LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
Dear SLWIS Community,
I hope that this message finds you well. It was good to see everyone in Portland for a vibrant conference with a variety of interesting sessions. Our annual meeting had strong attendance, and we had some productive discussions about the future of the IS based on the results of the membership survey we conducted last fall. In particular, we are interested in involving membership outside the convention. In order to do this, we have begun to strengthen our online presence via social media while also looking to offer a webinar or two this next year. To this end, I will be approaching some members who submitted workshop proposals for the Toronto convention about the possibility of turning these into webinars.
For the upcoming convention in Toronto, we had 264 proposals, continuing our trend to increase this number every year. Research- and practice-based presentations continued to be by far the most popular type of submission, and we had a number of strong workshop proposals in response to our call for more of these. We are allotted program slots based on the number of submissions, so it’s important to keep increasing our numbers so SLW has more space in the program. This year we were able to accept 48 proposals (up from 46 last year) in addition to six poster sessions and two roundtable sessions. This means the overall acceptance rate was around 21%, a number that increased to 33% for roundtable exchanges and 46% for poster proposals.
Because I sought to balance research- and practice-based presentations along with workshops, teaching tips, and discussion groups, the research- and practice-based categories were the most competitive. Each proposal was reviewed by three people; thanks to the volunteer labor of a large number of reviewers. Although the decision has been received with mixed feelings among our members, I continue to support TESOL’s decision to have reviewer training and would like to see annual required norming for reviewers to ensure that every proposal gets a fair review. While the process has improved, there were a number of proposals that had two high-scoring reviews along with one very low one, something that speaks to the value of having three reviewers as well as improving the norming process.
I invite you to continue to stay active on the e-list this fall, sharing resources with one another. Our outgoing chair, Gena Bennett, will be facilitating the election process, so I encourage people to nominate others or themselves for open positions. Recently, our excellent new community manager Elena Shvidko created an SLWIS Facebook page, so if you are on Facebook, I encourage you to get online and connect in that space.
Finally, I would like to thank Margi Wald and the rest of the newsletter team for putting together another great issue. Creating this resource is labor intensive but, as evidenced in our survey results, an important service to the SLW community at TESOL.
Deborah Crusan, Ann Wintergerst, Dudley Reynolds, and Margi Wald at the SLWIS Booth at TESOL 2014
HELPING STUDENTS BY PREPARING TEACHERS
I recently became interested in the issue of the professional preparation of mainstream composition instructors* working with multilingual writers. It is well known that multilingual writers** are no longer an uncommon phenomenon in first-year composition classes in U. S. institutions of higher education. To help these students in their academic experiences, many universities provide a variety of services and programs, such as ESL courses and learning centers for second-language learners, as well as bring in ESL specialists to the departments and writing centers (Dadak, 2006; Kubota & Abels, 2006; Leki, 2007; Matsuda, Saenkhum, & Accaardi, 2013; Shuck, 2006; Williams, 2004).
Nevertheless, in many universities, the majority of composition courses are taught by those who do not have—or have very little—formal training in second-language studies, including second-language writing pedagogy. This is especially true for many large research universities (including Purdue University, where I am currently pursuing my doctoral degree), where much of the teaching load is given to the hands of graduate teaching assistants, whose professional backgrounds often relate to creative writing, linguistics, and literary studies (Matsuda et al., 2013).
While examining previous research that explored how well mainstream instructors are prepared and whether or not they are aware of the kinds of support that multilingual writers need, I came across a study by Ferris, Brown, Liu, and Stine (2011) that looked at teachers’ attitudes toward multilingual writers and the methods teachers used to respond to L2 writing. Participants in this study were mostly composition instructors who received no extensive training in working with multilingual writers. The results demonstrated that whereas most teachers tried to adapt their feedback to the needs of multilingual writers, their responses revolved primarily around various language-related problems, leaving global issues—for the most part—in the periphery. In addition, some instructors expressed frustration due to their lack of practical knowledge in addressing the needs of multilingual writers.
I was unpleasantly surprised by some of the teachers’ comments in the Ferris et al. (2011) study. It was very disheartening to realize that some instructors “expressed resentment” (p. 220) at having multilingual students in their classes and bearing the “burden” that those students bring along with them. And, unfortunately for the students, instead of developing their own expertise, some teachers encouraged the students to drop the course, or simply outsourced them to a writing lab or directed them to grammar textbooks without even giving clear directions on how those types of resources may be useful to them.
At the same time, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Committee on Second Language Writing, Statement on Second Language Writers, which came out in 2001, clearly indicated that writing programs must provide adequate professional support for composition teachers to prepare them to work with L2 writers:
Any writing course—including basic writing, first-year composition, advanced writing, and professional writing as well as second-language writing courses—that enrolls any second-language writers should be taught by a writing teacher who is able to identify and is prepared to address the linguistic and cultural needs of second-language writers. (p. 671-2)
It is hard to believe that 13 years later, some university composition programs are still ill equipped in terms of the training of mainstream teachers who work with multilingual writers.
Of course, some teachers may simply lack experience, and it is understandable. But several instructors, as stated in Ferris et al. (2011), were veterans. I wish I could ask them: “How did you manage to avoid dealing with second-language writing issues throughout your entire career?”
Perhaps I am being a bit too emotional, but at the same time I believe multilingual writing students deserve to be treated with respect instead of being perceived as an “extra burden.” In nearly every class, teachers face the unknown, whether in subject matter, discipline management issues, or a certain category of students. Therefore, finding a solution to these problems instead of getting an “out-of-my-hands” attitude is part of the deal.
Along with that, in several teachers’ responses in the study (Ferris et al., 2011), I sensed an underestimation of the nature of second-language writing. Some instructors seemed to believe that there is a magic recipe for working with multilingual writers: “I would love to go to a class where somebody tells me Ukrainian students are going to have this particular difficulty and Japanese students will have that particular difficulty, and this is what you should tell them” (p. 219). Such comments are the evidence of the teachers’ misconceptions about the complex nature of second-language writing, as they express the belief that grammar is the major issue of L2 writers, and if teachers were given a list of “the most prevalent errors” (p. 218) that students make, they would be well prepared to teach these students.
I might be just exaggerating. In fact, I hope I am, and I hope that the picture is not as gloomy and pessimistic as I have painted it here. But, as I mentioned earlier, multilingual writers are no longer at the periphery in first-year composition classrooms. And I believe that it is about time to stop bouncing them off to ESL departments, or grammar textbooks, or tutors, or whatever other resources exist out there, and start embracing them in our classrooms and be willing to support them in their academic struggles (Preto-Bay & Hansen, 2006). And to this end, teacher professional preparation seems to be the first step to make.
*Mainstream composition teachers: First-year composition teachers who do not have—or have very little—formal training in second-language studies, including second-language writing pedagogy. Many of these instructors have degrees in rhetoric and composition, creative writing, English, and so on.
** Multilingual writers: The definition of the term “multilingual writers” was borrowed from Matsuda, Saenkhum, and Accardi (2013), who define multilingual students as “students who grew up using languages rather than English and are acquiring English as an additional language. Multilingual students include international students who hold student visas and resident students who are non-native English speakers” (p. 73).
Conference on College Composition and Communication, Committee on Second Language Writing. (2001). CCCC statement on second language writing and writers. College Composition and Communication, 52(4), 669–674.
Dadak, A. M. (2006). No ESL allowed: A case exploring university and college writing program practices. In P. K. Matsuda, C. Ortmeier-Hooper, & X. You (Eds.), The politics of second language writing: In search of the promised land (pp. 94–108). W. Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.
Ferris, D., Brown, J., Liu, H., & Stine, M. E. A. (2011). Responding to L2 students in college writing classes: Teacher perspectives. TESOL Quarterly, 45, 207–234.
Kubota, R., & Abels, K. (2006). Improving institutional ESL/EAP support for international students: Seeking the promised land. In P. K. Matsuda, C. Ortmeier-Hooper, & X. You (Eds.), The politics of second language writing: In search of the promised land (pp. 75–93). W. Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.
Leki, I. (2007). Undergraduates in a second language: Challenges and complexities of academic literacy development. New York, NY: Lawrence.
Matsuda, P., Saenkhum, T., & Accardi, S. (2013). Writing teachers’ perceptions of the presence and needs of second language writers: An institutional case study. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22, 68–86.
Preto-Bay, A. M., & Hansen, K. (2006). Preparing for the tipping point: Designing writing programs to meet the needs of the changing population. Writing Program Administration, 30(1-2), 37–57.
Shuck, G. (2006). Combating monolingualism: A novice administrator’s challenge. WPA Writing Program Administration, 30(1-2), 59–82.
Williams, J. (2004). The writing center and second language writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 13(3), 165–172.
Elena Shvidko is a PhD student in the Department of English at Purdue University. Her research interests include second language socialization, second language writing, and writing program administration.
PROVIDING FEEDBACK TO JUNIOR AND SENIOR MULTILINGUAL STUDENTS AT A STEM UNIVERSITY
Time: 3pm Sunday afternoon.
Grading: 19 two-page single-spaced analyses.
Question: Which language issues should I mark?
Note to self: Try not to overwhelm the students.
This routine may seem familiar to many of us. Other questions that may arise are whether or not the language issues should impact students’ grades, and how nonnative speakers of English should be supported in the science/technology/engineering/mathematics (STEM) classroom. I address my own pedagogical answers to these questions through this brief reflection.
As early as 2006, Matsuda noted that the multilingual classroom is fast becoming a reality for teachers of English and writing, and, in 2014, I find my writing classes are quite diverse in terms of students’ language backgrounds. For second-language writing specialists, this is not as daunting as for those with less experience teaching English and writing classes to nonnative speakers of English. However, even for those in the second-language writing community, one issue that recurs is how and when to provide feedback on language issues. Second-language writers need support whether they identify as ESL (Ortmeier-Hooper, 2008) or not. I am finding this to be a concern at my institution, particularly at the junior and senior levels where capstone design projects in students’ majors may require students to complete written reports as well as research and where multilingual students do not identify as ESL. As a STEM school, we strive to help students understand and write technical material. For many of my students, the technical material is much easier to understand than it is to write.
As a teacher of the third course in a series of required writing courses, a teacher of technical writing, I find myself employing strategies from both technical communication as well as second-language writing to support my multilingual students’ development in writing. For example, organizational strategies such as frequent use of headings to divide subsections is a common technical communication tool, but also serves as a helpful way for both native and nonnative speakers of English to signpost their writing. Other methods, such as my feedback approach, have grown from the literature on responding to student writing in both L1 and L2 contexts. Sommers’ (1982) advice to provide specific comments rather than rubber-stamped feedback has been important to me ever since I asked a student to “expand,” and the student triple-spaced the paper.
Within second-language writing, Ferris, Liu, Sinha, and Senna’s (2013) case-study exploration of written corrective feedback has helped me consider how to address language issues in my students’ writing. They emphasize that focused, specific feedback on the particular language issue is helpful, but note the importance of giving more opportunities for students to interact with the feedback. Ferris et al. (2013) explain, “However, even focused, explicit feedback such as the WCF [written corrective feedback] provided for this study may fall short of meeting students’ needs if there are no opportunities for follow-up discussion and clarification” (p.323). Feedback is a dialogue, and discussion between the teacher and student helps the student understand how to read the comments and which comments hold the most importance for revision.
I have, therefore, tried to build an interactive component into my teaching that allows students, both native and nonnative speakers of English, to discuss my feedback. I allot time in my classes to discuss feedback on assignments, with increasing amounts of time for feedback as the assignment length increases. For example, I save 15 minutes for conversation about comments on early assignments of only two single-spaced pages. I hold half-hour conferences and devote whole 75-minute class periods to discussing feedback on eight-page, single-spaced research reports. Exploring students’ interpretations of my feedback and clarifying my intent are important elements of my content and language issue feedback.
As an experienced teacher of both native-English-speaking students and nonnative-English-speaking students, many of the techniques I employ in my classes are helpful to students regardless of language background. Also, my methods allow students flexibility to seek out additional help from me particularly on language issues, or simply work from the written feedback I provide. I, like others in the field, have particularly noted the growing multilingual population in my classes, and have implemented some techniques in my teaching that I hope will help others reflect on what methods may work in their particular multilingual contexts.
At my institution, much emphasis is placed on original research, even for undergraduate students, during their capstone junior and senior design projects. Students are required to write long reports for these projects, and many of our students continue into graduate school. This institution is a science and engineering university, with many research institutions surrounding the campus, such as the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The school is small with only 2,000 students. This institution serves a population which is roughly 25% Hispanic, and many students come from New Mexico and have varied language backgrounds, though most are native speakers of English. However, recently, partnerships with other universities (for example the Petroleum Department’s partnership with a university in China) have drawn more international students to the university. Also, several students from African nations where English is an academic, if not a native, language have been drawn to our institution for its engineering programs. Therefore, the students’ language backgrounds are quite diverse.
In this required technical writing course for STEM students, I have had students from a variety of majors including environmental engineering, petroleum engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, and electrical engineering.
One of the central course objectives as described by the writing program for this course is that students will “demonstrate facility with ideas and language.” I find that my students have developed facility with ideas in their respective fields, but both native and non-native speakers of English struggle to develop facility with language. I specifically design early assignments to focus on content, but I mark for language to raise students’ awareness in low-stakes assignments. I also structure the course to build from several small assignments to a larger group project to finally a researched report that often contains original research. The first two assignments are small and ask students to analyze documents and interview professionals in their respective fields. The next assignment is a group assignment to create instructions and conduct a usability test, and has a language component but is done as a group. The final half of the semester is a research project that includes drafts of the proposal, an annotated bibliography, multiple drafts of the research report, and a final presentation. By helping students practice writing and working with them on language issues early on, I notice that they are all better prepared for the final research project.
Writing for many of the students at this science and engineering school, whether they are native or nonnative speakers of English, is difficult. Therefore, I instituted a revision policy in my course that encourages students to revise any and all assignments throughout the semester. I find that many students revise, even if they receive a good grade, and as all of my assignments and feedback are digital, it is easy for me to see where they made changes. Students submit the initial assignment as a discussion board thread, then I reply with comments, and finally the students reply to my reply with their revisions. Looking at the draft with my comments and then at their revisions, I regrade the assignment after the revision and give a completely new grade based on the revision work.
I am able to give extensive feedback to students as I limit the length of, particularly, the early assignments in the class to two single-spaced pages, but it is also important to note that my class is composed of only 20 students.
I provide both a written and oral description of the assignment, and I provide in-class time for questions. Students post the assignment to a discussion board where they can all see one another’s assignments. Students are often able, therefore, to look at how other students have completed the assignment. I have seen similar approaches to the assignments as a result of this approach, but no plagiarism.
I try to clarify my expectations to students by providing a rubric that is content- and organization-based. For example, my first assignment is to analyze two documents in a student’s particular field, and discuss whether or not these are examples of writing conventions used by these engineers or scientists throughout the field. My rubric for the first assignment was 10 points for specific, cited support; 10 points for organization of the information by recurring themes such as “Jargon” or “Figures”; and 10 points for a discussion of whether or not this was typical of the field. The early assignments do not contain a grammar, mechanics, or language component to the grade, but later assignments and the final research project do contain such components. This allows students to identify and work on some language issues early in the course without penalty.
Feedback in a STEM institution is, as one student I spoke with mentioned, “about accuracy.” Both in providing specific cited support and explaining this cited support, students are encouraged to clearly and accurately convey technical material. Even words such as “unfortunately” and “improved” are scrutinized to see if they accurately reflect the research findings. At our institution, research is very common for undergraduate students, and an emphasis on accuracy also leads to increased marking of language issues from many professors, myself included. However, these are not the only issues I mark, but part of the whole of maintaining accuracy of reporting technical information.
I address students’ issues of organization such as multiple ideas per paragraph, or issues such as providing specific support for claims for both native and nonnative speakers of English. However, as I often mark more language issues for nonnative speakers of English (though this is not always the case), I preface the comments with one overarching comment about how to read the rest of the comments. For example, I explain that I marked recurring language issues and mention which ones seem most pressing for that particular student to focus on (such as singular/plural or verb forms) and then explain that the student’s grade does not reflect the language issues, but the student is encouraged to revise these as well as other content issues in the revision.
I provide direct correction for the first occurrence of the language error, with explanation for what kind of issue it is. For example, I may write “Explaining. Need the –ing form of the verb here.” I am more directive in my comments than much of the written corrective feedback literature recommends, but my students seem to benefit from this approach. For subsequent instances of the same type of language error, I point out the type of error and write “see above.” I find that both nonnative- and native-English-speaking students make language errors, and I approach corrective feedback similarly for both populations. However, my nonnative-English-speaking students tend to have more language issues, and though I try not to point out all language issues, I find myself more heavily marking their assignments.
I accompany my written comments with time in class to discuss my feedback, and I again emphasize my revision policy. Also, for later assignments, I offer one-on-one conference time to my students as well as providing them with written feedback.
Over the course of the semester, I have observed great growth and development from some students in their writing, and, in my end-of-semester course evaluations, students often mention that my feedback was particularly helpful. However, one student wrote in the final course evaluation that he/she didn’t understand the feedback I gave. I also notice some students find it more difficult to learn from written feedback. Building in discussion time to talk to students about my feedback has helped me clarify how to read my comments, and which comments to prioritize. Also, the overarching comment at the beginning about how to read the comments seems to be helpful to students. I will continue to try to find ways to engage my students in an interactive feedback dialogue, whether they are native or nonnative speakers of English, and whether the feedback concerns content or language issues.
[Editors’ note: We encourage instructors to share their writing processes and feedback practices with SLWIS members. We hope to hear from instructors teaching in different settings to help us learn about context- and discipline-specific expectations and constraints.]
Ferris, D. R., Liu, H., Sinha, A., & Senna, M. (2013). Written corrective feedback for individual L2 writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22, 307–329. doi: 10.1016/j.jslw.2012.09.009
Matsuda, P. K. (2006). The myth of linguistic homogeneity in U.S. college composition. College English, 68, 637–651.
Ortmeier-Hooper, C. (2008). English may be my second language but I’m not ‘ESL’. College Composition and Communication, 59, 389–419.
Sommers, N. (1982) Responding to student writing. College Composition and Communication, 33, 148–156.
Elisabeth Kramer-Simpson is an assistant professor of technical communication and the technical communication program director at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Her research interests include feedback in both L1 and L2 contexts.
CORRECTIVE FEEDBACK FOR SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION: A RESEARCH AND PRACTICE PERSPECTIVE
The value of feedback for improving second-language (L2) writing skills has been widely established in L2 writing literature (Bitchener & Ferris, 2012; Ferris, 2012). For example, providing feedback on content, structure, and style all seen to have immediate and long-lasting effects on L2 learners’ writing abilities and motivation. Still, many writing instructors and researchers have argued that the need for providing corrective feedback (CF) on grammar outweighs the lack of empirical research supporting its practice (Truscott, 1996). It was with this in mind that Truscott (2007) summarized the empirical findings of CF on L2 grammar and again found it to be ineffective in the short term. Truscott also determined that a more disciplined approach to grammar instruction was necessary to promote efficient language learning and acquisition.
Grammar error correction has been debated since early scholarship on L2 acquisition (Corder, 1967; James, 1998). Responses to this debate often focused on how CF might improve subsequent grammar usage and whether it would have a lasting impact on learners’ interlanguage (Ferris, 1999). Ferris argued for the use of CF, but also encouraged ongoing research, noting that “we must take Truscott’s claims and challenge seriously…helping students to develop their written language skills and improve their accuracy in writing is too important to be ruled on hastily” (p. 10).
The effects of instruction on learners’ errors has since been determined to only be noticable longitudinally (Ellis, 1990). Therefore, to establish the effects of CF on grammar acquisition, longitudinal studies of many years in length (Jackson, 2013) are required to observe changes in learners’ grammar acquisition. Nevertheless, very few CF research studies have used a longitudinal design (see Sasaki, 2009), and it has been difficult to establish whether CF can have a lasting impact on L2 grammar acquisition. Much scholarship continues to examine its short-term influence on learners’ grammatical development (Truscott, 2007). Due to the application of short-term cross-sectional interlanguage development studies, it is highly unlikely that the CF provided could realistically provide insight on its long-term impact.
With these established limitations of CF treatments on L2 writing, it appears that CF research has little to offer second language acquisition (SLA) researchers and classroom practitioners. However, addressing errors in writing is vital to the overall comprehension of current and possibly future compositions of a learner; thus, applying SLA theory to CF research and practice remains an important goal to pursue.
Application of SLA Theory to the Study of CF
Transfer and Variability
Traditionally, past CF studies have not drawn from SLA theory to substantiate their hyphotheses that the application of CF on errors would improve the accuracy of grammatical features in subsequent L2 compositions. Nevertheless, SLA theory is important, as it provides the foundation for explaining the results of many previous CF studies. From an SLA perspective (e.g., Towell & Hawkins, 1994), factors investigated have included:
- first-language (L1) transfer;
- deficits in L2 learning;
- learning variability among learners;
- staged development (e.g., went – goed – went), as seen in Figure 1; and
- language systematicity as in the case of morpheme acquisition orders (see Table 1).
In most CF studies, (1) L1 transfer, (2) deficits in L2 learning as represented by errors or avoidance of grammatical features, and (3) learning variability are evident when researchers report their findings in the results and analysis sections. These factors complicate coding and statistical measurements as error types, and the frequency of those errors varies across learners and writing tasks. In fact, task factors (e.g., choice of grammar, task type, time-on-task, cognitive load, task repetition, etc.) influence language usage to such a degree that it is difficult to compare a partipant’s pretest and posttest errors, making the results of a study especially difficult to interpret when a large number of participants are involved. To resolve this methodological limitation and improve the validity and reliability of these studies, research that uses grammar tests that target specific items of interest and simulate actual writing task conditions are needed. In the meantime, much can be gained from case studies, as they provide valuable insight into CF and grammatical acquisition (Ferris, Hsiang, Sinha, & Senna, 2013).
SLA theory can be more helpful in describing the changes in interlanguage through staged development (see Figure 1). Here, learners go through three stages of learning as depicted by a U-shaped learning curve for irregular verbs. In Stage 1, after learners received instruction, they produce correct forms; however, as time goes on, deviant forms (errors) emerge due to backsliding (Stage 2). In the final stage, as learners become more proficent with the grammatical item, near perfect grammar usage is observed. Therefore, great care should be taken when describing the resulting changes in grammatical accuracy rates, as the determination of which stage learners are in affects whether CF was successful in aiding interlanguage development.
Figure 1. Staged development of irregular verbs
Adapted from Oshita (2000) and O'Grady (2005)
Another point that is rarely mentioned in CF studies is the role of systematicity in the acquisition of grammatical features. In Table 1, morpheme acquisition orders for L1 Spanish and L1 Japanese learners of English indicate that the success of CF may depend on learners’ L1, as well as the grammatical feature that is being corrected. At this point in time, further research is needed to establish the orders of acquisition for a variety of grammatical items, and align these orders with the application of CF to increase the likelihood that CF treatment could enhance grammar acquisition.
Table 1. Morpheme Acquisition Orders for Spoken English
NICT JLE Corpus
1 plural –s “Books”
1 possessive –’s
2 progressive –ing “John going”
2 progressive –ing
3 copula be “John is here”
3 copula be
4 auxiliary be “John is going”
4 third-person singular
5 articles (the/a) “The books”
5 plural –s
6 irregular past tense “John went”
6 auxiliary be
7 third person –s “John likes books”
7 irregular past tense (went)
8 possessive –’s “John’s book”
8 articles (a/the)
In summary, the application of SLA theories can help provide an estimation of when CF is likely to influence grammar learning and acquisition, and learners’ interlanguage, and the type and saliency of CF may be a useful indicator of its successful application.
Application of CF in Accordance With Interlanguage Stage
The determination of the CF type and saliency of CF is likely to be dependent on a learner’s interlanguage stage for any particular grammatical item. Corrective feedback type is divided into focused and unfocused feedback. Focused CF targets a limited number of items, whereas unfocused CF covers more grammatical features and is more comprehensive. Corrective feedback saliency refers to the degree to which explicit grammar knowledge is provided to the learner. Direct CF shows learners where the error is and replaces the mistake or error with the correct form. Metalinguistic CF gives an explanation of the correct grammatical form. While indirect CF may or may not show that an error or mistake was made, no correct form is made available to the learner (for a thorough description of CF typology, see Ellis, 2009).
Table 2. Interlanguage Stage and Applicable Corrective Feedback
CF Type and CF Saliency (with error/mistake indicated)
In Table 2, the interlanguage stage and CF type and CF saliency are correlated. In the early stages of grammar learning, it is more likely that the learner will make errors due to lack of grammatical knowledge. On the other hand, at Interlanguage Stages 2 and 3, the learner has more control over the grammatical item, but still can make either an error or a mistake. The differences in whether an error or mistake is made can inform how instructors provide CF. For instance, when a learner does not have sufficient knowledge to self-correct an error, more direct and focused CF should be provided to successfully remediate the error. On the other hand, mistakes could be treated with less CF intervention, allowing for the learner to access his or her grammar knowledge. The reason for these different CF treatments is to promote language development, as well as eventual learner autonomy as learners’ proficiency improves over time. To improve CF practice, it is clear that ongoing research into the effects of CF on grammar development is urgently needed.
Goals of CF Research and Classroom Practice
While corrective feedback research focuses on examining several issues, CF and SLA research are both committed to the improvement of L2 pedagogy. In the long term, it is presumed that SLA research will lead to an empirically supported strategic CF approach that will lead to effective language learning. Current research on the effects of CF treatment on learners’ errors may not necessarily result in observable changes in accuracy in the short term; however, the presence of CF alone may encourage self-monitoring of language usage for self-correction (Cresswell, 2000). For instance, CF may trigger a response which signals to the learner that their current language should be altered, which may even prevent fossilized language (Han, 2013), and promote grammar acquisition.
With the application of CF on L2 learners’ written production, it is often assumed that accuracy of grammatical forms will immediately improve and be maintained. It is likely that when CF is successful, as in the case where mistakes are self-corrected (Suzuki, 2008), the uptake of the correct form can be maintained for long periods of time. Mistakes, as opposed to errors, are grammatical features that have been successfully learned, but are occasionally produced incorrectly. Errors, on the other hand, are less likely to be within a learner’s ability to readily correct due to a lack of accessible grammatical knowledge under writing task conditions. When the application of CF is ineffective, this indicates that additional instruction and practice of that item may be required. It also shows the current interlanguage state of the learner and the next steps to take to improve the learner’s grammar development. It can be argued that when CF is successful in facilitating the correction of errors and acquisition of those forms, preemptive classroom instruction (Ellis, Basturkmen, & Loewen, 2001) may facilitate grammar accuracy as part of classroom instruction and pretask planning (Foster & Skehan, 1996).
Preemptive Grammar Instruction
It was through the efforts of many researchers (e.g., Ellis, Sheen, Murakami, & Takashima, 2008; Bitchener & Knoch, 2010a, 2010b; Sheen, 2010) that CF research produced findings that could enhance pedagogical practices in the classroom. If CF can help make a group of language learners monitor their language and shift toward better language usage (Schmidt, 1990), it is likely that improvement in whole-class instruction, rather than individualized CF, would be a more effective pedagogical approach. Through continued persistence in researching the effects of CF, it was revealed that some grammatical items (e.g., articles) are ready to be processed through the application of CF (see Piennemann & Kessler, 2011). In other words, when the application of CF is effective in developing interlanguage, improvements in instructional task design (Bygate, Skehan, & Swain, 2001) may help to preempt potential errors, rather than correcting by relying on posttask remediation in the form of CF. Thus, the promotion of preemptive instruction for grammatical features that were maintained after CF is seen as a step forward in improving the accuracy rates of targeted items (Ellis et al., 2001).
The role of CF on L2 writing and L2 grammar development is highly complex. L2 acquisition theory and CF application to learners’ mistakes and errors still requires more integration to enhance research practices for examining how CF can be used to facilitate the advancement of learners’ interlanguage. Many CF studies to date have only marginally supported investigations with the knowledge obtained through empirical SLA research. Continuing CF research that utilizes sound methodological practices derived from SLA findings, as argued in this article, may be another step in understanding how CF can be used to support learners’ L2 grammatical development in L2 writing.
Bitchener, J., & Ferris, D. R. (2012). Written corrective feedback in second language acquisition and writing. New York, NY: Routledge.
Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2010a). Raising the linguistic accuracy level of advanced L2 writers with written corrective feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing, 19, 207–217.
Bitchener, J., & Knoch, U. (2010b). The contribution of written corrective feedback to language development: A ten month investigation. Applied Linguistics, 31(2), 193–121.
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Ellis, R. (1990). Instructed second language acquisition. Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell.
Ellis, R. (2009). A typology of written corrective feedback types. ELT J, 63, 97–107.
Ellis, R., Basturkmen, H., & Loewen, S. (2001). Preemptive focus on form in the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 35, 407–432.
Ellis, R., Sheen, Y., Murakami, M., & Takashima, H. (2008). The effects of focused and unfocused written corrective feedback in an English as a foreign language context. System, 36, 353–371.
Ferris, D. R. (1999). The case of grammar correction in L2 writing classes: A response to Truscott (1996). Journal of Second Language Writing, 8, 1–11.
Ferris, D. R. (2012). Written corrective feedback in second language acquisition and writing studies. Language Teaching, 45, 446–459.
Ferris, D. R., Hsiang, L., Sinha, A., & Senna, M. (2013). Written corrective feedback for individual L2 writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22, 307–329.
Foster, P., & Skehan, P. (1996). The influence of planning on performance in task-based learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 18(3), 299–324.
Han, Z. (2013). Forty years later: Updating the fossilization hypothesis. Language Teaching, 46, 133–171.
Izumi, E., & Isahara, H. (2004). Investigation into language learners’ acquisition order based on an error analysis of a learner corpus. IWLeL 2004: An Interactive Workshop on Language e-Learning, 63–71. Retrieved from http://dspace.wul.waseda.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2065/1396/1/07.pdf
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James, C. (1998). Errors in language learning and use: Exploring error analysis. London, England: Longman.
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Schmidt, R. (1990). The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 11, 129–158.
Sheen, Y. (2010). Differential effects of oral and written corrective feedback in the ESL classroom. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32, 203–234.
Suzuki, M. (2008). Japanese learners’ self revisions and peer revisions of their written compositions in English. TESOL Quarterly, 42, 209–233.
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Truscott, J. (1996). The case against grammar correction in L2 writing classes. Language Learning, 46, 327–369.
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Robert Taferner has been teaching English in Japan since 1993. He holds an MAT-TESOL from the School for International Training in Vermont, USA. His research interests include pragmatics, second language acquisition, and materials development.
NEW AND EXCITING RESEARCH ABOUT THE RAMIFICATIONS OF LANGUAGE POLICIES IN THE CONTEXT OF SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING
With its emphasis on the importance of knowledge in creating economic growth and global competitiveness, today’s knowledge-based economy is increasingly affecting research production and dissemination traditions in higher education (Hazelcorn, 2010; Musselin, 2005). Motivated by the desire for global competitiveness, governments around the world have endorsed initiatives that are pushing higher education institutions to adopt “codified and uncodified policies about research output that regulate the work of scholars” (Curry & Lillis, 2013, p. 210). Within these new policies, the trend seems to be to move toward a system where many scholars are told where to publish—at least in terms of the indexes in which possible journals are included. In this new model of scholarly production and knowledge distribution, privilege is assigned to publications in English in high-status journals (in particular indexes).
An international group of researchers (including Sally Burgess, University of La Laguna, Spain; Laurie Anderson, University of Siena, Italy; Mary Jane Curry, University of Rochester, USA; Theresa Lillis, Open University, U.K.; Sedef Uzuner-Smith, Lamar University, USA; Karen Englander, York University, Canada; Hikyoung Lee, Korea University, Korea; Kathy Lee, University of Pennsylvania, USA; Haiying Feng, University of International Business and Economics, China; and Dawang Huang, Ningbo University, China) is currently exploring the impact of this changing environment on scholars’ lived publishing practices in different parts of the world (Europe, Korea, China, Mexico, and Turkey). The researchers hope that their work will stimulate a critical debate about how the policies requiring publishing in English and in particular indexes affect the publishing experiences of multilingual faculty who use English as an additional language.
And this group calls for similar works to be conducted on a local level in places or countries that are not currently represented.
Curry, M. J., & Lillis, T. (2013). Introduction to the
thematic issue: participating in academic publishing—consequences of
linguistic policies and practices. Language Policy,
Hazelkorn, E. (2010, July 8). Handle with care. Times Higher Education. Retrieved from http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/412342.article
Musselin, C. (2005). European academic labour markets in transition. Higher Education, 49, 135–154.
Sedef Uzuner-Smith, assistant professor in the College of Education, Lamar University, teaches graduate-level courses in the Online Preparation Program for ESL Certification. Her research interests include sociological perspectives on second language academic literacy and on teaching and learning in online/blended environments.
TALKING ABOUT THE P-WORD: A BOOK TEASER FROM FOSTERING INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SUCCESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Like many of you, part of my job as an SLW professional is to do faculty development—both in workshops and through individual consultations. Talking with faculty and staff is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I love learning about what my colleagues are doing in their classes and helping them think through the challenges and opportunities they encounter as they work with L2 writers.
Every once in a while, though, I have an interaction with a faculty member that is…less than pleasant. Two years ago, at a meeting for faculty teaching in our writing-intensive first year seminar program (which we have in lieu of first year composition), I was asked to speak briefly about considerations instructors might want to take into account regarding L2 writers. I offered my usual overview of what we know about L2 writers at Middlebury (based on some internal data gathering), and suggested a few strategies for ensuring success for those writers. Then I waded into a topic I knew would be on many of my colleagues’ minds: plagiarism.
I began by discussing how conceptions of “intellectual ownership” and “textual borrowing” differ across cultures, as a way to stress the importance of offering explicit guidance on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Midway through, I was interrupted by an older, male colleague who launched into a bit of a diatribe about moral relativism (including the phrase “take umbrage,” which I can’t recall having heard in informal speech—ever!).
“I can’t believe you’re telling me to excuse cheating on the part of international students, simply because they’re from different cultures!” he said indignantly. “What’s wrong is wrong—that’s why we have an Honor Code!” he added.
I tried to explain that my goal was not to excuse anything, but rather, to explain why some of our students might not be familiar with the cultural assumptions embedded in the idea of plagiarism. But my colleague seemed convinced that I was asking him to excuse unethical behavior under the guise of cultural sensitivity. A number of other colleagues approached me afterward, in private, to tell me that they understood what I was trying to say. They encouraged me not to worry too much about the objections of that one faculty member. However, that incident made me realize that there is a great need for more resources that address the most pertinent and tricky issues that arise for faculty working with L2 writers—particularly with international students whose prior schooling did not take place in the United States.
I was thrilled, therefore, when Raichle Farrelly and Zuzana Tomaš invited me to join them as a coauthor on a volume entitled, Fostering International Student Success in Higher Education (2014), which has just been released from TESOL Press. The volume is written primarily for U.S. instructors (faculty, staff, teaching assistants, etc.) who do not have a background in TESOL, but are looking for pedagogical tools and strategies that facilitate academic success for their international students. The book synthesizes research from applied linguistics and uses that research as the rationale for concrete activities, guidelines, and other teaching resources. We include quotations from instructors and students whom we have interviewed or surveyed in our own research, as well as discussion questions, application activities, and examples for analysis that could be examined by an individual reader or used in a professional development workshop.
While writing is a topic discussed throughout the book, we also touch on other aspects of classroom pedagogy (lecture, discussion, reading, community-building, etc.), as well as on institutional advocacy and student empowerment. We hope that our efforts have produced a text that is relevant to the work of faculty across disciplines, and useful to SLW professionals who are engaged in faculty development on their campuses. (For the Table of Contents and introduction chapter of the book, please visit the TESOL Bookstore.)
Throughout the text, we include “sidebars” that serve as quick reference tools for readers. Below is one such sidebar (see Appendix), entitled “Decreasing Instances of Plagiarism,” which is included in Chapter 4 (Assignments and Assessment). When we talk to faculty about this issue, we make sure to include these sorts of concrete suggestions, but we try also to shed light on the multiple causes for plagiarism—including different conceptions of intellectual ownership and textual borrowing across cultures; lack of high-quality prior instruction on the issue (often the case for both international and U.S. students); and difficulty with reading comprehension, which results in awkward or inappropriate integration of source material into student writing. (For a great discussion problematizing the discourse of ethics when it comes to plagiarism, see Valentine, 2006).
Ultimately, we want our workshop participants to come away with a more nuanced understanding of plagiarism, as well as with concrete steps they can take to decrease the likelihood that it will occur in their classes. We hope this excerpt might prove useful to you and your colleagues as well. Perhaps it will even pique your interest in reading the entire volume! If you do read the book, Raichle, Zuzana, and I would love to hear your feedback—either in a published review or via personal correspondence.
Shapiro, S., Farrelly, R., & Tomaš Z. (2014). Fostering international student success in higher education. Alexandria, VA: TESOL International Association.
Valentine, K. (2006). Plagiarism as literacy practice: Recognizing and rethinking ethical binaries. College Composition and Communication, 58(1), 89–109.
Decreasing Instances of Plagiarism
Discuss plagiarism explicitly.
Frame plagiarism within the discussion of academic culture.
Teach students what they can do in the research/writing process to avoid plagiarizing.
Design assignments that are difficult to find online.
Provide early feedback.
Encourage students to use “detection” tools such as Turnitin.
Shawna Shapiro, Assistant Professor in the Writing and Linguistics Programs at Middlebury College, teaches courses in composition, linguistics, and education. She has facilitated workshops for secondary and postsecondary teachers in the U.S., Chile, Pakistan, and Taiwan. Her research focuses on college preparation, access, and achievement for multilingual students, and on interdisciplinary approaches to teaching academic literacy.
SCHOLARSHIP ON L2 WRITING IN 2013: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
*Please note: Due to the length of the following article, it has not been copyedited by TESOL.
At TESOL 2014 in Portland, Oregon, USA, Tony Silva, Suneeta Thomas, Hyojung Park, and Cong Zhang gave a presentation designed to help attendees who are interested in second language (L2) writing keep up with the research in this area of study. This article, an overview of scholarship on L2 writing in 2013, is a result of that presentation. This follows in the tradition of the presentation of reviews of L2 writing scholarship done in 2010 (Silva, McMartin-Miller, Jayne, & Pelaez-Morales), 2011 (Silva, Pelaez-Morales, McMartin-Miller, & Lin), 2012 (Silva, Lin, & Thomas), all published in SLW News.
Data for this presentation come from a database of scholarship on L2 writing assembled over the past 30 years. This database is the result of a regular review of relevant databases such as Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA), Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI), and Worldcat (an online database that provides access to the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories), as well as a perusal of more than 50 journals that, to a greater or lesser extent, typically publish articles on L2 writing. The types of publications primarily include journal articles, books (authored and edited), book chapters, dissertations, and ERIC documents.
To analyze data, we reviewed the materials and categorized them by topic or focus, including feedback, language, writing strategies, academic writing challenges, L2 writing research, assessment, technology, student populations, pedagogy, identity, corpus-based research, genre, and attitudes.
Feedback (written corrective, peer/self, and other types) continues to be a concern in second language writing.
Bitchener presents a reflective piece on the language learning potential of written corrective feedback (WCF) by taking into account what has already been published in literature on the subject and discussing ways in which the field can move forward. Polio observes how different SLA approaches can inform WCF and increase its effectiveness within certain contexts. Min presents a case study of an English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher’s perceptions and practices of WCF. Wen enumerates various methods to elicit effective teacher written feedback. Ferris, Liu, Sinha, & Senna, in their assessment of WCF, observe that language and grammar rules hindered students in their self-composing process. Guénette & Lyster find that pre-service teachers use more direct feedback instead of indirect feedback and suggest ways in which they can tackle challenges in their feedback practice. Sun reports on a study on German L2 case acquisition and finds focused WCF to be very beneficial, though it did not affect the students’ attitudes towards writing. Shintani & Ellis discuss the benefits of metalinguistic explanation (ME) as a possible feedback tool that enables L2 explicit knowledge development. Zarei & Rahnama extend the discussion on WCF by discussing the effects of corrective feedback modes, student’s perceptions towards such modes, and how these affect their writing abilities.
Cote conducts a study on anonymous electronic peer-reviews and provides insights into student attitudes towards such reviews and the degree of corrections and feedback provided by students, as well as the degree of peer feedback incorporated by such students. Similarly, through use of technology, Woo, Chu, & Li show how wikis can be used for effective peer-feedback on collaborative writing among primary school students. Che discusses the advantages of bilingual literacy and bicultural understanding in improving informal peer learning interactions. Similarly, Wigglesworth & Storch observe how students working in pairs are able to help each other learn through negotiation in language. Rahimi’s study further illustrates how training students in giving feedback cannot only strengthen their peer-reviewing skills, but also improve the quality of their own writing. Hanaoka & Izumi discuss the degree to which noticing is incorporated in solving covert and overt problems in feedback uptake. Lázaro Ibarroladiscovers how both reformulation and self-correction feedback strategies strengthen error reduction, noting, however, that these strategies need to be designed effectively to function well in a classroom setting. Mawlawi Diab’s book summarizes three studies that research peer feedback and its positive effects on L2 writing.
Andrade and Evans’ book discloses ways in which L2 writing teachers should respond to students of varied proficiency levels and how to teach them self-regulating strategies. Hyland explores pedagogical implications of feedback by studying teacher perceptions and motivations behind feedback in disciplinary contexts. Busse’s study also sheds light on students’ perceptions, attitudes, and the effect of feedback on L2 German writing. Lee, Cheung, Wong, & Lee observe how blended learning feedback motivates student performance as opposed to traditional teacher feedback alone, while Chan explores how the combination of e-feedback and face-to-face interaction can enhance L2 writing. Hussein & Al Ashri recount the employment of strategies such as peer response and writing conferences that increased self-efficacy and improvement in student L2 writing. Eckstein’s report provides descriptions of the implementation of a writing conference program, student and teacher attitudes towards it, and insights into student and teacher preferences with regard to feedback processes. Case, Williams, & Xu observe the complexity of individualized feedback required for different groups of learners while Elashri addresses the effectiveness of direct teacher feedback in L2 writing. Mull & Conrad go a step further, using a corpus based approach to guide feedback. Recognizing it as a tool for self-learning, the authors suggest the use of concordancers to facilitate student grammar error correction. Finally, Erlam, Ellis, & Batstone compare two types of oral feedback and find that explicit feedback is incorporated more quickly, but does not encourage self-corrections like graduated feedback does.
As the title suggests, the “language” category describes studies conducted on different aspects of language in L2 writing research. Some of the common themes include linguistic features, coherence, integrated reading and writing tasks, vocabulary, and lexical diversity.
With regard to linguistic features, there are total of 19 studies that look at this sub-category from a variety of angles. Some of the studies focusing on linguistic features examine the use of grammatical metaphor, transfer, subordination, meta-cognitive knowledge, and code-switching. Two studies look specifically at the use of grammatical metaphor: Liardét examines intermediate or incomplete deployment of grammatical metaphor in Chinese EFL writing, and Ryshina-Pankova & Byrnes assess how knowledge is created in L2 German writing through the use of grammatical metaphor.
In addition, three studies look at the issue of transfer in second language writing. Grujicic-Alatriste responds to DePalma & Ringer’s earlier article on theorizing adaptive transfer and raises questions about the scope and relevance of the framework in relation to writing and pedagogy. DePalma & Ringer subsequently open up a dialogue in their article in response to Grujicic-Alatriste. Sun analyzes the causes of negative transfer in sentences by Chinese EFL writers.
With regard to integrated reading and writing tasks, Grabe & Zhang provide pointers for developing such skills in learners of English for Academic Purposes. Gebril & Plakans survey the use of discourse features and conclude that features such as cohesion, organization, and content are employed by higher level students, whereas certain basic discourse features are repetitively used by lower level students. Elola & Mikulski observe revision behaviors in the English and Spanish writing of L2 Spanish-heritage-language learners. Their findings suggest possibilities of cross-linguistic transfer, as the revision patterns of these learners were similar in both English and Spanish. Parkinson evaluates the use of that-complement clauses by students in the report genre and concludes that this reflects students’ growing sense of academic language use in writing. Additionally, Nesbitt Perez investigates the use of subordinate clauses in L2 writing texts and how these clauses can help measure writing complexity. Kim explores the concept and benefits of textual typology in text-level language learning for Korean students learning French. On a different note, Sebba broadens the definition of written code-switching by studying multilingual texts and proposes an avenue for multimodal inquiry that includes visual and spatial aspects, apart from the linguistic aspect. Mei sheds light on expressions of certainty by analyzing the different types of statements made in undergraduate essays. Meier, in his study of primary students, suggests ways in which content learning can be successfully combined with the employment of mechanics at this crucial age for L2 language learning. Finally, Kim operationalizes meta-cognitive knowledge by exploring its components, various methods of assessing it, and the relationship between L2 proficiency, writing performance, and meta-cognitive knowledge.
On a more general note, Taguchi, Crawford, & Wetzel examine linguistic features that mark differences between more and less proficient essays. Similarly, Guo, Crossley, & McNamara suggest that linguistic features can predict essay scores on integrated and independent writing tasks on the TOEFL iBT. Chalak & Norouzi conduct a contrastive study of Iranian and American academic writing by observing the verb tense and rhetorical moves in published journal article abstracts. Elahi & Badeleh carry out a comparative analysis on differences between transitional markers used by English and Persian academic writers in their published articles.
With regard to discourse features, two studies focused specifically on coherence and the use of cohesive devices. Ye investigates the differences between Chinese rhetorical coherence devices and English coherence devices and how they can be used to help Chinese English as a Second Language (ESL) students alter their use of coherence in English writing. Yang’s study observes the use of two cohesive devices, textual conjunctives and topic-fronting devices, in Chinese foreign language writing.
Regarding lexical diversity and vocabulary, Ma explains how two undergraduate students in the right learning context and with appropriate assessment, can do away with memorization of vocabulary and learn from a more natural approach. Similarly, Staples, Egbert, Biber, & McClair investigate formulaic bundles in the TOEFL iBT and find that low proficient writers tend to use more formulaic bundles from TOEFL prompts. Sadeghi & Dilmaghani explore the relationship between lexical diversity and narrative, descriptive, and argumentative genres in the writing of Iranian students. Their results show that lexical diversity and quality of writing increases in argumentative writing.
Three studies specifically focused on error analysis. While Pierce opens the floor for debate in relation to standaridization and error correction in today’s varied college composition classrooms, Akbar Khansir & Shahhoseiny provide an error analysis of articles, passive and active voice, and tenses among EFL pre-university students. Thewissen employs a corpus-based approach (error-tagging) to map out possible L2 accuracy developmental patterns in L2 learner writing.
Learning strategies were also a popular topic in the L2 writing literature. Diverse learning strategies are examined in a number of studies. Lindgren & Stevenson describe the use of interactional resources in pen-friend letters in Swedish and English. Two studies done by Broer and Laman, respectively, elaborate on strategies that teachers can use to help ESL students in their writing. Cowan & Sandefur discuss research-based literacy strategies while Petric & Harwood look at the citation strategies of an L2 post-graduate student. Geist talks about problem-solving strategies and individual differences.
Various different genres and classroom tools are used to examine learners’ strategies: two studies by Denne-Bolton and Abednia, Hovassapian, Teimournezhad, & Ghanbari, respectively, focus on dialogue journals. Plakans & Gebril use multiple texts in an integrated writing assessment. Studies conducted by Gorbani, Ganjeraj, & Alavi and Wolfersberger reported on strategies involving the use of reading to assist writing; Adoniou combines drawing and writing. Four studies done by Storch; Aminloo; Lin; and Storch & Aldosari, respectively, discuss learning strategies in collaborative writing, while Abbasian & Mohammadi look at the dictogloss as integrating form and meaning in their research. Wu describes the effects of essay prompts on native (NS) and non-native speakers’ (NNS) writing.
A few studies put emphasis on socio-cultural and socio-cognitive aspects of learning strategies. Kang & Pyun explore socio-cultural contexts and writing strategies of learners of Korean while Chandrasegaran and Matuchniak, respectively, suggest a socio-cognitive approach to teaching writing. Olkkonen looks at the speed of performance in cognitive and linguistic tasks and second (L2) and foreign language (FL) reading and writing. A few studies, including Haghverdi, Biria, & Khalaji; Ong; Ong & Zhang, and Panahi discuss the effects of various planning conditions in their research.
Academic writing challenges
This section presents particular challenges L2 learners face while writing in an academic context. Tang studies the challenges faced by non-native English speaking (NNES) academics in writing and publishing in English. Hanauer & Englander also unveil challenges faced by NNES scientists publishing in English and provide educational resources to help ameliorate the situation. In a similar vein, Cheng explores power relations between a NNES and native English speaking (NES) peers as they collaborate in writing and how NNES students employ coping strategies and use disciplinary knowledge to navigate through power relations during collaboration. Matarese critically assesses the services writing-support professionals provide to their clients through translation, editing, and writing services and how these services can be better implemented to suit client needs. Matsuda, Saenkhum, & Accardi examine teacher perceptions of student needs and whether they make accommodations in classrooms to meet such needs. Doran discusses how Confucianism played a role in the communication between a South Korean graduate student and his advisor.
Green reports on the academic writing processes of three undergraduate students and finds that this involves intertextual as well as interpersonal interactions. McKinley discusses ways in which Japanese students can develop critical consciousness in EFL academic writing. Sarkhoush looks into the relationships between student self-efficacy, writing apprehension, writing performance, and attitudes, and concludes that self-efficacy and attitudes as well as self-efficacy and writing performance are positively correlated while writing apprehension and performance are negatively correlated. Hassan highlights the challenges Arab ESL students face in the college writing classroom, including perceptions of cultural criticism and the dire need to establish bridge programs to help these students. Severino presents a personal narrative on the challenges of translation in a foreign language course. Finally, Matuchniak advocates for a cognitive strategies approach to writing instruction to help 12th grade ELL students succeed in writing as they transition into college.
To help students and scholars publish in their fields, Curry & Lillis provide a guide to writing for publication. Two experimental studies were conducted to investigate students’ practices of writing for publication. Simpson examines a Brazilian doctoral students’ writing for publication by using system theory, and Tseng discloses how L2 students join academic discourse communities through research writing.
Issues of plagiarism and textual borrowing are still drawing much attention from L2 writing scholars. Publications on these issues cover a wide range of participants (undergraduates, postgraduate students, and ESL instructors), regions (UK, Australia, Mainland China, and Hong Kong), and research methods (text analysis, discourse-based interviews, and think-aloud protocols). Among the publications on this topic, Pecorari’s book provides teachers with knowledge of how to promote good use of sources and avoid plagiarism..
Shaw & Pecorari introduce articles on textual borrowing and plagiarism in a special issue of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes. Hirvela & Du discuss a case study of two Mainland Chinese students that explored how students’ understanding of the purpose and function of paraphrasing influenced students’ practice in paraphrasing. Li examines three ESL students’ practices in source-based academic writing in Hong Kong using activity theory, and McCulloch investigates the use of source materials by two L2 students in London by analyzing the reading to write process. Thompson, Morton, & Storch explore how L2 students from different disciplines in an Australian university selected and used sources in their research-based assignments, and Davis reports on the development of source use by three Chinese students in the UK in a two-year case study. In contrast to the foregoing studies that look at students’ use of sources, Lei & Hu research Chinese university English lecturers’ knowledge and perceptions of unacknowledged copying and unattributed paraphrasing.
L2 writing research
With more than 20 publications offering descriptions of the field and its different aspects, L2 writing research continues to be an important theme.
Many authors shared their views of second language writing as a field. Pelaez-Morales identifies three different lines of scholarship, namely ESL, EFL, and FL writing, and how the three have developed historically, with specific attention given to EFL and FL writing development in academic literature. While Byrnes advocates the need to incorporate writing as meaning-making in L2 writing pedagogy, Ortega analyzes the aspects on which second language acquisition and second language writing have clashed.
Reflecting how the field has developed over the years, the Journal of Second Language Writing published a disciplinary dialogues section where recognized scholars in the field shared their perspectives. A major theme in this discussion was the nature of the term “second language writing.” Atkinson prefaces the dialogue by encouraging L2 writing scholars to indulge in debate and public discussion. This is followed by Hyland’s recognition of second language writing as an avenue that reduces the differences between L2 learners and, subsequently, how the L2 writing field becomes “both a field of study and an arena of practice” (p. 427). Ferris provides a behind-the-scenes perspective by highlighting the institutional politics that govern and inhibit the flexibility of ESL specialist composition teachers in the university setting. Kubota advocates the need to “dislimit” rather than “delimit” the field of L2 writing by broadening its focus on multilingualism in writing, critically understanding the hegemony of English, recognizing possibilities of multimodality in L2 writing, and being consciously aware of power relations prevalent between NS and NNS writers of English (pp. 430-431).
Silva succinctly provides an overview of the L2 writing field in 100 bullet-pointed statements whereas Lee addresses the divide between actual practice and conducted research, context sensitivity of pedagogical approaches, and the drive for alternative research practices in L2 writing research. Belcher argues for the need to develop a wider perspective on the L2 writing construct by recognizing “the “who” of L2 writing—L2 writers” rather than “what” L2 writing is (p. 439). Canagarajah elaborates on the multimodal nature of L2 writing and proposes a view of L2 writing as a translingual phenomenon. Kobayashi & Rinnert discuss how bidirectional transfer can encourage L2 writing learning. De Larios suggests ways in which the field of second language acquisition can complement the field of L2 writing, while Zhang highlights the characteristics of the L2 writing field. Matsuda concludes by summarizing the contribution of the abovementioned scholars and argues that although the term L2 writing tends to be slippery in definition, it has not “outlived its usefulness” (p. 450).
There were also several studies regarding specific aspects of L2 writing research. Williams argues that writing can be seen as tool for second language learning development, focusing on how the written form requires precision and enhances cognitive processes while a learner produces and revisits a text. Hubert’s study investigates whether speaking and writing skills develop at similar rates in a Spanish language classroom. On a related note, Walls discloses how different learners attend to language while negotiating interaction and collaborative writing. Moheb & Bagheri claim that certain types of multiple intelligences are related to writing strategies in female Iranian EFL learners, while male Iranian EFL learners showed no such relationship. Xu, Chang, Zhang, & Perfetti, in their study of Chinese foreign language learners, discover how students with prior orthographic knowledge are able to use reading, writing, and animation to develop their Chinese character producing proficiencies. Finally, Neff-van Aertselaer analyzes how students can develop argumentative strategies that can be contextualized within the Common European Framework descriptors.
Assessment continues to be a significant theme in L2 writing research. Sub-themes include the portfolio as a means of assessment, rater performance, rater values, factors influencing scores, assessment of particular genres, automated writing evaluation, and different types of measures.
Fahim & Jalili examine the effect of writing portfolios on developing Iranian EFL learners’ ability to edit their own papers. Lam discusses the relationship between self-, peer, and tutor assessment and text revision in EFL writing portfolios.
Panou investigates evaluators’ uniformity in the application of assessment criteria; Esfandiari & Myford look at the differences in severity of three different types of assessors—self-assessors, peer-assessors, and teacher assessors—in rating EFL writing produced by Iranian students; Hall & Sheyholislami, adopting appraisal theory, analyze raters’ comments on the same writings to examine rater values.
Thakkar explores the relationship between English language learners’ language proficiency and standardized test scores. Cho, Rijmen, & Novák investigate the effects of prompt characteristics of TOEFL iBT integrated writing tasks on scores. Sawaki, Quinlan, & Lee study factor structures affecting examinees’ performance on an integrated writing task, and Knoch & Sitajalabhorn promote a more focused definition for integrated writing tasks.
Yi questions how narrative writing is assessed and what the nature and purpose of teaching narrative writing as a subject in the EFL context is, while Zhao researches how authorial voice in argumentative writing can be measured using a reliable rubric. Wang, Shang, & Briody look at the impact of automated writing evaluation on students’ writing performance.
Hasselgreen advocates adapting the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to assess young learners’ writing. Jiang uses T-units to assess L2 Chinese writing. Lee & Coniam advocate for an integration of assessment for learning (AFL) and assessment of learning (AOL) in the examination-driven system in Hong Kong. Plakans describes how a writing scale is developed and used in an intensive English program at a large U.S. Midwestern University, and Latif discusses the definition and the validity of the measurement of writing fluency. Campbell, Espin, & McMaster examine the validity and reliability of curriculum-based measures in writing for English learners.
Technology is currently one of the most important themes in L2 writing research. The technologies researched in these studies include wikis, blogs, E-portfolios, online bulletin boards, online instructional conversation (IC), Google, online writing labs, computers, laptops, and mobile-based email. Some publications discuss writing using digital tools in general (Hafner; Pu; Warschauer, Zheng, & Park). Other studies explore the use of different digital tools in engaging students and improve their writing—collaborative writing with wikis (Li; Li & Zhu), using writing blogs to promote students’ writing autonomy (Foroutan, Noordin, & Hamzah) and improve writing skills (Vurdien), E-portfolios (Alawdat), mobile-based email (Alzu’bi & Sabha), online instructional conversation (Lee), online bulletin boards (Ferriman), and digital storytelling (Castaneda).
Other studies look at the incorporation of technology into other aspects of L2 writing. For instance, Dzekoe explores the use of computer-based multimodal composing activities (CBMCA) to help L2 writers with self-revision. Morales Sousa researches the application of assistive technology (AT) in helping blind and visually disabled students in their writing. Ling & Bridgeman look at the effect of writing on a laptop or a desk computer on students’ writing performance on the TOEFL iBT writing test. Geluso researches native English speakers’ perceptions of Google-informed writing. Sánchez examines the resources on online writing labs for L2 writers. Baecher, Schieble, Rosalia, & Rorimer report on the use of blogs to promote the collaboration between adolescent English teacher candidates and TESOL teacher candidates to strengthen instruction for English language learners. These studies shed light on the integration of technology into L2 writing research in this digital age.
Many studies deal with issues related to bilingual writers in diverse settings. Abu-Rabia, Shakkour, & Siegel focus on reverse transfer from L2 (English) to L1 (Arabic) in reading and writing, while Bohmer looks at biliterate skills in German and Turkish and Russian and Turkish writers. Al-Jarrah & Al-Ahmad describe English writing instruction in school in Jordan and the internal and external factors that affect learners. Bauer & Picciotto focus on a more common setting, describing challenges that ESL learners face in first-year-composition classes in the United States.
Several other studies have been conducted with bilingual writers. Lawrick looks at ESL writers not as a homogeneous group, but as a group that has diverse backgrounds. Slocum observes the dynamics of ESL support and the status of learners’ L1 in successful writing. El Amrani advocates for the status of French as a privileged language in Morocco and the quality of written French texts of college students, while Anderson, Vanderhoff, & Donovick explore the disadvantages that bilingual writers have in L2 writing in comparison with monolingual writers. Walls conducts research on the dynamics among three different groups in a Spanish classroom: heritage language learners, L2 learners, and others, and Bunch & Willet focus on the role of content-focused writing assignments for ESL learners in middle school and their navigation of challenges. Two additional studies place emphasis on bilingual writers: Ortmeier-Hooper identifies ELLs and various issues they have in the secondary classroom, and Shakour describes Arab novelists’ work written in Hebrew in Israel.
A few studies addressed issues of multilingual writers. Canagarajah focuses on learners’ use of negotiation strategies when writing in multiple languages, and looks at them as trans-lingual, not simply multilingual. Kobayashi & Rinnert conduct a longitudinal case study of how a multilingual writer of English, Japanese and Chinese develops her composition skills. Finally, Tullock & Fernandez-Villanueva scrutinize how multilingual writers of German, Spanish and Catalan utilize their lexical resources when writing in their fourth language, English. Not much research has been done with Generation 1.5 writers. Doolan and di Gennro, respectively, compared college writing of Generation 1.5 and L2 students.
While considering the needs of L2 learners and helping them develop their L2 proficiency guides much of L2 writing research, pedagogical implications and methods go hand in hand in making this process easier. In relation to pedagogy, several studies focus on teacher development and discuss strategies by which classroom teaching can be improved.
With regard to teacher development, Goldman discovers that teachers require adequate training when it comes to teaching long-term English learners in secondary schools. It is suggested that such training should focus specifically on the development of reflective teaching, incorporating specific writing practices for long-term learners, and understanding the multifarious nature of teaching L2 writing to such learners. Ferris and Hedgcock provide practical and theoretical tools that teachers can apply to facilitate writing in the L2 composition classroom. Olson calls for a wider perspective on teaching multilingual writers, suggesting a strengths-based approach.
In addition, two sources focus on Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) pedagogy. While Hodgson-Drysdale conducts a case study on how SFL pedagogy can inform teaching writing, Schulze similarly conducts a case study on a teacher-researcher and three learners that shows ways in which SFL pedagogy can augment the meaning-making ability of students.
With regard to strategies, Stillar suggests using creative strategies to develop students’ critical consciousness in the EFL classroom. He does this by urging his students to write journal entries from the perspective of an outsider who is part of an ostracised minority in the community, thus making his students socially aware and making L2 writing enjoyable. And by employing Makiguchi’s philosophy, Goulah presents ways in which value-creating pedagogy can be implemented in a classroom in the United States. You &You investigate challenges NNES students face in English medium content instruction provided by American teachers. Liu observes how a blended learning environment in a university EFL writing course positively correlated with student motivation, student-teacher interaction, reduced communication anxiety, and augmented autonomous learning. Haase discloses how the use of sheltered instruction facilitates Spanish L2 learning.
Harman’s study reveals how a teacher’s explicit instructional focus can encourage young students to exploit lexical patterns and become creative in L2 writing; similarly, Zhang points out the need for explicit instruction for students’ synthesis writing. Bouthillier & Dicks examine the improvement of French immersion students in an opinion text and ascertain that explicit instruction using models has a positive effect on L2 writing. Finally, Lee suggests that another strategy that teachers can employ for teaching writing is the use of reading response e-journals. By taking advantage of technology, Lee was able to motivate her students to share their experiences with each other in reading and writing journal entries.
The L2 writer’s identity has been an increasingly popular topic for researchers in the field of second language writing. Simpson presents a multilingual learner’s interaction on a class blog and her developing identity position online. Chen discusses collective and personal identities of multilingual writers in social networking communities while Zhao, Fei, & Lin look at collective and individual identities of learners in biographical narrative writing. Park takes this work a step further, using a specific tool called “chapter prompts” in cultural and linguistic autobiography and discusses learners’ identity development. Yi conducted qualitative research on an ESL learner’s multiple identities in academic writing while Liu & Tannacito discussed broader issues on the L2 learners’ identity investment in an ideally imagined community. While a number of studies have focused on the learner’s identity, teachers’ identities are discussed in by Lee, who scrutinizes EFL teachers’ multi-faceted identities in the process of becoming writing teachers.
Results from the examination of different corpora shed light on the teaching and researching of English writing and understanding L2 writers’ genre knowledge and language development. Belcher & Nelson’s book introduces ways of incorporating corpus-based approaches into the research on intercultural rhetoric. Gardner & Nesi analyze BAWE (British Academic Written English) corpus texts and classify the diverse genres of students’ writing. Nathan looks at the moves of business case reports by analyzing writing from a corpus built at a UK university and from the BAWE corpus. Other corpus-based studies compared distinct features in the writing of L1 and L2 participants. For instance, O’Donnell, Romer, & Ellis investigate the knowledge of formulas in first and second language writing. Leedham & Cai compare Chinese and British students’ writing in UK universities and report on the differences in the use of linking adverbials by the two groups of students. Cho & Yoon compare corporate earning calls written by Korean and native English-speaking participants; low-level genre awareness of earning calls was observed in the Korean participants’ writing.
Interestingly, all of the studies in the genre category focus on pedagogical aspects of genre as opposed to genre theory. Troyan explores a genre-based approach to teaching writing to fourth graders in a Spanish classroom and finds the approach effective. Bangeni examines how students’ prior genre knowledge, acquired from writing their social science argumentative essays in undergraduate classes, caused them to struggle in their construction of audience in a written case analysis in a marketing course at the postgraduate level at a South African university. Gebhard, Chen, Graham, & Gunawan explain how systemic functional linguistics and genre-based pedagogy are integrated into curriculum design. Hafner, Miller, & Ng report on how teachers can help students address a wider range of audiences in their scientific writing by referencing the course they designed for scientific writing in Hong Kong. Racelis & Matsuda introduce a successful classroom practice combining process and genre approaches to teaching L2 writing.
In terms of learners’ attitudes, Gholaminejad, Moinzadeh, Youhanaee, & Ghobadirad explore Iranian writers’ different attitudes towards writing in English and Persian while Fernández Dobao & Blum elaborate learners’ attitudes towards collaborative writing in a Spanish classroom. Polat & Mahalingappa’s study focuses on pre- and in-service teachers’ attitudes in content area classes, and Cho observes governmental and social attitudes towards English in Korea.
Tony Silva is a professor of English and the director of ESL Writing Program in the Department of English at Purdue University.
Suneeta Thomas is a PhD student in the SLS/ESL program at Purdue University. Her academic interests include World Englishes, second language writing, and sociolinguistics.
Cong Zhang is a PhD student in the English department at Purdue University. She is teaching first year composition for International students at Purdue. Her research interests include second language writing, teaching English as a second/foreign language and World Englishes.
Hyojung Park is a PhD student in the SLS/ESL program and teaches first-year composition at Purdue University.
STUDIES REFERENCED IN SCHOLARSHIP ON L2 WRITING IN 2013: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
*Please note: Due to the length of the following article, it has not been copyedited by TESOL. A downloadable version of this list is available in the Library section of the SLWIS Community Page.
Andrade, M. S. & Evans, N. W. (2013). Principles and practices for response in second language writing. New York, NY: Routledge.
Bitchener, J. (2012). A reflection on ‘the language learning potential’of written CF. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(4), 348-363.
Busse, V. (2013). How do students of German perceive feedback practices at university? A motivational exploration. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 406-424
Case, R. E., Williams, G. M., & Xu, W. (2013). Instructors' feedback among generation 1.5 students, international students, and basic writers. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 24(1), 85-103.
Chan, W.-m. (2013). Combining electronic commenting and face-to-face interaction in peer review: A case study of ESL writing classrooms in Hong Kong. Unpublished dissertation.
Che, J. (2013). How peer social worlds shaped the out-of-class learning experiences of college ESOL students: Examining the impacts of informal peer learning upon their writing and related psychosocial development. Unpublished dissertation.
Cote, R. A. (2013). The role of student attitude towards peer review in anonymous electronic peer review in an EFL writing classroom. Unpublished dissertation.
Eckstein, G. (2013). Implementing and evaluating a writing conference program for international L2 writers across language proficiency levels. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(3), 231-239.
Elashri, I. I. E. A. F. (2013). The impact of the direct teacher feedback strategy on the EFL secondary stage students' writing performance. ERIC Online Submission.
Erlam, R., Ellis, R., & Batstone, R. (2013). Oral corrective feedback on L2 writing: Two approaches compared. System, 41(2), 257-268.
Ferris, D. R., Liu, H., Sinha, A., & Senna, M. (2013). Written corrective feedback for individual L2 writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(3), 307-329.
Guénette, D., & Lyster, R. (2013). Written corrective feedback and its challenges for pre-service ESL teachers. Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes, 69(2), 129-153.
Hanaoka, O., & Izumi, S. (2012). Noticing and uptake: Addressing pre-articulated covert problems in L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(4), 332-347.
Hussein, M. A. H. (2013). The effectiveness of writing conferences and peer response groups strategies on the EFL secondary students' writing performance and their self efficacy (A comparative study). ERIC Online Submission.
Hyland, K. (2013). Faculty feedback: Perceptions and practices in L2 disciplinary writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(3), 240-253.
Lee, C., Cheung, W. K. W., Wong, K. C. K., & Lee, F. S. L. (2013). Immediate web-based essay critiquing system feedback and teacher follow-up feedback on young second language learners' writings: an experimental study in a Hong Kong secondary school. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 26(1), 39-60.
Lázaro Ibarrola, A. (2013). Reformulation and self-correction: Insights into correction strategies for EFL writing in a school context.Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics(10), 29-49.
Mawlawi Diab, N. (2013). A comparison of peer- versus self-feedback on L2 writing skills. Saarbrücken: Scholar’s Press.
Min, H.-T. (2013). A case study of an EFL writing teacher's belief and practice about written feedback. System, 41(3), 625-638.
Mull, J. & Conrad, S. (2013). Student use of concordancers for Grammar error correction. The ORTESOL Journal, 30, 5-14.
Polio, C. (2012). The relevance of second language acquisition theory to the written error correction debate. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(4), 375-389.
Rahimi, M. (2013). Is training student reviewers worth its while? A study of how training influences the quality of students’ feedback and writing. Language Teaching Research, 17(1), 67-89.
Shintani, N., & Ellis, R. (2013). The comparative effect of direct written corrective feedback and metalinguistic explanation on learners’ explicit and implicit knowledge of the English indefinite article. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(3), 286-306.
Sun, S. (2013). Written corrective feedback: Effects of focused and unfocused grammar
correction on the case acquisition in L2 German. Unpublished dissertation.
Wen, Y. (2013). Teacher written feedback on L2 student writings. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(2), 427-431.
Wigglesworth, G., & Storch, N. (2012). What role for collaboration in writing and writing feedback. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(4), 364-374.
Woo, M. M., Chu, S. K. W., & Li, X. (2013). Peer-feedback and revision process in a wiki
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Zarei, A. A. & Rahnama, M. (2013). Corrective feedback: In L2 grammatical and lexical writing
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Akbar Khansir, A., & Shahhoseiny, H. (2013). The study of written errors of EFL pre-university learners. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(6), 1253-1258.
Chalak, A., & Norouzi, Z. (2013). Rhetorical moves and verb tense in abstracts: A comparative analysis of American and Iranian academic writing. International Journal of Language Studies, 7(4), 101-110.
DePalma, M.-J., & Ringer, J. M. (2013). Adaptive transfer, genre knowledge, and implications for research and pedagogy: A response. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 465-470.
Elahi, M., & Badeleh, M. T. (2013). A contrastive study on transitional markers in English language teaching research articles written by English and Persian academic writers. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(4), 839-844.
Elola, I., & Mikulski, A. (2013). Revisions in real time: Spanish heritage language learners' writing processes in English and Spanish. Foreign Language Annals, 46(4), 646-660.
Gebril, A., & Plakans, L. (2013). Toward a transparent construct of reading-to-write tasks: The interface between discourse features and proficiency. Language Assessment Quarterly, 10(1), 9-27.
Grabe, W., & Zhang, C. (2013). Reading and writing together: A critical component of English for academic purposes teaching and learning. TESOL Journal, 4(1), 9-24.
Grujicic-Alatriste, L. (2013). A response to depalma and Ringer's article “Toward a theory of adaptive transfer: Expanding disciplinary discussions of ‘transfer’in second-language writing and composition studies”. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 460-464.
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Kim, H.-J. (2013). Effets des apprentissages de la langue écrite effectués par la typologie textuelle dans l’apprentissage multilingue (le coréen, l’anglais et le français) chez l’apprenant coréen. Unpublished dissertation.
Kim, S. H. (2013). Metacognitive knowledge in second language writing. Unpublished dissertation.
Liardét, C. L. (2013). An exploration of Chinese EFL learner's deployment of grammatical metaphor: Learning to make academically valued meanings. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(2), 161-178.
Ma, Q. (2013). Matching vocabulary learning process with learning outcome in L2 academic writing: An exploratory case study. Linguistics and Education, 24(2), 237-246.
Mei, W. S. (2013). Certainty judgements and the status of propositions in undergraduate essays. RELC Journal, 44(3), 279-302.
Meier, D. R. (2013). Integrating content and mechanics in new language learners' writing in the
primary classroom. Young Children, 68(1), 16-21.
Nesbitt Perez, S. L. (2013). Use of subordination in English second language texts. Unpublished dissertation.
Parkinson, J. (2013). Adopting academic values: Student use of that-complement clauses in academic writing. System, 41(2), 428-442.
Pierce, T. (2013). Diverse college writers and the conversation on error and standardization across the curriculum. Unpublished dissertation.
Ryshina-Pankova, M., & Byrnes, H. (2013). Writing as learning to know: Tracing knowledge construction in L2 German compositions. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(2), 179-197.
Sadeghi, K., & Dilmaghani, S. K. (2013). The relationship between lexical diversity and genre in Iranian EFL learners' writings. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(2), 328-334.
Sebba, M. (2013). Multilingualism in written discourse: An approach to the analysis of multilingual texts. International Journal of Bilingualism, 17(1), 97-118.
Staples, S., Egbert, J., Biber, D., & mcclair, A. (2013). Formulaic sequences and EAP writing development: Lexical bundles in the TOEFL iBT writing section. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(3), 214-225.
Taguchi, N., Crawford, W., & Wetzel, D. Z. (2013). What linguistic features are indicative of writing quality? A case of argumentative essays in a college composition program. TESOL Quarterly, 47(2), 420-430.
Yang, C. (2013). Textual conjunctives and topic-fronting devices in CFL Learners' written summaries. Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, 48(1), 71-89.
Ye, W. (2013). Achieving coherence in persuasive discourse: A study of Chinese ESL
undergraduates in the United States. Unpublished dissertation.
Abbasian, G. R., & Mohammadi, M. (2013). The effectiveness of dictogloss in developing general writing skill of Iranian intermediate EFL learners. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(6).
Abednia, A., Hovassapian, A., Teimournezhad, S., & Ghanbari, N. (2013). Reflective journal writing: Exploring in-service EFL teachers' perceptions. System, 41(3), 503-514.
Adoniou, M. (2013). Drawing to support writing development in English language learners. Language and Education, 27(3), 261-277.
Aminloo, M. S. (2013). The effect of collaborative writing on EFL learners’ writing ability at elementary level. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(4).
Broer, K. (2013). Collaboration model for ESL and content teachers. ERIC Online Submission.
Chandrasegaran, A. (2013). The effect of a socio-cognitive approach to teaching writing on stance support moves and topicality in students’ expository essays. Linguistics and Education, 24(2), 101-111.
Cowan, K., & Sandefur, S. (2013). Building on the linguistic and cultural strengths of EL students. Voices from the Middle, 20(4), 22-27.
Denne-Bolton, S. (2013). The dialog journal: A tool for building better writers. English Teach Forum, 51, 2-11.
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Gorbani, M.R., Gangeraj, A.A., &Alavi, S.Z. (2013). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension strategies improves EFL learners’ writing ability. Current Issues in Education, 16(1), 1-12.
Haghverdi, H. R., Biria, R., & Khalaji, H. R. (2013). The impact of task-planning and gender on the accuracy of narrations composed by Iranian EFL learners. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(1), 74-83.
Kang, Y. S., & Pyun, D. O. (2013). Mediation strategies in L2 writing processes: a case study of two Korean language learners. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 26(1), 52-67.
Laman, T. T. (2013). From ideas to words: writing strategies for English language learners. Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann.
Lin, Z. (2013). Capitalising on learner agency and group work in learning writing in English as a Foreign Language, TESOL Journal, 4(4), 633-654.
Lindgren, E., & Stevenson, M. (2013). Interactional resources in the letters of young writers in Swedish and English. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 390-405.
Matuchniak, T. (2013). A cognitive strategies approach to college writing readiness for English language learners. Unpublished dissertation.
Olkkonen, S. (2013). Speed in cognitive tasks as an indicator of second/foreign language reading and writing skills. Eesti Rakenduslingvistika Uhingu Aastaraamat, 9, 195-208.
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Panahi, R. (2013). The effects of task type planning on students' essay writing: A study of Iranian EFL learners. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(5), 1106-1116.
Petrić, B., & Harwood, N. (2013). Task requirements, task representation, and self-reported citation functions: An exploratory study of a successful L2 student's writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(2), 110-124.
Plakans, L., & Gebril, A. (2013). Using multiple texts in an integrated writing assessment: Source text use as a predictor of score. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(3), 217-230.
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Wu, R. J. R. (2013). Native and non-native students’ interaction with a text-based prompt. Assessing Writing, 18(3), 202-217.
Academic Writing Challenges
Cheng, R. (2013). A non-native student's experience on collaborating with native peers in academic literacy development: A sociopolitical perspective. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(1), 12-22.
Curry, M. J., & Lillis, T. M. (2013). A scholar’s guide to getting published in English: Critical
choices and practical strategies. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Davis, M. (2013). The development of source use by international postgraduate students. Journal
of English for Academic Purposes, 12(2), 125-135.
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Green, S. (2013). Novice ESL writers: A longitudinal case-study of the situated academic writing processes of three undergraduates in a TESOL context. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(3), 180-191.
Hanauer, D. I., & Englander, K. (2013). Scientific writing in a second language: Anderson, SC: Parlor Press.
Hirvela, A., & Du, Q. (2013). “Why am I paraphrasing?”: Undergraduate ESL writers' engagement with source-based academic writing and reading. Journal of English for
Academic Purposes, 12(2), 87-98.
Lei, J., & Hu, G. (2013). Chinese ESOL lecturers’ stance on plagiarism: does knowledge matter?
ELT journal, 68(1), 41-51.
Li, Y. (2013). Three ESL students writing a policy paper assignment: An activity-analytic
perspective. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(2), 73-86.
Matarese, V. (2012). Supporting research writing: Roles and challenges in multilingual
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McCulloch, S. (2013). Investigating the reading-to-write processes and source use of L2
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English for Academic Purposes, 12(2), 136-147.
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issue. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(2), A1-A3.
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publication in an environmental sciences doctoral program. Research in the Teaching of English, 48(2), 228-249.
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students in an MA TESOL program. Unpublished dissertation.
L2 Writing Research
Atkinson, D. (2013). Introduction. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 425.
Belcher, D. (2013). The scope of L2 writing: Why we need a wider lens. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 438-439.
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Ferris, D. (2013). What L2 writing means to me: Texts, writers, contexts. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 428-429.
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Hyland, K. (2013). Second language writing: The manufacture of a social fact. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 426-427.
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Cho, Y., Rijmen, F., & Novák, J. (2013). Investigating the effects of prompt characteristics on the
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Editing Ability of Iranian EFL Learners. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 4(3), 496-503.
Hall, C., & Sheyholislami, J. (2013). Using appraisal theory to understand rater values: An
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writing. Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes,
Jiang, W. (2013). Measurements of development in L2 written production: The case of L2
Chinese. Applied linguistics, 34(1), 1-24.
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focussed definition for assessment purposes. Assessing Writing, 18(4), 300-308.
Lam, R. (2013). The relationship between assessment types and text revision. ELT Journal,
Latif, M. M. M. A. (2013). What do we mean by writing fluency and how can it be validly measured? Applied linguistics, 34(1), 99-105.
Lee, I., & Coniam, D. (2013). Introducing assessment for learning for EFL writing in an
assessment of learning examination-driven system in Hong Kong. Journal of Second
Language Writing, 22(1), 34-50.
Panou, D. (2013). L2 writing assessment in the Greek school of foreign languages. Journal of
Language Teaching and Research, 4(4). 649-654.
Plakans, L. (2013). Writing scale development and use within a language program. TESOL Journal, 4(1), 151-163.
Sawaki, Y., Quinlan, T., & Lee, Y. W. (2013). Understanding learner strengths and weaknesses:
Assessing performance on an integrated writing task. Language Assessment Quarterly,
Thakkar, D. (2013). The relationship between English Language Learners' language proficiency
and standardized test scores. Unpublished dissertation.
Wang, Y. J., Shang, H. F., & Briody, P. (2013). Exploring the impact of using automated writing evaluation in English as a foreign language university students' writing. Computer
Assisted Language Learning, 26(3), 234-257.
Yi, Y. (2013). Questions arising from the assessment of EFL narrative writing. ELT journal,
Zhao, C. G. (2013). Measuring authorial voice strength in L2 argumentative writing: The
development and validation of an analytic rubric. Language Testing, 30(2), 201-230.
Alawdat, M. (2013). Using E-portfolios and ESL learners. US-China Education Review, 3(5).
Alzu'bi, M. A. M., & Sabha, M. R. N. (2013). Using mobile-based Email for English foreign
language learners. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 12(1), 178-186.
Baecher, L., Schieble, M., Rosalia, C., & Rorimer, S. (2013). Blogging for academic purposes with English language learners: An online field initiate. Contemporary Issues in
Technology and Teacher Education Journal, 13(1), 1-21.
Castaneda, M. E. (2013). “I am proud that I did it and it’s a piece of me”: Digital storytelling in
the foreign language classroom. CALICO Journal, 30(1), 44-62.
Dzekoe, R. (2013). Facilitating revision in the English as a second language (ESL) composition
classroom through computer-based multimodal composing activities: A case study of
composing practices of ESL students. Unpublished dissertation.
Ferriman, N. (2013). The impact of blended E-learning on undergraduate academic essay writing
in English. Computers & Education, 60(1), 243-253.
Foroutan, M., Noordin, N., & Hamzah, M. S. G. (2013). Weblog promotes ESL learners' writing
autonomy. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 4(5), 994-1002.
Geluso, J. (2013). Phrasing and frequency of occurrence on the web: Native speakers'
perceptions of Google-informed second language writing. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 26(2), 144-157.
Hafner, C. A. (2013). Digital composition in a second or foreign language. TESOL Quarterly, 47(4), 830-834.
Lee, H. (2013). Effects of online instructional conversation on English as a foreign language
learners’ WebQuest writng performance: A mixed methods study. Unpublished
Li., M. (2013). Individual novices and collective experts: Collective scaffolding in wiki-based
small group writing. System, 41(3), 752-769.
Li, M., & Zhu, W. (2013). Patterns of computer-mediated interaction in small writing groups
using wikis. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 26(1), 61-82.
Ling, G., & Bridgeman, B. (2013). Writing essays on a laptop or a desktop computer: Does it
matter? International Journal of Testing, 13(2), 105-122.
Morales Sousa, J. I. (2013). Assistive technology in the process of developing English as a
second language writing skills in blind and visually disabled students at the college level.
Pu, J. (2013). Learning to write in the digital age: ELLs’ literacy practices in and out of their
Western urban high school. Unpublished dissertation.
Sánchez, F. (2013). Creating accessible spaces for ESL students online. Journal of the Council of
Writing Program Administrators, 37(1), 161-185.
Vurdien, R. (2013). Enhancing writing skills through blogging in an advanced English as a
foreign language in Spain. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 26(2), 126-143.
Warschauer, M., Zheng, B., & Park, Y. (2013). New ways of connecting reading and writing.
TESOL Quarterly, 47(4), 825-830.
Abu-Rabia, S., Shakkour, W., & Siegel, L. (2013). Cognitive retroactive transfer (CRT) of
language skills among bilingual Arabic-English readers. Bilingual Research Journal,
Al-Jarrah, R. S., & Al-Ahmad, S. (2013). Writing instruction in Jordan: Past, present, and future trends. System, 41(1), 84-94.
Anderson, E. C., Vanderhoff, A. M., & Donovick, P. J. (2013). A manifestation of the bilingual disadvantage in college-level writing. International Journal of Language Studies, 7(1), 135-150.
Bauer, H., & Picciotto, M. (2013). Writing in America: International students and first-year composition. Writing on the Edge, 23(2), 75-86.
Bohmer, J. (2013). Biliterate skills of bilingual students in German, Turkish and Russan. Diskurs Kindheits and Jugendforschung, 8(1), 57-70.
Bunch, G. C., & Willett, K. (2013). Writing to mean in middle school: Understanding how second language writers negotiate textually-rich content-area instruction. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(2), 141-160.
Canagarajah, A. S. (2013). Negotiating translingual literacy: An enactment. Research in the Teaching of English, 48(1), 40-67.
di Gennaro, K. (2013). How different are they? A comparison of Generation 1.5 and international L2 learners’ writing ability. Assessing Writing, 18(2), 154-172.
Doolan, S. M. (2013). Generation 1.5 writing compared to L1 and L2 writing in first-year composition. Written Communication, 30(2), 135-163.
El Amrani, H. (2013). The status of the written French of new students. Language & Societe, 143, 53-64.
Kobayashi, H., & Rinnert, C. (2013). L1/L2/L3 writing development: Longitudinal case study of a Japanese multicompetent writer. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(1), 4-33.
Lawrick, E. (2013). Students in the first-year ESL writing Program: Revisiting the notion of "traditional" ESL. WPA: Writing Program Administration, 36(2), 27-58.
Ortmeier-Hooper, C. (2013). The ELL writer: Moving beyond basics in the secondary classroom. New York: Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University.
Shakour, A. (2013). Arab authors in Israel writing in Hebrew: Fleeting fashion or persistent phenomenon? Language Problems & Language Planning, 37(1), 1-17.
Slocum, S. (2013). First language status and second language writing. Unpublished dissertation.
Tullock, B.D., & Fernández-Villanueva. (2013). The role of previously learned languages in the
thought processes of multilingual writers at Deutsche Schule Barcelona. Research in the Teaching of English, 47(4), 420-441.
Walls, L. (2013). Interactions between and among heritage language learners and second
language learners during collaborative writing activities: How learners attend to
language. Unpublished dissertation.
Bouthillier, J. L., & Dicks, J. (2013). L’emploi d’un modèle d’enseignement systématique d’écriture: Une étude de cas en 7 e année de l’immersion précoce. Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes, 69(3), 298-323.
Ferris, D. R., & Hedgcock, J. (2013). Teaching L2 composition: Purpose, process, and practice: New York: Routledge.
Goldman, J. M. (2013). Teachers' sense of efficacy in teaching second language writing to middle and high school long-term English learners. Unpublished dissertation.
Goulah, J. (2013). Makiguchi Tsunesaburo and language, value-creative composition instruction, and the geography of identity in community studies: A response to politicized imagining and ineffective critical approaches. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 12(1), 22-39.
Haase, M. I. V. (2013). The relationship between sheltered instruction and the reading comprehension and writing development of Spanish language learners at a South Texas University. Unpublished dissertation.
Harman, R. (2013). Literary intertextuality in genre-based pedagogies: Building lexical cohesion in fifth-grade L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(2), 125-140.
Hodgson-Drysdale, T. (2013). Teaching writing informed by systemic functional linguistics. Unpublished dissertation.
Lee, H.-C. (2013). The reading response e-journal: An alternative way to engage low-achieving EFL students. Language Teaching Research, 17(1), 111-131.
Liu, M. (2013). Blended learning in a university EFL writing course: Description and evaluation. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(2), 301-309.
Olson, B. (2013). Re-orienting composition and writing center pedagogy: A strengths-based approach for multilingual writers. Unpublished dissertation.
Schulze, J. M. (2013). Supporting the persuasive writing practices of English language learners through culturally responsive systemic functional pedagogy. Unpublished dissertation.
Stillar, S. (2013). Raising critical consciousness via creative writing in the EFL classroom. TESOL Journal, 4(1), 164-174.
You, X., & You, X. (2013). American content teachers’ literacy brokerage in multilingual university classrooms. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(3), 260-276.
Zhang, C. (2013). Effect of instruction on ESL students’ synthesis writing. Journal of Second
Language Writing, 22(1), 51-67.
Chen, H. I. (2013). Identity practices of multilingual writers in social networking spaces. Language Learning & Technology. 17(2), 143-170.
Lee, I. (2013). Becoming a writing teacher: Using “identity” as an analytic lens to understand EFL writing teachers’ development. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(3), 330-345.
Liu, P. H. E., & Tannacito, D. J. (2013). Resistance by L2 writers: The role of racial and language ideology in imagined community and identity investment. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 355-373.
Park, G. (2013). ‘Writing is a way of knowing’: writing and identity. ELT journal, 67(3), 336-345.
Simpson, J. (2013). Identity alignment on an ESOL class blog. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 23(2), 183-201.
Yi, Y. (2013). Adolescent Multilingual Writer’s Negotiation of Multiple Identities and Access to Academic Writing: A Case Study of a Jogi Yuhak Student in a US High School. The Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes, 69(2), 207-231.
Zhao, H., Fei, Y., & Lin, X. (2013). Teaching for identities, writing between the “we” and the “I” paradigms. Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 12(2), 133-148.
Belcher, D. D., & Nelson, G. (2013). Critical and corpus-based approaches to intercultural rhetoric. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Cho, H., & Yoon, H. (2013). A corpus-assisted comparative genre analysis of corporate earnings
calls between Korean and native-English speakers. English for Specific Purposes, 32(3),
Gardner, S., & Nesi, H. (2013). A classification of genre families in university student writing.
Applied linguistics, 34(1), 25-52.
Leedham, M., & Cai, G. (2013). Besides on the other hand: Using a corpus approach to explore
the influence of teaching materials on Chinese students' use of linking adverbials. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4), 374-389.
O’Donnell, M. B., Romer, U., & Ellis, N. C. (2013). The development of formulaic sequences in
first and second language writing: Investigating effects of frequency, association, and
native norm. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 18(1), 83-108.
Bangeni, B. (2013). An exploration of the impact of students’ prior genre knowledge on their
constructions of ‘audience’ in a Marketing course at postgraduate level. English for
Specific Purposes, 32(4), 248-257.
Gebhard, M., Chen, I. A., Graham, H., & Gunawan, W. (2013). Teaching to mean, writing to
mean: SFL, L2 literacy, and teacher education. Journal of Second Language Writing,
Hafner, C. A., Miller, L., & Ng, K. F. C. (2013). A tale of two genres: Narrative structure in
students’ scientific writing. Linguistics Insights-Studies in Language and communication,
Troyan, F. J. (2013). Investigating a genre-based approach to writing in an elementary Spanish
program. Unpublished dissertation.
Racelis, J. V., & Matsuda, P. K. (2013). Integrating process and genre into the second language
writing classroom: Research into practice. Language Teaching, 46(3), 382-393.
Cho, Y. (2013). Second language motivation, the L2 self and English as an international language: A sociolinguistic investigation of Korean English learners’ discourses in texts and contexts. Unpublished dissertation.
Fernández Dobao, A., & Blum, A. (2013). Collaborative writing in pairs and small groups:
Learners' attitudes and perceptions. System, 41(2), 365-378.
Gholaminejad, R., Moinzadeh, A., Youhanaee, M., & Ghobadirad, H. (2013). Writing attitudes of Iranian EFL students: A qualitative study. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 4(5), 1138-1145.
Polat, N., & Mahalingappa, L. (2013). Pre-and in-service teachers’ beliefs about ELLs in content area classes: a case for inclusion, responsibility, and instructional support. Teaching Education, 24(1), 58-83.
CCCC CONTROVERSY: ARTICULATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN L2 WRITING AND TRANSLINGUAL WRITING
L2 writing is an international, transdisciplinary field of study whose members are active in a variety of organizations, including the U.S.-based Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). Over the last few decades, members of the L2 writing community have worked to increase awareness of L2 writers at CCCC with the creation of the “CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers” (2001) as well as with a standing committee and interest section. Many members of the SLWIS at TESOL are also active at CCCC.
In recent years, interest in language diversity and internationalization among CCCC members has exploded, with the creation of a Transnational SIG at the conference and pieces like “Opinion: Language Difference in Writing: Toward a Translingual Approach” (Horner, Lu, Royster, & Trimbur, 2011) in flagship composition journals such as College English. As scholars traditionally involved in both communities, we have welcomed an increased interest in language diversity, something we have been working toward for decades.
However, we are concerned about the tendency to conflate L2 writing and translingual writing, and with the even more disturbing trend to view translingual writing as a replacement for L2 writing. For example, we are concerned about the confusion and degrees of uncertainty resulting from a proliferation of such terms as: translingual writing, translingual writers, and code-meshing. There are also concerns about how this conflation may impact hiring practices for L2 writing specialists at postsecondary institutions and the comments of editorial boards for articles under review. We acknowledge that this trend has been largely confined within the discussion of U.S. college composition, so many who work in other contexts may be less familiar with the controversy.
In order to help mitigate this increasing confusion in certain academic circles, publications, and institutions, we recently drafted a letter articulating the differences between L2 writing and translingualism, noting that “translingual writing is a particular orientation to how language is conceptualized and implicated in the study and teaching of writing. It emphasizes the fluidity, malleability and discriminatory potential of languages” but that it “has not widely taken up the task of helping L2 writers increase their proficiency in what might still be emerging L2s and develop and use their multiple language resources to serve their own purposes” (Atkinson et al., in press). We also noted some of our concerns, and during the process, we circulated the letter among a variety of scholars for feedback and support. After finalizing the letter in early September 2014, we began distributing it among editors, organizations, and doctoral program leaders in writing studies in order to raise awareness of this issue. Please look forward to a published version in the March 2015 issue of College English.
Atkinson, D. Crusan, D., Matsuda, P. K., Ortmeier-Hooper, C., Ruecker, T., Simpson, S. & Tardy, C. (in press). Clarifying the relationship between L2 writing and translingual writing: An open letter to writing studies editors and organization leaders. College English.
Conference on College Composition and Communication. (2001). CCCC statement on second language writing and writers (revised 2009). Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/cccc/resources/positions/secondlangwriting.
Horner, B., Lu, M. Z., Royster, J. J., & Trimbur J. (2011) Opinion: Language difference in writing: Toward a translingual approach. College English, 73(3), 303–321.
Author affiliations and emails: Todd Ruecker, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; Christina Ortmeier-Hooper, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA; Deborah Crusan, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, USA; Christine Tardy, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA; Paul Kei Matsuda, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA; Dwight Atkinson, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA; Steve Simpson, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, New Mexico, USA
REVIEW OF ACADEMIC WRITING FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS: ESSENTIAL TASKS AND SKILLS
Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. (2012). Academic writing for graduate students: Essential tasks and skills. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press. 418 pages.
Swales and Feak have long established their niche as eminent and influential experts of academic writing. After 20 years, the third edition of Academic Writing for Graduate Students continues to build on the success of two previous editions. Aimed at postgraduates, undergraduates, and junior and senior researchers, the newest edition shines with a fresh appeal and abounds with bigger and better features while maintaining some of the previous favourites.
As in earlier editions, the value of this book emanates from extensive research literature and classroom experience. The third edition not only extends teaching tips, but also provides more writing activities than most instructors could ever use in a semester. Readers will recognise that there is a clear emphasis on authentic texts from the hard sciences and engineering. Another valuable feature is the use of Michigan Corpus of Upper-level Student Papers (MICUSP) as examples and an invitation to access the corpus with over 830 high standard student papers freely available. The third edition companion Commentary for Academic Writing for Graduate Students has also stretched to 193 pages of suggested responses to writing activities, explanatory material for all eight units, and two appendixes. Each unit of the Commentary features the main aims and important take-home messages, an inventory of language focus sections, a list of tasks and general notes, and more detailed commentary.
The structure of the book remains familiar. Similar to the original eight-unit organisation in previous editions, the first four units are preparatory and cover: 1) An Approach to Academic Writing; 2) General-Specific and Specific-General Texts; 3) Problem, Process, and Solution; and 4) Data Commentary. The next four units focus on developing academic writing skills: 5) Writing Summaries; 6) Writing Critiques, with an expanded section on book reviews; 7) Constructing a Research Paper l; and 8) Constructing a Research Paper II. The appendixes have slight variations: Appendix One (The Grammar of Definitions), Appendix Two (Articles in Academic Writing), and Appendix Three (Academic English and Latin Phrases).
Academic Writing for Graduates continues to map typical rhetorical moves and compare authentic texts across discipline models using new themes and updated tables. Some of the engaging topics highlight the trend toward scientific texts and include acoustics, fog harvesting, counterfeit money detection by intrinsic fluorescence lifetime, and the increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge, among others. These newer scientific texts have not replaced classic favourites such as the general-specific texts on road rage, procrastination, and theories of humour. The test-retest data in Chapter Four is still there, too. Updated tables demonstrate the frequency of appearance of individual moves and interdisciplinary differences, in addition to common fixed phrase expressions and the number of hits on Google Scholar as of May 2012. The updated tables endorse identified moves in academic writing and validate the in-depth analysis of various academic genres with current research.
One special feature is the focus on part-genres such as problem-solutions, methods and discussions sections, and genres covered in the book review and research paper sections. As in previous editions, each sentence is labelled in model texts and followed by focus questions so students can analyse and discuss each text as a class, a small group, or self-access. Student papers from the MICUSP are highlighted as authentic examples alongside published research. These features enhance the practicality of the book as a useful genre reference for academic writing skills.
Another valued and appreciated feature of this enhanced edition is the focus on “positioning” right from the beginning. The authors describe positioning as “the means by which you create in writing a credible image as a competent member of your chosen discipline” (p. 1). The index lists 17 other references to positioning in this edition, as opposed to the second edition with only five references, clearly an indication of the increasing significance of positioning in academic writing. Positioning is often an area that international students overlook because of the focus on vocabulary, grammar, and referencing. Positioning may also be less frequently addressed in academic writing due to lack of familiarity with the concept and lack of credible resources. This edition offers exercises and advice on concluding a commentary by positioning one’s self as “knowledgeable and capable” (p. 172), certainly an advantage to any student, educator, or researcher.
Swales and Feak claim their book “remains a work in progress” (p. 192) and hint that the fourth edition may be released before the end of the decade. In an age of internationalisation and English language education, the marketing of academic writing books often promises much but actually delivers little. Nonetheless, these two authors have a highly regarded reputation for pioneering the field, charting the domain, and conquering the territory. Each consecutive edition is a cultural artefact highlighting fluidity in the changing scene of academic research, discipline trends, and the role of higher education in society. It is a pleasure to highly recommend the third edition of Academic Writing for Graduate Students as a “knowledgeable and capable” guide in the field of academic writing.
Dr. Sally Ashton-Hay lectures in academic skills development, Division of Teaching and Learning, at Southern Cross University in Australia. She was honored to attend Christine Feak’s presentation “Best Practices in Academic Writing” at Anadolu University Conference in Eskiṣehir, Turkey in 2005.
REVIEW OF A COMPLETE GRAMMAR GUIDE FOR ELL & ESL WRITERS
Ngwudike, B. (Ed.). (2012). A complete grammar guide for ELL & ESL writers. Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing & Enterprises. 92 pages, paperback.
A Complete Grammar Guide for ELL & ESL Writersis Tate Publishing & Enterprises’s newest ESL book and is available in both print and eBook download. This 92-page book, which is divided into 11 chapters, discusses grammatical components that include tenses, forms of tense, pronouns, prepositions, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and articles. The author promises that he has “simplifie[d] complicated and confusing grammar concepts” (p. 5) and has suggested that his guide be a companion to ESL students who desire to improve their writing skills or to educators who would like to implement writing in their classrooms.
Introducing the book, the author explains that English is his second language and, now that he has learned and mastered the language over his lifetime, he finds it beneficial to share the “trickiest areas of the language” (p. 5) so that future ELLs and ESL students can benefit from his experience. The author lives up to his promise by simplifying explanations of the topics, above, he chooses to discuss. The definitions are straight forward and to the point, and most examples suit the topic effectively. The chapter concerning commonly misused words is very helpful and provides definitions and many examples that are clear to native and nonnative speakers alike. The author consistently ends each chapter by writing, “Now that you have mastered…,” which gives the students the confidence that they are in fact learning these tricky concepts.
The author states that he has mastered the English language, but unfortunately, either by author or publisher error, there are many mistakes in this publication that not only negate the mastership of the author but also reflect poorly on the publisher and editor. Spelling errors abound in each chapter. Incorrect usage of idioms may confuse student writers, and inconsistent formatting causes the author’s ideas to be unclear. For example, the improper use of prepositions appears in the publication as seen below:
Published mistake: There is a hole on his jacket. (p. 34)
Correction: There is a hole in his jacket.
Published mistake: My conscience tells me that to cheat in a test is wrong. (p. 61)
Correction: My conscience tells me that to cheat on a test is wrong.
If students were to use this as a companion guide when writing academic papers, some of the grammar errors in this book would confuse and mislead them. A second edition could amend the errors and misprints grammatically and idiomatically, thus creating a satisfactory companion guide for students and educators. In other ways, though, an even stronger presence from the author has the potential to propel this publication further. Having learned English as his second language, Ngwudike has an advantage and unique voice that could speak directly to the struggles of the ELL. In a field that lacks published ELL authors, his point of view could be highly coveted by learners and educators.
Although errors have been made in this first edition, the author clearly has a thorough understanding of the process of learning English and offers a straightforward and honest approach. With slight modifications to each chapter, A Complete Grammar Guide for ELL and ESL Writers could be a strong voice in the ESL community and amidst ELLs. If errors are corrected, this brief companion has the potential to be quite helpful to educators and students alike.
Alyssa Hedenstrom is in her second year of the Masters of English as a Second Language Program at the University of North Texas, where she teaches a writing workshop for international music students at UNT’s College of Music. She also tutors and edits dissertations for ELLs and is interested in working with international students and refugees after she graduates.
REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC WRITING IN A SECOND LANGUAGE
Hanauer, D. I., & Englander, K. (2013). Scientific writing in a second language. Anderson,
SC: Parlor Press. 194 pages, paperback.
Because I work on a daily basis with linguistically diverse graduate students and faculty members in science and engineering fields, I was intrigued to read this recent addition to the Parlor Press Second Language Writing series, edited by Paul Kei Matsuda. While writing teachers looking for practical classroom activities may be disappointed, this volume will be useful for program administrators designing new services for linguistically diverse scientists or for scholars conducting research on this topic.
According to the authors, this book has three goals: (1) to synthesize previous research about this topic, (2) to share what the authors have learned from their own research into this topic, and (3) to share relevant pedagogical principles and approaches developed from their study of these writers.
Chapters 1–3 correspond to the first goal of this book. In these chapters, the authors explain the general purpose of scientific writing; portray the socioeconomic function of scientific publishing; describe structural and linguistic features of scientific articles; and illustrate the context of scientific publishing around the world, with a focus on the challenges of publishing from/in “periphery” countries.
The focus shifts in Chapters 4–7 from providing an overview of related topics and past research to reporting on a particular study conducted by the authors in Mexico. Chapter 4 describes the background and methods of the project, while the next two chapters report on the findings of the quantitative survey of 148 native-Spanish-speaking scientists and the qualitative interviews with 16 of those scientists. Chapter 7 provides cross-case analysis based on the 16 interviews.
The final two chapters aim to fulfill the authors’ third goal, and, for me, were the most valuable chapters in the volume. In Chapters 6 and 7, Hanauer and Englander delineate multiple types of support that the interview participants either listed receiving or requested as needed during their previous studies and current work. Chapter 8 expands on this information by providing a list of principles that should undergird any program for linguistically diverse scientists and describing multiple pedagogical and programmatic ways to provide relevant support. Chapter 9 reiterates the claim that creating such well-designed programs is crucial to the health of scientific inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge, as well as to the careers of multilingual scientists themselves.
My overall reactions to this text are mixed. According to the back cover, this book is designed to be a “central resource for professional scientists whose first language is not English and for those applied linguists, second language writing specialists, and compositionists who work with them”—however, in attempting to create a resource for multiple groups of readers, the authors run the risk of frustrating these readers. For example, the material on scientific publishing and writing presented in the first section might be illuminating to “professional scientists” seeking to learn more on these topics, but instructors or administrators working with linguistically diverse scientists may be familiar already with much of that information. Likewise, the dissertation-like detail about the minutiae (e.g., the actual wording of the survey questions and the MANOVA [multivariate analysis of variance] results) of the study conducted in Mexico may be of interest to fellow L2 writing researchers, but it seems irrelevant or overwhelming to classroom instructors or to professional scientists expecting a self-help guide.
The book hits its mark, however, as a resource for both decision-makers and researchers. As a writing program administrator (WPA), I gained a better sense of the types of support my center and institution can provide to our faculty members who are writing about their research in a language that is not their home/primary/first language. For example, WPAs will find suggestions for faculty-oriented initiatives that they can personalize to their own campuses and then pitch to a provost or faculty support office. As a scholar, I was intrigued by the findings presented in Chapters 5–7, and other researchers will be motivated by the data from the Mexican scientists to investigate similar questions in various contexts.
In short, this book is not the practical handbook that the back cover implies, and in places excess detail obscures the authors’ claims. Nonetheless, this book will be interesting to researchers in second language writing, WPAs who are working to create (and justify) programs to support linguistically diverse scientists, and teachers of scientific writing who wish to better understand their students.
Jennifer Wilson is the director of the Center for Written, Oral, & Visual Communication at Rice University. She holds a PhD in second language education from OISE/University of Toronto and has been teaching writing and communication skills to university-level multilingual writers for more than 10 years.
ABOUT THIS COMMUNITY
SECOND LANGUAGE WRITING INTEREST SECTION CONTACT INFORMATION
TESOL’s Second Language Writing IS provides a forum for researchers and educators across grade levels and institutional settings to discuss and exchange information in the area of second language writing.
TESOL SLWIS webage
SLWIS Community Leaders 2014–2015
Chair: Todd Ruecker
Chair-Elect: Silvia A. Pessoa
Ryan Miller (2012–2015)
Lilian W. Mina (2012–2015)
Sedef Uzuner Smith (2013–2016)
Tanita Saenkhum (2014–2017)
Community Manager: Elena Shvidko
External Web Manager: Charles Nelson
Newsletter Editorial Staff
Lilian W. Mina
Book Review Editor
Development Officer: Deborah Crusan
2013–2014: Gena Bennett
2012–2013: Lisya Seloni
2011–2012: Ditlev Larsen
2010–2011: Danielle Zawodny Wetzel
2009–2010: Christine Tardy
2008–2009: Gigi Taylor
2007–2008: Deborah Crusan
2006–2007: Jessie L. Moore
2005–2006: Christina Ortmeier-Hooper
SLW NEWS: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
SLW News is soliciting articles on second language writing theory, research, and pedagogy in all ESL/EFL settings.
SLW News welcomes articles that focus on L2 writers and characteristics and text features, classroom materials and practices, placement and assessment issues, writing program administration, teacher development, and other related areas. SLW News encourages submissions related to any educational setting, especially traditionally underrepresented contexts (pre-K–12, 2-year colleges, community programs, international K–12 schools, etc.). In light of the newsletter’s electronic format, authors are encouraged to include hyperlinks.
30 June for the August/September issue and 31 December for the February issue.
General Submission Guidelines
- be no longer than 1,500 words
- contain no more than five citations
- include a 50-word (maximum 500 characters) abstract and two- to three-sentence author biography
- be accompanied by an author photo (.jpg)
- follow the style guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (APA style)
- be in MS Word (.doc/.docx) or rich text (.rtf) format
All tables, graphs, and other images should be submitted as separate .jpg files.
Please direct your submissions and questions to
Margi Wald, SLW News Managing Editor
Please use “SLW News Submission” in the subject line of your e-mail. See below for more information concerning book reviews and submissions related to specific topics and contexts.
Action Research Projects
SLW News welcomes summaries of classroom-based action research projects. Submissions should include a discussion of the following items:
- statement of the problem
- research design
- proposed solutions
- analysis of results
- final reflections
Please include any relevant classroom materials that emerged from the research.
SLW News welcomes reviews of teacher resource books and student texts dealing with second language writing, teaching, research, and administration. Anyone interested in writing a review for SLW News may choose a recently published book in the field and contact the editor for approval and review copies. Reviews will be considered for publication based on the quality of the reviewer’s evaluation and description of the book as well as the book’s relevance and importance to the field.
- be in APA format
- be 600–900 words in length
- include a 50-word (maximum 500 characters) abstract and a two- to three-sentence author biography
SLW News welcomes CALL-related articles, announcements, reports, and reviews in the following categories:
- Software/Hardware (e.g., organizing systems or integrating software/hardware in learning environments to enhance writing instruction, assessment, or program evaluation)
- Materials Design (e.g., using software such as Flash or MonoConc to design language-learning activities or materials that address specific language-learning goals, including discovery activities, practice exercises, storybooks, quizzes, or games)
- Curriculum Design (e.g., using course management software such as Blackboard or eCollege to design e-courses, e-programs, or hybrids for second language writing)
- Applied Writing Research (e.g., writing computer programs to identify lexicogrammatical features, discourse patterns, or errors/learner variation in writing, i.e., corpus linguistics).
SLW News welcomes submissions focusing on EFL contexts. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- statements of instructional problems
- summary of research
- literature reviews with pedagogical implications
- book/media reviews
- lesson plans
- handouts and activity sheets
- proposed joint research projects
In order to ensure diversity of interest and coverage of as many areas of instruction in the field of EFL writing as possible, SLW News encourages submissions on the following themes:
- university writing classrooms
- pre-K–12 writing instruction
- learner communities in the writing classroom
- computers and the Internet in the writing classroom
- writing for tests (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS)
- technical writing as a genre in the EFL context
- EFL writing instructors’ professional development
Writing Center Submissions
Given that many ESL/EFL students need (and want) more individualized or in-depth assistance with their writing than instructors can understandably provide, these students look to writing centers for support. This phenomenon has been reflected in the increasing number of writing-center-related sessions at professional conferences, as well as discussions on various e-lists.
To share information on this topic with a wider audience, SLW News encourages submissions highlighting
- administration, and/or
- best practices
Articles can focus on
- tutor development,
- one-on-one tutorial sessions,
- writing groups,
- workshops, and/or
- other models.