What Should I Know about Second-Language Writing?


Getting Started

Why include writing in my courses?

What is writing to learn?

What is writing to engage?

What is writing in the disciplines?

Useful Knowledge

What should I know about rhetorical situations?

Do I have to be an expert in grammar to assign writing?

What should I know about genre and design?

What should I know about second-language writing?

What teaching resources are available?

What should I know about WAC and graduate education?

Assigning Writing

What makes a good writing assignment?

How can I avoid getting lousy student writing?

What benefits might reflective writing have for my students?

Using Peer Review

Why consider collaborative writing assignments?

Do writing and peer review take up too much class time?

How can I get the most out of peer review?

Responding to Writing

How can I handle responding to student writing?

How can writing centers support writing in my courses?

What writing resources are available for my students?

Using Technology

How can computer technologies support writing in my classes?

Designing and Assessing WAC Programs

What is a WAC program?

What designs are typical for WAC programs?

How can WAC programs be assessed?

More on WAC

Where can I learn more about WAC?

As second language (L2) students—which include L2 international visa students, refugees, and permanent residents as well as naturalized and native-born citizens – become more recognized as integral to US higher education, so does the need to provide writing support for these students beyond ESL courses and ESL sections of first year composition. The CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers urges WAC/WID administrators to “offer faculty development in second language writing that should include information about second language writing development, information about 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 the CCCC Statement provides specific suggestions for instructors of WI courses in relation to writing assessment design, writing assessment, and textual borrowing, the Statement does not provide specific information on how WAC administrators should make the kinds of changes suggested. This WAC Clearinghouse site is dedicated to providing space for WAC/WID professionals to share resources they’ve developed for supporting L2 writers as they write across the curriculum, in the majors, in graduate programs, and into the workplace.

WAC/WID professionals are in the position to not only build support for L2 student writers, but to advocate for them, by working as change agents to create an institutional landscape that is more equitable to and inclusive of L2 writers, where L2 writers are valued for the unique cultural, rhetorical, and linguistic resources they bring to their writing.

You can view resources that support work with L2 student writers on the Clearinghouse's WAC and Second-Language Writing pages.