Teaching Multilingual Writers in Writing Intensive Courses

WAC: Closing Doors or Opening Doors for Second Language Writers?
Michelle Cox, Bridgewater State University

A review the literature on how English Language Learners (ELLs) were perceived by instructors and what their experiences were like in college writing courses. Cox summarizes the many struggles instructors face when assessing writing and designing assessments with ELLs in mind. This review calls for writing across the curriculum programs to more carefully consider their ELL student demographics, assessments, and learning activities. Also included are links to additional resources for using writing to learn activities with ELLs.

Best Practices and Resources for Teaching ESL Written Communication
Linda S. Bergmann and Vicki Kennell, Purdue University

This annotated powerpoint presentation provides several examples of ways to adjust course instruction to consider ESL students’ backgrounds and understanding. Bergmann and Kennell put forth that instructors need to understand the writers (background, culture, and language ability) and the writing (organization, style, grammar, plagiarism, and incomprehensible papers). Finally the authors present strategies to accommodate for ESL students in assignment and assessment design and use.

Strategies and Practices for Working with ESL Writers in the College ClassroomA helpful resource for instructors which directly compares native and non-native English speakers in the college classroom. Also included are in class strategies to support and challenge ESL student writers as well as providing clear assessment assignments and rubrics.

Conference on College Composition and Communication, January 2001; Revised November 2009

This policy statement calls on colleges to adapt their instruction and programs to allow for consideration of second language students in their courses. With sections covering general guidelines for writing courses, programs and teacher preparation this policy document serves as a valuable resource when considering writing course design, assessment and activities. Finally the statement calls on the writing programs to carefully examine the unique characteristics of the local context of second language students through careful study and collaborations across institutions.