Bringing a Multilingual and Multicultural Lens to WAC


Some Considerations for Supporting Multilingual Students Through Distance Learning (COVID-19 Update, March, 2020, from Michelle Cox; language is for Cornell but can freely be adapted to other contexts)


Access to online platforms for international students who return to China can vary. 

  • Students in Hong Kong should be able to use Zoom, Canvas, Google and VPN with no issues.
  • Students in mainland China CANNOT access the following:
    • Google products (including Cornell student email accounts)
    • Facebook
    • YouTube
    • Twitter
    • Box/DropBox
    • Skype
    • LINE
    • Kakao Talk
    • Instagram
    • WhatsApp
    • FlipGrid
  • Students in mainland China CAN access the following:
    • Zoom
    • Canvas
    • Schoology
    • OneDrive
    • Office Online
    • iCloud
    • WeChat
  • However, websites hosted outside of China will be slower. Thus, it may be difficult for students in China to access videos. We thus recommend using other modes of providing access to instruction (i.e. handouts, discussion boards, readings).
  • We suggest that faculty send a link to log into Zoom, rather than expecting students to be able to open up Zoom and initiate a meeting themselves.
  • This website for U Illinois, suggests that there is a version of Zoom that works in China:
  • As students in China cannot use their Cornell Gmail accounts, faculty should send them emails via Canvas.
  • The Chinese government randomly blocks VPN, and we cannot ask students to use VPN (so Google docs and other resources on the first line cannot be used).
  • We would also like to remind everyone that access to synchronous instruction will be difficult to students in mainland China, given that there are 5 time zones there, all with at least a 12-hour difference from the time in Ithaca (when it’s 10:30 am in Ithaca, it’s 10:30 pm or later in mainland China).
  • We encourage faculty to survey their students to find out where they will be during the weeks of remote instruction, so that courses may be effectively planned, to be accessible to all.

Guidance for Faculty:

Guidance for International Students:

Bibliography on WAC and Second Language Writing

The following bibliography identifies resources useful for bringing a multilingual and multicultural lens to WAC/WID practice, programming, and research.

Cox, Michelle.  "WAC-WID and Second Language Writing." WPA-CompPile

Research Bibliographies, No. 8. WPA-CompPile Research Bibliographies.  2010.

Sources to share with faculty across the curriculum

Bruce, Shanti and Ben Rafoth, ed.  ESL Writers: A Guide for Writing Center Tutors 2nd ed.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2009.  

Currie, Pat.  "Staying Out of Trouble: Apparent Plagiarism and Academic Survival."  Journal of Second Language Writing 7.1 (1998): 1-18.

Harklau, Linda, Kay M. Losey, and Meryl Siegal.  "Linguistically Diverse Students and College Writing: What is Equitable and Appropriate?"  Generation 1.5 Meets College Composition.   Ed. Linda Harklau, Kay M. Losey, and Meryl Siegal.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1999.  1-14.

Land, Robert E. and Catherine Whitley.  "Evaluating Second-Language Essays in Regular Composition Courses: Toward a Pluralistic U.S. Rhetoric."  Second-Language Writing in the Composition Classroom: A Critical Sourcebook.  Ed. Paul Kei Matsuda, Michelle Cox, Jay Jordan, and Christina Ortmeier-Hooper.  Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006.  324-32.

Leki, Ilona.  Understanding ESL Writers: A Guide for Teachers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 1992.

Severino, Carol.  "The Sociopolitical Implications of Response to Second Language and Second Dialect Writing."  Second-Language Writing in the Composition Classroom: A Critical Sourcebook.  Ed. Paul Kei Matsuda, Michelle Cox, Jay Jordan, and Christina Ortmeier-Hooper.  Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006.  330-50.

Robertson, Wayne, dir.  Writing Across Borders. Oregon State University, 2005.   

Online Resources

CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers

Second Language Writing Interest Section

Symposium on Second Language Writing (SSLW)

Journals related to L2 Studies

Critical Inquiry in Language Studies(CISL): a refereed, quarterly journal that publishes language studies overlapping with the fields of applied linguistics, language policy and planning, among others.

ELT Journal:

ESL Magazine Online

The Internet TESL Journal

Journal of Second Language Writing: an international journal on second language and foreign language writing research.

TESOL Journal: a refereed, practitioner-oriented electronic journal based on current theory and research n the field of TESOL.

TESOL Quarterly: a peer-reviewed premier journal of the TESOL Association.

Journal of English for Academic Purposes

English for Specific Purposes: An International Research Journal