Suggestions for Faculty
Renata Fitzpatrick, Second-Language Writing Coordinator
Before referring a student to me by email, phone, or form, please talk with the student one-to-one, as it is helpful to have him or her self-identify a need for second language writing support from the Academic Support Center, or choose to participate in our services, rather than being labeled by assumption.
A student who can articulate his or her own strengths and weaknesses as a writer will be in a much stronger position to benefit from working with me or a writing consultant than one who is driven to it by someone in authority. Here are questions that can be helpful to ask the student:
- What strengths do you bring to the task of academic writing? How much experience have you had writing academic papers?
- What challenges do you face in your writing?
- What kinds of feedback have you received in the past regarding your written work in your first language? And in English?
- If teachers have been specific in their suggestions/criticism/evaluation, elaborate or discuss that as clearly as you can.
- Do you agree or disagree with the evaluation/response you have received on your writing from previous teachers? Explain why.
- Do you think that one-to-one writing support could or would be helpful to you? Why or why not?
"If difference-as-deficit and difference-as-estrangement are somewhat limiting perspectives on multilingual writers, an attitude that gives them more complexity is one that I call the difference-as-resource perspective" (A. Suresh Canagarajah, 2005).