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From Elaboration to Collaboration: Understanding and Supporting Second Language Writers. Alfredo Urzúa, Languages and Linguistics Kate Mangelsdorf, English (Rhetoric and Writing Studies) Facilitator: Kerrie Kephart, Teacher Education. Who Are Second Language Writers at UTEP?.

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from elaboration to collaboration understanding and supporting second language writers

From Elaboration to Collaboration: Understanding and Supporting Second Language Writers

Alfredo Urzúa, Languages and Linguistics

Kate Mangelsdorf, English (Rhetoric and Writing Studies)

Facilitator: Kerrie Kephart, Teacher Education

who are second language writers at utep
Who Are Second Language Writersat UTEP?
  • International Students
    • Speak two or more languages
    • Learned English in native countries
    • Take English-as-a-Second-Language courses (ESOL)
    • Plan to leave the U.S. after graduation, or
    • Transnational
who are second language writers at utep1
Who Are Second Language Writers at UTEP?
  • U.S. resident/immigrant/heritage language students
  • Bilingual (speech)
  • Do not self-identify as ESL students
  • Attended U.S. high schools
  • Take first-year composition in the English Dept.
  • Plan to remain in U.S. or
  • Transnational
terminology
Terminology
  • L1 = “first” language
  • L2 = “second” language
  • NES = Native English speaker
  • NNES = Non-native English speaker
  • Bilingual, multilingual

Terminology inadequate for language dynamics, especially on border

second language acquisition
Second Language Acquisition
  • Gradual process
    • Years of study and practice
    • Exposure to target language
    • Not all skills develop simultaneously
    • Very fluent second-language learners will have “accents” in writing
second language acquisition1
Second Language Acquisition
  • Non-linear process
    • Back-and-forth mastery of linguistic features
    • Mastery in one communicative context might not transfer to another
    • Learn from mistakes
    • Approximation of target language
second language acquisition2
Second Language Acquisition
  • Identity negotiation
    • Language = self
    • Cultural affiliations
    • Multiple roles
    • Dynamic, shifting
l2 writing students
L2 Writing Students
  • Writing Processes (Compared to L1)
    • Produce shorter texts
    • Spend less time planning
    • Spend more time revising
    • Focus on grammar
    • Worry more
    • Take more time to write
    • L2 resources are more limited
l2 writing students1
L2 Writing Students
  • Writing Processes
    • Greater metalinguistic awareness
    • Broader perspective / experiences
    • Skilled at shifting roles and identities
    • Tacit knowledge about language usage
    • Familiarity with grammatical terms
l2 writing students2
L2 Writing Students
  • Cultural Differences from L1
    • Collectivist cultures: texts belong to the group
    • Different beliefs about documenting sources
    • Less emphasis on “originality”
l2 writing students3
L2 Writing Students
  • Rhetorical Differences
    • U.S. English: The writer is responsible for communicating meaning
    • Other languages: Readers bear more responsibility for understanding texts
responding to l2 writers texts
Responding to L2 Writers’ Texts
  • Treatable errors—rule governed
    • Subject-verb agreement
    • Verb tense
    • Verb formation
    • Word order
    • Singular/plural nouns
    • Articles
responding to l2 writers texts1
Responding to L2 Writers’ Texts
  • Untreatable errors
    • Inappropriate word choices
    • Idioms
    • Prepositions
    • Mass vs. countable
    • Articles
responding to l2 writers texts2
Responding to L2 Writers’ Texts
  • Direct feedback
    • Instructor provides the correction for the student
  • Indirect feedback
    • Instructor indicates an error has been made but the student makes the correction
responding to l2 writers texts3
Responding to L2 Writers’ Texts
  • What does the research show?
    • Grammar instruction works ONLY if students immediately apply it to their own writing
    • Indirect feedback much more effective than direct feedback on treatable errors
    • Direct feedback effective for untreatable errors
responding to l2 writers texts4
Responding to L2 Writers’ Texts
  • Writing is communication
    • Respond to content
    • Focus on errors that impede communication
    • Look for error patterns
    • Ask students to correct errors
    • Be sure to praise
    • Offer explicit comments
activity
Activity
  • Read the sample texts in your group and discuss :
    • How would you respond to each writer?

(in the paper itself / during conferencing)

    • When does “different” become incorrect or inappropriate?
    • To what extent can/should L2 writers compete with L1 peers?
classroom tips
Classroom Tips
  • Writing Process
    • Generation of ideas
    • Planning the document
    • Time to revise
    • Time to edit
classroom tips1
Classroom Tips
  • Rhetorical Concepts
    • Describe audience expectations
    • Explain how to structure the text
    • Suggest headings and subheadings
    • Show how to cite and document
    • Give examples
    • Define your terms (i.e., faculty often define “report” differently)
classroom tips2
Classroom Tips
  • Vocabulary
    • Define discipline-specific terms
    • Write terms so students can see
    • Give examples of formulaic academic language (e.g., it is well known that…, as previous research has shown, the data suggest that…)
classroom tips3
Classroom Tips
  • Encourage student voices
    • Give them a “safe” place to ask you questions (email)
    • Ask students to help you design / negotiate assignments
    • Provide opportunities to talk about writing issues
    • When appropriate, encourage students to draw on their rich language backgrounds
resources at utep
Resources at UTEP
  • The University Writing Center (Library 300)
  • ESOL 2303 English for Humanities and Social Sciences
  • ENGL 5316 Graduate Writing Workshop
  • Learning Communities/Team teaching