October 2020
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Aylin B. Atilgan Relyea, Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, California, USA

Dear SLWIS Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the second SLW News for 2020. I hope you and your families are safe and healthy. In this letter, I would like to update you on our accomplishments as Second Language Writing Interest Section (SLWIS), and preview some of the activities we will be doing in the coming year.

SLWIS, in its 16th service year, continues to be one of the largest communities of practice in TESOL, with 1,100 members. Our MyTESOL group is an interactive platform that is home to lively discussions on second language writing, calls for proposals of special issues, book projects, and other conferences related to teaching, writing, and research.

SLWIS maintains an active presence on social media including SLWIS Facebook page, SLW IS Facebook Book Club page, and our Twitter account. If you’re interested in joining us, please click on the links. You can join our SLW Virtual Book Club here. During the recent unprecedented times, we kept our social media accounts active to strengthen our community ties and engage our members in our online events. Thank you for completing our SLWIS Membership Survey, as the findings help us organize our activities based upon your needs.

As we all know, 2020 has been an unusual year with the unexpected arrival of COVID-19. With the TESOL 2020 Convention being cancelled, the SLWIS leadership team worked on ways to migrate the SLWIS academic and intersection sessions to alternative formats. As a result, we moved our academic session panel “Diversity in L2 Writing: Creating Inclusive Pedagogical and Administrative Approaches” to a webinar format to be broadcast at the end of 2020. In addition, our intersection sessions--the SLWIS-CALLIS session “Practical Approaches for Leveraging Technology in L2 Writing Instruction,” the ICCIS-SLWIS session “Exploring Good Writing, and Complexities of Cultural and Linguistics Comparison,” and the BME-NNES SLWIS session “Affirming Multifaceted Identities in TESOL” were moved to TESOL 2021 Convention.

In the month of June, we started other professional events that consisted of webinars and online discussions. Our first event was the TESOL ICIS & SLWIS joint webinar entitled “Robert Kaplan's Legacy: From Contrastive Rhetoric to Intercultural Rhetoric Research” led by Dr. Ulla Connor. Then we hosted our second joint webinar called “Advocating for Multilingual Writers through Anti-racist and Translingual Teaching and Administrative Practices” in collaboration with SLW Standing Committee at Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). In July, our SLWIS Book Club hosted an online discussion session entitled “Changing Practices in L2 Writing: Beyond-the Five Paragraph Essay” with Nigel Caplan, Christine Tardy, Estela Ene, and Ulla Connor as featured speakers. All our online events were well-attended and productive, and if you have missed them, the recordings of these sessions can be found on TESOL YouTube Channel.

In addition to the webinars hosted by our interest section, we were also invited to the TESOL Affiliate Network webinar session to inform Affiliate members from all over the world about SLWIS goals, activities, and future plans. We shared our wish to collaborate with TESOL Affiliates to further the field of L2 writing, and focus on social justice, diversity, equality, and equity as key values for fair and effective instruction, and a peaceful world.

Last month we started an interactive discussion series “Online Writing Practices and Pedagogies.” On September 24, we had the first interactive session in this series, during which Nigel Caplan and Tanita Taenkhum talked about adapting writing assignments to online platforms. At the end of October, we will have the second session entitled "Qualitative Research Project with Genre Checkpoints in an Online Graduate Writing Course.” The presenters Veronika Maliborska and Natalya Watson will discuss how research interviews can serve as a qualitative research tool to develop analysis and synthesis skills and enhance language learning in an online graduate-level research-based writing course. Stay tuned on more information about this event.

Finally, I am excited to share that SLWIS will host an academic session “Online Writing Assessment Literacy, Strategies, and Tools for L2 Writing Instruction” at the TESOL 2021 Convention in Houston, Texas. We look forward to seeing you in this and other SLWIS sessions!

I’d also like to invite you to work with us in our interest section. We are in the process of preparing for our SLWIS leadership elections, and soon more information about the nominee process will be announced. Please let us know if you would like to join our team!

I would like to thank you, our members, very much for your engagement, support, and dedication to professional growth. It’s you who raise the quality of our field and contribute positively to the lives of our next generation.

Best wishes,


Aylin B. Atilgan Relyea (Chair 2020–2021)

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We welcome articles focusing on a wide range of L2 writing topics. Consider writing a report about a session you attended at TESOL 2020 or an article about L2 writing theory, research, or pedagogy. The deadline for the next issue of SLW News is January 10. See the submission guidelines for more information.