess collaborative writing, looking at some of the proposed grading schemes which attempt to assess not only the final product but also the learners’ contributions to the collaborative writing activity. I conclude the workshop by outlining areas that require further investigation.  

Neomy Storch is an Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics and ESL at the School of Languages and Linguistics, the University of Melbourne. She teaches a range of ESL and Applied Linguistics subjects and convenes the ESL program. Her research has focused on issues related to second language writing, including collaborative writing, feedback on writing, and assessing writing development. She has published extensively on these topics, including a 2013 book on collaborative writing and a 2016 co-authored book (with Bitchener) on theories informing written corrective feedback.    


Placement (Saenkhum)
Creating and assessing placement practices to maximize student agency
in composition course placement

Tanita Saenkhum, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA

The regular presence of second language (L2) writers in college composition programs has led writing programs and writing program administers to continue to determine appropriate placement that can address the differing needs of this linguistically diverse population. This workshop, which is grounded in a theoretical framework of agency (Saenkhum, 2016), will discuss (1) practical strategies that enable writing programs to maximize student agency in the process of placement decisions and (2) an assessment framework that leads to a sustainable assessment of placement practices.

Through a critical review of placement frameworks, including placement methods and placement options (e.g., Matsuda & Silva, 1999; Silva 1994), we will consider how participants can create placement procedures that maximize student agency in the placement of students into writing courses in their local contexts. Specifically, led by the presenter, participants will design placement materials/documents (e.g., brochure, handout) that can be used at their institutions aiming to better communicate placement information to related stakeholders, including students, advisors, and writing teachers. In the second half of the workshop, the presenter will discuss a framework for assessing placement that is continual and includes perspectives from multiple stakeholders. The presenter will share with participants some assessment instruments that have been utilized to assess placement practices of an L2 writing program.

Participants will be asked to consider this assessment framework to be applied in their own institutional contexts. Ultimately, these hands-on activities will give participants concrete strategies for creating and assessing placement practices that better serve the needs of L2 writers. The workshop will leave time at the end for questions and discussion, and participants will also be encouraged to share their designed placement materials and/or assessment tools.

Tanita Saenkhum is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she directs the ESL program and teaches courses in L2 writing, TESOL methods, and SLA. Her book, Decisions, Agency, and Advising: Key Issues in the Placement of Multilingual Writers into First-Year Composition Courses, considers the role of students’ own agency in the placement of multilingual writers in U.S. college composition programs. She has published in Journal of Second Language Writing, WPA: Writing Program Administration, and Journal of English for Academic Purposes. Her scholarship has also appeared in several edited collections. 


Intercultural Rhetoric (Connor & Ene)
Intercultural rhetoric: Research methods and pedagogical applications

Ulla Connor, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, USA
Estela Ene
, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, USA

This workshop reviews the theoretical framework of Intercultural Rhetoric (IR), its primary research methods, and applications in teaching writing. The workshop consists of three parts. In the first part, we will provide an overview of IR with a focus on its continued relevance for researchers and teachers of second language writing, from contrastive rhetoric to translingualism. Part two illustrates the methods of analysis associated with IR with a detailed description of a recent  empirical study that explored the writing in English of international graduate students in the US employing multiple IR methods of analysis. Finally, we will present a pedagogical application, an ESP course for Chinese undergraduate students competing in the international Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling, based on an IR analysis of winning essays. The audience will be invited to reflect on the research and pedagogical applications presented and possible application that audience members could develop in their contexts.

Ulla Connor is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Director of the International Center for Intercultural Communication at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. A native of Finland, she has taught ESL and EFL on five different continents. Her research has focused on contrastive/intercultural rhetoric for the past 30 years. She is the author of Contrastive rhetoric. Cross-cultural aspects of second-language writing (1996) and Intercultural rhetoric in the writing classroom (2011).

Estela Ene is an Associate Professor, Director of the EAP Program and Director of the TESOL MA Program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She conducts classroom-oriented and corpus-based research on L2 writing in ESL and EFL contexts. She has written about pedagogical practices, teacher training, and language policy; the writing processes of multilingual writers; and CALL (specifically e-feedback). Her work has appeared in the Journal of Second Language Writing, System, Assessing Writing, the CALICO Journal, ELTJ, AJELT, ITL-International Journal of Applied Linguistics, and the Wiley Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, among others.


Afternoon Sessions


PM2. Transfer of Learning (Johns & Ferris)
Designing assignments to enhance transfer of writing skills and strategies

Ann Johns, San Diego State University, USA
Dana Ferris
, University of California, Davis, USA

One of the common goals for English for Specific or Academic Purposes classes should be to prepare students to write in a variety of ways appropriate for a variety of classes.  That is, instructors should be teaching for transfer of learning. Though the notion of “teaching for transfer” has been misunderstood, misapplied and sometimes even controversial, scholars in writing studies in recent years have begun to identify and operationalize the tenets of writing transfer pedagogy in various useful and accessible ways.

This Institute workshop will provide both an introduction to the teaching for transfer research in the larger writing studies community and hands-on ways to apply it, especially in courses and programs focused on L2 writers. This workshop will provide demonstrations, practice, and discussion focusing on how this goal of teaching for transfer might be achieved. First, the concept of transfer of learning will be explained, and the types of questions and instructions most amenable to learning transfer will be presented.  Then a variety of writing prompts and the analyses to deconstruct them will be presented and practiced. Following this, participants will be assisted in creating their own writing prompts, based upon the principles demonstrated. The workshop will conclude with questions and suggestions from the participants.

Dana R. Ferris, Professor and Director of the University Writing Program at the University of California, Davis, has had a wide-ranging career as a teacher, teacher-educator, researcher, writer, editor, and writing program administrator. Her books and articles have focused primarily on the teaching of L2 writers and readers and on various questions related to response to student writing. She is currently the co-editor of the Journal of Second Language Writing.

Ann M. Johns, San Diego State University Professor Emerita, Linguistics & Writing Studies, has devoted her more than 100 articles and book chapters and presentations in 40+ countries to studies of second/foreign language writers in university and the role of genre in curriculum development. Her recent volume, co-edited with Nigel Caplan, is Changing practices in the L2 writing classroom: Moving beyond the five-paragraph essay (University of Michigan Press, 2019).


Administration (Matsuda)
Issues and strategies in L2 writing program administration: Policies, procedures and politics

Paul Kei Matsuda, Arizona State University, USA

Second language writing specialists often find ourselves in administrative roles—often inadvertently and with or without official titles. The administrative work, in addition to the additional workload, often creates new and unexpected challenges because of the lack of recognition, institutional status, funding, staff support, or institutional status. Furthermore, few graduate programs offer coursework or professional development opportunities in the area of program administration specifically for second language writing specialists.

This session is an attempt to fill this gap by providing an opportunity to discuss various issues L2 writing specialists face in engaging in administrative work, and offering strategies to overcome those challenges. Some of the possible questions to be addressed include: How can I raise the awareness among my colleagues about the presence and needs of L2 writers? How can I work effectively with faculty members who have more institutional power and status than I? How can I motivate colleagues to participate in professional development workshops on L2 writing? How can I create visibility and legitimacy for my administrative work related to L2 writing? How can I manage my administrative workload and avoid being burned out?

The session will begin with a discussion of the particular issues faced by the participants. The presenter will then offer insights, strategies and resources in addressing those issues. This session is a highly interactive discussion based on the participants' specific needs, and the presenter will address them by drawing on his knowledge of writing program administration scholarship as well as his own experience as a writing program administrator and educational consultant.

Paul Kei Matsuda is Professor of English and Director of Second Language Writing at Arizona State University. He is Founding Chair of the Symposium on Second Language Writing and Editor of the Parlor Press Series on Second Language Writing. He is also former President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics. He has published widely on issues related to second language writing, identity in written discourse, professional development, and writing program administration. He has many years of experience as a writing program administrator also taught several graduate courses specifically focusing on second language writing program administration. He also has served as an educational consultant in various institutional contexts throughout the world.


Classroom Assessment (Crusan and Ruecker)
Classroom writing assessment

Deborah Crusan, Wright State University, USA
Todd Ruecker, University of Nevada, Reno, USA

In the quest for accountability in writing assessment, teachers might lose sight of those to whom we should first be accountable: our students. Providing students with clear, accessible, and understandable classroom writing assessment materials promotes accountability. In this 3-hour hands-on workshop, participants explore theoretical and practical issues related to the assessment of L2 writers and their writing by working to understand and create assessment instruments that are transparent and comprehensible to students while acting as both teaching and assessment tools. The workshop leader will first distribute and discuss examples of student writing and several different types of rubrics. Participants will practice rating various writing sample, discussing their decisions before dividing into small groups to create assignments for their own classrooms. They will work to generate criteria for the assignments, following up with rubric creation based on those criteria. Participants will then present their criteria and rubrics for critique and discussion.

Deborah Crusan is Professor of TESOL/Applied Linguistics at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, where she teaches in the MATESOL program. Her work has appeared in numerous academic journals and edited collections focusing on second language writing. Her research interests include writing assessment, writing placement, writing teacher education, and the politics of assessment. With Todd Ruecker, she recently published The politics of English second language writing assessment in global contexts (Routledge). Her earlier book, Assessment in the Second Language Writing Classroom, was published by University of Michigan Press. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of TESOL International Association (2016-2019).

Todd Ruecker is Associate Professor of English and Director of Core Writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. His work explores the increasing diversity of educational institutions and advocates for institutional and policy changes to support multilingual student and teacher success. His work has appeared in various journals and he has published several books, including Transiciones: Pathways of Latinas and Latinos Writing in High School and College and The Politics of English Second Language Writing Assessment in Global Contexts (co-edited with Deborah Crusan). He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Second Language Writing and has regularly attended and presented at SSLW since 2009.


SSLW Institute SNS Challenge

Want to win a free ticket for an SSLW Institute session of your choice?

We're giving away one Institute ticket ($80 value) to a registered SSLW participant who creates the most effective social media post featuring one of the the SSLW Institute sessions to be held November 13, 2019.

Each participating post must be posted publicly on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by October 1, 2019, and include:

To participate, you must already be registered for SSLW. The award is a single Institute ticket only and does not include travel expenses or SSLW registration fee. The award is non-transferable.

The winning post will have met all the requirements above and will have had the largest impact (measured by the number of likes, retweets, views, etc.) as of October 10, 2019. Multiple posts are allowed, but the impact is measured separately for each post. The winner will receive a notification by October 15, 2019.