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Pre/Views: Multi-Lingual Writers at OSU

Pre/Views: Multi-Lingual Writers at OSU

By Vicki Tolar Burton

If you are seeing more and more international and multi-lingual students in your classes and wondering how to adjust your teaching, this issue of Teaching with Writing is for you.  We asked a trio of speakers from our spring lunch on writing pedagogy for multi-lingual writers to transform their talks into brief articles. Literature and Culture graduate student Corey Taylor, in “Assessing Hispanic Student Writing Across the Curriculum,” wants us to consider how to fairly assess the writing of Hispanic students.  Following writing scholar Valerie Balester, Taylor encourages teachers to design multicultural rubrics that can easily be explained to students who may struggle with English.

Andre Habet, a graduate student in Rhetoric and Writing who grew up in Belize, in “Generative Empathy: Internationalizing Writing Across the Curriculum,” urges faculty across the curriculum to use low stakes writing tasks to learn course content and scaffold formal writing assignments.  Further, Habet encourages instructors to examine their own course assignments and activities for aspects that might exclude non-American multi-lingual writers.   

In “A Case for Awareness: Hawaii Writers at Oregon State University,” Kristina Lum, graduate student in Rhetoric and Writing, turns her focus on the needs of Hawaii writers at OSU.  This is a diverse group of students, many of whom speak a Hawaii Creole English, also called Pidgin.  Lum is interested in how faculty awareness of students’ linguistic background might improve writing experiences for student writers from Hawaii who are attending OSU. 

We are grateful to these three graduate students for sharing their research and their list of sources where faculty might find more information on pedagogy for multi-lingual writers. 

Be sure to take note that next year’s WIC Faculty Seminar will be held in the winter 2016 because I will be on a one term sabbatical during fall term.  While I am on sabbatical in the fall,  WIC will be ably directed by Tracy Ann Robinson (MIME), a teacher and scholar who has a long history with the WIC program.  She will be able to assist you with course development and assessment questions while I am away.  Nominations for the winter seminar can be sent to me through the summer and to Tracy Ann during fall term. 

June is also the month to say good-bye to my WIC GTA, Jacob Day, who has been truly devoted to the enterprise of improving the teaching of writing in WIC courses at OSU.  Jacob, thank you.  Your clear head and good spirits have made this year a pleasure.  I have also had a terrific support team of interns Jordan Terriere (winter term), Andre Habet (spring term), Kristina Lum (spring term), and finally faculty volunteer August Baunach, who also teaches technical writing. Working with this enthusiastic team is a joy.  Have a great summer, everyone.  I’ll see you in January!

Date: 
Mon, 07/20/2015

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