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Integrating ESL writing instruction across university WAC programs

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Integrating ESL writing instruction across university WAC programs suggestions for a truly inclusive approach to WAC
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Yockel, Daniel J
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English language -- Study and teaching (Higher) ( fast )
English language -- Writing ( fast )
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The number of linguistically diverse students in American universities has grown steadily and will continue to grow. Additionally, the lines distinguishing native and non-native English speakers are giving way to an increasingly gray area in which students from a wide variety of backgrounds are considered to be multilingual. This situation presents a challenge to instructors and administrators in Writing Across the Curriculum programs, who are likely to be inadequately prepared to work with linguistically diverse students. This inadequate preparation results in inconsistent and potentially harmful consequences for multilingual students. WAC programs cannot afford to continue the historical trend separating the treatment of general and second-language writing, and must make a concerted effort to develop integrated and inclusive programs that involve collaboration from writing experts in all departments across the curriculum. This paper describes the diverse needs of multilingual students, examines existing effective WAC programs, and makes recommendations for teachers and university administrators for working with multilingual students, and developing and maintaining programs that are inclusive for all students across the curriculum.
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Full Text
INTEGRATING ESL WRITING INSTRUCTION ACROSS UNIVERSITY
WAC PROGRAMS: SUGGESTIONS FOR A TRULY
INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO WAC
by
Daniel J. Yockel
B.A., Hiram College, 2008
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
English
2012


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Daniel J. Yockel
has been approved
by
Joanne Addison
Honguang Ying
Michelle Comstock
13 April 2012


Yockel, Daniel J. (M.A., English)
Integrating ESL Writing Instruction across University WAC Programs: Suggestions
for a Truly Inclusive Approach to WAC
Thesis directed by Professor Joanne Addison
ABSTRACT
The number of linguistically diverse students in American universities has grown
steadily and will continue to grow. Additionally, the lines distinguishing native and
non-native English speakers are giving way to an increasingly gray area in which
students from a wide variety of backgrounds are considered to be multilingual. This
situation presents a challenge to instructors and administrators in Writing Across the
Curriculum programs, who are likely to be inadequately prepared to work with
linguistically diverse students. This inadequate preparation results in inconsistent and
potentially harmful consequences for multilingual students. WAC programs cannot
afford to continue the historical trend separating the treatment of general and second-
language writing, and must make a concerted effort to develop integrated and
inclusive programs that involve collaboration from writing experts in all departments
across the curriculum. This paper describes the diverse needs of multilingual students,
examines existing effective WAC programs, and makes recommendations for
teachers and university administrators for working with multilingual students, and
developing and maintaining programs that are inclusive for all students across the
curriculum.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend
its publication.
Approved: Joanne Addison


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION....................................................1
2. COMPLICATING THE DIVIDES: MULTILINGUAL POPULATIONS AND
DIVISIONS OF LABOR.................................................5
Changing Populations in Higher Education: From ESL to Multilingual.5
WAC and ESL: A History of Separation...............................8
First and Second Language Writing: An Unusual Divide.............10
A Divided Campus: Separate Fields Drive Gaps and Overlaps Among
Writing Programs, Support Services, and ESL-Specific Programs.12
3. MULTILINGUAL STUDENTS: INCONSISTENT TREATMENT
ACROSS THE CURRICULUM.............................................15
Inconsistency and Other Problems from the Perspective of Multilingual Students 17
Its not my job: Divisions of Labor and Unwilling or Intolerant
Faculty as a Source of Inconsistency............................19
On Feeling Handcuffed: Inconsistency from Well-meaning Faculty..23
4. THE CURRENT STATE OF WAC AND WRITING IN THE DISCIPLINES:
USES, NEEDS, AND MODELS...........................................26
Current and Common Uses of WAC Principles in the Disciplines.......26
A History of Calls for Action...................................29
Existing Integrated WAC/ESL Models..............................31
5. SUGGESETIONS AND BLUEPRINTS FOR DEVELOPING
INCLUSIVE WAC PROGRAMS............................................35
IV


Assess the Situation: Conduct an Institutional Needs Analysis
36
For Instructors in the Disciplines: Simple Recommendations for
Inclusive and Accessible Classrooms........................................39
Managing Time and Workloads.............................................39
Accessible Assignment Design............................................40
Responding to Student Writing and Prioritizing Errors..................42
Other Concerns in Working with Multilingual Students: Classroom
Conduct and Potential Effects of Cultural Differences...................50
The Role of Writing Centers and Tutors.....................................54
The Role of Department Heads, Program Administrators, and University
Leadership: Guiding Hands and Philosophical Leaders.....................58
Ensuring Inter-program Communication and Consistency....................58
Training Opportunities and Faculty Development..........................61
Hiring Practices and Teaching Priorities................................63
Conclusion................................................................66
WORKS CITED..................................................................67
v


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
We are all immersed in linguistic diversity at this point, whether or not we are
preparedfor the teaching challenges that result1
The population of linguistically diverse students in universities across the
United States continues to increase, placing pressure on the higher education system
to adapt and respond to the challenges those students present to educators across the
curriculum. The number of foreign (nonimmigrant) students enrolled in U.S. higher
education programs has grown steadily over the past several decades, from 286,000 in
1980 to nearly 700,000 in 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau 2012 Statistical Abstract 181).
Universities have concurrently seen an increase in the number of first-generation
American students who also come from linguistically diverse backgrounds
according the United States Census Bureau, the number college students with at least
one foreign-bom parent rose from just under 2.5 million in 2001 to over 3.6 million in
2009 (2001 Statistical Abstract 138, 2012 Statistical Abstract 150).
These changes in university student populations are the result of immigration
patterns and the international appeal of an American university education, but they
are also increasingly influenced by political and economic factors. For example, in
the wake of substantial budget cuts, international students and their tuition dollars
1 Johns, Guest Editors Introduction
1


often funded by governments or by independently wealthy familiesare being sought
by university administrators in growing numbers. At the same time, top-down
initiatives aimed at diversity and increasing access to higher education are helping to
infuse university campuses with far more first generation American students.
Such trends have been highly visible on my own campus in Colorado: We
have a significant population of international students, particularly from Middle
Eastern countries, as well as a number of U.S. resident Hispanic students from
varying backgrounds. The recent launch of a university-sponsored ESL Academy
with the purpose of improving the skills of university-bound (but not yet admitted)
students indicates an effort to both meet current demands and recruit more
international students. Although the program is not part of the university curriculum
and completion of the coursework does not in itself guarantee students admission to
the university, it clearly courts a population of students who will likely apply for
admission to undergraduate programs (ESL Academy). Additionally, political
movements in the state legislature are also poised to influence the linguistic diversity
on campuses statewide. House Bill 12-1155, aimed at increasing college completion
rates, would change policies to allow the states four-year public institutions to offer
2 The English as a Second Language Academy, begun in January 2012, combines an English-language
proficiency course sequence with other social and cultural college transition/preparation activities.
Upon completing the program, students are considered to have fulfilled the English language
proficiency requirement for admission to CU Denver, but are not guaranteed admission to a program.
The ESL Academys cost per eight-week term is roughly $5800, and depending on a students
placement exam score and pace of progress, they may require one or more terms to progress to the
highest of five levels of proficiency (ESL Academy).
2


supplemental or remedial instruction, and would also set in place provisions to alter
minimum admission requirements (Colorado House). Meanwhile, the highly
controversial Senate Bill 12-015 would authorize in-state tuition rates for
undocumented students who attended Colorado high schools (Colorado Senate).
These political and economic forces are by no means solely localized
observations. In a needs analysis of services for L2 writers conducted at the
University of Missouri, Martha Davis Patton uncovered similar conditions. The
assistant director for the universitys International Center noted that In an era of
declining graduate student enrollments, universities across the country are seeking
more revenue from undergraduate students, particularly international undergraduates
from China, India, and Korea (Patton). Pattons interviews with the assistant director
also revealed a much more disturbing trend concerning admissions standards:
Departments are not motivated to have high TOEFL scores because they want the
students and the revenue dollars, but departments are not necessarily equipped to help
students who lack a certain proficiency.
The trend toward ever greater linguistic diversity, coupled with
inconsistencies and deficiencies in existing support services for nonnative English
speaking (NNES) students, is a recipe for trouble. Despite growing awareness of the
linguistically diverse populations and repeated calls for action and collaboration
among writing, ESL, and content-area writing programs, few detailed models exist
for developing integrated Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) programs. In order
3


to adequately serve all members of the academic community through WAC, we must
move beyond calls for action and continue working toward integrating programs and
closing the gap for the growing multilingual population. In this essay, I will examine
the complexity of the changing university demographics; the history of the separation
between WAC and ESL; the implications of that separation and its effects on WAC
program design; and the treatment of multilingual students in such programs. I will
then survey existing WAC models that successfully integrate ESL concerns and use
those models, as well as LI and L2 writing research, accounts of existing programs,
and descriptions of needs and problems from faculty and students across the
disciplines, in order to develop a set of recommendations for teachers and
administrators in WAC programs to develop practices and support structures that
address the needs of multilingual students.
4


CHAPTER 2
COMPLICATING THE DIVIDES: MULTILINGUAL POPULATIONS AND
DIVISIONS OF LABOR
Changing Populations in Higher Education: From ESL to Multilingual
A central difficulty in addressing the needs of our changing university
populations is a mounting recognition of the sheer diversity presented by that
population. A highly variable and diverse group, simply by its nature, will resist the
kind of easy classification and solution-dispensing that administrators seek. We
cannot reasonably expect to work effectively with this group of students without
having a strong grasp of its makeup. At its most basic, beginning to examine this
diversity involves acknowledging the differences between U.S. resident and
international second language (L2) learners. The former may have had some
experience with U.S. culture and speaking English with their peers in U.S. schools,
while the latters English proficiency is more likely to result from learning English as
a foreign language, and they may enter universities with a very different cultural
background. Such a distinction is useful, but much still too simplistic to encompass
the complexities of the current situation.
Ferris and Thaiss illustrate the true diversity in describing the typical first-year
composition courses at UC Davis in California. Any given class, they note, may
5


enroll quite a range of L2 experiences and ability levels, including first-semester
international students; students who immigrated to the United States with their
families both early and later in their lives; and students who moved back and forth
between the U.S. and other countries as childrenall of whom may have varying
levels of English language competence and literacy experiences (Ferris and Thaiss).
In addition, students subsequent life and career goals may vary just as widelywhile
some may be U.S. residents or plan to continue with work or schooling in the U.S.
after completing their undergraduate studies, others may have plans to return
immediately to their home countries, in which case their future English language
needs may be quite different.
Along with this diversity of goals and backgrounds comes an equally complex
network of student identities and labels. Costino and Hyons report on the
connections between students linguistic backgrounds and responses to identity labels
further illustrates the problems that may occur when generalizations are made about
students linguistic identities. In their report, they examined the relationship between
students preference for mainstream or multilingual composition courses and their
attitudes toward different linguistic identity labels (Costino and Hyon 64). These
labels, when applied to the students themselves or to the titles of programs and
courses, can signify varying underlying assumptions about the students background,
identity, culture, and level of language proficiency. For example, mismanaged
placement may result in feelings of resentment that hinder students academic
6


progress, while carelessly titled courses may alienate students who reject the
identities and labels associated with such classes (Costino and Hyon 64). While
Costino and Hyon found no strong correlations between students residency status,
self-identification with certain labels, and their preferences for mainstream or
multilingual writing courses, they did see a connection between students perception
of the labels and their implications for English proficiency (72). These findings
illustrate some of difficulties writing program administrators may face: While
students prefer to have a choice and may resist or be attracted to courses depending
on their relationship to linguistic identity labels, there is no strong indication that their
original preference will be the most beneficial one in the long run (Costino and Hyon
78).
The varying backgrounds and identities represented by linguistically diverse
students in todays universities present a logistical problem for teachers and program
administrators. Blanket statements and generalized rules or recommendations for
teaching may flatten the realities of students lives and experiences, while generalized
ESL programs may similarly oversimplify the acquisition of language and writing
abilities and become a source of student resistance. This problem may be particularly
acute in Writing Across the Curriculum programs, where part of the responsibility for
teaching writing to both native and non-native English speaking students rests with
faculty who are likely even less informed about the implications of linguistic diversity
than the composition or ESL specialists who teach writing at other institutions.
7


A crucial step in integrating multilingual concerns into WAC programs as a
whole involves first acknowledging that the group once designated as ESL is no
longer a fringe or small minority group in the university, and that it is not (and
perhaps never has been) a homogenous entity. Jonathan Halls formulations of the
multilingual majority are particularly enlightening. He argues that English has
become a truly international language and that rather than viewing learning English as
a subtractive process in which the second language replaces and supplants the first,
educators must acknowledge that additive bilingualism in which the learner [has]
no intention of ceasing to use their first language is the norm (Hall 36-7). Further,
he believes that we can no longer assume that the mainstream college student is
monolingual, an assumption that must influence the way we develop and implement
writing and language programs (Hall 37). It is in part this realization and shift in
assumptions that must begin to drive changes in historically divided policies,
programs, and practices.
WAC and ESL: A History of Separation
Writing across the Curriculum advocates (much like those involved in the
fields of rhetoric and composition) work against what Mike Rose has termed the
myth of transience and the faulty assumption that writing is a basic and general
skill that involves little more than putting thoughts or speech onto paper. Rather than
a single skill, writing is viewed as a complex rhetorical activity that is practiced
8


differently by each of the specialized fields (commonly called discourse
communities) within academia. Writing and literacy, then, are not just basic
mechanical skills, but a function of the specific community in which certain kinds of
reading and writing activities take place (Russell 12). This view of writing involves
not just basic skills, but a process of learning and acquiring the rhetorical conventions
of a new community or communities.
While WAC movements have successfully increased the use of writing by
content-area faculty and made headway concerning the larger issues of access to the
conventions of academic and professional discourse communities, they have not paid
adequate attention to the ways in which content-area faculty interact with and respond
to the increasing number of multilingual students who, in addition to entering into
content-area discourse communities, are simultaneously working to attain mastery
over the English language. As a result, even when writing is no longer viewed as a
basic prerequisite skill by faculty and program administrators, the domain of ESL
writing may still remain separated from the rest of the university writing curriculum.
Faculty who have successfully integrated writing into their curricula may remain
confused or unprepared when faced with the writing of linguistically diverse students,
and the administrators of their home WAC programs may be equally unprepared to
provide any recommendations or assistance (Johns ESL Students 141). WAC and
ESL have often been separated not only in pedagogical practice, but in their physical
locations and roles on university campuses.
9


First and Second Language Writing: An Unusual Divide
The division of labor between composition studies and second language
writing is well documented. Paul Kei Matsudas analysis of the disciplinary division
of labor between composition and ESL studies describes the events that gave rise to
the separation of general composition and second language writing:
The creation of [ESL support programs] was one of the factors that
contributed to the division between first- and second-language
specialists. However, it was the combination of this and other factors,
such as the rise of applied linguistics and the professionalization of
both TESL and composition studies, that ultimately led to the
institutionalization of the disciplinary division of labor (710).
The act of compartmentalizing ESL writing instruction in order to relieve
composition instructors of the burden of accommodating the particular needs of ESL
students constituted, as Matsuda observed, an extension of the myth of transience:
an assumption that second language writing, like basic composition, can be broken
down neatly into a linguistic component and a writing component and that the
linguistic problems will disappear after some additional instruction in remedial
language courses (715). Unfortunately, acquiring second language writing
proficiencylike first language writing proficiencyis a much more complex and
lengthy process, and one that is influenced by all language experiences, regardless of
our attempts to compartmentalize them. Rather than relegating the teaching of second
language writing solely to composition or second language specialists, we must
10


acknowledge that every situation where writing is assigned constitutes a significant
learning experience for students. If our multilingual students writing is to improve,
we must ensure that they receive consistent treatment in all the writing they do across
the curriculum.
Consistency among courses across the university is essential for developing
students writing abilities. Robert Jones and Joseph Comprone have argued that
teaching process in a writing class in one part of an institution cannot ultimately be
successful unless the writing in that one course is reinforced by the same kind of
approach to learning in other courses (59). Acquiring various modes of literacy is an
extended, even lifelong process. For WACor any writing programto be
successful, there must be a measure of continuity throughout the university and across
the disciplines when it comes to writing. Otherwise, students may remain hopelessly
stuck and confused by the differing approaches and demands they encounter with
each new faculty member. While Jones and Comprone were referring to the broader
context of writing instruction, the same principle applies to L2 writing instruction
acquiring literacy in another language is a lifelong process, one Zamel argues
continues to evolve with exposure, immersion, and involvement (Strangers 517).
If second language learners writing abilities are indeed shaped by all of the writing
they do and the feedback they receive across the disciplines, then it is essential to
ensure that the faculty members assigning and responding to writing in the disciplines
are not harming their multilingual students development through misguided or ill-
11


informed feedback practices. Faculty must be sure that in addition to assigning
meaningful writing, they are also providing meaningful feedback multilingual
students, so that they can make substantial progress toward acquiring English skills
and the discourse of their particular academic community.
A Divided Campus: Separate Fields Drive Gaps and Overlaps Among Writing
Programs, Support Services, and ESL-Specific Programs
As Matsuda observed of the relationship between composition studies and
second language studies, a lack of communication between the two fields can have
negative consequences. The long-standing theoretical and professional divides
between second language studies and WAC/composition studies are visibly
manifested in the patchwork of services on many university campuseswriting
programs, writing centers, tutors, ESL services, and international student services
may all be present and influencing students writing development and attitudes. These
services, each with their own specialty, and each with practitioners from varying
backgrounds, may leave some groups of students with conflicting messages about the
strengths and weaknesses in their writing, or without support altogether.
These inconsistent practices and conflicting messages can have consequences
that reach beyond individual classrooms, affecting students chances of success
across the university. Michael Janopoulos described the struggles nonnative English
speaking students may have with university writing proficiency exams (WPEs). He
12


argued that inconsistencies in expectations, evaluations methods, and standards for
grading between individual courses and university-wide writing exams may leave
nonnative English speaking students underprepared and at a significant disadvantage
when taking WPEs (Janopoulos 44-8). In this case, faculty who attempted to
accommodate ESL students by lowering their standards or otherwise overlooking
linguistic problems left those students inadequately prepared for the rigorous
standards enforced by the schools WPEs (Janopoulos 46). Whether these
inconsistencies are the result of poor communication between university departments
or a lack of awareness on the part of faculty across the disciplines is not clear, but it is
likely that both are factors.
In a needs analysis spurred on by the realization that her university may not
be adequately preparing international students for writing in later courses, Martha
Davis Patton uncovered further evidence of inconsistency in a startling lack of
communication among the various campus programs that worked with ESL students.
In interviewing numerous officials across her campus, she was unable to locate
anyone who could offer a birds eye view of L2 writing services campus wide
(Patton). Additionally, she observed painfully clear evidence of the harms of
Matsudas disciplinary division of labor:
[W]e witnessed tutors from the Asian Affairs office join a
conversation with two English education professors. The tutors had
years of experience teaching English abroad, either in Japan or Korea,
and had extensive cultural and linguistic knowledge. However, they
professed to know nothing about the writing process as featured in
13


such documents as the NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing
and found that document revelatory. They also were unfamiliar with
the distinction between higher-order concerns and lower-order
concerns and found novel the idea of addressing higher-order
concerns first in most tutorials. Similarly, one of the English graduate
teachers we interviewed who teaches IEP classes as well as first-year
writing for international students insisted that most of his IEP
colleagues have only the dimmest understanding of the importance of
argumentation in college writing. On the other hand, our graduate
instructors in English had had no formal instruction in L2 writing
unless they had it elsewhere (Patton).
With such startling gaps and inconsistencies in both university services and
knowledge of relevant pedagogy, it is no wonder that linguistically diverse students
receive inconsistent or conflicting feedback on their work, sometimes coasting
through programs without adequate preparation for future writing, other times
unfairly held back by ill-conceived standards.
14


CHAPTER 3
MULTILINGUAL STUDENTS: INCONSISTENT TREATMENT
ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
The division of labor associated with first and second language writing has
created feelings of indifference on the part of many faculty members and given rise to
patchworks of support structures that offer inconsistent, duplicate, conflicting, or
uninformed services to multilingual students. The habitual referral of those students
to the schools writing center, along with the existence of ESL-specific classes and
pre-college preparation institutions for second language learners, all serve to reinforce
the myth of transience and the idea that ESL writers only need some form of
remediation outside of their content-area coursework in order to attain writing
proficiency. While these sources of feedback and instruction are certainly important
and often highly beneficial, it is a mistake to expect them to function well in isolation
from one another and from the rest of the university curriculum. After all,
overcoming that kind of isolation in writing instruction was one of the goals that
birthed the original WAC movement. Writing centers, tutors, and ESL instructors do
have a distinct advantage in that they have the potential to be the most informed and
prepared to work with issues specific to ESL writing. However, because they exist
outside of a universitys content-area curriculum, they are prone to becoming too
15


isolated to be truly integrated into an overall writing across the curriculum mission.
This isolation can carry both practical and political consequences: Zamel has argued
that general ESL or writing courses are marginalized, thought to have no authentic
content, and are not considered to be the real work of the academy (Strangers
515). Such approaches, she argues, are reductive and formulaic, and they reduc[e]
the complexity of language, existing in servitude of the rest of the academy while
reinforcing the much-maligned past pedagogies of assimilation, colonization,
domination, and deracination (Zamel Strangers 515-16). To overlook or ignore the
place of multilingual students in WAC programs would be to contribute perpetuating
these pedagogies.
The WAC movement helped to address the isolation and formulaic reduction
of a portion of the university curriculum (general composition courses) by integrating
writing into courses across the disciplines. But while WAC programs may succeed in
helping departments across the curriculum share responsibility for students writing,
such programs can still leave multilingual students out in the ghetto of remediation,
by overlooking their needs, relegating them to general ESL courses, or automatically
referring them to university writing centers. When part of the duty for writing
instruction falls to instructors in the disciplines, those instructors should be both
willing and prepared to work with the multilingual students whose writing they are
increasingly likely to encounter. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, and students
16


may become frustrated by faculty who appear dismissive of their ESL students
ability who fail to acknowledge their work. As one student Zamels study implored,
We made the step to college. Please make the other step to meet us (qtd. in
Strangers 512).
Inconsistency and Other Problems from the Perspective of Multilingual Students
The first (and until recently, sometimes the only) group to catch on to
inconsistencies in writing instruction across universities is generally the students
actually seeking out and receiving that instruction, and accounts of their experiences
are particular helpful in shedding light on the forms those inconsistencies take.
Vivian Zamels seminal essay Strangers in Academia: The Experiences of Faculty
and ESL Students Across the Curriculum highlights some of the key issues that
many students encounter. The students in her interviews reported experiencing
classrooms that silence them, limit their engagement, and hinder involvement and
inclusion; writing assignments that are unclear, contrived, or purposeless; and writing
feedback that was minimal, lifeless, or even disrespectful (Zamel Strangers 511-
14).
Findings similar to Zamels have been echoed by many others. Graduate
international students interviewed by Angelova and Riazantseva reported
inconsistency among professors regarding the importance of mechanics and
17


discipline-appropriate style, as well as not receiving clear models or guidelines for
writing (508, 512). Several reports by Ilona Leki have also illustrated the difficulties
nonnative English speaking (NNES) students encounter across the disciplines. Lekis
case study of NNES students in group projects showed how they struggled for
acceptance and inclusion by their peers as they encountered an a priori expectation
on the part of domestic group members that the bilingual students would not or would
not be able to make a significant contribution to the project, a problem that often
remained invisible to professors as the nonnative students contributions were
repeatedly ignored or silenced (A Narrow Thinking System 47, 51). A later case
study by Leki also revealed a students encounters with faculty who routinely
assigned writing without teaching it, as well as her subsequent experiences with
poorly communicated expectations and harsh, inconsistent, and unhelpful feedback
that fostered an ongoing fear of negative attention, failure, and resentment (Living
89-91). The attitude that writing instruction is solely the domain of composition or
language specialists, which WAC has worked to break down, is particularly toxic for
linguistically diverse students.
18


Its not my job: Divisions of Labor and Unwilling or Intolerant Faculty as a Source
of Inconsistency
The divisions of laborbetween writing and content instruction and between
first and second language writinghave helped to reinforce the notion that many
university faculty members cannot (and should not) have any part in supporting
students development as writers. WAC program administrators have battled this
sentiment for years when attempting to convince faculty in the disciplines of the
importance of including and teaching writing in their courses. When multilingual
students are brought into the mix on top of general writing, those sentiments may
become even stronger.
The desire to focus on content over writing in a content-area course is both
understandable and logical. As one professor has put it, What I want to be thinking
about is the science, the ideas, whats novel about the research were doing, whats
happening with the students understanding of the subject, rather than getting bogged
down in grammar and spelling. I mean, that stuff just gets in the way (qtd. in Jordan
and Kedrowicz). This seemingly well-meaning sentiment, which is often coupled
with a recommendation that the student visit a tutor or writing center, unfortunately
assumes writing to be a background skill that has little bearing on knowledge of ones
particular discipline. As Jordan and Kedrowicz observe, directing a student toward
outside help from a writing generalist may help them produce a clean piece of
19


writing, but it also fails to teach the students how to apply preferred grammatical
standards to their own documents as they revise. When a content-area professor
views writing as a basic foundational skill of communication, they ignore the
complexities of discipline-specific discourse.
Although many professors do not view teaching writing as their responsibility,
they do value one or more perceived ideas of what good writing is, and often
remain highly critical of their students writing. Often emphasized is the importance
of writing for effective communication both in future courses and in students later
professional lives (see Leki 2003, Stromberg and Ramanathan, and Simpson and
Carroll, among many others). One particularly striking example of the inconsistencies
between expectations and actions comes from an interview Zamel conducted with an
art history instructor. The professor, expressing a classically reductive myth-of-
transience mindset, claims that I am certainly not in a position to teach English in
my classes, and although clearly appearing to value the course content above all
else, attributes foreign students poor grades to broken sentences and a lack of
knowledge of grammatical terminology (qtd. in Zamel Strangers 509). Zamel is
quick to point out the contradictory nature of the professors statements: she doesnt
seem able to get past [her students] language problems when it comes to evaluating
their work, thus missing the irony of grading on the basis of that which she
acknowledges she is not in a position to teach (Strangers 510).
20


Zamels example illustrates what other researchers have also observedthat
some professors are overly critical of ESL students errors, to the point where
surface-level features are given priority over the actual content of the writing. These
varying levels of tolerance toward surface errors may be especially evident across
disciplinary boundaries, or when faculty members themselves come from
linguistically diverse backgrounds. Some researchers have found that grammatical
issues are more of a concern for content-area instructors than for instructors in
English. In a study of content area professors reactions to the writing of ESL
students, Terry Santos found that
Content received lower ratings than language; professors found the
errors highly comprehensible, generally unirritating, but academically
unacceptable, with lexical errors rated as the most serious; professors
in the humanities/social sciences were more lenient in their judgments
than professors in the physical sciences; older professors were less
irritated by errors than younger professors, and nonnative-speaking
professors were more severe in their judgments than native speakers
(69).
Joy Reids anecdotal stories about her interactions with faculty members from other
disciplines also support this pointshe recalls comments about an ESL student who
writes like a first grader and accusatory comments that a student who cant even
use articles should never have passed through the writing program (17). Likewise,
Sheryl Holt describes an incident in which a professor corrected every single
grammatical mistake in an ESL students paper, but offered only a couple of
comments about the papers content (69). In some unfortunate cases, the excessive
21


emphasis on surface features can cause professors to mistake perceived deficiencies
in students linguistic ability as deficiencies in intelligence. In one study, Vivian
Zamel reported that in interviewing some faculty, she got the clear sense that
language use was confounded with intellectual ability (Strangers 507). This kind
of excessive and overly critical attention to surface features can undoubtedly mislead
students about the relative importance of surface feature correctness to successful
writing, leading them to fixate on the correctness of their grammar rather than the
actual content of their work. Such a situation may sound familiar to anyone who has
worked in a university writing centerwhile tutors are generally instructed to focus
on higher-level concerns, they often encounter a dearth of NINES students who, often
at the behest of their professors, are interested only in proofreading for grammar.
Finally, linguistically diverse students may encounter inconsistency stemming
from biases or assumptions that faculty may hold. Zamel warns against making early
assumptions about a students ability that become self-fulfilling prophecies when
the potential for progress is ignored or discounted (Strangers 508). Additionally,
some instructors may report that their overall grading of a students work is
subconsciously influenced by perceptions of excessive or disruptive surface errors
(Angelova and Riazantseva 509). When instructors are poorly informed or unwilling
to help multilingual students succeed in writing in the disciplines, they can erect a
nearly insurmountable wall in the students path to success.
22


On Feeling Handcuffed: Inconsistency from Well-meaning Faculty
Even when faculty are open and willing to work with multilingual writers in
their courses, a number of inconsistencies can arise from misunderstandings or a lack
of preparation in working with linguistically diverse students. Although faculty
participating in existing WAC programs may be more invested in teaching and
valuing writing than faculty in more traditional composition-based programs, they
may feel helpless or lost in making adjustments to their coursework or practices to
accommodate multilingual students. Such a lack of preparation can lead faculty to
compensate in ways that contradict or otherwise work against practices used in other
areas of the university.
One of the most common responses to multilingual students writing is to
ignore major problems or hold those students to more lenient standards. Such an
approach is at odds with the opposite, overly critical reaction, and when students
encounter mixed messages about the severity of their mistakes, they may have
difficulties developing reasonable priorities in their writing. The student in Fishman
and McCarthys study first encountered a composition teacher who was highly
forgiving of errors, which caused her to undervalue the importance in the academy
of error-free prose (202). Janopoulos study of writing proficiency exams noted a
similar situation, in which lenient faculty left students underprepared for rigorous
university writing evaluations (44-6). This leniency may have a basis in a conscious
23


or unconscious ethnolinguistic bias. Lindsey and Crusans study of faculty reactions
to similar writing samples attributed to different ethnic-sounding names discovered a
tendency toward leniency with nonnative English speaking writers, where an
awareness of the struggles faced by those students appears to lead faculty to slightly
inflate the grades of NNES writers simply because they are NNES writers (Lindsey
and Crusan).
These kinds of compensatory practices often stem from inadequate knowledge
about other ways to help or work with multilingual students. Johns observation that
many faculty are well-meaning but bewildered by the problems in ESL student
writing is manifested in both inappropriate attempts to accommodate students and in
refusals to attempt accommodation due to a lack of ideas about how to do so (Johns
ESL Students 154, Leki Negotiating 142). Such was the case in Stephen
Fishmans philosophy course: concerning his immigrant student, he admitted that I
felt handcuffed. If [she] was unprepared for my course, I, as a teacher, was equally
unprepared for her (Fishman and McCarthy 194). Without adequate tools and
training for working with multilingual writers, many teachers in WAC programs are
likely to feel equally unprepared for the challenges presented to them by changing
university demographics.
The fact that so many faculty feel helpless or underprepared to work with
multilingual students should raise a red flag for scholars and writing program
24


administratorsand it has. Over the past several years, a growing number of voices
have expressed the need for increased collaboration and support for linguistically
diverse students across the curriculum. In the following sections, I will offer
suggestions for adapting and developing existing WAC programs to more clearly and
adequately address the needs of multilingual students. In doing so, I will draw on L2
writing research, accounts of existing WAC programs, and on descriptions of needs
from faculty and students across the disciplines.
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CHAPTER 4
THE CURRENT STATE OF WAC AND WRITING IN THE DISCIPLINES:
USES, NEEDS, AND MODELS
Current and Common Uses of WAC Principles in the Disciplines
WAC principles have been successfully adopted in many situations and
institutions, and the use of various modes of writing in courses across the disciplines
has grown steadily, particularly as instructors and programs have come to recognize
the value of writing-to-learn assignments and incorporate more writing-based
evaluations of student learning. Dan Melzers 2009 comprehensive survey of writing
assignments across the curriculum found that instructors utilize a variety of writing
assignments, from exploratory journals to annotated bibliographies, but that the
majority of assignments were either research papers or short answer exams (251-2).
Most importantly, however, Melzer found that compared to previous surveys, an
increasing number of instructors were assigning exploratory writing and papers that
incorporated multiple drafts (257). An increase in drafts means an increase in the
amount of feedback that instructors give to their students. And these students, as
weve already seen, are likely to include a growing and diverse population of
nonnative English speakers.
26


Publications by instructors in various disciplines directly indicate the ways
writing and WAC principles are being employed successfully in content-area courses.
In the field of Sociology, Liz Grauerholz has offered suggestions for teaching
effective writing-intensive courses. As would be expected, she emphasizes the need
for writing to be used thoughtfully in order to achieve the courses goals and
objectives. Of particular note are her recommendations for working with diverse
students and managing the workload of increased commentary and response. In
mentioning diverse students, Grauerholz refers to linguistically diverse students, but
to students with different learning styles (314). And by advocating minimal marking,
checklist-style grading, and employing TA graders, it is reasonable to picture a
nonnative speaker struggling to receive useful and constructive feedback. For
students who need special help, Grauerholz recommends directing students to the
university writing lab and instructs faculty to seek help from their institution in the
form of TAs and resources from the school writing lab (319).
Ari Cohen and John Spencer discuss the merits of incorporating WAC into
economics coursework by conducting a collaboratively-taught course. In shifting
from a course that employed only one traditional product-oriented term paper to one
that involved much more (and more diverse) writing that involved drafts and
substantial feedback, Cohen and Spencer saw a noticeable improvement in the
students engagement with the economics content (227). Murray Simpson and
27


Shireen Carroll have also noted that developing writing skills is important for
economics students because they will need to communicate effectively in their future
jobs, and Arnold Stromberg and Subathra Ramathan have observed the same benefit
for their students in statistics (Simpson and Carroll 405, Stromberg and Ramanathan
161).
What is noticeably absent from such accounts is any direct mention of
working with second language writers. General recommendations for responding to
grammar are certainly useful, but as Johns has observed, the task of working
specifically with second language writers is a very different challenge (ESL
Students 148-53). The goals of the various iterations of WAC have been, by and
large, focused on using writing in the service of learning and engaging with the
course content. WAC practices and principles have been well-received and
implemented, and although process and feedback are emphasized, little is generally
said about working with nonnative English speakers. Certainly, it is unreasonable to
expect content-area instructors to spend a great deal of time attending to the linguistic
issues of second language learners, but it is still important that these writers get
constructive feedback if they are to improve both their understanding of the course
content and their writing abilities.
If writing is truly to be learned across the curriculum, then the task of working
with multilingual students cannot be completely passed off to writing specialists or
28


segregated into writing centers and ESL-specific courses. At the very least, content-
area instructors should be able ensure that they arent responding to their second
language writers in a harmful or counterproductive way. And ideally, those
instructors should be informed enough to help their studentsboth native and non-
native speakersattain mastery of their disciplines discourse. The concept of writing
across the curriculum, to be applied fully, should not stop with writing-to-leam
assignments in the disciplines; support for students (including ESL students) actual
writing, should also come from across the institution.
A History of Calls for Action
Although the growing population of linguistically diverse students has been an
ever-present concern for traditional freshman composition-based writing programs, it
is more likely to be overlooked in schools that implement any of the numerous flavors
of WAC. For while research and practice in general composition have long
acknowledged the presence and needs of L2 learners, WAC practitioners have
traditionally focused on implementing writing-to-learn techniques and studying the
discourse practices of various disciplines while leaving ESL issues to ESL specialists.
As a result, WAC scholars and practitioners have historically been slow to
acknowledge the needs and presence of L2 writers in WAC programs.
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Even so, as Michelle Cox noted in a recent special issue of Across the
Disciplines, ESL, and WAC specialists have lately come to recognize the difficulties
multilingual students may encounter (WAC: Closing Doors or Opening Doors). In
1998, Matsuda and Jablonski argued for a reconsideration of the L2 metaphor used
by many in WAC, since likening writing in the disciplines to learning a second
language has the potential to marginalize the actual second language learners present
in a WAC program. In doing so, they call for increased interdisciplinary
collaboration between WAC and ESL specialists by participating in cross-field
research and reaching out to bridge gaps between programs on university campuses
(Matsuda and Jablonski). In 2001, Ann Johns reiterated the importance of addressing
the needs of ESL writers in WAC programs and made some preliminary observations
and suggestions concerning the need to inform faculty in the disciplines about the
complexities of language acquisition, the realities of responding to errors, and the
complications that nonnative students contrasting rhetorics can bring to a writing
classroom (141-56). Jonathan Halls observations about the multilingual majority
likewise constituted a provocative call for action that mandated nothing short of a
paradigm shift within WAC (Cox). In arguing that multilingual students are no
longer a minority or fringe group in U.S. universities, Halls voice adds a renewed
sense of urgency to bridging the WAC-ESL divide.
30


The calls for action have continued up to the present day. Even during the
compilation of research for this paper, Across the Disciplines published a special
issue on WAC and second language writing, shedding light on the continuing push
for research and practical models that integrate WAC and ESL concernsin that
issue, Zawacki and Cox noted that WAC has only recently begun to engage with the
research and scholarship from L2 writing studies (Introduction to WAC). Voices
on the WAC-L listserv likewise conveyed optimism that the fields are beginning to
make meaningful and significant connections. The calls for action have been heard,
and specific action is the next stepparticularly action in the form of practical and
specific models for administration and classroom practices.
Existing Integrated WAC/ESL Models
Although WAC program models have been documented and widely circulated
for many years now, many early (and even present) models often did not explicitly
take into account the presence of multilingual students. WAC programs, having
grown or metamorphosed out of existing composition programs, are likely to have
inherited the inertia of the split between LI and L2 writinga fact evidenced in the
many calls for integrating WAC and ESL over the years. This situation is clearly
evident in Fulwiler and Youngs 1990 survey of effective WAC programs. In
introducing the text, they identify several key questions and problems concerning
31


WAC programs, none of which explicitly discuss the presence of linguistically
diverse students (Introduction 2-5). Even surveyed institutions claiming diverse
student populations, such as Beaver College in Pennsylvania and the University of
Michigan, did not at the time discuss that populations actual presence and treatment
within their programs (Maimon et al., Hamp-Lyons and McKenna). We are left to
assume that, from the perspective of program administrators, linguistically diverse
students were either not considered significantly different from their native English-
speaking peers, or were judged to be outside the boundaries of the WAC programs
responsibilities. In both cases, failing to acknowledge the needs of linguistically
diverse students within a WAC program continues to perpetuate a situation in which
those students are marginalized or ignored.
Relatively few extensively documented accounts of well-functioning
integrated program models exist in publication. However, this is not to say that such
programs are not out there. Informal inquiries to WAC and WPA listservs yielded
several responses expressing optimism that the fields of WAC and second language
studies are beginning to engage one another and move in a positive direction.
Published documentation of these programs is an essential next step in aiding the
development of WAC programs nationwidesharing accounts of existing programs
will provide essential models for administrators, as well as recommendations for
procedures that have and have not been successful. One program that illustrates a
32


commitment to integrating ESL and university writing programs is the University of
California, Davis University Writing Program.
At UC Davis, Dana Ferris and Chris Thaiss have documented and participated
in the development of the institutions University Writing Program (UWP).
Acknowledging the increasingly blurred lines between native and non-native
speakers/writers, as well as the long-standing division of labor between mainstream
and second language composition, they have highlighted some of the steps UC Davis
has taken to shape its UWP. A key milestone came when Ferris, whose training lies in
linguistics and second language writing, joined the program and began to help shape
curriculum and prepare teachers based on current research and best practices in
working with multilingual/L2 populations (Ferris and Thaiss Writing at UC
Davis). With the beginnings of collaboration in place, developing a set of philosophy
statements laid the groundwork for bringing second language writing issues to the
attention of the broader university writing communitythese statements
acknowledged the complexity of acquiring academic literacy in a second language;
the existence of a substantial and highly diverse multilingual student population; and
the responsibility of university leadership to provide adequate placement assessment
mechanisms, curriculum and course design, and ongoing teacher development
(Ferris and Thaiss Writing at UC Davis). By incorporating L2 concerns into
ongoing faculty development efforts as well as into pre-service workshops for
33


graduate student instructors, the program develops increased awareness and
consistency even when instructors lack formal L2 training. Furthermore, UC Daviss
UWP works to ensure consistency by having all writing course sections taught by
experienced, continuing-contract lecturers and tenure-track faculty (Ferris and Thaiss
Writing at UC Davis). Courses and faculty under the immediate supervision of the
writing program have seen stronger and clearer requirements for assignment design,
course design, and writing evaluation, and are provided with models and suggestions.
Additionally, new instructors receive close supervision... with their syllabi and
assignments going through several stages of review and revisions, and their in-class
teaching being observed several times (Ferris and Thaiss Writing at UC Davis).
Meanwhile, writing support and development for students comes from a
variety of required programs and available resources. The schools writing center is
staffed with tutors who have formal ESL training, the Student Academic Success
Center offers workshops on specific writing-related topics, and a recently adopted
general education requirement for cross-disciplinary writing experience ensures that
students gain a more diverse writing experience (Ferris and Thaiss Writing at UC
Davis). Although Ferris and Thaiss admit that this robust set of services, programs,
and policies for faculty and students is not perfect, it illustrates an admirable and
comprehensive endeavor to meet the needs of multilingual student writers.
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CHAPTER 5
SUGGESETIONS AND BLUEPRINTS FOR DEVELOPING
INCLUSIVE WAC PROGRAMS
Working with linguistically diverse students clearly presents numerous
challenges to both faculty, administration, and support services across universities.
The early attempts to compartmentalize ESL instruction by passing of instruction to
designated ESL experts were a radical oversimplification of the language- and
academic discourse-learning processes. WAC grew out of a reaction to the
oversimplification of basic composition classes, and similar efforts are now needed to
prevent those same programs from overgeneralizing the writing of linguistically
diverse students. By thoughtfully and purposefully spreading the task of improving
NNES students writing among content area instructors and other providers of
feedback across the university, we can ensure that those students receive meaningful
and constructive feedback from the most appropriate and qualified sources. The
suggestions that follow are, of course, only general ideas for how such an integrated
WAC/ESL program could be put into practicebecause of local variations in student
populations, faculty attitudes, existing university support structures, and available
35


resources, the responsibility for determining the best specific course of action lies
with those assessing the needs at each particular institution.
Assess the Situation: Conduct an Institutional Needs Analysis
Student demographics vary from institution to institution, as do local
programs, support structures, and faculty attitudes toward writing. Conducting an
institutional needs analysis should be a key first step in determining what actions
should be taken to begin integrating WAC and ESL concerns. Additionally, such
needs analyses (if published) may also serve as additional models or guides for
administrators at other institutions. This needs analysis should be constructed,
administered, and documented by those who are most able to recognize and diagnose
problems or deficiencies in the current systemwriting teachers, ESL experts, and
writing center directors, as well as WAC and other university administrators, and
representatives from departments that teach writing intensive courses. The needs
analysis should attempt to develop a clear picture of the following: multilingual
student demographics in the university; faculty attitudes about second language
writers and their classroom practices and expectations for writing; multilingual
students writing attitudes and experiences; university-wide and program specific
writing and language competency requirements; available campus writing and
second-language programs and services; and the funding those programs receive.
36


Additionally, through surveys and interviews, the needs analysis should attempt to
identify who knows what about writing at the university in order to determine the
backgrounds and potential training needs of writing and language teachers.
The needs analysis of L2 writing services conducted by Martha Davis Patton
at the University of Missouri highlights a number of useful formal and informal
procedures for assessing a program. Informal contact with instructors in the
disciplines can be an excellent indicator that an existing program may have some
shortcomings. If they have not already voiced their concerns, those instructors should
be solicited for formal or informal feedback about their experiences with
linguistically diverse students and their writing, as well as about their classroom
practices and expectations for writing. In Pattons case, these stages of the needs
analysis revealed a consensus that the current program left international students
inadequately prepared for writing-intensive coursework, and that some professors
harbored unrealistic expectations for students writing (Patton). Interviews with
various writing, second language, and international student services administrators
contributed to a picture of available services as well as gaps, inconsistencies, and
additional needs in their coverage (Patton). Information gathered from writing and
ESL teachers and tutors revealed gaps in their training and knowledge about second
language- and writing- related theory and practice (Patton). Surveys of faculty
members and department heads in the disciplines illustrated discrepancies between
37


typical faculty expectations for second language student writing and TOEFL
standards that admitted students who were less well-prepared to meet those
expectations (Patton).
A thorough needs analysis will help to determine and prioritize the issues
contributing to inadequate preparation and treatment of linguistically diverse students.
Information about student demographics and enrollment should be gathered,
including institution-wide enrollment figures and the distribution of student
populations within different academic programs. These demographics should include
information on students linguistic backgrounds, their status as resident, immigrant,
or international students, and on how they self-identify with various linguistic labels.
In addition, student thoughts on their experiences with writing and university support
organizations should be documented using surveys and interviews. Writing, ESL, and
other support services used by multilingual students should be assessed for the
services they provide in order to determine possible areas of conflict or overlap, as
well as potential gaps in support. The background and training of the practitioners
within those programs should also be assessed through both informal interviews and
formal reviews of employees credentials and education to develop an understanding
of potential training and support needs for faculty members. With a documented
picture of the programs strengths and weaknesses, higher level administrators may
be approached with clear recommendations and being the process of reshaping the
38


universitys writing landscape. This process will involve engaging everyone who has
a hand in teaching or making decisions about students writing.
For Instructors in the Disciplines: Simple Recommendations for
Inclusive and Accessible Classrooms
The nuances of working with multilingual writers may seem like additional
fuel for the argument that content-area faculty should not be responsible for teaching
writing. However, having already committed to a WAC program, the addition of
attention to linguistically diverse students is a logical continuation of the existing
focus on writing. Faculty resistance has been a continual issue throughout the WAC
movement, and it is likely to resurface any time a new change is proposed. Instructors
entrenched in believing the myth of transience have historically shunned the idea of
teaching writing in addition to their course content; complained about a lack of time
to devote to writing; been apprehensive about their lack of expertise in working with
writing; and altogether rejected the idea that they bear any responsibility for fixing
their students writing. Some of these problems are more legitimate than others, but
none are substantial enough to completely reject a stronger commitment to integrating
attention to multilingual writers into an already existing WAC program.
Managing Time and Workloads
39


One of the largest concerns that faculty express when confronted with the
prospect of incorporating writing into their courses is the burden of additional work
within their time and work commitmentsadding writing to a large lecture course
would both place a substantial burden on the instructor and reduce the amount of time
they can dedicate to lecturing on course content. At institutions where research and
publication are high priorities and class sizes are large, these may be valid concerns,
but at institutions where WAC has already been implemented, some measures may
already be in place to help faculty manage the additional workload that comes with
assigning and responding to more writing. Cohen and Spencer noted that several
changes to their economics course resulted in little to no additional work: the writing
intensive course featured a much smaller class size, and time previously devoted to
constructing, administering, and marking in-class tests could be focused on writing
instead (227). The addition of some attention to multilingual issues to an already
existing writing intensive course would not substantially detract from class time spent
on other work, and would require only a small amount of timeperhaps the same
time they may already invest in other WAC-related development activitiesfor the
faculty member to gain some background on ESL writing issues.
Accessible Assignment Design
40


In assigning writing (and providing feedback) to multilingual student writers,
faculty must be aware of several possible sources of misunderstanding. Clarity and
redundancy can go a long way toward alleviating confusion that can arise from
unfamiliar idioms, vocabulary, and technical terminology. Most second language
researchers recommend that instructors take care in using (or choosing not to use)
idioms and cultural metaphors, as these are often sources of substantial confusion
even for highly skilled second language writers. Furthermore, technical and
discipline-specific vocabulary may present problems for multilingual students. While
English-language instruction and entrance exams may ensure a basic degree of
competency, they may fall short in helping students develop an appropriate and
diverse academic vocabulary (Santos 85). Bruce Maylath has observed that when a
students native language is a Romance language, they are more likely to understand
vocabulary with Greek or Latin roots than Germanic ones. For example, words such
as abdomen, cranium, and mandible, which may seem more complicated than belly,
skull, and jaw, are likely to be more accessible to students whose native languages
include words with similar roots (Maylath 30). Obviously, such distinctions are not
helpful for students with languages such as Chinese or Arabic, but incorporating
redundancy and careful descriptions into assignments and responses can help to
ensure that multilingual writers from all backgrounds have the best chance at
understanding the message.
41


In choosing and creating assignments, instructors should also be aware of
potential problems with tasks and readings that assume implicit culture-specific or
American-centered knowledge. For example, Leki described the situation of a
Taiwanese student who was unable to complete an assignment that involved drawing
assumptions about fictitious groups of people based on factors such as their food,
automobile, and magazine subscription preferenceswithout years of cultural
experience, the student had absolutely no idea what socioeconomic group in the
United States would join civic clubs, use hand tools or snuff, drive a Dodge
Diplomat, eat canned meat spreads, or watch Another World on television (A
Narrow Thinking System 50). Similarly, the Indian student in Fishmans
philosophy course struggled with readings that deal with issues he assume[d]
American college students [would] find provocative... racism, sexual morality,
patriarchy and the role of women, and the existence of God (Fishman and McCarthy
200). When designing assignments and selecting readings, instructors should either
avoid topics that require implicit cultural knowledge, or carefully frame them with
ample discussion so that students from different cultural backgrounds are not
excluded or marginalized.
Responding to Student Writing and Prioritizing Errors
42


Of course, the elephant in the room when it comes to working with
linguistically diverse writers has always been the grammar question. Should we
correct the errors? If so, how? Is marking them helpful or not? Even faculty who have
recognized the benefit of adding more writing to their coursework may have doubts
about their ability to constructively respond to all that writingespecially when that
writing comes from linguistically diverse students. William Gribbin has noted that
an understandable source of resistance to WAC is a fear of ones ability to evaluate
writing competently (367). Although Gribbin notes that WAC advocates have
allayed this fear by reassuring instructors that they should focus on the uses of writing
rather than its evaluation, the fear of competent evaluation may be much stronger
when it comes to working with multilingual writers, since responding to language or
cultural issues can be considerably more complex than responding to the content of a
students writing.
Fixating on surface-level errors (as we have seen) can be a source of problems
and inconsistency, but those errors clearly weigh heavily on the minds of many
content-area instructors. Unfortunately, correcting these errors in a constructive
manner is a complicated matter, and both well-meaning and overly critical faculty
contribute to the inconsistency students encounter across the curriculum. Vivian
Zamel has found that teachers responses to ESL students writing are often
confusing, arbitrary, and inaccessible, and that teachers respond to errors
43


imprecisely and inconsistently (Responding 79, 84). Furthermore, some scholars
have noticed a tendency to conflate ESL students surface-level errors with overall
intelligence and the overall quality and content of their writing, a tendency which
must be avoided at all costs (Zamel Strangers 507). An obsession with correctness,
coupled with inconsistent and unhelpful feedback, is a recipe for disaster when
making an effort to improve the writing of a multilingual student. This inconsistency
in marking is perhaps one of the reasons little conclusive evidence for the usefulness
of feedback has been found.
The debate over whether or not correcting errors is helpful (or even harmful)
is an ongoing issue in ESL writing theory and practice, and it presents a reason for
content-area faculty to reconsider whether they should bother with error correction at
all. The debates between John Truscott and Dana Ferris during the past fifteen years
have sparked considerable interest in finding conclusive support the role error
correction plays in NNES students learning. These debates, which are still being
informed by new research, have resulted in closer attention to the forms and purposes
that grammar-oriented feedback can take and the effects that varying kinds of
feedback have on students writing. Truscott has argued that existing research
indicates that error correction is at best not significantly beneficial, and at worst,
possibly harmful to second language learners development (270). Of particular note
is the distinction between the effect error correction has on revision, and the effect it
44


has on students actual learningTruscott argues that while correction may help
students to edit their work, it does not necessarily enhance their ability to use the
language in realistic ways (270). Even Ferris, a longtime proponent of correction,
has acknowledged the scant evidence in favor of the practice, although he maintains a
more positive outlook, anticipating that further research will reveal insights that will
help instructors respond to errors more productively (The Grammar Correction
Debate 55-6, 59-60).
To further complicate matters, some errors may not be true errors at all.
James Stalker points out that many international students come to American
universities having learned a different variety of English from the American standard,
and that some perceived errors may in fact be normal features of a different nations
standards for English use (7-9). The basic differences between British and American
English are relatively well known, but it is important not to jump to conclusions about
every linguistic feature that seems or feels incorrect.
In light of the ongoing debate and the inherent complicated nature of
constructively and systematically responding to ESL errors, a number of very general
recommendations can be made concerning the correction of surface errors. If they
still feel compelled to provide some feedback on errors, instructors in the disciplines
should be careful to prioritize their responses, and to seek out training or other
preparation that will help them do so. Language learning is an ongoing and lifelong
45


process, and instructors should be sensitive to the fact that their students
development will likely be slow as they struggle to attain mastery of the language.
Rather than correcting wholesale every existing error, students and instructors would
be better off focusing on a scale of error gravity, with the most urgent attention given
to textual features that actually interfere with a readers comprehension of the content
(rather than ones that are irritating but completely comprehensible). Following this,
error responses should be limited to one or two categories at a time so as to not
overwhelm students with feedbackdrawing attention to common recurring errors,
such as double negatives or mistakes with articles or agreement, will help students to
balance their focus on smaller and larger-level textual features, as well as alleviate
any perceived pressure for the instructor to provide comprehensive correction. By
prioritizing their responses to surface errors, instructors can take an important first
step toward more constructively responding to their students writing.
Prioritizing responses to errors and other textual features is important, but a
clear understanding of different forms of feedback (and the effects those forms can
have on writing) is also essential in determining the best course of action for
response. Concerning surface errors, Ferris recommends that instructors provide
indirect feedback that engages students in cognitive problem-solving as they attempt
to self-edit (The Grammar Correction Debate 60). For example, an earlier study
by Ferris found that a strategy involving summary comments at the end of the paper
46


paired with underlined examples of particular error patterns in the body of the essay
was quite effective in initiating positive changes (The Influence of Teacher
Commentary 327). When dealing with surface errors, it is important to distinguish
correction from feedback, as these terms may imply things to different people (Ferris
One Size 150). The particular form that feedback takes can also affect how students
receive it Ferris has noted that students English learning backgrounds (either as
immigrants who picked up the language by ear and in less formal settings, or as
international students who studied English as a foreign language) should be taken into
account when formulating responses to surface errors. Because immigrant students
are less likely to have received rigorous instruction in grammatical rules and
terminology as part of EFL coursework, tentative research suggests that more indirect
forms of grammar feedbacklocating errors without giving them specific labels, and
providing oral feedbackmay be most beneficial (Ferris One Size 150-1).
Regardless of the students background, following a more indirect approach will often
help facilitate their learning of correct forms, rather than simply allowing them to
blindly follow directive comments that immediately provide the correct constructions.
The differences between directive, facilitative, and other forms of feedback
are perhaps even more important when dealing with global and content-related issues.
Grammar is not the only pertinent issue (and certainly not the most important one) in
responding to student writing, and it should never be the primary area of concern for
47


content area-instructors. Rather, just as they do with native English speaking students,
content area-instructors should focus primarily on providing feedback that helps
students develop the higher-level issues in their writing. Studies of students revision
practices have provided insights into the relative effects of different types of
feedback. Dana Ferris study of the effects of teacher comments on ESL students
revisions found that marginal requests for information, requests (regardless of
syntactic form), and summary comments on grammar appeared to lead to the most
substantive revisions, and that longer, detailed, and text-specific (rather than
general) comments were also the most productive (The Influence of Teacher
Commentary 330).
Recommendations concerning the usefulness of feedback are also informed by
studies of students reactions to the comments they receive. Ferris study of second
language students reactions to various teacher responses illustrated several varieties
of comments that students find helpful, as well as forms that resulted in confusion or
discouragement. Concurrent with Ferris revision study, the study of students
perceptions emphasized the importance of clear and specific feedback, as well as
clarity in explaining response practices and terminology, particular terminology used
to correct grammar (Ferris Student Reactions 47-9). The surveys also revealed that
some students were discouraged, depressed, or demotivated by excessively critical
comments or a lack of any positive comments (Ferris Student Reactions 46-7).
48


Furthermore, some students reported having issues understanding questions as
responses to contentthey were sometimes unsure of how to respond, which created
the possibility for misinterpretation or failure to address the issue (Ferris Student
Reactions 47-9).
Richard Straubs study of native English speaking students revealed similar
trends regarding a preference for specific, clear comments, noting that many students
were confused or put off by vague, general comments (102). The students viewed
comments on both global and local matters favorably, as well as comments offering
advice, explanations, open questions, and specific praise (Straub 106-9). However,
the students were also wary of critical comments and strong imperatives, particularly
when the comments were perceived to have a harsh or judgmental tone (Straub 104-
6).
Although some practices of feedback and commentary for ESL writing are
still under scrutiny, studies of error correction, student revision, and student
perceptions of faculty feedback allow some general recommendations to be made.
First, if faculty feel a need to respond to surface errors, they should be adequately
trained and prepared to do so, and prioritize the errors they do choose to correct.
When responding to writing in general, faculty should always clearly explain their
response practices, aim for a balance between positive and critical comments, make
specific rather than vague or general comments, and be aware of how their tone may
49


perceived by students. Teachers who are apprehensive or dismissive of having to
teach English in addition to their course content need not worry, as useful response
practices for multilingual students are, at their core, good practices for teaching all
students.
Other Concerns in Working with Multilingual Students: Classroom Conduct and
Potential Effects of Cultural Differences
While much of the focus on working with multilingual students gravitates
toward discussions of surface-level grammar and usage, an equally (and perhaps
more) significant concern is the way a students cultural background influences how
they negotiate both the discourse of a disciplinary community and the various
methods used to teach writing in the disciplines. Misunderstandings by both students
and faculty can make even the most well-meaning feedback and tasks problematic for
second language writers.
One of the most common practices adopted by faculty attempting to
incorporate writing into their courses is the drafting and peer review sequence. These
process-oriented activities can present difficulties when working with students with
diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. While process-oriented activities are
generally helpful for all students, linguistic and cultural differences can hinder the
draft and peer review process. In addition to the general benefits inherent in writing
50


multiple drafts, peer groups have been touted as particularly useful for multilingual
students for a host of reasons: they allow students to see examples of their peers
writing; they encourage quieter or less confident students to share their work in a
more comfortable and less threatening setting; and they help non-native speakers
negotiate and understand the needs and expectations of an American audience
(Koffolt and Holt 55-6). However, peer review sessions can also be rendered
unhelpful or problematic when the sessions are not clearly modeled and when
students cultural backgrounds influence their communication style and the way they
interact in a group setting. For example, cultures with different conceptions of
authority, power, and differing expectations regarding criticism and respect can find
peer groups academically unhelpful and socially uncomfortable (Nelson 78-82). It is
therefore essential for instructors to clearly model and guide peer feedback sessions,
as well as clarify their expectations for group conduct. Additionally, instructors can
consider weighing the benefits of grouping students in pairs rather than small groups,
grouping students of the same nationality together, or intentionally grouping them
with native English speakers in order to facilitate easier or more productive group
interactions (Nelson 82-3).
Group projects can also go wrong if they are not carefully monitored. In her
study of NNES students experiences in group projects, Leki described the attitudes
and conditions some students encountered. She found that NNES students were often
51


passed over in student-selected group formation, and once in groups, their peers
frequently assumed that the NNES students would not be able to make meaningful
contributions to the work (A Narrow Thinking System 47-8). When such groups
successfully completed their assignment, professors remained unaware that the
nonnative students were excluded or marginalized in group interactions (Leki A
Narrow Thinking System 51). Without careful monitoring and modeling of group
work expectations, any writing that nonnative students are expected to do in a group
setting could very easily be taken over by their peers, detracting from the overall
learning experience and frustrating the students themselves.
Cultural differences can also come into play concerning the expectations and
standards for source citation and plagiarism. In certain cultures, good rhetorical form
may involve copying a subject or disciplines seminal figures in a way that Western
academic standards would consider academic dishonesty (Johns ESL Students
155). In this case, the best method for heading off plagiarism is explicit discussion of
assignment expectations and conventions. Individual faculty members should assume
responsibility for making their expectations clear and providing examples of what
they consider to constitute plagiarism (Johns ESL Students 156). Abasi, Akbari,
and Graves make a similar observation, opting for the term transgressive
intertexuality to describe actions are considered unacceptable but are not deceptive
in nature (103). Particularly for international students, habits of transgressive
52


intertextuality may stem from educational practices in their native countries. Abasi et
al. note that some educational systems may emphasize regurgitation and reproduction
as modes of assessment, and American views of authorship may sharply contrast with
international students conceptions of published works as unquestionable fact (110-1).
This reluctance to criticize may be compounded by students who grew up under
oppressive political regimes, where criticizing those in a higher position has negative
connotations of subversion (Angelova and Riazantseva 504-5). Rather than applying
a black-and-white institutional plagiarism policy to such instances, professors should
try to treat such instances teachable moments to highlight and draw attention to the
cultural differences in expectations for writing.
Finally, cultural forces can influence how (or if) students seek help or
clarification from their professors. A reluctance or perceived inappropriateness of
questioning those in a position of authority can extend to the student-professor
relationship and prevent students from approaching their professors with questions,
concerns, or disagreements. A Russian student in Angelova and Riazantsevas study
mentioned that he was uncomfortable asking his professors for help, since doing so
was not a common practice in Russian universities (517). One student reported
accepting harshly critical comments without question out of a deep respect for the
professor and her experience in the field, while another, although disagreeing with a
professors comments, claimed that she would never consider revealing her
53


discontent (Angelova and Riazantseva 507). An extension this unwavering respect
can also manifest as a strict and unquestioning acceptance of a professors advice
(Angelova and Riazantseva 518). The transactional nature of American education
must be emphasized often in order to prevent some students from falling through the
cracks or into habits of unquestioning rote memorization.
The Role of Writing Centers and Tutors
Although content-area faculty can do a great deal to support the learning the
multilingual students in their courses, it is clearly both unreasonable and impractical
to expect them to have the time and expertise to fully cover all of an ESL students
writing concerns. One of the most beneficial sources of support for these students
comes from writing centers and the tutors they employ. Because writing center tutors
are most often paid employees, it is advantageous and not unreasonable for the
writing center director to require tutors to attend training sessions on working with
NNES writers. With more focused training, writing center tutors will be able to
provide the directed feedback that content-area instructors cannot. As long as both the
writing center tutors and the universitys content-area instructors are on the same
page regarding expectations for multilingual writers, then the tutors can provide more
detailed feedback that meshes with the students course goals as well as their need for
ESL-specific development. The key is communication and continuityif any of the
54


links between content-area instructors, ESL specialists, and writing center/WAC
administrators are missing, then one runs the risk of acting in a way that conflicts
with goals of another.
Unfortunately, most writing centers are mainly staffed with tutors from the
English and Literature fields and have the tendency to be viewed as centers for
remedial or general help. For writing centers, a key goal for change in order to
integrate WAC with ESL support should be to reach out to all academic departments
and attempt to employ tutors with backgrounds in a variety of fields. Too often, a
schools writing center may become simply a place for ESL students to work on
their grammar, a situation which reinforces the myth of transience and places writing
centers in a remedial role, disconnecting them from any attempts to integrate writing
and content area instruction. It is worth noting that there are a few common
objections to employing discipline specialist tutors over generalist tutors. Critics of
specialized tutors say that generalized tutors can still help students with the writing
process, especially with typical assignments from introductory-level courses, and they
are also less likely to use specialized knowledge to appropriate student texts or treat
them as products rather than parts of a process (Soven Curriculum-Based Peer
Tutors and WAC 207-9). The criticism of text appropriation and the possibility of
product-oriented tutoring is the most troubling, but adequate tutor training can
mitigate that concern. Additionally, the use of content specialist writing tutors fits
55


well with WAC theory: as Margot Soven observes, many WAC theorists believe that
language is not separate from content, but is content (Curriculum-Based Peer
Tutors and WAC 210, emphasis in the original). Her observed disconnect between
generalist writing center practices and WAC theory is very similar to the disconnect
between ESL practices and WAC programsthe two must be blended and
cooperative in order to attain the greatest benefit for students.
A second, more ambitious option for writing center support is to link peer
writing tutors with content area courses. These programs, generally modeled after
Brown Universitys Writing Fellows Program, assign trained peer writing tutors to
content-area writing-intensive courses, where they collaborate with course instructors
on writing-related assignments and provide feedback on students drafts (Soven
Curriculum-Based Peer Tutoring Programs 59-64). While this practice may be
difficult or impractical to implement in many programs due to the significant costs of
implementing and coordinating them with existing courses, it has the obvious benefit
of more closely connecting multilingual students with those who may be most
capable of helping them. Additionally, having a writing tutor linked to a writing
intensive content-area course would ensure that those students are less likely to miss
out on important feedbackbecause writing center visits are usually completely
optional, linked tutors can make sure that multilingual students get the feedback and
support they need.
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Finally, writing centers can serve to support faculty development and training
by providing a link between writing programs and faculty in the disciplines. It is no
secret that many faculty members are averse to required training or other policies that
they perceive to encroach on their authority and autonomy in the classroomwith
regards to writing, Joan Mullin aptly observes that
faculty members do not want to be told how to teach their classes, how
to write assignments, or how to evaluate assignments. While they may
well solicit help for any of theseand many of them dothey do not
want to be told they have to shift their way of thinking about writing,
teaching, or learning. (186)
Mullins recommendations for writing center involvement in WAC programs and
faculty development are subtle yet powerful. Because of WACs emphasis on
interdisciplinarity and the development of knowledge-building communities,
writing center directors and staff can approach faculty development in a non-
threatening way focusing discussions on the students rather than directly on teaching
methods, and by facilitating informal talks and workshops that contribute to
developing a culture of writing and a community of writing while providing
supportive resources (Mullin 186-7). Toby Fulwiler observed a similar need for
presenting training as nonthreatening and informal in his discussion of faculty writing
workshops: he noted that as soon as we decided to offer our workshops as
explorations rather than conclusions about the teaching of writing, we opened a
much larger door than we ever anticipated (120-1). By building community in this
57


grassroots way, writing centers, ESL experts, and WAC coordinators can reach out to
and support faculty in the disciplines in a way that is less likely to be perceived as a
threat or power grab by the English department.
The Role of Department Heads, Program Administrators, and University Leadership:
Guiding Hands and Philosophical Leaders
Few of these integrative and supportive activities can occur successfully
without some guidance from abovethose pulling the strings at the administrative
and policymaking levels must also be on board. Those in higher-ranking and
administrative roles are in a position to facilitate the inter-program consistency that is
essential for a strong integrated WAC program. They must preside over and
coordinate programs not necessarily as ultimate authorities issuing programmatic
dictums, but as collaborators and guiding hands in the process. They must provide the
means in time, space, and resources, for faculty development. And perhaps most
importantly, they must ensure that teaching is given high value and priority in the
universitys philosophy.
Ensuring Inter-program Communication and Consistency
Communication and collaboration among university departments is essential
to a well-functioning integrated WAC program. To address this issue, a program must
58


overcome the compartmentalization of both disciplines and administration. Because
an integrated WAC program involves bringing together multiple disciplines and
fields, we must be careful not to neglect its interdisciplinary nature because, it
doesnt fit comfortably within a traditional disciplines boundaries, and is therefore
the province of all the disciplines yet none of them (Fulwiler and Young The
Enemies of Writing 289). As evidenced by Pattons needs assessment, a lack of
communication among a universitys writing- and second language-related programs
can be particularly troubling. Theoretically and practically speaking, the various
writing-related fields have much to learn from one another, while at the
administrative level, communication and collaboration among the various existing
writing- and ESL-related programs (writing centers, the WAC program, ESL support
services, etc.) would help the university to develop greater continuity in writing
instruction and support. A single overarching entity that involves all of a universitys
writing and ESL-related services (but does not replace them) is needed to facilitate
collaboration and communication in the decision and policymaking process.
As an entity with both a far reach and a strong focus on writing, a universitys
WAC program is the most logical choice to serve as an overarching coordinator of LI
and L2 writing services. The key is for this program to involve and represent all
others in its decisions and policies. A board or panel should comprise voices from all
the programs that have a stake in students writingcomposition/English
59


departments, writing centers, ESL practitioners, members general education
committees, and representatives of departments across the disciplines. This entity
should have a significant voice in collaborating to create training materials; propose,
evaluate, and approve writing-intensive courses; and facilitate friendly dialogue
among scholars and practitioners in different disciplines.
This collaboration and dialogue must also extend to making WAC and other
second language policy decisionsparticularly policies concerning university-wide
and program-specific English language proficiency requirements. In Pattons needs
analysis, a second troubling finding involved the effects of differing English
proficiency admittance requirements across university departments. At her institution,
recruiting for revenue led some departments to adjust required TOEFL scores, and
doing so drew more underprepared students to departments that were not equipped to
handle them (Patton). This phenomenon, coupled with the fact that the STEM fields
currently attracting the most international students tend to be the most resistant to
teaching and incorporating writing, can create significant gaps between student
recruitment demographics, faculty expectations, and available support services (Flynn
et al. 167). In setting both institution-wide and department-specific English language
proficiency requirements, writing and second language experts should be consulted in
order formulate standards that are both reasonable and in-line with what faculty and
support structures can handle. To the extent that they are able, university
60


administrators should ensure that the bare minimum proficiency requirements are set
at a level where all admitted NNES students are able to enter their coursework
comfortably. This process should also involve providing individual departments with
samples of student writing that illustrate typical corresponding language proficiency
exam scores so that those departments can make informed decisions about their
program admission requirements and the level of competency their instructors expect.
While such decisions will still ultimately be up to individual departments, expanding
the decision process will help to both increase awareness and share accountability for
the needs of multilingual writers.
Training Opportunities and Faculty Development
Faculty often express feelings of helplessness when working with
linguistically diverse students, and it is a serious oversight to expect faculty in the
disciplines to work with the writing of those students without providing adequate
support and training. Just as various forms of writing expertise lie with different
groups of professionals, faculty support must take multiple forms and come from
different sources in order to be successful.
61


The first line of action in many WAC programs involves formal and informal
faculty workshops and training sessions. Such workshops have long been staples for
building and maintaining interest in WAC programs and should continue to play a
role in integrated programs. The only changes should involve incorporating explicit
attention to ESL writing concerns. Informal conversations that encourage faculty to
share their experiences with multilingual students are an excellent first step, and can
also help writing program administrators determine an appropriate course of action to
address needs for training or other resources. More structured workshops could
involve closer looks at multilingual issues, but it is important to not limit discussion
to ESL-specific workshops. All workshops, whether they are focused on assignment
design, response strategies, or group work, should involve direct and indirect
discussion of those issues relate to the experiences of multilingual students. The
CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers (and particularly the
Guidelines for Teacher Preparation and Preparedness) provide an excellent and
comprehensive list of topics relevant to second language writing that writing program
administrators should consult in developing faculty training and workshop materials.
In addition to specific training and workshop sessions, programs should
develop and maintain print and online resources for faculty. These resources should
include a library of books on relevant topics; a handbook or web page with scholarly
articles, practical guides, and classroom examples; and access to on-campus writing
62


consultants through the WAC program. Sample writing assignments and rubrics
should be available, as well as guidelines and recommendations for assigning and
responding to student writing. Sharing assignments and other resourcesparticularly
ones generated by various faculty members at the institutionwould also be an
additional way to involve voices from across the curriculum to contribute to
discussions of student writing.
Finally, graduate-level programs writing, composition, and ESL should, if
they have not already, incorporate substantial coursework in second language writing
theory and pedagogy into their degree requirements. Pattons needs analysis
uncovered a startling lack of interdisciplinary training on the part of faculty and
tutorsa lack that likely had its roots in the disciplinary division of labor between
writing and ESL. Updating graduate program requirements will ensure that future
teachers of writing have some background knowledge in working with linguistically
diverse students and help to break down that unproductive division of labor.
Hiring Practices and Teaching Priorities
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, existing programs can benefit from a
rethinking of hiring practices and teaching priorities. One of the key problems facing
multilingual students is inconsistent treatment of their writing in different programs
across the curriculum, and one way to combat this issue is take steps to ensure that
63


faculty across the curriculum are committed to the WAC programs mission and
consistently trained to help implement it. With adequate funding, writing centers and
English/ESL departments should be able to train, hire, and retain well-qualified
faculty who have a strong background and education in working with second
language writers. The policy adopted at UC Davis is an excellent model: Ferris and
Thaiss report that they hire no adjunct teachers on a quarter-by-quarter, no-benefits
basis, a process which illustrates the fact that they are committed to the continuity
of the program. An institutional commitment to writing and consistency in teaching
at every level will help ensure that teachers have the time, ability, and resources to
help students from all linguistic backgrounds succeed in writing in the disciplines.
Following changes at the institutional level that emphasize teaching in the
universitys mission, individual departments should implement practices that likewise
emphasize the importance of teaching. In hiring new faculty, department heads
should make clear the universitys and the departments emphasis on writing and
teaching. Doing so would help to avoid the entrenched its not my job mentality
that many WAC program administrators have encountered. If prospective and newly
hired faculty are aware from the start that their jobs involve a significant focus on
teaching and attention to writing, they may be less likely to resist those
responsibilities later on. Furthermore, faculty development efforts will be more
successful if significant efforts are made to retain facultythe position adopted at UC
64


Davis to forego short-term adjunct positions in favor of tenure-track and ongoing
lecturer positions keeps faculty involved in ongoing development activities (Ferris
and Thaiss Writing at UC Davis).
The emphasis on teaching and writing should also be reflected in teaching
loads and class sizes. Although Cohen and Spencer argued that teaching writing
intensive courses does not necessarily result in an increased workload, certain
measures must be taken for that assertion to remain true (227). Writing intensive
courses must, of course, be capped at a much smaller enrollment than lecture-style
courses. CCCC recommends a maximum enrollment of 20 students in writing-
intensive courses with a substantial number of second language writers, and this is
an excellent goal for writing-intensive courses in the disciplines (CCCC
Statement). Keeping class sizes and teaching loads manageable also ensures that the
faculty themselves, not teaching assistants or graders, should be working with
students and their writing. Hamp-Lyons and McKenna found that over several years
at their institution, the tasks of evaluating and responding to student writing, as well
as designing writing assignments, began to shift from faculty to TAs (259).
Relegating writing response to teaching assistants devalues the teaching of writing
and shifts a key teaching responsibility away from those who are likely to have the
most experience and knowledge.
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Conclusion
The number of linguistically diverse students in American universities has
grown and will continue to grow in the coming years, and the lines distinguishing
native and non-native English speakers are giving way to an increasingly complex
notion of what it means to be multilingual. Writing Across the Curriculum programs
cannot afford to continue the historical trend of keeping separate the treatment of
general and second-language writing, and must make a concerted effort to develop
integrated and inclusive WAC programs that involve collaboration from writing
experts in all departments across the curriculum. While the particular ways
departments and institutions choose to facilitate a focus on teaching and writing
across the curriculum will vary among programs, the core values must remain the
same: for an integrated WAC program to succeed, all members of the program must
be fully invested in teaching writing to all students from all cultural and linguistic
backgrounds. To succeed in this endeavor, universities must adopt an unwavering
institution-wide commitment to excellence in teaching, and foster collaboration
between experts in many different fields. The lines between native and nonnative
English speakers are blending a complex multilingualism, and WAC programs must
likewise foster a blending of services and teaching practices to support this new
multilingual majority.
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Full Text

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INTEGRATING ESL WRITING INSTRUCTION ACROSS UNIVERSITY WAC PROGRAMS: SUGGESTIONS FOR A TRULY INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO WAC by Daniel J. Yockel B.A., Hiram College, 2008 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts English 2012

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Daniel J. Yockel has been approved by Joanne Addison Honguang Ying Michelle Comstock 13 April 2012

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Yockel, Daniel J. (M.A., English) Integrating ESL Writing Instruction across University WAC Progra ms: Suggestions for a Truly Inclusive Approach to WAC Thesis directed by Professor Joanne Addison ABSTRACT The number of linguistically diverse students in American universities has gro wn steadily and will continue to grow. Additionally, the lines distinguishing nati ve and non-native English speakers are giving way to an increasingly gray are a in which students from a wide variety of backgrounds are considered to be multilingual This situation presents a challenge to instructors and administrators in Writing Ac ross the Curriculum programs, who are likely to be inadequately prepared to work with linguistically diverse students. This inadequate preparation results in inconsis tent and potentially harmful consequences for multilingual students. WAC programs cannot afford to continue the historical trend separating the treatment of general and secondlanguage writing, and must make a concerted effort to develop integrated and inclusive programs that involve collaboration from writing experts in all departm ents across the curriculum. This paper describes the diverse needs of multilingual students, examines existing effective WAC programs, and makes recommendations for teachers and university administrators for working with multilingual student s, and developing and maintaining programs that are inclusive for all students across the curriculum. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidateÂ’s thesis. I recommend its publication. Approved: Joanne Addison

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iv TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 1 2. COMPLICATING THE DIVIDES: MULTILINGUAL POPULATIONS AND DIVISIONS OF LABOR .............................................................................................. 5 Changing Populations in Higher Education: From ESL to Multilingual .................. 5 WAC and ESL: A History of Separation .................................................................. 8 First and Second Language Writing: An Unusual Divide .................................. 10 A Divided Campus: Separate Fields Drive Gaps and Overlaps Among Writing Programs, Support Services, and ESL-Specific Programs .................... 12 3. MULTILINGUAL STUDENTS: INCONSISTENT TREATMENT ACROSS THE CURRICULUM................................................................................ 15 Inconsistency and Other Problems from the Perspective of Multilingual Stude nts 17 “It’s not my job”: Divisions of Labor and Unwilling or Intolerant Faculty as a Source of Inconsistency ...................................................................... 19 On Feeling Handcuffed: Inconsistency from Well-meaning Faculty ..................... 23 4. THE CURRENT STATE OF WAC AND WRITING IN THE DISCIPLINES: USES, NEEDS, AND MODELS ................................................................................ 26 Current and Common Uses of WAC Principles in the Disciplines ........................ 26 A History of Calls for Action.................................................................................. 29 Existing Integrated WAC/ESL Models .................................................................. 31 5. SUGGESETIONS AND BLUEPRINTS FOR DEVELOPING INCLUSIVE WAC PROGRAMS .............................................................................. 35

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v Assess the Situation: Conduct an Institutional Needs Analysis.............................. 36 For Instructors in the Disciplines: Simple Recommendations for Inclusive and Accessible Classrooms ..................................................................... 39 Managing Time and Workloads .......................................................................... 39 Accessible Assignment Design ............................................................................ 40 Responding to Student Writing and Prioritizing Errors ..................................... 42 Other Concerns in Working with Multilingual Students: Classroom Conduct and Potential Effects of Cultural Differences ...................................... 50 The Role of Writing Centers and Tutors................................................................. 54 The Role of Department Heads, Program Administrators, and University Leadership: Guiding Hands and Philosophical Leaders ......................................... 58 Ensuring Inter-program Communication and Consistency................................. 58 Training Opportunities and Faculty Development ............................................. 61 Hiring Practices and Teaching Priorities ............................................................ 63 Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 66 WORKS CITED ......................................................................................................... 67

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION “We are all immersed in linguistic diversity at this point, whether or not we are prepared for the teaching challenges that result” 1 The population of linguistically diverse students in universities across the United States continues to increase, placing pressure on the higher education syst em to adapt and respond to the challenges those students present to educators across the curriculum. The number of foreign (nonimmigrant) students enrolled in U.S. higher education programs has grown steadily over the past several decades, from 286,000 in 1980 to nearly 700,000 in 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau 2012 Statistical Abstract 181). Universities have concurrently seen an increase in the number of first-genera tion American students who also come from linguistically diverse backgrounds—according the United States Census Bureau, the number college students with at l east one foreign-born parent rose from just under 2.5 million in 2001 to over 3.6 million in 2009 (2001 Statistical Abstract 138, 2012 Statistical Abstract 150). These changes in university student populations are the result of immigration patterns and the international appeal of an American university education, but they are also increasingly influenced by political and economic factors. For ex ample, in the wake of substantial budget cuts, international students and their tuition dollars— 1 Johns, “Guest Editor’s Introduction”

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2 often funded by governments or by independently wealthy families—are being sou ght by university administrators in growing numbers. At the same time, top-down initiatives aimed at diversity and increasing access to higher education a re helping to infuse university campuses with far more first generation American stude nts. Such trends have been highly visible on my own campus in Colorado: We have a significant population of international students, particularly from Middle Eastern countries, as well as a number of U.S. resident Hispanic students from varying backgrounds. The recent launch of a university-sponsored “ESL Academy 2 ” with the purpose of improving the skills of university-bound (but not yet admitted) students indicates an effort to both meet current demands and recruit more international students. Although the program is not part of the university curriculum and completion of the coursework does not in itself guarantee students admission to the university, it clearly courts a population of students who will likely apply for admission to undergraduate programs (“ESL Academy”). Additionally, politica l movements in the state legislature are also poised to influence the linguist ic diversity on campuses statewide. House Bill 12-1155, aimed at increasing college complet ion rates, would change policies to allow the state’s four-year public instituti ons to offer 2 The English as a Second Language Academy, begun in January 2012, combines an English-language proficiency course sequence with other social and c ultural college transition/preparation activities. Upon completing the program, students are considere d to have fulfilled the English language proficiency requirement for admission to CU Denver, but are not guaranteed admission to a program. The ESL Academy’s cost per eight-week term is rough ly $5800, and depending on a student’s placement exam score and pace of progress, they may require one or more terms to progress to the highest of five levels of proficiency (“ESL Academy ”).

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3 supplemental or remedial instruction, and would also set in place provisions to alter minimum admission requirements (Colorado House). Meanwhile, the highly controversial Senate Bill 12-015 would authorize in-state tuition rates for undocumented students who attended Colorado high schools (Colorado Senate). These political and economic forces are by no means solely localized observations. In a needs analysis of services for L2 writers conducted at t he University of Missouri, Martha Davis Patton uncovered similar conditions. The assistant director for the university’s International Center noted that “I n an era of declining graduate student enrollments, universities across the country are seeking more revenue from undergraduate students, particularly international undergraduate s from China, India, and Korea” (Patton). Patton’s interviews with the assistant di rector also revealed a much more disturbing trend concerning admissions standards: “Departments are not motivated to have high TOEFL scores because they want the students and the revenue dollars, but departments are not necessarily equipped to help students who lack a certain proficiency.” The trend toward ever greater linguistic diversity, coupled with inconsistencies and deficiencies in existing support services for nonnative Engli sh speaking (NNES) students, is a recipe for trouble. Despite growing awarenes s of the linguistically diverse populations and repeated calls for action and collaborati on among writing, ESL, and content-area writing programs, few detailed models exist for developing integrated Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) programs. In order

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4 to adequately serve all members of the academic community through WAC, we must move beyond calls for action and continue working toward integrating programs and closing the gap for the growing multilingual population. In this essay, I will e xamine the complexity of the changing university demographics; the history of the se paration between WAC and ESL; the implications of that separation and its effects on WAC program design; and the treatment of multilingual students in such programs. I will then survey existing WAC models that successfully integrate ESL concer ns and use those models, as well as L1 and L2 writing research, accounts of existing progra ms, and descriptions of needs and problems from faculty and students across the disciplines, in order to develop a set of recommendations for teachers and administrators in WAC programs to develop practices and support structures that address the needs of multilingual students.

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5 CHAPTER 2 COMPLICATING THE DIVIDES: MULTILINGUAL POPULATIONS AND DIVISIONS OF LABOR Changing Populations in Higher Education: From ESL to Multilingual A central difficulty in addressing the needs of our changing university populations is a mounting recognition of the sheer diversity presented by that population. A highly variable and diverse group, simply by its nature, will resist the kind of easy classification and solution-dispensing that administrators seek. We cannot reasonably expect to work effectively with this group of students without having a strong grasp of its makeup. At its most basic, beginning to examine this diversity involves acknowledging the differences between U.S. resident and international second language (L2) learners. The former may have had some experience with U.S. culture and speaking English with their peers in U.S. schools, while the latterÂ’s English proficiency is more likely to result from le arning English as a foreign language, and they may enter universities with a very different c ultural background. Such a distinction is useful, but much still too simplistic to encompass the complexities of the current situation. Ferris and Thaiss illustrate the true diversity in describing the typical f irst-year composition courses at UC Davis in California. Any given class, they note, may

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6 enroll “quite a range of L2 experiences and ability levels,” including firs t-semester international students; students who immigrated to the United States with their families both early and later in their lives; and students who moved back and forth between the U.S. and other countries as children—all of whom may have varying levels of English language competence and literacy experiences (Ferr is and Thaiss). In addition, students’ subsequent life and career goals may vary just as widely —while some may be U.S. residents or plan to continue with work or schooling in the U.S. after completing their undergraduate studies, others may have plans to retur n immediately to their home countries, in which case their future English langua ge needs may be quite different. Along with this diversity of goals and backgrounds comes an equally complex network of student identities and labels. Costino and Hyon’s report on the connections between students’ linguistic backgrounds and responses to identity labels further illustrates the problems that may occur when generalizations are m ade about students’ linguistic identities. In their report, they examined the relati onship between students’ preference for mainstream or multilingual composition courses a nd their attitudes toward different “linguistic identity labels” (Costino and Hyon 64). T hese labels, when applied to the students themselves or to the titles of programs and courses, can signify varying underlying assumptions about the students’ background, identity, culture, and level of language proficiency. For example, mismanaged placement may result in feelings of resentment that hinder students’ academi c

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7 progress, while carelessly titled courses may alienate students who “rej ect the identities and labels associated with such classes” (Costino and Hyon 64). While Costino and Hyon found no strong correlations between students’ residency status, self-identification with certain labels, and their preferences for mainst ream or multilingual writing courses, they did see a connection between students’ percept ion of the labels and their implications for English proficiency (72). These finding s illustrate some of difficulties writing program administrators may fa ce: While students prefer to have a choice and may resist or be attracted to courses depending on their relationship to linguistic identity labels, there is no strong indication t hat their original preference will be the most beneficial one in the long run (Costino and H yon 78). The varying backgrounds and identities represented by linguistically divers e students in today’s universities present a logistical problem for teachers a nd program administrators. Blanket statements and generalized rules or recommendations for teaching may flatten the realities of students’ lives and experiences, while generalized ESL programs may similarly oversimplify the acquisition of language a nd writing abilities and become a source of student resistance. This problem may be partic ularly acute in Writing Across the Curriculum programs, where part of the res ponsibility for teaching writing to both native and non-native English speaking students rests wi th faculty who are likely even less informed about the implications of linguistic di versity than the composition or ESL specialists who teach writing at other institutions.

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8 A crucial step in integrating multilingual concerns into WAC programs as a whole involves first acknowledging that the group once designated as ESL is no longer a fringe or small minority group in the university, and that it is not (and perhaps never has been) a homogenous entity. Jonathan Hall’s formulations of the “multilingual majority” are particularly enlightening. He argues that E nglish has become a truly international language and that rather than viewing learning E nglish as a subtractive process “in which the second language replaces and supplants the f irst,” educators must acknowledge that “additive bilingualism” in which the learner “[has] no intention of ceasing to use their first language” is the norm (Hall 36-7). Fur ther, he believes that we can no longer assume “that the mainstream college student is monolingual,” an assumption that must influence the way we develop and implement writing and language programs (Hall 37). It is in part this realizati on and shift in assumptions that must begin to drive changes in historically divided policies, programs, and practices. WAC and ESL: A History of Separation Writing across the Curriculum advocates (much like those involved in the fields of rhetoric and composition) work against what Mike Rose has termed the “myth of transience” and the faulty assumption that writing is a basic and ge neral skill that involves little more than putting thoughts or speech onto paper. Rather than a single skill, writing is viewed as a complex rhetorical activity that i s practiced

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9 differently by each of the specialized fields (commonly called discourse communities) within academia. Writing and literacy, then, are not just basic mechanical skills, but “a function of the specific community in which certain kinds of reading and writing activities take place” (Russell 12). This view of writ ing involves not just basic skills, but a process of learning and acquiring the rhetorical convent ions of a new community or communities. While WAC movements have successfully increased the use of writing by content-area faculty and made headway concerning the larger issues of ac cess to the conventions of academic and professional discourse communities, they have not paid adequate attention to the ways in which content-area faculty interact with and re spond to the increasing number of multilingual students who, in addition to entering into content-area discourse communities, are simultaneously working to attain mastery over the English language. As a result, even when writing is no longer viewed as a basic prerequisite skill by faculty and program administrators, the domain of E SL writing may still remain separated from the rest of the university writi ng curriculum. Faculty who have successfully integrated writing into their curricula may remain confused or unprepared when faced with the writing of linguistically diverse stude nts, and the administrators of their home WAC programs may be equally unprepared to provide any recommendations or assistance (Johns “ESL Students” 141). WAC and ESL have often been separated not only in pedagogical practice, but in their physica l locations and roles on university campuses.

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10 First and Second Language Writing: An Unusual Divide The division of labor between composition studies and second language writing is well documented. Paul Kei Matsuda’s analysis of the “disciplin ary division of labor” between composition and ESL studies describes the events that gave ris e to the separation of general composition and second language writing: The creation of [ESL support programs] was one of the factors that contributed to the division between firstand second-language specialists. However, it was the combination of this and other factors, such as the rise of applied linguistics and the professionalization of both TESL and composition studies, that ultimately led to the institutionalization of the disciplinary division of labor (710). The act of compartmentalizing ESL writing instruction in order to relieve composition instructors of the burden of accommodating the particular needs of ESL students constituted, as Matsuda observed, an extension of the “myth of transience”: an assumption that second language writing, like basic composition, “can be broken down neatly into a linguistic component and a writing component and that the linguistic problems will disappear after some additional instruction in rem edial language courses” (715). Unfortunately, acquiring second language writing proficiency—like first language writing proficiency—is a much more compl ex and lengthy process, and one that is influenced by all language experiences, re gardless of our attempts to compartmentalize them. Rather than relegating the teaching of se cond language writing solely to composition or second language specialists, we m ust

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11 acknowledge that every situation where writing is assigned constitutes a s ignificant learning experience for students. If our multilingual students’ writing is to i mprove, we must ensure that they receive consistent treatment in all the writing t hey do across the curriculum. Consistency among courses across the university is essential for developi ng students’ writing abilities. Robert Jones and Joseph Comprone have argued that “teaching process in a writing class in one part of an institution cannot ultimat ely be successful unless the writing in that one course is reinforced by the same kind of approach to learning in other courses” (59). Acquiring various modes of literacy is an extended, even lifelong process. For WAC—or any writing program—to be successful, there must be a measure of continuity throughout the university and across the disciplines when it comes to writing. Otherwise, students may remain hopel essly stuck and confused by the differing approaches and demands they encounter with each new faculty member. While Jones and Comprone were referring to the broader context of writing instruction, the same principle applies to L2 writing instruc tion— acquiring literacy in another language is a lifelong process, one Zamel arg ues “continues to evolve with exposure, immersion, and involvement” (“Strangers” 517). If second language learners’ writing abilities are indeed shaped by all of the writing they do and the feedback they receive across the disciplines, then it is essentia l to ensure that the faculty members assigning and responding to writing in the disci plines are not harming their multilingual students’ development through misguided or ill-

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12 informed feedback practices. Faculty must be sure that in addition to assigning meaningful writing, they are also providing meaningful feedback multilingual students, so that they can make substantial progress toward acquiring English ski lls and the discourse of their particular academic community. A Divided Campus: Separate Fields Drive Gaps and Overlaps Among Writing Programs, Support Services, and ESL-Specific Programs As Matsuda observed of the relationship between composition studies and second language studies, a lack of communication between the two fields can have negative consequences. The long-standing theoretical and professional divides between second language studies and WAC/composition studies are visibly manifested in the patchwork of services on many university campuses—writing programs, writing centers, tutors, ESL services, and international student servic es may all be present and influencing students’ writing development and attitudes. T hese services, each with their own specialty, and each with practitioners from var ying backgrounds, may leave some groups of students with conflicting messages about the strengths and weaknesses in their writing, or without support altogether. These inconsistent practices and conflicting messages can have consequences that reach beyond individual classrooms, affecting students’ chances of success across the university. Michael Janopoulos described the struggles nonnative Englis h speaking students may have with university writing proficiency exams (WP Es). He

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13 argued that inconsistencies in expectations, evaluations methods, and standards for grading between individual courses and university-wide writing exams may le ave nonnative English speaking students underprepared and at a significant disadvantage when taking WPEs (Janopoulos 44-8). In this case, faculty who attempted to accommodate ESL students by lowering their standards or otherwise overlooking linguistic problems left those students inadequately prepared for the rigorous standards enforced by the school’s WPEs (Janopoulos 46). Whether these inconsistencies are the result of poor communication between university department s or a lack of awareness on the part of faculty across the disciplines is not cle ar, but it is likely that both are factors. In a needs analysis spurred on by the realization that her university may not be adequately preparing international students for writing in later course s, Martha Davis Patton uncovered further evidence of inconsistency in a startling lack of communication among the various campus programs that worked with ESL students. In interviewing numerous officials across her campus, she was unable to locate anyone who could “offer a bird’s eye view of L2 writing services campus wide ” (Patton). Additionally, she observed painfully clear evidence of the harms of Matsuda’s disciplinary division of labor: [W]e witnessed tutors from the Asian Affairs office join a conversation with two English education professors. The tutors had years of experience teaching English abroad, either in Japan or Korea, and had extensive cultural and linguistic knowledge. However, they professed to know nothing about the writing process as featured in

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14 such documents as the “NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing” and found that document revelatory. They also were unfamiliar with the distinction between “higher-order concerns” and “lower-order concerns” and found novel the idea of addressing higher-order concerns first in most tutorials. Similarly, one of the English graduate teachers we interviewed who teaches IEP classes as well as first -year writing for international students insisted that most of his IEP colleagues have only the dimmest understanding of the importance of argumentation in college writing. On the other hand, our graduate instructors in English had had no formal instruction in L2 writing unless they had it elsewhere (Patton). With such startling gaps and inconsistencies in both university services and knowledge of relevant pedagogy, it is no wonder that linguistically diverse student s receive inconsistent or conflicting feedback on their work, sometimes coasting through programs without adequate preparation for future writing, other times unfairly held back by ill-conceived standards.

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15 CHAPTER 3 MULTILINGUAL STUDENTS: INCONSISTENT TREATMENT ACROSS THE CURRICULUM The division of labor associated with first and second language writing has created feelings of indifference on the part of many faculty members and g iven rise to patchworks of support structures that offer inconsistent, duplicate, conflicting, or uninformed services to multilingual students. The habitual referral of those stude nts to the school’s writing center, along with the existence of ESL-specific classes and pre-college preparation institutions for second language learners, all serve to r einforce the myth of transience and the idea that ESL writers only need some form of “remediation” outside of their content-area coursework in order to attain wri ting proficiency. While these sources of feedback and instruction are certainly i mportant and often highly beneficial, it is a mistake to expect them to function well in isola tion from one another and from the rest of the university curriculum. After all, overcoming that kind of isolation in writing instruction was one of the goals that birthed the original WAC movement. Writing centers, tutors, and ESL instructors do have a distinct advantage in that they have the potential to be the most informed and prepared to work with issues specific to ESL writing. However, because they exi st outside of a university’s content-area curriculum, they are prone to becoming t oo

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16 isolated to be truly integrated into an overall writing across the curriculum m ission. This isolation can carry both practical and political consequences: Zamel has a rgued that general ESL or writing courses are “marginalized,” “thought to have n o authentic content,” and are “not considered to be the ‘real’ work of the academy” (“Strang ers” 515). Such approaches, she argues, are “reductive and formulaic,” and they “reduc[e] the complexity of language,” existing in servitude of the rest of the academy while reinforcing the much-maligned past pedagogies of “assimilation, coloni zation, domination, and deracination” (Zamel “Strangers” 515-16). To overlook or ignore the place of multilingual students in WAC programs would be to contribute perpetuating these pedagogies. The WAC movement helped to address the isolation and formulaic reduction of a portion of the university curriculum (general composition courses) by integr ating writing into courses across the disciplines. But while WAC programs may suc ceed in helping departments across the curriculum share responsibility for students’ writing, such programs can still leave multilingual students out in the ghetto of remediat ion, by overlooking their needs, relegating them to general ESL courses, or automatic ally referring them to university writing centers. When part of the duty for writi ng instruction falls to instructors in the disciplines, those instructors should be both willing and prepared to work with the multilingual students whose writing they are increasingly likely to encounter. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, and s tudents

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17 may become frustrated by faculty who appear dismissive of their ESL stude nts’ ability who fail to acknowledge their work. As one student Zamel’s study implored, “We made the step to college. Please make the other step to meet us” (qtd. in “Strangers” 512). Inconsistency and Other Problems from the Perspective of Multilingual Stude nts The first (and until recently, sometimes the only) group to catch on to inconsistencies in writing instruction across universities is generally the students actually seeking out and receiving that instruction, and accounts of their experi ences are particular helpful in shedding light on the forms those inconsistencies take. Vivian Zamel’s seminal essay “Strangers in Academia: The Experienc es of Faculty and ESL Students Across the Curriculum” highlights some of the key issues that many students encounter. The students in her interviews reported experiencing classrooms that silence them, limit their engagement, and hinder involvement and inclusion; writing assignments that are unclear, contrived, or purposeless; and w riting feedback that was minimal, “lifeless,” or even disrespectful (Zamel “Str angers” 51114). Findings similar to Zamel’s have been echoed by many others. Graduate international students interviewed by Angelova and Riazantseva reported inconsistency among professors regarding the importance of mechanics and

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18 discipline-appropriate style, as well as not receiving clear models or guid elines for writing (508, 512). Several reports by Ilona Leki have also illustrated the diff iculties nonnative English speaking (NNES) students encounter across the disciplines. Leki’ s case study of NNES students in group projects showed how they struggled for acceptance and inclusion by their peers as they encountered “an a priori ex pectation on the part of domestic group members that the bilingual students would not or would not be able to make a significant contribution to the project,” a problem that often remained invisible to professors as the nonnative students’ contributions were repeatedly ignored or silenced (“‘A Narrow Thinking System’” 47, 51). A later case study by Leki also revealed a student’s encounters with faculty who routinely assigned writing without teaching it, as well as her subsequent experience s with poorly communicated expectations and harsh, inconsistent, and unhelpful feedback that fostered an ongoing fear of negative attention, failure, and resentment (“Living” 89-91). The attitude that writing instruction is solely the domain of composition or language specialists, which WAC has worked to break down, is particularly toxic f or linguistically diverse students.

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19 “It’s not my job”: Divisions of Labor and Unwilling or Intolerant Faculty a s a Source of Inconsistency The divisions of labor—between writing and content instruction and between first and second language writing—have helped to reinforce the notion that many university faculty members cannot (and should not) have any part in supporting students’ development as writers. WAC program administrators have battled this sentiment for years when attempting to convince faculty in the disciplines of the importance of including and teaching writing in their courses. When multilingual students are brought into the mix on top of general writing, those sentiments may become even stronger. The desire to focus on content over writing in a content-area course is both understandable and logical. As one professor has put it, “What I want to be thinking about is the science, the ideas, what’s novel about the research we’re doing, what ’s happening with the student’s understanding of the subject, rather than getting bogge d down in grammar and spelling. I mean, that stuff just gets in the way” (qtd. in Jordan and Kedrowicz). This seemingly well-meaning sentiment, which is often co upled with a recommendation that the student visit a tutor or writing center, unfortunate ly assumes writing to be a background skill that has little bearing on knowledge of one’s particular discipline. As Jordan and Kedrowicz observe, directing a student toward outside help from a writing generalist may help them produce a “clean” pie ce of

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20 writing, but it also “fails to teach the students how to apply preferred gramma tical standards to their own documents as they revise.” When a content-area professor views writing as a basic foundational skill of communication, they ignore the complexities of discipline-specific discourse. Although many professors do not view teaching writing as their responsibility, they do value one or more perceived ideas of what “good writing” is, and often remain highly critical of their students’ writing. Often emphasized is the importance of writing for effective communication both in future courses and in students’ later professional lives (see Leki 2003, Stromberg and Ramanathan, and Simpson and Carroll, among many others). One particularly striking example of the inconsi stencies between expectations and actions comes from an interview Zamel conducted wit h an art history instructor. The professor, expressing a classically reducti ve myth-oftransience mindset, claims that “I am certainly not in a position to teach English i n my classes,” and although clearly appearing to value the course content above all else, attributes foreign students’ poor grades to “broken sentences” and a lac k of knowledge of grammatical terminology (qtd. in Zamel “Strangers” 509). Zame l is quick to point out the contradictory nature of the professor’s statements: “she doesn’t seem able to get past [her students’] language problems when it comes to eva luating their work, thus missing the irony of grading on the basis of that which she acknowledges she is not ‘in a position to teach’” (“Strangers” 510).

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21 Zamel’s example illustrates what other researchers have also observed —that some professors are overly critical of ESL students’ errors, to the point whe re surface-level features are given priority over the actual content of the w riting. These varying levels of tolerance toward surface errors may be especially evide nt across disciplinary boundaries, or when faculty members themselves come from linguistically diverse backgrounds. Some researchers have found that grammat ical issues are more of a concern for content-area instructors than for instructors i n English. In a study of content area professors’ reactions to the writing of ESL students, Terry Santos found that Content received lower ratings than language; professors found the errors highly comprehensible, generally unirritating, but academically unacceptable, with lexical errors rated as the most serious; professors in the humanities/social sciences were more lenient in their judgments than professors in the physical sciences; older professors were less irritated by errors than younger professors, and nonnative-speaking professors were more severe in their judgments than native speakers (69). Joy Reid’s anecdotal stories about her interactions with faculty members fr om other disciplines also support this point—she recalls comments about an ESL student “who writes like a first grader” and accusatory comments that a student who “can’ t even use articles” should never have passed through the writing program (17). Likewise, Sheryl Holt describes an incident in which a professor corrected every single grammatical mistake in an ESL student’s paper, but offered only a couple of comments about the paper’s content (69). In some unfortunate cases, the excessive

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22 emphasis on surface features can cause professors to mistake perceived def iciencies in student’s linguistic ability as deficiencies in intelligence. In one stud y, Vivian Zamel reported that in interviewing some faculty, she “got the clear sense t hat language use was confounded with intellectual ability” (“Strangers” 507) This kind of excessive and overly critical attention to surface features can undoubtedly mislead students about the relative importance of surface feature correctness to s uccessful writing, leading them to fixate on the correctness of their grammar rathe r than the actual content of their work. Such a situation may sound familiar to anyone who has worked in a university writing center—while tutors are generally instructe d to focus on higher-level concerns, they often encounter a dearth of NNES students who, often at the behest of their professors, are interested only in proofreading for gra mmar. Finally, linguistically diverse students may encounter inconsistency st emming from biases or assumptions that faculty may hold. Zamel warns against making early assumptions about a student’s ability that become “self-fulfilling prophecies ” when the potential for progress is ignored or discounted (“Strangers” 508). Additional ly, some instructors may report that their overall grading of a student’s work i s subconsciously influenced by perceptions of excessive or disruptive surface error s (Angelova and Riazantseva 509). When instructors are poorly informed or unwilling to help multilingual students succeed in writing in the disciplines, they can ere ct a nearly insurmountable wall in the students’ path to success.

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23 On Feeling Handcuffed: Inconsistency from Well-meaning Faculty Even when faculty are open and willing to work with multilingual writers in their courses, a number of inconsistencies can arise from misunderstandings or a l ack of preparation in working with linguistically diverse students. Although faculty participating in existing WAC programs may be more invested in teaching and valuing writing than faculty in more traditional composition-based programs, they may feel helpless or lost in making adjustments to their coursework or practices to accommodate multilingual students. Such a lack of preparation can lead faculty to compensate in ways that contradict or otherwise work against practices used in ot her areas of the university. One of the most common responses to multilingual students’ writing is to ignore major problems or hold those students to more lenient standards. Such an approach is at odds with the opposite, overly critical reaction, and when students encounter mixed messages about the severity of their mistakes, they may have difficulties developing reasonable priorities in their writing. The student in F ishman and McCarthy’s study first encountered a composition teacher who was highly forgiving of errors, which caused her “to undervalue the importance in the academy of error-free prose” (202). Janopoulos’ study of writing proficiency exams not ed a similar situation, in which lenient faculty left students underprepared for rig orous university writing evaluations (44-6). This leniency may have a basis in a cons cious

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24 or unconscious ethnolinguistic bias. Lindsey and Crusan’s study of faculty reacti ons to similar writing samples attributed to different ethnic-sounding names dis covered a tendency toward leniency with nonnative English speaking writers, where an awareness of the struggles faced by those students “appears to lead faculty to s lightly inflate the grades of NNES writers simply because they are NNES writ ers” (Lindsey and Crusan). These kinds of compensatory practices often stem from inadequate knowledge about other ways to help or work with multilingual students. Johns’ observation that many faculty are “well-meaning but bewildered by the problems in ESL student writing” is manifested in both inappropriate attempts to accommodate students a nd in refusals to attempt accommodation due to “a lack of ideas about how to do so” (Johns “ESL Students” 154, Leki “Negotiating” 142). Such was the case in Stephen Fishman’s philosophy course: concerning his immigrant student, he admitted that “I felt handcuffed. If [she] was unprepared for my course, I, as a teacher, was e qually unprepared for her” (Fishman and McCarthy 194). Without adequate tools and training for working with multilingual writers, many teachers in WAC progr ams are likely to feel equally unprepared for the challenges presented to them by changi ng university demographics. The fact that so many faculty feel helpless or underprepared to work with multilingual students should raise a red flag for scholars and writing program

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25 administrators—and it has. Over the past several years, a growing number of voic es have expressed the need for increased collaboration and support for linguistical ly diverse students across the curriculum. In the following sections, I will offe r suggestions for adapting and developing existing WAC programs to more clear ly and adequately address the needs of multilingual students. In doing so, I will draw on L2 writing research, accounts of existing WAC programs, and on descriptions of needs from faculty and students across the disciplines.

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26 CHAPTER 4 THE CURRENT STATE OF WAC AND WRITING IN THE DISCIPLINES: USES, NEEDS, AND MODELS Current and Common Uses of WAC Principles in the Disciplines WAC principles have been successfully adopted in many situations and institutions, and the use of various modes of writing in courses across the disciplines has grown steadily, particularly as instructors and programs have come to recog nize the value of writing-to-learn assignments and incorporate more writing-bas ed evaluations of student learning. Dan MelzerÂ’s 2009 comprehensive survey of writing assignments across the curriculum found that instructors utilize a variety of w riting assignments, from exploratory journals to annotated bibliographies, but that the majority of assignments were either research papers or short answer e xams (251-2). Most importantly, however, Melzer found that compared to previous surveys, an increasing number of instructors were assigning exploratory writing and pa pers that incorporated multiple drafts (257). An increase in drafts means an increase in the amount of feedback that instructors give to their students. And these students, as weÂ’ve already seen, are likely to include a growing and diverse population of nonnative English speakers.

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27 Publications by instructors in various disciplines directly indicate the way s writing and WAC principles are being employed successfully in content-are a courses. In the field of Sociology, Liz Grauerholz has offered suggestions for teaching effective writing-intensive courses. As would be expected, she emphasizes t he need for writing to be used thoughtfully in order to achieve the courses’ goals and objectives. Of particular note are her recommendations for working with “diver se” students and managing the workload of increased commentary and response. In mentioning diverse students, Grauerholz refers to linguistically diverse st udents, but to students with different learning styles (314). And by advocating minimal marking, checklist-style grading, and employing TA graders, it is reasonable t o picture a nonnative speaker struggling to receive useful and constructive feedback. For students who need “special help,” Grauerholz recommends directing students to the university writing lab and instructs faculty to seek help from their instituti on in the form of TAs and resources from the school writing lab (319). Ari Cohen and John Spencer discuss the merits of incorporating WAC into economics coursework by conducting a collaboratively-taught course. In shift ing from a course that employed only one traditional product-oriented term paper to one that involved much more (and more diverse) writing that involved drafts and substantial feedback, Cohen and Spencer saw a noticeable improvement in the students’ engagement with the economics content (227). Murray Simpson and

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28 Shireen Carroll have also noted that developing writing skills is important for economics students because they will need to communicate effectively in thei r future jobs, and Arnold Stromberg and Subathra Ramathan have observed the same benefit for their students in statistics (Simpson and Carroll 405, Stromberg and Ramanathan 161). What is noticeably absent from such accounts is any direct mention of working with second language writers. General recommendations for responding to grammar are certainly useful, but as Johns has observed, the task of working specifically with second language writers is a very different challen ge (“ESL Students” 148-53). The goals of the various iterations of WAC have been, by and large, focused on using writing in the service of learning and engaging with t he course content. WAC practices and principles have been well-received and implemented, and although process and feedback are emphasized, little is gener ally said about working with nonnative English speakers. Certainly, it is unreasonable to expect content-area instructors to spend a great deal of time attending to the l inguistic issues of second language learners, but it is still important that these writ ers get constructive feedback if they are to improve both their understanding of the course content and their writing abilities. If writing is truly to be learned across the curriculum, then the task of working with multilingual students cannot be completely passed off to “writing specia lists” or

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29 segregated into writing centers and ESL-specific courses. At the very l east, contentarea instructors should be able ensure that they aren’t responding to their second language writers in a harmful or counterproductive way. And ideally, those instructors should be informed enough to help their students—both native and non-native speakers—attain mastery of their discipline’s discourse. The conce pt of writing across the curriculum, to be applied fully, should not stop with writing-to-learn assignments in the disciplines; support for students’ (including ESL students) ac tual writing should also come from across the institution. A History of Calls for Action Although the growing population of linguistically diverse students has been an ever-present concern for traditional freshman composition-based writing pr ograms, it is more likely to be overlooked in schools that implement any of the numerous flavors of WAC. For while research and practice in general composition have long acknowledged the presence and needs of L2 learners, WAC practitioners have traditionally focused on implementing writing-to-learn techniques and studyi ng the discourse practices of various disciplines while leaving ESL issues to ESL spe cialists. As a result, WAC scholars and practitioners have historically been slow to acknowledge the needs and presence of L2 writers in WAC programs.

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30 Even so, as Michelle Cox noted in a recent special issue of Across the Disciplines, ESL, and WAC specialists have lately come to recognize the difficulties multilingual students may encounter (“WAC: Closing Doors or Opening Doors”) In 1998, Matsuda and Jablonski argued for a reconsideration of the “L2 metaphor” used by many in WAC, since likening writing in the disciplines to learning a second language has the potential to marginalize the actual second language learn ers present in a WAC program. In doing so, they call for increased “interdisciplinary collaboration between WAC and ESL specialists” by participating in crossfield research and reaching out to bridge gaps between programs on university campuse s (Matsuda and Jablonski). In 2001, Ann Johns reiterated the importance of addressing the needs of ESL writers in WAC programs and made some preliminary observations and suggestions concerning the need to inform faculty in the disciplines about the complexities of language acquisition, the realities of responding to errors, and t he complications that nonnative students’ contrasting rhetorics can bring to a writing classroom (141-56). Jonathan Hall’s observations about the “multilingual majority ” likewise constituted a “provocative” call for action that mandated “nothing short of a paradigm shift within WAC” (Cox). In arguing that multilingual students are no longer a minority or fringe group in U.S. universities, Hall’s voice adds a renewed sense of urgency to bridging the WAC-ESL divide.

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31 The calls for action have continued up to the present day. Even during the compilation of research for this paper, Across the Disciplines published a special issue on WAC and second language writing, shedding light on the continuing push for research and practical models that integrate WAC and ESL concerns—in that issue, Zawacki and Cox noted that “WAC has only recently begun to engage with t he research and scholarship from L2 writing studies” (“Introduction to WAC”). V oices on the WAC-L listserv likewise conveyed optimism that the fields are beginning t o make meaningful and significant connections. The calls for action have been heard, and specific action is the next step—particularly action in the form of pract ical and specific models for administration and classroom practices. Existing Integrated WAC/ESL Models Although WAC program models have been documented and widely circulated for many years now, many early (and even present) models often did not explicitl y take into account the presence of multilingual students. WAC programs, having grown or metamorphosed out of existing composition programs, are likely to have inherited the inertia of the split between L1 and L2 writing—a fact evidenced i n the many calls for integrating WAC and ESL over the years. This situation is clearly evident in Fulwiler and Young’s 1990 survey of effective WAC programs. In introducing the text, they identify several key questions and problems concerning

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32 WAC programs, none of which explicitly discuss the presence of linguistical ly diverse students (“Introduction” 2-5). Even surveyed institutions claiming divers e student populations, such as Beaver College in Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan, did not at the time discuss that population’s actual presence and treatment within their programs (Maimon et al., Hamp-Lyons and McKenna). We are left to assume that, from the perspective of program administrators, linguistically diverse students were either not considered significantly different from their nati ve Englishspeaking peers, or were judged to be outside the boundaries of the WAC program’s responsibilities. In both cases, failing to acknowledge the needs of linguistic ally diverse students within a WAC program continues to perpetuate a situation in whic h those students are marginalized or ignored. Relatively few extensively documented accounts of well-functioning integrated program models exist in publication. However, this is not to say that s uch programs are not out there. Informal inquiries to WAC and WPA listservs yielded several responses expressing optimism that the fields of WAC and second language studies are beginning to engage one another and move in a positive direction. Published documentation of these programs is an essential next step in aiding the development of WAC programs nationwide—sharing accounts of existing programs will provide essential models for administrators, as well as recommendations for procedures that have and have not been successful. One program that illustrates a

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33 commitment to integrating ESL and university writing programs is the Univer sity of California, Davis’ University Writing Program. At UC Davis, Dana Ferris and Chris Thaiss have documented and participated in the development of the institution’s University Writing Program (UWP). Acknowledging the increasingly blurred lines between native and non-native speakers/writers, as well as the long-standing division of labor between “mainst ream” and second language composition, they have highlighted some of the steps UC Davis has taken to shape its UWP. A key milestone came when Ferris, whose training lies i n linguistics and second language writing, joined the program and began “to help shape curriculum and prepare teachers based on current research and best practice s in working with multilingual/L2 populations” (Ferris and Thaiss “Writing at UC Davis”). With the beginnings of collaboration in place, developing a set of philosophy statements laid the groundwork for bringing second language writing issues t o the attention of the broader university writing community—these statements acknowledged the complexity of acquiring academic literacy in a second langu age; the existence of a substantial and highly diverse multilingual student population; and the responsibility of university leadership to provide adequate “placement ass essment mechanisms, curriculum and course design, and ongoing teacher development” (Ferris and Thaiss “Writing at UC Davis”). By incorporating L2 concerns i nto ongoing faculty development efforts as well as into pre-service workshops f or

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34 graduate student instructors, the program develops increased awareness an d consistency even when instructors lack formal L2 training. Furthermore, UC Davis’s UWP works to ensure consistency by having all writing course sections taug ht by experienced, continuing-contract lecturers and tenure-track faculty (Fer ris and Thaiss “Writing at UC Davis”). Courses and faculty under the immediate supervision of t he writing program have seen stronger and clearer requirements for assignment design, course design, and writing evaluation, and are provided with models and suggestions. Additionally, new instructors “receive close supervision… with their syllabi and assignments going through several stages of review and revisions, and their inclass teaching being observed several times” (Ferris and Thaiss “Writing a t UC Davis”). Meanwhile, writing support and development for students comes from a variety of required programs and available resources. The school’s writing cente r is staffed with tutors who have formal ESL training, the Student Academic Succes s Center offers workshops on specific writing-related topics, and a recently adopt ed general education requirement for cross-disciplinary writing experie nce ensures that students gain a more diverse writing experience (Ferris and Thaiss “Wri ting at UC Davis”). Although Ferris and Thaiss admit that this robust set of services, progra ms, and policies for faculty and students is not perfect, it illustrates an admirable a nd comprehensive endeavor to meet the needs of multilingual student writers.

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35 CHAPTER 5 SUGGESETIONS AND BLUEPRINTS FOR DEVELOPING INCLUSIVE WAC PROGRAMS Working with linguistically diverse students clearly presents numerous challenges to both faculty, administration, and support services across universi ties. The early attempts to compartmentalize ESL instruction by passing of ins truction to designated ESL experts were a radical oversimplification of the langua geand academic discourse-learning processes. WAC grew out of a reaction to the oversimplification of basic composition classes, and similar efforts are now ne eded to prevent those same programs from overgeneralizing the writing of linguistic ally diverse students. By thoughtfully and purposefully spreading the task of improving NNES students’ writing among content area instructors and other providers of feedback across the university, we can ensure that those students receive meanin gful and constructive feedback from the most appropriate and qualified sources. The suggestions that follow are, of course, only general ideas for how such an integrat ed WAC/ESL program could be put into practice—because of local variations in student populations, faculty attitudes, existing university support structures, and avail able

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36 resources, the responsibility for determining the best specific course of act ion lies with those assessing the needs at each particular institution. Assess the Situation: Conduct an Institutional Needs Analysis Student demographics vary from institution to institution, as do local programs, support structures, and faculty attitudes toward writing. Conducting an institutional needs analysis should be a key first step in determining what actions should be taken to begin integrating WAC and ESL concerns. Additionally, such needs analyses (if published) may also serve as additional models or guides for administrators at other institutions. This needs analysis should be constructed, administered, and documented by those who are most able to recognize and diagnose problems or deficiencies in the current system—writing teachers, ESL exper ts, and writing center directors, as well as WAC and other university administrat ors, and representatives from departments that teach writing intensive courses The needs analysis should attempt to develop a clear picture of the following: multilingual student demographics in the university; faculty attitudes about second language writers and their classroom practices and expectations for writing; mul tilingual students’ writing attitudes and experiences; university-wide and program spe cific writing and language competency requirements; available campus writi ng and second-language programs and services; and the funding those programs rece ive.

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37 Additionally, through surveys and interviews, the needs analysis should attempt to identify “who knows what” about writing at the university in order to determine the backgrounds and potential training needs of writing and language teachers. The needs analysis of L2 writing services conducted by Martha Davis Pat ton at the University of Missouri highlights a number of useful formal and informal procedures for assessing a program. Informal contact with instructors i n the disciplines can be an excellent indicator that an existing program may have some shortcomings. If they have not already voiced their concerns, those instructors should be solicited for formal or informal feedback about their experiences with linguistically diverse students and their writing, as well as about their cl assroom practices and expectations for writing. In Patton’s case, these stages of the needs analysis revealed a consensus that the current program left international stu dents inadequately prepared for writing-intensive coursework, and that some professor s harbored unrealistic expectations for students’ writing (Patton). Interview s with various writing, second language, and international student services administr ators contributed to a picture of available services as well as gaps, inconsistenci es, and additional needs in their coverage (Patton). Information gathered from writing a nd ESL teachers and tutors revealed gaps in their training and knowledge about second languageand writingrelated theory and practice (Patton). Surveys of faculty members and department heads in the disciplines illustrated discrepancies be tween

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38 typical faculty expectations for second language student writing and TOE FL standards that admitted students who were less well-prepared to meet those expectations (Patton). A thorough needs analysis will help to determine and prioritize the issues contributing to inadequate preparation and treatment of linguistically diverse st udents. Information about student demographics and enrollment should be gathered, including institution-wide enrollment figures and the distribution of student populations within different academic programs. These demographics should include information on studentsÂ’ linguistic backgrounds, their status as resident, immigra nt, or international students, and on how they self-identify with various linguistic labe ls. In addition, student thoughts on their experiences with writing and university support organizations should be documented using surveys and interviews. Writing, ESL, and other support services used by multilingual students should be assessed for the services they provide in order to determine possible areas of conflict or overlap as well as potential gaps in support. The background and training of the practitioners within those programs should also be assessed through both informal interviews and formal reviews of employeesÂ’ credentials and education to develop an understandi ng of potential training and support needs for faculty members. With a documented picture of the programÂ’s strengths and weaknesses, higher level administrator s may be approached with clear recommendations and being the process of reshaping the

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39 university’s writing landscape. This process will involve engaging everyone who has a hand in teaching or making decisions about students’ writing. For Instructors in the Disciplines: Simple Recommendations for Inclusive and Accessible Classrooms The nuances of working with multilingual writers may seem like additional fuel for the argument that content-area faculty should not be responsible for teachi ng writing. However, having already committed to a WAC program, the addition of attention to linguistically diverse students is a logical continuation of the exi sting focus on writing. Faculty resistance has been a continual issue throughout the WAC movement, and it is likely to resurface any time a new change is proposed. Inst ructors entrenched in believing the myth of transience have historically shunned the idea of teaching writing in addition to their course content; complained about a lack of time to devote to writing; been apprehensive about their lack of expertise in working with writing; and altogether rejected the idea that they bear any responsibi lity for “fixing” their students’ writing. Some of these problems are more legitimate than other s, but none are substantial enough to completely reject a stronger commitment to inte grating attention to multilingual writers into an already existing WAC program. Managing Time and Workloads

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40 One of the largest concerns that faculty express when confronted with the prospect of incorporating writing into their courses is the burden of additional work within their time and work commitments—adding writing to a large lecture cours e would both place a substantial burden on the instructor and reduce the amount of time they can dedicate to lecturing on course content. At institutions where researc h and publication are high priorities and class sizes are large, these may be valid conc erns, but at institutions where WAC has already been implemented, some measures may already be in place to help faculty manage the additional workload that comes wi th assigning and responding to more writing. Cohen and Spencer noted that several changes to their economics course resulted in little to no additional work: the wri ting intensive course featured a much smaller class size, and time previously devoted t o constructing, administering, and marking in-class tests could be focused on wri ting instead (227). The addition of some attention to multilingual issues to an already existing writing intensive course would not substantially detract from class t ime spent on other work, and would require only a small amount of time—perhaps the same time they may already invest in other WAC-related development activitie s—for the faculty member to gain some background on ESL writing issues. Accessible Assignment Design

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41 In assigning writing (and providing feedback) to multilingual student writers faculty must be aware of several possible sources of misunderstanding. Clari ty and redundancy can go a long way toward alleviating confusion that can arise from unfamiliar idioms, vocabulary, and technical terminology. Most second language researchers recommend that instructors take care in using (or choosing not to use) idioms and cultural metaphors, as these are often sources of substantial confusion even for highly skilled second language writers. Furthermore, technical and discipline-specific vocabulary may present problems for multilingual student s. While English-language instruction and entrance exams may ensure a basic degree of competency, they may fall short in helping students develop an appropriate and diverse academic vocabulary (Santos 85). Bruce Maylath has observed that w hen a studentÂ’s native language is a Romance language, they are more likely to unders tand vocabulary with Greek or Latin roots than Germanic ones. For example, words such as abdomen, cranium, and mandible which may seem more complicated than belly, skull, and jaw are likely to be more accessible to students whose native languages include words with similar roots (Maylath 30). Obviously, such distinctions are not helpful for students with languages such as Chinese or Arabic, but incorporating redundancy and careful descriptions into assignments and responses can help to ensure that multilingual writers from all backgrounds have the best chance at understanding the message.

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42 In choosing and creating assignments, instructors should also be aware of potential problems with tasks and readings that assume implicit culture-spec ific or American-centered knowledge. For example, Leki described the situation of a Taiwanese student who was unable to complete an assignment that involved drawing assumptions about fictitious groups of people based on factors such as their food, automobile, and magazine subscription preferences—without years of cultural experience, the student “had absolutely no idea what socioeconomic group in the United States would join civic clubs, use hand tools or snuff, drive a Dodge Diplomat, eat canned meat spreads, or watch Another World on television” (“‘A Narrow Thinking System’” 50). Similarly, the Indian student in Fishman’s philosophy course struggled with readings “that deal with issues he assume[d] American college students [would] find provocative… racism, sexual morality, patriarchy and the role of women, and the existence of God” (Fishman and McCart hy 200). When designing assignments and selecting readings, instructors should either avoid topics that require implicit cultural knowledge, or carefully frame them w ith ample discussion so that students from different cultural backgrounds are not excluded or marginalized. Responding to Student Writing and Prioritizing Errors

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43 Of course, the elephant in the room when it comes to working with linguistically diverse writers has always been the grammar question. Shoul d we correct the errors? If so, how? Is marking them helpful or not? Even faculty who ha ve recognized the benefit of adding more writing to their coursework may have doubts about their ability to constructively respond to all that writing—especially when that writing comes from linguistically diverse students. William Gribbin has noted that “an understandable source of resistance to WAC is a fear of one’s ability to eval uate writing competently” (367). Although Gribbin notes that WAC advocates have allayed this fear by reassuring instructors that they should focus on the uses of writing rather than its evaluation, the fear of competent evaluation may be much stronger when it comes to working with multilingual writers, since responding to language or cultural issues can be considerably more complex than responding to the content of a student’s writing. Fixating on surface-level errors (as we have seen) can be a source of problem s and inconsistency, but those errors clearly weigh heavily on the minds of many content-area instructors. Unfortunately, correcting these errors in a constr uctive manner is a complicated matter, and both well-meaning and overly critical fa culty contribute to the inconsistency students encounter across the curriculum. Vivian Zamel has found that teachers’ responses to ESL students’ writing are often “confusing, arbitrary, and inaccessible,” and that teachers respond to errors

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44 “imprecisely and inconsistently” (“Responding” 79, 84). Furthermore, some schol ars have noticed a tendency to conflate ESL students’ surface-level errors wit h overall intelligence and the overall quality and content of their writing, a tendency whi ch must be avoided at all costs (Zamel “Strangers” 507). An obsession with correct ness, coupled with inconsistent and unhelpful feedback, is a recipe for disaster when making an effort to improve the writing of a multilingual student. This inconsis tency in marking is perhaps one of the reasons little conclusive evidence for the usefulne ss of feedback has been found. The debate over whether or not correcting errors is helpful (or even harmful) is an ongoing issue in ESL writing theory and practice, and it presents a reason for content-area faculty to reconsider whether they should bother with error corre ction at all. The debates between John Truscott and Dana Ferris during the past fifteen years have sparked considerable interest in finding conclusive support the role error correction plays in NNES students’ learning. These debates, which are still bei ng informed by new research, have resulted in closer attention to the forms and purpose s that grammar-oriented feedback can take and the effects that varying kinds of feedback have on students’ writing. Truscott has argued that existing research indicates that error correction is at best not significantly beneficial, a nd at worst, possibly harmful to second language learners’ development (270). Of particular note is the distinction between the effect error correction has on revision and the effect it

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45 has on students’ actual learning —Truscott argues that while correction may help students to edit their work, it does not necessarily enhance their “ability to use t he language in realistic ways” (270). Even Ferris, a longtime proponent of correct ion, has acknowledged the scant evidence in favor of the practice, although he maintains a more positive outlook, anticipating that further research will reveal insights t hat will help instructors respond to errors more productively (“The ‘Grammar Correction’ Debate” 55-6, 59-60). To further complicate matters, some “errors” may not be true errors at all James Stalker points out that many international students come to American universities having learned a different variety of English from the America n standard, and that some perceived errors may in fact be normal features of a different nation’s standards for English use (7-9). The basic differences between British and American English are relatively well known, but it is important not to jump to conclusions about every linguistic feature that seems or feels incorrect. In light of the ongoing debate and the inherent complicated nature of constructively and systematically responding to ESL errors, a number of very general recommendations can be made concerning the correction of surface errors. If they still feel compelled to provide some feedback on errors, instructors in the discipl ines should be careful to prioritize their responses, and to seek out training or other preparation that will help them do so. Language learning is an ongoing and lifel ong

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46 process, and instructors should be sensitive to the fact that their students’ development will likely be slow as they struggle to attain mastery of the lang uage. Rather than correcting wholesale every existing error, students and instructors would be better off focusing on a scale of error gravity, with the most urgent atte ntion given to textual features that actually interfere with a reader’s comprehensi on of the content (rather than ones that are irritating but completely comprehensible). Foll owing this, error responses should be limited to one or two categories at a time so as to not overwhelm students with feedback—drawing attention to common recurring errors, such as double negatives or mistakes with articles or agreement, will help student s to balance their focus on smaller and larger-level textual features, as well as alleviate any perceived pressure for the instructor to provide comprehensive correction. By prioritizing their responses to surface errors, instructors can take an importa nt first step toward more constructively responding to their students’ writing. Prioritizing responses to errors and other textual features is important, but a clear understanding of different forms of feedback (and the effects those forms can have on writing) is also essential in determining the best course of acti on for response. Concerning surface errors, Ferris recommends that instructors “ provide indirect feedback that engages students in cognitive problem-solving as they attempt to self-edit” (“The ‘Grammar Correction’ Debate” 60). For example, an ear lier study by Ferris found that a strategy involving “summary comments at the end of the pape r

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47 paired with underlined examples of particular error patterns in the body of the essa y” was quite effective in initiating positive changes (“The Influence of Teache r Commentary” 327). When dealing with surface errors, it is important to distinguish correction from feedback as these terms may imply things to different people (Ferris “One Size” 150). The particular form that feedback takes can also affect how st udents receive it— Ferris has noted that students’ English learning backgrounds (eit her as immigrants who picked up the language by ear and in less formal settings, or as international students who studied English as a foreign language) should be taken i nto account when formulating responses to surface errors. Because immigrant st udents are less likely to have received rigorous instruction in grammatical rules and terminology as part of EFL coursework, tentative research suggests that mor e indirect forms of grammar feedback—locating errors without giving them specific labels, and providing oral feedback—may be most beneficial (Ferris “One Size” 150-1). Regardless of the student’s background, following a more indirect approach will oft en help facilitate their learning of correct forms, rather than simply allowing them to blindly follow directive comments that immediately provide the correct con structions. The differences between directive, facilitative, and other forms of feedbac k are perhaps even more important when dealing with global and content-related issues Grammar is not the only pertinent issue (and certainly not the most important one) i n responding to student writing, and it should never be the primary area of concern for

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48 content area-instructors. Rather, just as they do with native English speaking s tudents, content area-instructors should focus primarily on providing feedback that helps students develop the higher-level issues in their writing. Studies of students’ re vision practices have provided insights into the relative effects of different type s of feedback. Dana Ferris’ study of the effects of teacher comments on ESL student s’ revisions found that “marginal requests for information, requests (regardless of syntactic form), and summary comments on grammar appeared to lead to the most substantive revisions,” and that longer, detailed, and text-specific (rather tha n general) comments were also the most productive (“The Influence of Teache r Commentary” 330). Recommendations concerning the usefulness of feedback are also informed by studies of students’ reactions to the comments they receive. Ferris’ study of second language students’ reactions to various teacher responses illustrated severa l varieties of comments that students find helpful, as well as forms that resulted in confusion or discouragement. Concurrent with Ferris’ revision study, the study of students’ perceptions emphasized the importance of clear and specific feedback, as well as clarity in explaining response practices and terminology, particular term inology used to correct grammar (Ferris “Student Reactions” 47-9). The surveys also rev ealed that some students were discouraged, depressed, or demotivated by excessively cri tical comments or a lack of any positive comments (Ferris “Student Reactions” 467).

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49 Furthermore, some students reported having issues understanding questions as responses to content—they were sometimes unsure of how to respond, which created the possibility for misinterpretation or failure to address the issue (Fer ris “Student Reactions” 47-9). Richard Straub’s study of native English speaking students revealed similar trends regarding a preference for specific, clear comments, noting that man y students were confused or put off by vague, general comments (102). The students viewed comments on both global and local matters favorably, as well as comments offering advice, explanations, open questions, and specific praise (Straub 106-9). However, the students were also wary of critical comments and strong imperatives particularly when the comments were perceived to have a harsh or judgmental tone (Straub 104-6). Although some practices of feedback and commentary for ESL writing are still under scrutiny, studies of error correction, student revision, and student perceptions of faculty feedback allow some general recommendations to be made First, if faculty feel a need to respond to surface errors, they should be adequatel y trained and prepared to do so, and prioritize the errors they do choose to correct. When responding to writing in general, faculty should always clearly explain thei r response practices, aim for a balance between positive and critical comment s, make specific rather than vague or general comments, and be aware of how their tone m ay

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50 perceived by students. Teachers who are apprehensive or dismissive of having to “teach English” in addition to their course content need not worry, as useful response practices for multilingual students are, at their core, good practices for t eaching all students. Other Concerns in Working with Multilingual Students: Classroom Conduct and Potential Effects of Cultural Differences While much of the focus on working with multilingual students gravitates toward discussions of surface-level grammar and usage, an equally (and perhaps more) significant concern is the way a student’s cultural background influences how they negotiate both the discourse of a disciplinary community and the various methods used to teach writing in the disciplines. Misunderstandings by both students and faculty can make even the most well-meaning feedback and tasks problematic for second language writers. One of the most common practices adopted by faculty attempting to incorporate writing into their courses is the drafting and peer review seque nce. These process-oriented activities can present difficulties when working with st udents with diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. While process-oriented activitie s are generally helpful for all students, linguistic and cultural differences c an hinder the draft and peer review process. In addition to the general benefits inherent i n writing

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51 multiple drafts, peer groups have been touted as particularly useful for multi lingual students for a host of reasons: they allow students to see examples of their peers’ writing; they encourage quieter or less confident students to share their wor k in a more comfortable and less threatening setting; and they help non-native speake rs negotiate and understand “the needs and expectations of an American audience” (Koffolt and Holt 55-6). However, peer review sessions can also be rendered unhelpful or problematic when the sessions are not clearly modeled and when students’ cultural backgrounds influence their communication style and the way the y interact in a group setting. For example, cultures with different conceptions of authority, power, and differing expectations regarding criticism and respect ca n find peer groups academically unhelpful and socially uncomfortable (Nelson 78-82). I t is therefore essential for instructors to clearly model and guide peer feedbac k sessions, as well as clarify their expectations for group conduct. Additionally, instru ctors can consider weighing the benefits of grouping students in pairs rather than small groups, grouping students of the same nationality together, or intentionally grouping t hem with native English speakers in order to facilitate easier or more producti ve group interactions (Nelson 82-3). Group projects can also go wrong if they are not carefully monitored. In her study of NNES students’ experiences in group projects, Leki described the att itudes and conditions some students encountered. She found that NNES students were often

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52 passed over in student-selected group formation, and once in groups, their peers frequently assumed that the NNES students would not be able to make meaningful contributions to the work (“‘A Narrow Thinking System’” 47-8). When such groups successfully completed their assignment, professors remained unaware that t he nonnative students were excluded or marginalized in group interactions (Leki “‘A Narrow Thinking System’” 51). Without careful monitoring and modeling of group work expectations, any writing that nonnative students are expected to do in a group setting could very easily be taken over by their peers, detracting from the over all learning experience and frustrating the students themselves. Cultural differences can also come into play concerning the expectations and standards for source citation and plagiarism. In certain cultures, good rhetor ical form may involve copying a subject or discipline’s seminal figures in a way that Western academic standards would consider academic dishonesty (Johns “ESL Students” 155). In this case, the best method for heading off plagiarism is explicit discus sion of assignment expectations and conventions. Individual faculty members should assume responsibility for making their expectations clear and providing examples of w hat they consider to constitute plagiarism (Johns “ESL Students” 156). Abasi, Akbar i, and Graves make a similar observation, opting for the term “transgressive intertexuality” to describe actions are considered unacceptable but are not de ceptive in nature (103). Particularly for international students, habits of transgressive

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53 intertextuality may stem from educational practices in their native count ries. Abasi et al. note that some educational systems may emphasize regurgitation and repr oduction as modes of assessment, and American views of authorship may sharply contrast with international students’ conceptions of published works as unquestionable fact (110-1). This reluctance to criticize may be compounded by students who grew up under oppressive political regimes, where criticizing those in a higher position ha s negative connotations of subversion (Angelova and Riazantseva 504-5). Rather than applying a black-and-white institutional plagiarism policy to such instances, profess ors should try to treat such instances teachable moments to highlight and draw attention to the cultural differences in expectations for writing. Finally, cultural forces can influence how (or if) students seek help or clarification from their professors. A reluctance or perceived inappropriate ness of questioning those in a position of authority can extend to the student-professor relationship and prevent students from approaching their professors with questions, concerns, or disagreements. A Russian student in Angelova and Riazantseva’s stud y mentioned that he was uncomfortable asking his professors for help, since doing so was not a common practice in Russian universities (517). One student reported accepting harshly critical comments without question out of a “deep respect for t he professor and her experience in the field,” while another, although disagreeing wi th a professor’s comments, claimed that “she would never consider revealing her

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54 discontent” (Angelova and Riazantseva 507). An extension this unwavering respect can also manifest as a strict and unquestioning acceptance of a professor’s a dvice (Angelova and Riazantseva 518). The transactional nature of American education must be emphasized often in order to prevent some students from falling through the cracks or into habits of unquestioning rote memorization. The Role of Writing Centers and Tutors Although content-area faculty can do a great deal to support the learning the multilingual students in their courses, it is clearly both unreasonable and imprac tical to expect them to have the time and expertise to fully cover all of an ESL student’s writing concerns. One of the most beneficial sources of support for these students comes from writing centers and the tutors they employ. Because writing ce nter tutors are most often paid employees, it is advantageous and not unreasonable for the writing center director to require tutors to attend training sessions on working wi th NNES writers. With more focused training, writing center tutors will be able to provide the directed feedback that content-area instructors cannot. As long as both the writing center tutors and the university’s content-area instructors are on t he same page regarding expectations for multilingual writers, then the tutors can provide m ore detailed feedback that meshes with the students’ course goals as well as thei r need for ESL-specific development. The key is communication and continuity—if any of the

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55 links between content-area instructors, ESL specialists, and writing center/ WAC administrators are missing, then one runs the risk of acting in a way that conf licts with goals of another. Unfortunately, most writing centers are mainly staffed with tutors from the English and Literature fields and have the tendency to be viewed as centers for remedial or general help. For writing centers, a key goal for change in orde r to integrate WAC with ESL support should be to reach out to all academic departments and attempt to employ tutors with backgrounds in a variety of fields. Too often, a school’s writing center may become simply a place for ESL students to “w ork on their grammar,” a situation which reinforces the myth of transience and pla ces writing centers in a remedial role, disconnecting them from any attempts to int egrate writing and content area instruction. It is worth noting that there are a few common objections to employing discipline specialist tutors over generalist tutor s. Critics of specialized tutors say that generalized tutors can still help students wit h the writing process, especially with typical assignments from introductory-level c ourses, and they are also less likely to use specialized knowledge to appropriate student text s or treat them as products rather than parts of a process (Soven “Curriculum-Based Peer Tutors and WAC” 207-9). The criticism of text appropriation and the possibility of product-oriented tutoring is the most troubling, but adequate tutor training can mitigate that concern. Additionally, the use of content specialist writing t utors fits

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56 well with WAC theory: as Margot Soven observes, “many WAC theorists believe tha t language is not separate from content, but is content” ( “Curriculum-Based Peer Tutors and WAC” 210, emphasis in the original). Her observed disconnect between generalist writing center practices and WAC theory is very simil ar to the disconnect between ESL practices and WAC programs—the two must be blended and cooperative in order to attain the greatest benefit for students. A second, more ambitious option for writing center support is to link peer writing tutors with content area courses. These programs, generally modele d after Brown University’s Writing Fellows Program, assign trained peer wri ting tutors to content-area writing-intensive courses, where they collaborate wi th course instructors on writing-related assignments and provide feedback on students’ drafts (Soven “Curriculum-Based Peer Tutoring Programs” 59-64). While this practice may be difficult or impractical to implement in many programs due to the significant costs of implementing and coordinating them with existing courses, it has the obvious benefit of more closely connecting multilingual students with those who may be most capable of helping them. Additionally, having a writing tutor linked to a writing intensive content-area course would ensure that those students are less likely to miss out on important feedback—because writing center visits are usually complete ly optional, linked tutors can make sure that multilingual students get the feedback a nd support they need.

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57 Finally, writing centers can serve to support faculty development and trai ning by providing a link between writing programs and faculty in the disciplines. It is no secret that many faculty members are averse to required training or othe r policies that they perceive to encroach on their authority and autonomy in the classroom—with regards to writing, Joan Mullin aptly observes that faculty members do not want to be told how to teach their classes, how to write assignments, or how to evaluate assignments. While they may well solicit help for any of these—and many of them do—they do not want to be told they have to shift their way of thinking about writing, teaching, or learning. (186) Mullin’s recommendations for writing center involvement in WAC programs and faculty development are subtle yet powerful. Because of WAC’s emphasis on interdisciplinarity and the development of “knowledge-building communities,” writing center directors and staff can approach faculty development in a non-threatening way focusing discussions on the students rather than directly on teaching methods, and by facilitating informal talks and workshops that contribute to developing “a culture of writing and a community of writing while providing supportive resources” (Mullin 186-7). Toby Fulwiler observed a similar need for presenting training as nonthreatening and informal in his discussion of faculty writing workshops: he noted that “as soon as we decided to offer our workshops as ‘explorations’ rather than ‘conclusions’ about the teaching of writing, we opened a much larger door than we ever anticipated” (120-1). By building community in this

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58 grassroots way, writing centers, ESL experts, and WAC coordinators can reach out to and support faculty in the disciplines in a way that is less likely to be perceived a s a threat or power grab by the English department. The Role of Department Heads, Program Administrators, and University Lea dership: Guiding Hands and Philosophical Leaders Few of these integrative and supportive activities can occur successfully without some guidance from above—those pulling the strings at the administrative and policymaking levels must also be on board. Those in higher-ranking and administrative roles are in a position to facilitate the inter-program consis tency that is essential for a strong integrated WAC program. They must preside over and coordinate programs not necessarily as ultimate authorities issuing progr ammatic dictums, but as collaborators and guiding hands in the process. They must provide the means in time, space, and resources, for faculty development. And perhaps most importantly, they must ensure that teaching is given high value and priority in t he university’s philosophy. Ensuring Inter-program Communication and Consistency Communication and collaboration among university departments is essential to a well-functioning integrated WAC program. To address this issue, a program must

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59 overcome the compartmentalization of both disciplines and administration. Because an integrated WAC program involves bringing together multiple disciplines and fields, we must be careful not to neglect its interdisciplinary nature beca use, “it doesn’t fit comfortably within a traditional discipline’s boundaries,” and is theref ore “the province of all the disciplines yet none of them” (Fulwiler and Young “The Enemies of Writing” 289). As evidenced by Patton’s needs assessment, a lack of communication among a university’s writingand second language-related pr ograms can be particularly troubling. Theoretically and practically speaking, the various writing-related fields have much to learn from one another, while at the administrative level, communication and collaboration among the various existing writingand ESL-related programs (writing centers, the WAC program, ESL support services, etc.) would help the university to develop greater continuity in writing instruction and support. A single overarching entity that involves all of a university ’s writing and ESL-related services (but does not replace them) is needed to facilitate collaboration and communication in the decision and policymaking process. As an entity with both a far reach and a strong focus on writing, a university’s WAC program is the most logical choice to serve as an overarching coordinator of L1 and L2 writing services. The key is for this program to involve and represent all others in its decisions and policies. A board or panel should comprise voices from all the programs that have a stake in students’ writing—composition/English

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60 departments, writing centers, ESL practitioners, members general edu cation committees, and representatives of departments across the disciplines. This entity should have a significant voice in collaborating to create training materia ls; propose, evaluate, and approve writing-intensive courses; and facilitate friendly dial ogue among scholars and practitioners in different disciplines. This collaboration and dialogue must also extend to making WAC and other second language policy decisions—particularly policies concerning university -wide and program-specific English language proficiency requirements. In Patton’s needs analysis, a second troubling finding involved the effects of differing English proficiency admittance requirements across university departments. At her institution, “recruiting for revenue” led some departments to adjust required TOEFL scores and doing so drew more underprepared students to departments that were not equipped to handle them (Patton). This phenomenon, coupled with the fact that the STEM fields currently attracting the most international students tend to be the most resist ant to teaching and incorporating writing, can create significant gaps between st udent recruitment demographics, faculty expectations, and available support service s (Flynn et al. 167). In setting both institution-wide and department-specific English l anguage proficiency requirements, writing and second language experts should be consulted in order formulate standards that are both reasonable and in-line with what faculty and support structures can handle. To the extent that they are able, university

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61 administrators should ensure that the bare minimum proficiency requirements are s et at a level where all admitted NNES students are able to enter their course work comfortably. This process should also involve providing individual departments with samples of student writing that illustrate typical corresponding language pr oficiency exam scores so that those departments can make informed decisions about their program admission requirements and the level of competency their instructors ex pect. While such decisions will still ultimately be up to individual departments, expandi ng the decision process will help to both increase awareness and share accountabil ity for the needs of multilingual writers. Training Opportunities and Faculty Development Faculty often express feelings of helplessness when working with linguistically diverse students, and it is a serious oversight to expect facult y in the disciplines to work with the writing of those students without providing adequate support and training. Just as various forms of writing expertise lie with differe nt groups of professionals, faculty support must take multiple forms and come from different sources in order to be successful.

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62 The first line of action in many WAC programs involves formal and informal faculty workshops and training sessions. Such workshops have long been staples for building and maintaining interest in WAC programs and should continue to play a role in integrated programs. The only changes should involve incorporating explicit attention to ESL writing concerns. Informal conversations that encourage fac ulty to share their experiences with multilingual students are an excellent fir st step, and can also help writing program administrators determine an appropriate course of a ction to address needs for training or other resources. More structured workshops could involve closer looks at multilingual issues, but it is important to not limit discuss ion to ESL-specific workshops. All workshops, whether they are focused on assignment design, response strategies, or group work, should involve direct and indirect discussion of those issues relate to the experiences of multilingual students. The CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers (and particularly the Guidelines for Teacher Preparation and Preparedness) provide an excellent a nd comprehensive list of topics relevant to second language writing that writing program administrators should consult in developing faculty training and workshop material s. In addition to specific training and workshop sessions, programs should develop and maintain print and online resources for faculty. These resources should include a library of books on relevant topics; a handbook or web page with scholarly articles, practical guides, and classroom examples; and access to on-cam pus writing

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63 consultants through the WAC program. Sample writing assignments and rubrics should be available, as well as guidelines and recommendations for assigning and responding to student writing. Sharing assignments and other resources—particular ly ones generated by various faculty members at the institution—would also be an additional way to involve voices from across the curriculum to contribute to discussions of student writing. Finally, graduate-level programs writing, composition, and ESL should, if they have not already, incorporate substantial coursework in second language wr iting theory and pedagogy into their degree requirements. Patton’s needs analysis uncovered a startling lack of interdisciplinary training on the part of faculty and tutors—a lack that likely had its roots in the disciplinary division of labor betwee n writing and ESL. Updating graduate program requirements will ensure that future teachers of writing have some background knowledge in working with linguisticall y diverse students and help to break down that unproductive division of labor. Hiring Practices and Teaching Priorities Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, existing programs can benefit from a rethinking of hiring practices and teaching priorities. One of the key problems facing multilingual students is inconsistent treatment of their writing in different programs across the curriculum, and one way to combat this issue is take steps to ensure that

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64 faculty across the curriculum are committed to the WAC program’s missio n and consistently trained to help implement it. With adequate funding, writing cent ers and English/ESL departments should be able to train, hire, and retain well-qualifi ed faculty who have a strong background and education in working with second language writers. The policy adopted at UC Davis is an excellent model: Fer ris and Thaiss report that they “hire no ‘adjunct’ teachers on a quarter-by-quarter no-benefits basis,” a process which illustrates the fact that they are “committed to the continuity of the program.” An institutional commitment to writing and consistency in te aching at every level will help ensure that teachers have the time, ability, and re sources to help students from all linguistic backgrounds succeed in writing in the disciplines. Following changes at the institutional level that emphasize teaching in the university’s mission, individual departments should implement practices that like wise emphasize the importance of teaching. In hiring new faculty, department heads should make clear the university’s and the department’s emphasis on writing and teaching. Doing so would help to avoid the entrenched “it’s not my job” mentality that many WAC program administrators have encountered. If prospective and newl y hired faculty are aware from the start that their jobs involve a significant focus on teaching and attention to writing, they may be less likely to resist those responsibilities later on. Furthermore, faculty development efforts will be more successful if significant efforts are made to retain faculty—the positi on adopted at UC

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65 Davis to forego short-term adjunct positions in favor of tenure-track and ongoing lecturer positions keeps faculty involved in ongoing development activities (Ferr is and Thaiss “Writing at UC Davis”). The emphasis on teaching and writing should also be reflected in teaching loads and class sizes. Although Cohen and Spencer argued that teaching writing intensive courses does not necessarily result in an increased workload, certain measures must be taken for that assertion to remain true (227). Writing intensive courses must, of course, be capped at a much smaller enrollment than lecture-sty le courses. CCCC recommends a maximum enrollment of 20 students in writing-intensive courses with a “substantial number of second language writers,” and t his is an excellent goal for writing-intensive courses in the disciplines (“CCCC Statement”). Keeping class sizes and teaching loads manageable also ensur es that the faculty themselves, not teaching assistants or graders, should be working wit h students and their writing. Hamp-Lyons and McKenna found that over several years at their institution, the tasks of evaluating and responding to student writing, as well as designing writing assignments, began to shift from faculty to TAs (259). Relegating writing response to teaching assistants devalues the teaching of writing and shifts a key teaching responsibility away from those who are likely to ha ve the most experience and knowledge.

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66 Conclusion The number of linguistically diverse students in American universities has grown and will continue to grow in the coming years, and the lines distinguishing native and non-native English speakers are giving way to an increasingly complex notion of what it means to be multilingual. Writing Across the Curriculum programs cannot afford to continue the historical trend of keeping separate the treatment of general and second-language writing, and must make a concerted effort t o develop integrated and inclusive WAC programs that involve collaboration from writing experts in all departments across the curriculum. While the particular way s departments and institutions choose to facilitate a focus on teaching and writing across the curriculum will vary among programs, the core values must rema in the same: for an integrated WAC program to succeed, all members of the program must be fully invested in teaching writing to all students from all cultural and linguistic backgrounds. To succeed in this endeavor, universities must adopt an unwavering institution-wide commitment to excellence in teaching, and foster collaborat ion between experts in many different fields. The lines between native and nonnat ive English speakers are blending a complex multilingualism, and WAC programs mus t likewise foster a blending of services and teaching practices to support this new multilingual majority.

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67 WORKS CITED Abasi, Ali R., Nahal Akbari, and Barbara Graves. “Discourse Appropriatio n, Construction of Identities, and the Complex Issue of Plagiarism: ESL Student s Writing in Graduate School.” Journal of Second Language Writing 15.2 (2006): 102-117. Web. 12 July 2011. Angelova, Maria, and Anastasia Riazantseva. “‘If You Don’t Tell Me, How Can I Know?’: A Case Study of Four International Students Learning to Write the U.S. Way.” Written Communication 16.4 (1999): 491-525. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. “CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers.” Conference on College Composition and Communication National Council of Teachers of English, 2012. Web. 3 January 2012. Chapman, David W. “WAC and the First-Year Seminar Writing Course: Selling Ourselves Short.” Language and Learning Across the Disciplines 2.3 (April 1998): 54-60. Web. Cohen, Avi J. and John Spencer. “Using Writing Across the Curriculum in Economics: Is Taking the Plunge Worth It?” The Journal of Economic Education 24.3 (Summer 1993). JSTOR. Web. Colorado House. 68 th General Assembly. “HB 12-1155.” (Introduced 1/20/12). Colorado General Assembly Web. Colorado Senate. 68 th General Assembly. “SB 12-015.” (Introduced 1/11/12). Colorado General Assembly. Web. Costino, Kimberly A. and Sunny Hyon. “‘A Class for Students Like Me’: Reconsidering Relationships Among Identity Labels, Residency Status, and Students’ Preferences for Mainstream or Multilingual Composition.” Journal of Second Language Writing 16 (2007): 63-81. ScienceDirect. Web.

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68 Cox, Michelle. “WAC: Closing Doors or Opening Doors for Second Language Writers?” Across the Disciplines 8.4 (Dec. 2011): n. pag. Web. “ESL Academy.” University of Colorado Denver The Regents of the University of Colorado, 2012. Web. Ferris, Dana R. “The ‘Grammar Correction’ Debate in L2 Writing: Where A re We, and Where Do We Go From Here? (And What Do We Do in the Meantime…?)” Journal of Second Language Writing 13 (2004): 46-62. ScienceDirect Web. ---. “One Size Does Not Fit All: Response and Revision Issues for Immigrant Student Writers.” Harklau, Losey, and Siegal 143-57. Print. ---. “The Influence of Teacher Commentary on Student Revision.” TESOL Quarterly 31.2 (Summer 1997): 315-39. JSTOR. Web. 30 November 2010. ---. “Student Reactions to Teacher Response in Multiple-Draft Composition Classrooms.” TESOL Quarterly 29.1 (Spring 1995): 33-53. JSTOR. Web. 30 November 2010. Ferris, Dana R. and Chris Thaiss. “Writing at UC Davis: Addressing the Needs of Second Language Writers.” Across the Disciplines 8.4 (Dec. 2011): n. pag. Web. Fishman, Stephen M., and Lucille McCarthy. “An ESL Writer and her Discipline Based Professor: Making Progress Even when Goals Don’t Match.” Written Communication 18.2 (2001): 180-228. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. Flynn, Elizabeth A., Robert W. Jones, Diana Shoos, and Bruce Barna. “Michigan Technological University.” Fulwiler and Young 163-180. Print. Fulwiler, Toby. “How Well Does Writing Across the Curriculum Work?” College English 46.2 (Feb. 1984): 113-25. JSTOR. Web. Fulwiler, Toby, and Art Young, eds. Programs That Work: Models and Methods for Writing Across the Curriculum. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1990. Print. Fulwiler, Toby, and Art Young. “Introduction.” Fulwiler and Young 1-8.

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69 ---. “The Enemies of Writing Across the Curriculum.” Fulwiler and Young 287 -94. Grauerholz, Liz. “Creating and Teaching Writing Intensive Courses.” Teaching Sociology 27.4 (Oct. 1999): 310-23. JSTOR. Web. Gribbin, William G. “Writing Across the Curriculum: Assignments and Evaluati on.” The Clearing House 64.6 (Summer 1991): 365-8. JSTOR. Web. Hall, Jonathan. “WAC / WID in the Next America : Redefining Professional Identity in the Age of the Multilingual Majority.” The WAC Journal 20 (2009): 33-49. Print. Hamp-Lyons, Liz, and Eleanor McKenna. “The University of Michigan.” Fulwile r and Young 255-72. Print. Harklau, Linda, Kay M. Losey, and Meryl Siegal, eds. Generation 1.5 Meets College Composition Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999. Print. Holt, Sheryl L. “Responding to Grammar Errors.” New Directions for Teaching and Learning 70 (Summer 1997): 69-76. Print. Janopoulos, Michael. “Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Proficiency Exa ms, and the NNS College Student.” Journal of Second Language Writing 4.1 (1995): 43-50. Johns, Ann M. “ESL Students and WAC Programs: Varied Populations and Diverse Needs.” McLeod, Miraglia, Soven, and Thaiss 141-64. -----. “Guest Editor’s Introduction.” Across the Disciplines 2 (2005): n. pag. Web. Jones, Robert and Joseph J. Comprone. “Where Do We Go Next in Writing across the Curriculum?” College Composition and Communication 44.1 (Feb. 1993): 5968. JSTOR. Web. Jordan, Jay, and April Kedrowicz. “Attitudes about Graduate L2 Writing in Engineering: Possibilities for More Integrated Instruction.” Across the Disciplines 8.4 (Dec. 2011): n. pag. Web.

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