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WAC and Second Language Writing: Cross-field Research, Theory, and Program Development

Introduction to WAC and Second Language Writing

This special issue grew out of a lunch conversation at the 2009 Symposium on Second Language (L2) Writing at Tempe where each of us had presented, Michelle on "Advocating for Second Language Writers through Writing Across the Curriculum" and Terry on "Studies of Multilingual Writers' Experiences at a U.S. University." On the second day of the conference, we arranged to have lunch together to discuss the exciting areas of overlap in our work and the possibility of a future collaboration. This wasn't our first conversation about WAC and L2 writing. Terry had co-written a chapter with Anna Habib on research on multilingual student writers at George Mason University for a collection Michelle had co-edited, Reinventing Identities in Second Language Writing (NCTE, 2010). During this project, we had corresponded often on the areas of connection and disconnection in L2 writing and WAC research and theory. But this lunch conversation was the first time we had sat down together and talked about our work. As we shared the questions and insights emerging for us from the conference, we realized that many of the presentations we were attending, while pertinent to WAC or based on studies in disciplinary contexts across the curriculum, would benefit from drawing from WAC theory and research. And, we wondered, why wasn't there more conversation about L2 writing in the WAC community?

We also realized during this lunch that we have complementary areas of expertise. Terry, who was then co-editing Writing Across the Curriculum: A Critical Sourcebook (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2011), has been involved with the WAC community and Clearinghouse for many years but had only recently begun engaging with second language writing scholarship after undertaking research on the multilingual student writers on her campus and on writing programs transnationally. Michelle, who was one of the editors of Second Language Writing in the Composition Classroom: A Critical Sourcebook (Bedford / St. Martin's, 2006), has long been active in the second language writing community and served on the CCCC Second Language Writing Committee. Both of us direct WAC programs with significant multilingual populations, comprising international visa students, L2 residential students, and immigrant or generation 1.5 students, and we'd both been involved in conversations with administrators and faculty at our institutions about writing support for these students. By the end of our lunch, we had a plan to propose a special issue for Across the Disciplines on WAC and L2 writing, two fields we see as having much to learn from one another given our shared goals of supporting the writing of diverse students across the curriculum. With our proposal for a special issue accepted, we circulated a CFP and were surprised by the large number of responses we received—48, more than had ever been received for any other special issue, according to Michael Pemberton, the ATD editor. We knew that we had tapped into an area of vital interest and need for both fields.

At least some of the current interest, we think, can be attributed to wider conversations around the globalization of U.S. higher education that seem to be occurring at most of our institutions, with resulting initiatives that typically involve goals for developing global curricula, increasing study abroad opportunities, collaborating with international partners on educational ventures, and/or recruiting more international students. The challenge, as world historian and George Mason University provost Peter Stearns explains in Educating Global Citizens in Colleges and Universities — Challenges and Opportunities, is to balance and mutually reinforce these outward and inward-looking goals. The same balancing act might be said to apply to WAC and composition, which, over the past several years, have been likewise engaged in globalization conversations, as a profession and at our own institutions.

Looking outward, for example, Chris Thaiss and his collaborators expanded the WAC mapping project to include survey and interview data on writing programs internationally with the goal of building "a network of teachers and scholars from many countries who will contribute and keep in contact about their work in this field" (International WAC/WID Mapping Project). Note too the renaming of the biennial WAC conference from the National WAC Conference to the International WAC Conference, and the widening of the scope of the National WAC Network to become the International WAC Network. We have also witnessed a burgeoning of research on writing in international contexts, published in composition and WAC journals, as well as in edited collections such as David Foster and David R. Russell's Writing and Learning in Cross-National Perspective: Transitions from Secondary to Higher Education (2002) and Charles Bazerman, Adair Bonini, and Débora Figueiredo's Genre in a Changing World (2009). That the international is no longer marginal to the work of college composition was recognized by Chuck Bazerman when he convened in 2009 the CCCC Committee on Globalization of Postsecondary Writing Instruction and Research charged with gathering and disseminating information about the kinds of programs in the US and abroad that are being designed to address "the challenges of global communications" (CCCC Committee on Globalization). In addition to information gathering and dissemination, the Committee is also charged with identifying international organizations with whom CCCC might form relationships for the purpose of exchanging ideas, research, and practices. A good deal of progress has already been made in forging these international writing relationships—witness, for example, the 600+ participants from over 40 countries who attended the February 2011 International Writing Research Across Borders conference (See http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/wrconf11/).

Yet we want to keep in mind Stearns' caution about balancing outward and inward-looking goals in our efforts to globalize. When we look inward, in fact, we see that this focus on globalization may have overshadowed what we call "globalism at home" — the cultural and linguistic diversity long present in U.S. classrooms across the curriculum. This diversity includes multilingual international visa students who come to the US as short-term exchange students or to complete baccalaureate degrees or graduate degrees and multilingual U.S. residents—an amorphous group comprising students from linguistic enclaves in the US, immigrant students who have spent part of their K-12 education in U.S. secondary schools, and refugee students with interrupted literacy educations[2]. All may struggle, albeit to different degrees and in different ways, to meet their teachers' expectations for writing in their disciplines and in college. We need to be prepared to assist them and their teachers as they face the challenges of writing and teaching with writing in their courses. With this special issue, then, we turn WAC's attention inward, to the diversity of L2 writers on our own campuses and the pressing need for WAC to engage with second language writing scholarship.

This is not to say, however, that composition studies has not been concerned with L2 student writers over the years. As awareness of L2 writers in our classrooms and the scholarship on L2 writing has grown in composition studies, we have seen more and more calls for equity in the ways in which accented language is valued in academic settings, most recently, for example, the 2011 College English opinion piece "Language Difference in Writing: Toward a Translingual Approach," in which Bruce Horner, Min-Zhan Lu, Jacqueline Jones Royster, and John Trimbur argue for seeing "difference in language not as a barrier to overcome or as a problem to manage, but as a resource for producing meaning in writing, speaking, reading and listening" (p. 303). Further, the authors call for "respect for perceived differences within and across languages" and a recognition that "[a]ll speakers of English speak many variations of English, every one of them accented, and all of them subject to change as they intermingle with other varieties of English and other languages" (p. 304). Their argument purposely echoes the 1974 CCCC statement on "Students' Right to Their Own Language," which recognized "the students' right to their own patterns and varieties of language" and recommended that "teachers must have the experiences and training that will enable them to respect diversity and uphold the right of students to their own language" (Students' Right statement). In a 2003 resolution, NCTE reaffirmed the CCCC position statement, and, like the original, strongly encouraged educators to adopt policies and practices to uphold the principles of the "Students' Right" statement.

Both NCTE and CCCC have also taken positions on working with second language (L2) students, NCTE as early as 1981 (Issues in ESL) and again in 2006 (Role of English), and CCCC in a 2001 statement on L2 writing followed by a 2009 revision that is more inclusive of writing-intensive courses, WAC program administration, and faculty development ( (Statement of Second Language Writing). In NCTE's 1981 statement on ESL education, the organization emphasizes "the desirability of preserving a student's first language and its cultural ties" and calls for all English teachers to familiarize themselves with "the aims, methods, and materials of bilingual education." Further, it argues, NCTE must "assume a wider responsibility for working constructively with other organizations concerned with bilingual education and teaching English as a second language." Some twenty-plus years later, in its Position Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers, CCCC also calls for organizations to work together, in this case, first year composition programs, writing centers, and WAC programs, which are urged to "include information about second language writing development, […] second language populations at the institution, approaches for designing writing assignments that are culturally inclusive, and approaches for assessing writing that are ethical in relation to second language writing."

While composition programs and writing centers[3] have been, to some extent, responsive to these recommendations by including information about second language writers in their tutor training and in the development of ESL-focused sections of first-year composition for quite some time, WAC has only recently begun to engage with the research and scholarship from L2 writing studies. But why has it taken us so long?

One reason may be that, unlike composition programs and writing centers, WAC programs seldom work directly with students, but rather with faculty, and therefore have less proximity to the issues that L2 writers raise. In comparison, composition programs have long been engaged with the issues of writing assessment and placement, whether into ESL sections, cross-cultural sections (see Matsuda & Silva, 1999), or mainstream sections, as well as with the pedagogical questions that arise in relation to L2 writing instruction (see Saenkhum and Matsuda's WPA CompPile Research Bibliography, "Second Language Writing and Writing Program Administration" for a thorough literature review in this area). Writing centers have become for many L2 writers "safe havens" on campuses. Some of these L2 writers seek out the writing center themselves, but more often, "Instructors panic and send their problem students to the writing center with a list of items to work on," as Terese Thonus explains in, "Tutors as Teachers: Assisting ESL/EFL Students in the Writing Center" (1993, p. 14).

It may be too that WAC administrators do not often work directly with the ESL specialists on their campuses, unlike composition program directors who will often collaborate with ESL specialists when designing placement procedures and options and when making decisions about placing specific ESL students. With the influx of L2 writers into writing centers, writing center directors will also often turn to ESL specialists on their campuses for assistance in designing or implementing tutor training, so that their tutors receive guidance in questions around how to respond most effectively to ESL writers, who typically expect more assistance with grammatical issues and other "lower order concerns" than writing tutors may be comfortable giving.

There is also the matter of the different programmatic focuses of ESL and WAC on most college campuses. Typically, ESL offices are concerned with preparing ESL students to enter first year composition programs. Depending on their student population, they may offer a series of pre-composition courses that ESL students need to pass in order to enroll in first year composition. Programmatically, then, the ESL office is placed at a distance from the WAC program, with its focus on post-composition courses. In her introduction to the 2005 special issue of Across the Disciplines she guest edited on "The Linguistically-Diverse Student: Challenges and Possibilities Across the Curriculum," Ann Johns[4] explains that ESL programs' concern with "the nature and content of undergraduate writing courses, particularly at the freshman level" has led ESL writing teachers to actively resist "the teaching of specialized discourses from the disciplines." She suggests that this is due partly to the programs' emphasis on preparing students for first year composition, but also to the impression that L2 writers won't need to do extended writing across the curriculum, an impression also shared by the writers themselves. Johns explains that ESL programs tend to work more closely with international L2 students than residential students and that most international L2 students major in engineering and the sciences where they may not encounter many demands for writing. For all of these reasons, Johns notes, "the majority of ESL instructors in North America appear to have isolated themselves (or been isolated from) the WAC/WID movements and related cross-disciplinary enterprises."

We do not want to suggest, however, that this isolation is one-sided. Paul Kei Matsuda, in "Composition Studies and ESL Writing: A Disciplinary Division of Labor" (1999), explains that composition teachers, administrators, and scholars have long seen L2 students as the responsibility of ESL programs. This division of labor has also extended itself to WAC programs. How often have faculty turned to WAC directors with questions about working with L2 writers and how often have WAC directors referred these faculty to the ESL office on campus? How often have WAC directors been asked to guide the development of support for L2 graduate student writers, and how often have WAC directors deflected these questions to an international studies center?

Further, while ESL programs may be focused on general academic writing, much of the second language writing scholarship is not. A number of second language writing specialists have been engaging in studies of L2 writers across the curriculum for many years—e.g. Ilona Leki, Christine Casanave, Vivian Zamel, Ruth Spack, and Johns—often drawing on composition research (although generally not WAC/WID studies), in their investigations, as Michelle Cox shows in the article that leads off this issue[5]. The same cannot be said for WAC professionals, as Michelle also shows. While we in the WAC field have certainly been concerned about how well multilingual writers are faring in their courses across the disciplines, we aren't, for the most part, conversant with the discourses and perspectives of second language acquisition, applied and systemic functional linguistics, and second language writing studies and don't typically draw on these in our research.[6]

And this may be due to another reason why WAC hasn't engaged with L2 writing scholarship: crossing disciplinary boundaries to enter into this voluminous body of research and theory can be a daunting prospect, as Terry noted in her keynote address on developing culturally inclusive WAC programs at the 2010 WAC conference (http://www.iub.edu/~wac2010/zawacki.shtml). Much of the scholarship in second language writing studies is written from a linguistics perspective, thus using references and discourse unfamiliar to many in composition studies. This scholarship is also generally unfamiliar to faculty in the disciplines who are expected to incorporate WAC principles into their classes, creating a double challenge for WAC workshop leaders and trainers. Yet WAC/WID specialists must be willing to engage with this scholarship if we are to achieve our goal of developing culturally and linguistically inclusive programs and teaching-with-writing practices.[7]

But crossing into the scholarship of second language writing, while an important step, is not enough. To attend to the disciplinary division of labor between WAC and TESOL, we must collaborate with second language writing scholars, many of whom participate in conferences WAC scholars attend, such as CCCC, Writing Research Across Borders, and IWAC, as well as with TESOL specialists on our own campuses. Such collaboration is crucial given the globalizing goals of our institutions that we've noted earlier and the linguistic diversity of our student populations, visa and residential, who come with varying levels of competence as writers in English. This latter fact has not escaped the notice of faculty who teach with writing in their courses across the curriculum, many of whom are expressing concern (and often alarm) about the abilities of these writers and are looking to WAC and composition professionals for guidance on how to evaluate and grade the papers they turn in, questions that we often redirect to ESL specialists, as we suggested above. To be prepared to answer these and other questions, we must engage with L2 writing specialists in cross-field research, theory building, and the sharing of pedagogically sound practices. This issue represents a step towards that goal.

In our call for proposals, we asked for research that explores the challenges L2 writers face as they write across the curriculum, as well as the resources they bring to their writing. We asked for research on the attitudes and expectations of faculty across the curriculum towards and for L2 writers, and how these attitudes and expectations might differ by discipline, level of course, and genres of writing. We asked for research on and descriptions of approaches to WAC/WID programming and faculty development that have been found effective in supporting L2 writers, as well as effective collaborations between WAC programs and other programs on campus, such as an ESL program, international studies center, or disciplinary program. We expressed particular interest in articles co-authored by WAC specialists and second language writing specialists. In selecting the articles for this issue, we focused on those that provided new ways of thinking about multilingual students and faculty and that suggested programmatic and teaching practices based on theory and/or research the authors conducted. Further, we selected articles that brought together the fields of WAC and second language writing, by engaging both areas of scholarship, portraying WAC/TESOL collaborations on campus, or were co-written by WAC and L2 writing scholars, as we'd hoped would happen when we suggested this kind of collaboration in our CFP.

The issue begins with an article that reviews the literature on WAC and second language writing, Michelle Cox's, "WAC: Closing Doors or Opening Doors for Second Language Writers?," an article that situates the reasons why WAC needs to pay attention to L2 writers and L2 writing scholarship, and why collaborative efforts between WAC and L2 writing specialists are so important. In this article, Cox shows that WAC is often depicted in literature emerging from L2 writing studies as a program that can "close doors" for L2 writers, creating barriers for these students as they move across the curriculum. In her review of the literature on L2 writing emerging from WAC scholarship, she shows that WAC has long recognized its need to pay more attention to L2 student writers and L2 writing scholarship and has sought direction. Cox ends the article with steps WAC administrators and scholars can take on their own campuses and in the field for making our institutional landscapes, classrooms, and assessment practices more equitable and inclusive for L2 students.

The next two articles draw from second language acquisition (SLA) and structural linguistics to inform WAC theory and practice. The first is Jonathan Hall and Nela Navarro's "Lessons for WAC/WID from Language Learning Research: Multicompetence and Second Register (R2) Acquisition," which suggests that SLA can help WAC/WID professionals and classroom faculty consider language and literacy as "an expression of, an enactment of, and a window into culture," which, in turn, encourages a view of L2 students as "multicompetent" users of language. The article, a collaboration between WAC/WID and language learning specialists, argues that the area of "register acquisition" offers an opportunity for us to re-examine disciplinary writing goals and to develop "an interdisciplinary theoretical synthesis" that will allow for exciting new conceptions of linguistic competence to emerge. Along the way, they provide teaching-with-writing practices that grow out of a WID pedagogy based on language learning theory.

Moving from theory to research, Zak Lancaster, in "Interpersonal Stance in L1 and L2 Students' Argumentative Writing in Economics: Implications for Faculty Development in WAC/WID Programs," draws on the Engagement framework from systemic functional linguistics, which has proven useful for understanding the ways writers use language to construct an authorial stance within specific disciplinary contexts. In his fine-grained analysis of two L1 and two L2 term papers written for an upper-division economics course, Lancaster shows the complexity involved in stance taking — the writerly "moves to mark one's level of commitment to assertions, comment on the significance of evidence, build solidarity with imagined readers, clarify anticipated misunderstandings, and other interactional strategies." He finds that an imbalance in the stance taking strategies of the L2 writers was read as a lack of control over the argument by the professors, who used the blanket term "grammar" to point to the difficulties L2 students were having. His article suggests that students and teachers would benefit from having a metalanguage to talk about language choices at the sentence level, and he offers some pedagogical strategies for helping advanced academic writers become more effective stance takers.

The fourth article, which also examines faculty biases toward L2 writers, takes a very different approach. Like Lancaster, Peggy Lindsey and Deborah Crusan are interested in the subtle cues teachers respond to in evaluating L2 students' texts. Their article "How Faculty Attitudes and Expectations toward Student Writers' Nationality Affect Assessment" investigates the effect that perceptions of students' national, ethnic, and cultural identities have on faculty assessment of their writing. They surveyed and conducted interviews with faculty to determine if discrepancies continue to exist between assessments of perceived NES writers and culturally and ethnically diverse international students, to identify what preconceptions faculty may have regarding these writers based on their perceived national identities, and to explore how these preconceptions may affect their analytic and holistic assessment of such writers. Their results were surprising—while faculty continue to rate international writers lower when scoring analytically, they consistently evaluate those same writers higher when scoring holistically. Their findings help us think about the need to find ways to get at some of these deep and generally unarticulated (even to themselves) biases.

Anne Ellen Geller's "Teaching and Learning with Multilingual Faculty: Reorienting Writing Across the Curriculum" also examines deeply ingrained language biases in an article that shifts our attention from multilingual students to multilingual faculty. Drawing on a survey of 64 multilingual faculty members in a range of disciplines, Geller explores the experiences they had as multilingual students, their perceptions of their own linguistic identities, and the attitudes of monolingual faculty toward their multilingual colleagues. Her research highlights voices that are often not represented in WAC discussions of multilingualism nor in second language writing research and offers a powerful demonstration of how pervasive the assumption of linguistic homogeneity is when we think about WID and faculty development. Geller closes by urging us to become "agents of change" on our campuses by helping faculty focus on language diversity in WID rather than on WID as a location for language standardization.

Jay Jordan and April Kedrowicz's "Attitudes about Graduate L2 Writing in Engineering: Possibilities for More Integrated Instruction" also presents an argument for change. Like Geller, they are interested in understanding faculty perspectives so that they might reorient conversations around multilingualism, in this case, the instructional needs of graduate L2 writers who are not being given the same writing support opportunities as L2 undergraduates in the engineering program. As a first step, the authors, a second language writing scholar and a director of a communication support program in the college of engineering, wanted to understand faculty members' and international graduate students' attitudes about second language writing in engineering at their university. Their data suggest, the authors argue, that the college should make "a crucial investment" at the graduate level to integrate communication teaching by L2 specialists within the lab-based pedagogical structure, not only to support students but also to provide a model for effective intercultural communication strategies for faculty members.

The need for curricular and course-based support for student writers is also the focus of Lynne Ronesi's "'Was very helpful and gave us good guidance'—Writing Fellows Promoting WAC at an American University Abroad." Ronesi explains how the context of this multilingual, multicultural university has influenced the development, goals, and structure of the writing fellows program she created at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates. U.S.-based writing fellows programs have traditionally placed writing fellows in upper-division courses to support student writing beyond first-year composition. Yet, at AUS, faculty requests for fellows came from 100- and 200-level classes, resulting in students receiving writing fellow assistance while still enrolled in introductory writing courses. Drawing on interviews with professors, writing fellows, and students, Ronesi concludes that writing fellows at AUS are quite effectively placed in lower-division courses due to the immense learning curve AUS students face in their first few semesters while writing across languages, cultures, and educational systems.

While the research that Jordan and Kedrowicz and Ronesi conducted with faculty and students at their institutions has served as a kind of informal "needs assessment" to guide proposals and plans for programmatic change, Marty Patton's "Mapping the Gaps in Services for L2 Writers" explains how a more formal needs assessment approach can be useful not only for determining strategic directions for programmatic efforts but also as an important first step to cross-disciplinary campus collaborations for supporting L2 writers. Patton shares the methods and results of a needs analysis that investigates writing support for L2 writers at her university across the first year writing program, writing center, WAC program, international student center, and ESL program. Drawing on a survey of international students, interviews with program directors and faculty, and analysis of institutional data, Patton's needs analysis uncovered gaps among campus units in instructional approaches and in perceptions of the levels of responsibility each had for L2 writers. She concludes by describing the steps her institution will take to address these gaps and also recommends elements to include in an effective needs analysis.

Jordan and Kedrowicz, Ronesi, and Patton's articles all illustrate the long-held principle that WAC programs and programming should grow out of, adapt to, and reflect the local and specific needs of institutions. We close this special issue, then, with an article that showcases one institution's many initiatives for integrating second language writers into writing programs across the curriculum: Dana Ferris and Chris Thaiss' "Writing at UC Davis: Addressing the Needs of Second Language Writers." As WAC and L2 writing administrators in an independent writing program serving a large and diverse population of L2 students, Thaiss and Ferris set out to shape a program that would bridge L1/L2 composition divisions they identified at their institution. One of their first steps was to develop a philosophy statement, described in the article, articulating a set of goals and principles that would guide their own program as well as their broader campus L2 advocacy efforts. The authors also describe the ESL Task Force they formed to coordinate placement and goals for multilingual students as they progress through the entire curriculum. We can no longer afford to separate L2 writing courses and instructors into "silos in large departments," they argue, when we share similar goals and interests and when, moreover, "the boundaries between 'L1/L2' or 'native/nonnative speaker/writer' are increasingly blurred."

As all of the articles in this issue show, the local has become increasingly global in scope as multilingual writers—residential and visa—comprise ever larger numbers of the student populations at our institutions. We return, then, to our opening point that we writing teachers and program administrators need to look both outward and inward in thinking about the complex linguistic identities and writing experiences our students—and faculty—bring to the classroom. Looking outward will help us understand the writing experiences many of our students have already had in non-U.S. environments as well as expectations for writing in the global workplaces they will enter and the global marketplaces in which we all reside. Looking inward—at our institutions and the shared interests of our fields—will help us develop translingual and transcultural pedagogical and programmatic approaches based in respect for language difference and on collaborative WAC and L2 writing research endeavors.

While each of the articles in this issue provides a wealth of ideas and a rich list of resources to guide further research, taken together, we also see them functioning, in a sense, as a kind of needs assessment, showing us the gaps that remain to be addressed in our research and programs. We see, for example, the need for much more research on biases towards the linguistic identities of students coming from cultures where language difference has traditionally been or is currently stigmatized. We see a need for more research on the complexities of teaching writing to students in English-medium institutions, like those in the UAE and the West Indies, where students bring a wonderful mix of language traditions, both oral and written, to the classroom. We need more shared research on transfer climate, support for transfer, and how language and genre knowledge transfer from one writing environment to another, all areas of growing interest for both composition and L2 writing specialists (for the latter, see Tardy, Gentile, and James' work, for example). And we need more descriptions of pedagogical strategies based on and in shared theories and research from SLA, structural linguistics, and WID. Finally (but certainly not a final list), we need more stories from the field describing the kinds of instructional strategies, faculty development initiatives, collaboratively taught courses, and collaboratively developed programs that have been implemented or piloted to help multilingual students succeed as writers and teachers work successfully with the linguistically diverse students in their courses across the curriculum.

Now is the time, as our institutions look outward and inward to formulate globalized missions and strategic plans, for WAC and L2 writing specialists to work together to identify our own shared "global" goals and research interests, to participate together in building programs that will prepare and support L2 students as writers in disciplines and across the curriculum. As the articles in this issue demonstrate, we are moving closer to the "mutually transformative model of ESL/WAC collaboration" that Paul Kei Matsuda and Jeff Jablonski urged in their often cited call to action.


Bazerman, Charles, Bonini, Adair, & Figueiredo, Débora .(August 9, 2009). Genre in a Changing World. Perspectives on Writing. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press. Retrieved from http://wac.colostate.edu/books/genre/

Bruce, Shanti, & Rafoth, Ben. (Eds). (2009). ESL writers: A guide for writing center tutors. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Committee on Globalization of Postsecondary Writing Instruction and Research. (March 2012). Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/cccc/committees/globalization

Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) (1974). Students' right to their own language. (Reaffirmed November 2003.) Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Groups/CCCC/NewSRTOL.pdf

Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) (2009). Statement on second language writing and writers. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/cccc/resources/positions/secondlangwriting

Costino, Kimberly A., & Hyon, Sunny. (2011). Sidestepping our "scare words": Genre as a possible bridge between L1 and L2 compositionists. Journal of Second Language Writing, 20, 24-44.

Cox, Michelle. (June 2010). WAC-WID and Second Language Writers, WPA-CompPile Research Bibliographies, No. 8. WPA-CompPile Research Bibliographies. Retrieved May 20, 2011 from http://comppile.org/wpa/bibliographies/Bib8/Cox.pdf

Cox, Michelle, Jordan, Jay, Ortmeier-Hooper, Christina, & Schwartz, Gwen Gray (Eds.). (2010). Reinventing identities in second language writing. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

Foster, David, & Russell, David. (2002). Writing and Learning in Cross-National Perspective: Transitions from Secondary to Higher Education. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Gentil, Guillaume. (2011). A biliteracy agenda for genre research. Journal of Second Language Writing, 20, 6-23.

Hall, Jonathan. (2009). WAC/WID in the next America: Redefining professional identity in the age of the multilingual majority. The WAC Journal, 20, 33-49. Retrieved May 20, 2011 from http://wac.colostate.edu/journal/vol20/hall.pdf

Horner, Bruce, Lu, Min Zhan, Royster, Jackie Jones, & Trimbur, John. (2011). Language difference in writing: Towards a translingual approach. College English, 73, 299-317.

James, Mark A. (2006). "Transfer of learning from a university content-based EAP course. TESOL Quarterly, 40, 783-806.

James, Mark A. (2009). Exploring learning transfer in L2 writing education. Presentation at Symposium of Second Language Writing. Tempe, AZ: 2009. Retrieved from http://www.public.asu.edu/~mjames6/MAJames/Research.html (Available under "Recordings/slides from Presentations".)

Johns, Ann M. (2001). ESL students and WAC programs: Varied populations and diverse needs. In Susan H. McLeod, Eric Miraglia, Margot Soven, & Christopher Thaiss (Eds.), WAC for the new millennium: Strategies for continuing writing-across-the-curriculum programs (pp. 141-164). Urbana, Illinois: NCTE. Retrieved from http://wac.colostate.edu/books/millennium/

Johns, Ann. (2005). Introduction to The Linguistically-Diverse Student: Challenges and Possibilities Across the Curriculum. Across the Disciplines. Retrieved from http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/lds/index.cfm

Matsuda, Paul Kei. (1999). Composition studies and ESL writing: A disciplinary division of labor. College Composition and Communication,50, 699-72.

Matsuda, Paul Kei, Cox, Michelle, Jordan, Jay & Ortmeier-Hooper, Christina (Eds.) (2006). Second language writing in the composition classroom: A critical sourcebook. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's.

Matsuda, Paul Kei, & Jablonksi, Jeffrey. (2000). Beyond the L2 metaphor: Towards a mutually transformative model of ESL/WAC collaboration. Academic.Writing: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Communication Across the Curriculum. Retrieved from http://wac.colostate.edu/aw/articles/matsuda_jablonski2000.htm

Matsuda, Paul Kei, & Silva, Tony. (1999). Cross-cultural composition: Mediated integration of US and international students. Composition Studies, 27(1), 15-30.

NCTE Committee on Issues in ESL and Bilingual Education. (1981). Position statement on ESL and bilingual education. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/issuesineslbilingual

NCTE ELL Task Force. (2006). Position paper on the role of English teachers in educating English language learners (ELLs). Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/teacherseducatingell

Saenkhum, Tanita, & Matsuda, Paul Kei. (May 2010). Second Language Writing and Writing Program Administration, WPA-CompPile Research Bibliographies, No. 4. WPA-CompPile Research Bibliographies. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from http://comppile.org/wpa/bibliographies/Saenkhum_Matsuda.pdf

Stearns, Peter. (2009). Educating Global Citizens in Colleges and Universities: Challenges and Opportunities. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis.

Tardy, Christine. (2009). Building genre knowledge: L2 writing. West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.

Tardy, Christine. (2011). Researching first and second language genre learning: A comparative review and a look ahead, Journal of Second Language Writing, 15 (2), 79-101.

Thaiss, Chris. (2006). International WAC/WID mapping project. Retrieved from from http://mappingproject.ucdavis.edu/objectives

Thonus, Terese. (1993). Tutors as teachers: Assisting ESL/EFL students in the writing center. The writing center journal, 13(2). 13-26.

Zawacki, Terry Myers. (2010). "Researching the Local / Writing the International: Developing Culturally Inclusive WAC Programs and Practices." Retrieved August 4, 2011.from http://www.iub.edu/~wac2010/zawacki.shtml

Zawacki, Terry Myers, & Habib, Anna. (2010). "Will our stories help teachers understand?" Multilingual students talk about identity, academic writing, and expectations across academic communities. In Michelle Cox, Jay Jordan, Christina Ortmeier Hooper, & Gwen Gray Schwartz (Eds.), Reinventing identities in second language writing (pp. 54-74). Urbana, IL: NCTE.


[1] During the many months of co-editing this special issue, Michelle and Terry collaborated closely on all aspects of the editing process and on co-authoring this introduction. We found that we share a similar work ethic and learned continually from one another as we discussed editorial decisions, authors' drafts and revisions, and all of the myriad correspondence that goes along with editing a collection. Our decision to list Michelle as first author for the issue and Terry as first author for the introduction was made in an effort to share credit equitably. Most credit goes to our authors, however, for their contributions.

[2] Often overlooked but also very much present in the classroom are multilingual faculty, as Anne Geller points out in her article in this issue.

[3] See, for example, Shanti Bruce and Ben Rafoth's ESL Writers: A Guide for Writing Center Tutors, now in its second edition. Most writing centers also keep intake data on students' linguistic backgrounds, which they use in tutor training.

[4] In citing Johns' special ATD issue, we also want to acknowledge that ours isn't the first one to focus on second language writers. While Johns is one of the few ESL scholars who has been well known in the WAC community for quite some time, in this issue her goal is not to bring WAC and L2 writing scholars' perspectives together but rather to explain the WAC-related implications of the different instructional approaches to academic writing in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) programs in English Foreign Language (EFL) programs in English Foreign Language (EFL) environments and North American ESL programs.

[5] Cox also makes this argument in her WPA-CompPile Research Bibliography, "WAC-WID and Second Language Writers" (2010).

[6] In a presentation at the Tempe Symposium on Second Language Writing, Sunny Hyon attributed the lack of cross-disciplinary conversation between L1 composition and L2 writing scholars to "scare words," i.e. terms that resonate differently in the two fields. Skills, practice-based instruction, and exercises, for example, tend to scare composition people, she said. In a co-authored follow-up article "Sidestepping Our 'Scare Words': Genre as a Possible Bridge between L1 and L2 Compositions," she and co-author Kim Costino "unpack" those terms and suggest that the "mutual wariness" with which the two fields encounter each other is at least party based on misunderstandings of what the terms "signify in their field of origin." To "strengthen our relationship," they argue, we need to "identify words and concepts that we both celebrate" (p. 29). For the authors, genre is such a concept.

[7] While this process can be intimidating, there are several resources to turn to. Matsuda & Jablonski (2000), Johns (2001), and Hall (2009) all provide bibliographies pertinent to WAC scholars. Also useful would be Michelle Cox's CompPile bibliography on WAC and second language writers (2010), the bibliography included with the 2009 CCCC Statement on Second Language Writers and Writing, and articles in Second Language Writing in the Composition Classroom: A Critical Sourcebook (eds. Matsuda, Cox, Jordan, and Ortmeier-Hooper), which were selected partly based on their accessibility to composition scholars.

Contact Information

Complete APA Citation

Zawacki, Terry Myers, & Cox, Michelle. (2011, December 21). Introduction to WAC and second language writing. Across the Disciplines, 8(4). Retrieved April 20, 2014, from http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/ell/zawacki-cox.cfm