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SLWIS News, Volume 4:1 (March 2009)

by User Not Found | 10/28/2011

In This Issue...

  • Leadership Updates
    • Letter From the Chair
    • Update From the SLW News Editorial Staff
  • Articles
    • SLA, Second Language Writing, and Metacognitive Work in the Writing Center
    • Student Writing Strategies and the Design of a Writing Proficiency Exam
    • Teaching Grammar(s) in the Context of Writing
  • Book Review
    • Getting on the Writing Road: Review of Guided Writing: Practical Lessons, Powerful Results
    • Review of Living and Teaching the Writing Workshop
  • Context Column
    • Call for Submissions
  • Convention Updates
    • TESOL 2009 Highlights
    • Special Event at TESOL 2009
  • Announcements and Information
    • In Memoriam: Subarna Banerjee
    • Symposium on Second Language Writing 2009: The Future of Second Language Writing
    • SSLW Interactive
    • Open Access to All TESOL Communities
  • About This Member Community
    • Second Language Writing IS Contact Information
    • SLW News: Call for Submissions

Leadership Updates Letter From the Chair

Dear IS Members,

Happy new year to you all! If your plans for the new year include attending the 43rd Annual TESOL Convention (Denver, March 26-28), you’ll be well on your way to a very fulfilling 2009. The SLWIS received a record number of proposals this year, with 169 submissions, ranking fifth of all of the TESOL Interest Sections—amazing for such a relatively young and small IS. Although many excellent proposals could not be included in the program, the high volume of submissions guaranteed a generous allotment of program space to topics of interest to SLWIS members. Thank you very much to all who responded to the call and to the proposal readers who generously volunteered their time.

Thanks to all of you, we have a very broad range of topics this year: teacher preparation, young learners, multilingual writers, assessment, assignment design, technology, self-regulation, EAP, speaking/writing connections, critical thinking, motivation, adolescents, writing centers, and more. We have breakfast sessions, Discussion Groups, research presentations, posters, papers, workshops—every possible format for your enjoyment. As a special treat this year, we’ve even had a proposal for TESOL’s new “Experimental Format” session, so if you happen to be in Denver on Wednesday evening, look for it.

And if you’re going to be at the conference on Saturday, get ready for a magnificent day of second language writing scholarship! For you early risers, we have a 7 a.m. InterSection entitled “Writing Across the Curriculum and Applied Linguistics: Research and Practice,” followed by our Academic Session, “Contexts of Second Language Writing.” Also look for the InterSection entitled “Strangers Here Ourselves: How NNESTs Work With Multilingual Writers.” Whatever your special interests within second language writing, you’re sure to find something thought-provoking and motivating on the program.

Finally, as always, you are cordially invited to attend the SLWIS Evening with the Experts, a lively social event where you and your colleagues can ask questions, discuss your work, get feedback, form connections, and have a good time getting to know other IS members. We hope you’ll join us for this special time. Look for details at the SLWIS booth in the exhibit area.

Again, thank you to all who have made this past year so successful for the SLWIS, and best wishes for another great year!!

Gigi


Update From the SLW News Editorial Staff

Margi Wald, SLW News Coeditor, mwald@berkeley.edu

On behalf of the entire SLWIS leadership, Cate Crosby and I are pleased to welcome the newest member of the SLW News editorial staff:

Marian Woyciehowicz Gonsior
Four-Year, Private Liberal Arts College/University Column

Marian Woyciehowicz Gonsior is an adjunct assistant professor in the ESL program at Madonna University, Livonia, Michigan, USA. She also works as a tutor in Madonna's Writing Center. She is currently coeditor of MITESOL Messages , the newsletter of the Michigan Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. In 2008, she received a travel grant to present a paper at the Association of Teachers of English in the Czech Republic's national conference held in Ceske Budejovice, the Czech Republic.

Please join me in welcoming Marian to our editorial staff. She brings a wealth of knowledge about second language writing teaching and research, which will surely benefit the newsletter and its readership.

Interested in joining the team?

Consider becoming a SLW News Context Column editor.

Given SLW News’s goal of encouraging submissions related to a variety of educational settings, especially traditionally underrepresented contexts, we are seeking editors to design and facilitate Context Columns to ensure strong, broad coverage. Possible contexts include, but are not limited to, elementary, secondary, two-year or community colleges, community programs, and professional institutes. Editors will solicit articles relevant to people working in the chosen context and coordinate with SLW News coeditors to ready articles for publication. If interested, please note the context you would like to represent.

For more information, contact Margi Wald, SLW News coeditor, at mwald@berkeley.edu.



Articles SLA, Second Language Writing, and Metacognitive Work in the Writing Center

Terese Thonus, The University of Kansas, USA, tthonus@ku.edu

Writing center work is situated at the busy intersection of two lines of inquiry: second language acquisition and composition studies. Though composition studies has generally ignored acquisition in writing, SLA research has often missed the opportunity to think about how the act of writing, its processes and products, not only reflect what has been acquired but also constitute the feat of acquisition itself. In writing center consultations, work on writing and language development can be compatible aims.

L2 Writing As an Oral-Literate, Cognitive Endeavor

SLA theory privileges orality above literacy (our inheritance from Chomsky): What is acquired in oral language becomes part of the learner’s underlying competence, which results in oral and written productions that provide data sources for evidence of the acquisition of linguistic features (such as morphosyntax). TESOL also privileges acquisition above learning (our inheritance from Krashen), and even as postmethod practitioners, we advocate oral communicative language teaching as superior to older, more “writerly” methods.

If SLA esteems successful acquisition of linguistic form, composition studies values the development of critical thinking and argumentation. But much composition pedagogy, even second-language writing pedagogy, is stuck in a “transitional” stage of speaking-writing relationships: Orality is the starting point of a student’s transition from context-dependent to context-independent expression, from writer-based to reader-based prose, from concrete to abstract thought (Schafer, 1983; see examples in Silva, Brice, Kapper, Matsuda, & Reichelt, 2001). As a result, compositionists have mistrusted oral negotiation of texts because written language is viewed as distinct from and superior to oral language (e.g., Elbow, 2007). This rift between oral and written language creates a problem for writing center consultations, where “talking writing” creates content and language input for drafting and revising text.

More useful to second-language writing pedagogy is a view of orality and literacy as a continuum rather than as polar opposites (Tannen, 1982) and of second language acquisition and writing as cognitive processes (Ellis, 2006; Swain, 2006). With this view of orality and literacy as a continuum and of writing as a sociocognitive endeavor has emerged evidence-based writing pedagogy that refuses to separate content from form (Schleppegrell, 2006). If learners “come-to-know-while-speaking” (Swain, 2006), they also “come to know” while writing. When oral and written language meet in writing center tutorials, both processes are activated (Williams & Severino, 2004).

Metacognitive and Metalinguistic Work in Writing Tutorials

Weissberg (2006) viewed the writing tutorial as “an ideal setting for putting the oral-writing connection into action and for seeing the effects of dialogic instruction on students’ written texts” (p. 76). Even though tutors may not possess explicit knowledge of English grammar and rhetoric, their metacognitive/metalinguistic interactions with writers can produce positive outcomes (Williams, 2006). To support this argument, I present several examples of this negotiation in writing center consultations.

The first excerpt features a tutor who failed to create language development opportunities in his engagement with the writer. At stake is whether the writer should use the singular or plural form of the word section . Unfortunately, the tutor gets himself into some deep water by assuming he knows the writer’s intent. After a brief digression about typographical conventions, he tells the writer, “Fix it.” (She must know what’s wrong, mustn’t she?) We must admire the writer’s persistence in trying to convince the tutor that she has found “an alternation of the tonic within a (particular) C major section.” Unfortunately, she doesn’t understand what the tutor means by “You could say instead of ‘ between’ because now it's not between, it's within” and the tutor decides to throw in the towel and suggest she ditch the entire phrase:

To use SLA terminology, in this tutorial intake could certainly not have become uptake !

Fortunately, this type of negotiation is not the norm. Excerpt (2) shows a tutor who succeeds in meshing language development with writing instruction. Late in the appointment, the tutor frames the issue carefully: “Here’s another point for you to remember about articles.” As the discussion continues, he allows the writer to articulate his decisions and the reasons for them:

In this case, the writer is able to generalize from explicit input, negotiating a rule or rules he can use in revising this paper and others in the future.

Conclusion

As in L1 acquisition, it appears that “the development of metalinguistic awareness is not tied directly to a particular stage of development” in second language acquisition (Garton & Pratt, 1998, p. 155), suggesting that even relatively unskilled learners can benefit from “talking writing” in writing consultations. It has been said that the writing center’s mission is to produce not only better writing, but better writers (North, 1984)—those who can apply what they have learned in the writing center to language and writing development. Writing center tutors, even those without formal TESOL training, can engage L2 learners’ oral and written language and can attend to both content and form in a way that rarely occurs in other language-learning contexts.

References

Britton, J. (1982). Shaping at the point of utterance. In G. M. Pradl (Ed.), Prospect and retrospect: Selected essays of James Britton (pp. 139-145). Montclair, NJ: Boynton/Cook.

Elbow, P. (2007). Reconsiderations: Voice in writing again: Embracing contraries. College English , 70, 168-188.

Ellis, N. (2006). Meta-analysis, human cognition, and language learning. In J. M. Norris & L. Ortega (Eds.), Synthesizing research on language learning and teaching (pp. 301-332). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Garton, A. & Pratt, C. (1998). Learning to be literate: The development of spoken and written language (2nd ed.). New York: Blackwell.

North, S. M. (1984). The idea of a writing center. College English , 46, 433-446.

Schafer, J. S. (1983). Linguistic descriptions of speaking and writing and their impact on composition pedagogy. Journal of Advanced Composition , 4. Available athttp://www.jacweb.org/Archived_volumes/Text_articles/V4_Schafer.htm.

Schleppegrell, M. (2006). The linguistic features of advanced language use: The grammar of exposition. In H. Byrnes (Ed.), Advanced language lear ning (pp. 134-146). London: Continuum.

Silva, T., Brice, C., Kapper, J., Matsuda, P. K., & Reichelt, M. (2001). Twenty-five years of scholarship on second-language composing processes: 1976-2000. International Journal of English Studies , 1, 211-240.

Swain, M. (2006). Languaging, agency, and collaboration in advanced second language proficiency. In H. Byrnes (Ed.), Advanced language learning (pp. 95-108). London: Continuum.

Tannen, D. (Ed.). (1982). Spoken and written language . Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Weissberg, R. (2006). Connecting speaking and writing in second language writing instruction. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Williams, J. (2006). The role(s) of writing centers in second language writing instruction. In P. K. Matsuda, C. Ortmeier-Hooper, & X. You (Eds.), The politics of second language writing (pp. 109-126). West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.

Williams, J., & Severino, C. (2004). The writing center and second language writers. Journal of Second Language Writing , 13, 165–172.

Terese Thonus is director of the Writing Center at the University of Kansas. Her research investigates writing center interactions, particularly with second language writers, as well as composition pedagogy, teacher education, and discourse analysis.


Student Writing Strategies and the Design of a Writing Proficiency Exam

Jennifer A. Mott-Smith, Towson University, Maryland, USA, JMottsmith@towson.edu

This article analyzes the writing strategies used by 16 nonnative speakers of English on a high-stakes writing proficiency exam at a large, urban, public university. The study arose because I saw students being caught in an ideological disagreement between ESOL faculty and the exam office. ESOL teachers were designing tasks that did not seem to align with the exam scoring criteria. First, instructors wanted to spend time on writing tasks that had students framing their own topics, were authentic, and encouraged students to express themselves and to revise, none of which they felt the exam task privileged. Some instructors also felt that a good grounding in general writing skills would prepare students well enough, and/or they believed that the General Education seminars were supposed to prepare students for the exam. Therefore, I wondered just what it was that students did to pass the exam.

Drawing on Leki (1995) to structure the analysis, I identified eight strategies that the students used, six of which I discuss here. Because these strategies were all used for the same exam, the analysis yields important insights into the exam design, specifically how well it is integrated into the curriculum and what, in addition to writing proficiency, it may be testing.

The Exam

The exam required text-based writing in response to a prompt. A reading set of about 20 pages, composed of several articles representing differing views on the same topic, was made available six weeks prior. Topics included such things as the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, emergent women’s voices, and biodiversity. The scoring criteria directed students to answer the question directly and fully, to use the reading set sources accurately and judiciously, to clearly organize one’s argument, to use good diction, to define one’s terms, and to use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

There were two versions of the exam: the test and the portfolio. For the test, the students received the prompt in the testing room and had 3 hours to write an in-class essay. For the portfolio, the students received the prompt with the reading set and wrote the essay at home; they also submitted two to four supporting papers written for coursework. Choosing between the test and portfolio was an important meta-strategy as it determined the specific writing task, affecting some writing strategies.

Of the 16 students in the study, 9 chose the test version for their first exam attempt. Their reasons included believing that the test was easier to pass, that compiling the portfolio was too time-consuming, that the quality of their supporting papers was not high enough, and not having enough supporting papers. Only 3 of the 9 students passed the test on their first attempt and one other passed on her third attempt, for a total of 4 who passed the test version.

The other seven students chose the portfolio for their first attempt, and three more attempted the portfolio after failing the exam. (No students chose to take the test after submitting a portfolio.) Their reasons for choosing the portfolio included wanting to avoid writing under time pressure, feeling that they could do better writing when relaxed, wanting to know the question beforehand, and wanting to use a spell check and/or grammar check. Five of the seven students passed the portfolio version on the first attempt; the other two passed it on their second attempt. Three more students passed it after failing the test version, for a total of 10 who passed the portfolio version. (Two of the original sixteen students never passed the exam.)

Though it may seem from these results that L2 students should choose the portfolio, let me caution that the numbers may be inflated because portfolios may be rejected prior to formal submission. Four of the students who submitted portfolios showed their supporting papers to office staff prior to official submission to check whether they met genre requirements. In addition, two students who did not end up submitting portfolios also did so.

The Writing Strategies

1. Clarifying strategies are those that help students answer the question, What does the exam require? Students sought information from other students, writing tutors, faculty, and friends. They also sought help in study groups and exam workshops, and they studied the documents provided by the exam office. Of these strategies, going to students and studying the scoring criteria and the test prompts were the ones used on successful attempts.

2. Strategies to manage competing demands included regulating their investment in the exam to balance it with coursework, family, and job commitments. Seven students spent several weeks preparing the reading set, reading it two to four times. In contrast, two others used “high investment strategies,” reading the set 7 to 15 times, though these multiple readings did not lead to success (Nelson & Hayes, 1988). There were also three students who used “low investment strategies,” spending one day or less preparing the reading set. One student did not even read the whole reading set before entering the testing room, but he passed nevertheless.

3. Focusing strategies included preparing the reading set, analyzing the question, forming a main point that answered the question, and structuring the essay. Two successful reading strategies were analyzing each text and placing the readings in a larger picture. Strategies used on unsuccessful attempts included reading for the main point and looking for connections between texts. Students who described their reading processes in these ways were the ones who read the texts repeatedly.

Students used two strategies to structure their essays: planning it before starting to write and developing their points and structure while writing. Both strategies worked, though the latter tended to present a problem on the test version. In fact, one student attributed her failing the test to not having had enough time to draft. However, another attributed his test success to his habit of procrastination, which allowed him to be able to write without drafting.

4. Seven students drew on past English writing experiences, using their knowledge of the differences between English and L1 academic writing. However, only two reported drawing from ESOL composition courses and no one drew from the General Education seminars. Six students drew from their exam prep course, though arguably this was not a past but a concurrent experience, as students were required to take the course between exam attempts. Many students distinguished between the exam requirements and those of coursework tasks; this could be considered another important strategy.

5. Drawing on prior topic knowledge, a strategy that I added to Leki’s list, was considered very important for a successful outcome. Most students did not see themselves as having a choice of topic, however. Though the portfolio offered only one topic each sitting, the test offered three, so technically, there was some choice, at least for test-takers. However, students who were able to draw on prior topic knowledge felt that this was possible because of luck. Six students spoke of familiarity with the topic as a reason for passing.

6. Perhaps the strategy that students had the most to say about was accommodating the scoring criteria. Fourteen students mentioned this; their substrategies included answering the question, arguing one main idea, assuming the authority to speak back to authors, using depersonalized language, excluding one’s own ideas, and focusing on form. At least six students believed that form was more important to passing than content.

Discussion

Analysis of the students’ writing strategies yields insights into the design of the exam. What the exam is meant to test is the construct of writing proficiency, and that appears to comprise the ability to do three things: read well, deal with multiple texts in an essay, and produce the required form. However, the students were not prepared to do all these things in coursework. In fact, three students said that they had never been assigned a task to analyze multiple texts in one essay. It is clear that the exam was not well-integrated into the curriculum, both because the writing tasks assigned in courses were different from that of the exam, and because students could not obtain the papers they needed for their portfolios.

In addition to testing writing proficiency, the exam seemed to be testing test-taking abilities, such as the ability to parse the prompt and to write under pressure. One student believed that his ability to attend to each part of the prompt came from the attention to detail he had acquired not from prior composition experiences but from taking multiple-choice science exams. The exam also tested prior knowledge, which is problematic because holistically scored essay tests are supposed to control for this (Huot, 1996). Students felt that exam topics advantaged some students over others, and did not believe that providing a reading set “controlled for” prior knowledge.

As I suspected from the beginning, the exam did not test much of what the ESOL faculty taught, such as framing one’s own topics, focusing on what one wants to say, and drafting. Instead, it encouraged focusing on form over content, writing in one draft (on the test version), and excluding one’s own ideas. As a teacher, I was disillusioned by the fact that, by focusing on answering the question and producing a five-paragraph essay, the student who did not read the entire reading set before taking the test was able to pass easily. (Although I have to admit, I was also impressed by his ability to do this.) I was also concerned that the students may not have been assessed on their best work. Topic knowledge, which many students did not have, may be essential to developing a critical authoritative stance (cf. Angelova & Riazantseva, 1999). Studies have shown that choosing familiar topics is an important strategy used by successful nonnative English-speaking students (Leki, 1995; Angelova & Riazantseva, 1999), which may shed some light on why otherwise successful students may have difficulty with writing proficiency exams (cf. Byrd & Nelson, 1995; Johns, 1991).

References

Angelova, M., & Riazantseva, A. (1999). "If you don't tell me, how can I know?" A case study of four international students learning to write the U.S. way. Written Communication , 16, 491-525.

Byrd, P., & Nelson, G. (1995). NNS performance on writing proficiency exams: Focus on students who failed. Journal of Second Language Writing , 4, 273-285.

Huot, B. (1996). Toward a new theory of writing assessment. College Composition and Communication , 47, 549-566.

Johns, A. M. (1991). Interpreting an English competence exam: The frustration of an ESL science student. Written Communication , 8, 379-401.

Leki, I. (1995). Coping strategies of ESL students in writing tasks across the curriculum. TESOL Quarterly , 29, 325-360.

Nelson, J., & Hayes, J. R. (1988). How the writing context shapes college students’ strategies for writing from sources (Technical Report No. 16). Berkeley, CA: Center for the Study of Writing.

Jennifer A. Mott-Smith teaches ESOL courses at Towson University, Maryland, where she is assistant professor of English & ESOL coordinator. Her current research focuses on how ESOL students achieve success on college writing tasks and how L1 styles influence their written English.


Teaching Grammar(s) in the Context of Writing

Erin Knoche Laverick, The University of Findlay, Ohio, USA,
knoche@findlay.edu

For the past decade, ESL instructors have debated the effect of grammar instruction and self-editing in writing classes. Indeed, self-editing, the act of a student learning to locate and correct his or her writing for grammatical errors, can be a daunting task for nonnative speakers of English. Truscott (1999) argued there is no evidence to support a need for self-editing in the writing classroom, while others such as Muncie (2002) believe grammar has its place in the writing classroom, provided instruction is connected to the writing process and teachers do not correct grammar when responding to student writing. Like Muncie, I argue that grammar has a place in composition classes and can be effectively integrated. In this article, I first summarize the main arguments for teaching grammar within the context of writing and introduce effective grammar exercises that can be used when students self-edit their work. This discussion illustrates that grammar need not be the focal point of writing instruction but is indeed necessary for effective writing.

A strict focus on grammar is problematic during the prewriting stage and drafting stages of the writing process, because it disrupts students from placing their ideas on paper and producing early rough drafts. However, grammar instruction can be applied in the final steps of the writing process when students have well-developed and organized drafts. At this stage in the writing process, students can learn to self-edit their writing. Indeed, grammar instruction, specifically teaching students self-editing strategies, should not be ignored in the writing classroom. As Hinkel and Fotos (2002) wrote, “To attain proficiency in L2 writing, learners need to attend to grammar in their writing, and . . . L2 pedagogy genuinely concerned about learner proficiency in writing needs to be included in the teaching of relevant L2 grammar” (p. 182). Muncie (2002) believed grammar instruction should be linked to the copyediting stage of the writing process and teachers should incorporate materials that fit the application of grammatical rules. I find that mini-grammar lessons are an effective means for students to apply grammar rules in their writing. For example, an instructor introduces a grammatical concept such as subject-verb agreement and then students learn to locate, analyze, and correct the error when proofreading a text. They may edit a sample text, their own writing, or a peer’s. Ferris and Hedgcock (2005) believed that

An effective mini-lesson also includes opportunities for students to apply what they have learned through editing for errors in sample texts, participating in peer-editing workshops, and scrutinizing their own in-progress work. Probably the most overlooked application is the mini-lesson focused on students’ own writing, but this is arguably the most important. (p. 25)

Such mini-lessons provide students with opportunities to self- or peer-edit their classmates’ writing, helping them develop their error analysis skills.

In my advanced L2 composition course, I have designed several mini-grammar lessons that reinforce and build off earlier lessons introduced in class. For example, early in the semester, students learn how to correct run-on sentences and comma splices. To introduce the concept, I reference the textbook used in their grammar class. Using this text, I hope students will transfer the language skills from class to class and begin to apply self-editing strategies in all their assignments. When referencing the textbook, I lecture very briefly to introduce the errors and explain how to locate and correct them. The students then work in small groups and correct sample texts, locating and correcting sentence-level errors. Below is a sample paragraph that I created for this mini-lesson. Notice the errors (highlighted in red) focus on run-ons and comma splices only. From my teaching experiences, I have learned that it is best to focus on the specific errors, because introducing several at once can cause student frustration and confusion.

The United States celebrates its independence every July 4th. In 1776, the United States gained its freedom from England. The English who were strict they wanted the people living in the United States to pay taxes. However, the colonists did not believe they should pay taxes, they went to war with England. They were finally victorious in1776, a new country was born. Today, to remember their ancestors’ fight for freedom, people celebrate on every Fourth of July.

Working with short paragraphs such as the one above allows students to better focus on the target errors. Once students understand how to locate and correct the errors, I ask them to correct either a partner’s paper or their own work, focusing only on run-on sentences and comma splices. Indeed, it would be a daunting task for a student to edit all the errors in a text.

When self- or peer-editing, students sometimes struggle to identify errors and begin to doubt themselves. Noguchi (1999) recommended that students formulate tag or yes/no questions when editing written assignments for comma splices and run-on sentences. My students learn that if they can ask several questions in one sentence, then the sentence is a run-on or comma splice. For example: I like pie, it is good. With this example, two questions can be asked. I like pie, right? It is good, isn’t it? Students recognize the sentence is a comma splice: Two questions can be formed from one sentence, and instead of a period, a semi-colon, or a comma with a conjunction, a comma is separating the two clauses. Formulating these questions in writing allows them to analyze their writing and effectively self-edit their work.

Below is an example of a student who found success using this strategy. This student used dialogue to communicate an argument he had in a history class with a student about Korean culture. Notice he has several run-on sentences that are highlighted in red.

“Some of your words are right but you also made contradictory statements. China was very powerful a long time ago, that is why we received Chinese culture but we had our own language. We did not just have letters. So, we used Chinese letters but we still used our spoken language and our great king made Korean letters 500 years ago,” I said.

Overall, the student possesses an excellent command of the language, as he uses prepositions and articles properly and understands subject-verb agreement. His pitfall is that he has several run-on sentences. Below are the questions he penciled in while self-editing his paper. The questions indicate where the student needs to add punctuation in order to correct the run-on sentences.

“Some of your words are right (right?) but you also made contradictory statements. China was very powerful a long time ago (right?) that is why we received Chinese culture(didn’t we?) but we still had our own language. We did not just have letters (didn’t we?). So we used Chinese culture (right?) but we still used our spoken language (didn’t we?) and our great king made Korean letters 500 years ago (didn’t he?) I said.

This student benefited from using Noguchi’s strategy, as it modeled where to add sentence breaks and proper punctuation. Below is the revised piece he turned in as his final product. His revisions are also marked in red.

“Some of your words are right, but you also made contradictory statements. China was very powerful a long time ago. That is why we received Chinese culture, but we had our own language. We did not just have letters. So, we used the Chinese letters, but we still used our spoken language. Then, our great king made Korean letters 500 years ago,” I said.

Here, the student corrected the run-on sentences using Noguchi’s strategy and produced a more audience-friendly piece. Indeed, there are several benefits for the reader. The text is now easier to comprehend, and it keeps the audience interested and committed to reading the text.

Teaching grammar in the context of writing teaches students how to self-edit their writing. Although my students do not immediately master these strategies, through constant reinforcement they very slowly begin to locate, analyze, and correct sentence-level errors. Indeed, by learning grammar as an essential part of the writing process, students learn proofreading strategies they can apply in all their writing assignments.

References

Ferris, R., & Hedgcock, J. (2005). Teaching ESL composition. Mahwah , NJ: Erlbaum.

Hinkel, E., & Fotos, S. (Eds.) (2002). New perspectives on grammar teaching in second language classrooms . Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Muncie, J. (2002). Finding a place for grammar in EFL composition classes. ELT Journal , 56, 180-186.

Noguchi, R. (1991). Grammar and the teaching of writing . Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Truscott, J. (1999). The case against grammar correction in l2 writing classes. Language and Learning , 46, 327-369.

Erin Knoche Laverick is the assistant director of The Intensive English Language Program at The University of Findlay. She enjoys teaching composition and researching writing pedagogies.



Book Review Getting on the Writing Road: Review of Guided Writing: Practical Lessons, Powerful Results

Valerie Sartor, University of New Mexico, USA, vallerina57@gmail.com

Oczkus, L. (2007). Guided writing: Practical lessons, powerful results . Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 168 pp., paperback.

Guided Writing: Practical Lessons, Powerful Results serves as a tool to help instructors teach the art of writing. Lori Oczkus’s book effectively and efficiently presents creative, lively, and intellectually stimulating writing lessons aimed at young learners. It can be used in a variety of classrooms, ranging from primary school for native speakers to the ESL classroom, among both young and older students. Personally, I have modified and applied her approaches to adult ESL learners at the university level and found them useful. Guided writing is currently a hot topic in educational markets with Mary Sullivan’s Lessons for Guided Writing going to print (2008), along with Dorn and Soffas’s Scaffolding Young Writers (2008), just after Ms. Oczkus’s (2007) book.

As the author of two popular books about teaching and literacy, Lori Oczkus is nationally known as a literacy expert and sought after as a speaker and literacy coach. In her newest book, she contends that modeled writing is not sufficient. In order to teach writing successfully, it must be scaffolded via guided writing exercises. The author describes the scaffolding process that she experienced when teaching reading and notes that when guided writing was added to modeled writing, student writing and motivation increased dramatically. Her rationale can easily be applied to ESL learners as well as native English speakers and writers. In addition to literacy and education in ESL and EFL fields, the scaffolding process has been studied and encouraged by educators, such as Lightbrown and Spada (2006).

The book’s techniques for guided writing are grounded in solid educational theory. Oczkus follows Vygotsky’s (1978) premise of the zone of proximal development with her ideas meant to stimulate students to push themselves forward in their writing by reaching for a level that is slightly higher than where they currently stand. The teacher aids in this process by using scaffolding techniques among individuals and small groups. Like most educators, Oczkus contends that learning is a social process, and she outlines a multitude of collaborative ways that students may practice writing. Oczkus agrees with Samway (2006) that an interactive setting for writing is essential to generating creative efforts by students.

This book not only provides solid definitions of good writing and scaffolding techniques, but also offers practical lessons for writing teachers. These lessons are geared for small groups, entire classes, and cooperative writing groups. Moreover, her book incorporates the concepts of Six Trait Writing used in schools around the nation: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. Using Oczkus’s book, teachers can construct lessons that intertwine one or more of these traits to strengthen a student’s ability to adhere to the national writing standards.

In addition to practical suggestions, Oczkus also provides creative ideas for using these lessons that are “reproducible” for classroom use. The book also contains handy rubrics to help students assess their own works as well as staff development and coaching suggestions for teachers.

This seven-chapter, 152-page book is designed for busy teachers, and it is meant to be flipped through. The first two chapters offer a broad overview of guided writing within the context of specific steps that apply to any age or genre. The following chapters serve as resources to help teachers apply guided writing to other types of writing activities, such as dictation, finish the sentence, and CLOZE exercises. Each of these genre chapters includes lesson overviews, example stories, suggestions, graphic organizers, rubrics, and helpful questions for roundtable discussions, staff development sessions, or individual study.

The first two sections consist of the first two chapters. Chapter One defines guided writing in the context of primary and intermediate instruction. It also outlines scaffolding techniques for teachers. Chapter Two offers detailed descriptions of modeling techniques for teachers, along with ideas and suggestions on how to apply them.

The following two chapters address poetry and narrative. Chapter Three depicts what Oczkus calls “noisy poems”—poetry that incorporates onomatopoeia. Ozckus feels that this type of lively free verse helps students to find their voice and is a good way to start encouraging students to write. Chapter Four enters students into an exciting narrative dialog. Oczkus found that many schools asked students to record their weekend events on Mondays, but their listings were dull and lifeless. Her concept of a “Weekend Web” is her answer to liven up such writing.

Chapter Five approaches basic techniques of the writer’s craft. Students analyze and borrow the author’s organization patterns and word choices, working together with their peers to produce collaborative pieces. They then create individual pieces that are put into a class book and shared with the entire group, which encourages critical thinking.

Chapter Six outlines lessons that help students learn to prepare and produce reports. Paragraph structure and organization with transitions and topic sentences are covered simply but effectively. The goal is to have each student present his or her own report to the class. Chapter Seven takes writing from the paper stage to the dramatic stage. Students working in teams learn to compose dramas, which they act out for each other, thus bringing the written word to life in the classroom. The back of Oczkus’s book has several handy appendixes that contain helpful tools for teachers to use guided writing in the classroom. The appendices hold assessment rubrics, mini-lessons, quick and motivating ways to improve student writing, and a list of effective children’s books and professional resources about writing for teachers. In her final appendix, Oczkus proposes ways for students to share their writing in creative ways, such as “gallery tours” or “paper passing."

References

Dorn, L. J., & Soffas, C. (2008) Scaffolding young writers. Oakland, NJ: EAI Education.

Lightbrown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2006). How languages are learned . Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Samway, K. D. (2006). When English language learners write: Connecting research to practice . Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Sullivan, M. (2008). Lessons for Guided Writing: Whole-class lessons and dozens of student samples with teacher comments to effectively scaffold the writing process . New York: Scholastic, Inc.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes . (M. Cole, V. J. Steiner, & E. Souberman, Eds. & Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Valerie Sartor has been teaching ESL, specializing in writing, since 1980. As a writer, educator, and multilingual, she has published widely in academic and lay journals around the world.


Review of Living and Teaching the Writing Workshop

Kirsten Reitan, University of Buffalo, USA, reitan@buffalo.edu

Painter, K. (2006). Living and teaching the writing workshop . Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 144 pp., paperback.

Living and Teaching the Writing Workshop by Kristen Painter delivers everything it promises in the title. Teachers need to be writers as well as teachers of writing, and Painter shows us the way to live the writing workshop before discussing how to teach writing using the writing workshop approach. Her writing style is inviting as she takes the reader on a journey through her own process of writing and working in a writer’s group to teaching the writing workshop in the classroom. Her approach is that of peer-to-peer: one writing teacher to another, one struggling writer to another, or one friend to another. Although the subject of writer’s workshops has been written about for well over 20 years, her down-to-earth manner makes becoming a writer and implementing a writer’s workshop in the classroom very doable.

The book is divided into three sections: “Writing for Yourself,” “Writing Groups,” and “Teaching Writing.” The first and third sections are designed to be used in tandem, and the author suggests that rather than read the “book cover-to-cover . . . [readers] flip between sections based on your needs at a particular time” (p. xvi). Each chapter can be read independently or read in connection with corresponding chapters from one of the other two sections. The author usually indicates the corresponding chapters through remarks at the end of a chapter and by using the same chapter titles for Sections 1 and 3. Even though the book itself is not targeted for ESL teachers and the examples of student writing are all drawn from elementary school, any new or experienced teacher (at any level) interested in implementing a workshop approach to writing would find this a worthwhile read. Most important, for any teacher who teaches writing but for some reason finds it difficult to write, Painter demystifies and opens up the process of being a writer and finding worthwhile topics to write about.

In “Writing for Yourself,” Painter describes step-by-step how to bring out the writer within yourself, using examples from her own writing process and issuing “Invitations to Write” in each chapter. She emphasizes that the most essential first step is to get a notebook, a nice notebook that one can write his or her ideas down in. In the notebook, the writer writes as much or as little as he or she wants, records any idea or thought that strikes him or her, and can even attempt various genres of writing, like poetry or short stories. Three stages of prewriting occur in this notebook: Mining for Ideas (Chapter 3), Unearthing the One Idea (Chapter 4), and Digging Deeper (Chapter 5). At first, in this technological age, a notebook might seem old-fashioned. In fact, Painter does not mention using a computer until the drafting stage. Upon reflection, the value of a notebook for jotting down ideas, anywhere, anytime, without the need for power or logging on, makes sense. The rest of “Writing for Yourself” takes the reader through the more familiar stages of the writing process: drafting (Chapter 6), revising (Chapter 7), editing (Chapter 8), publishing (9), and reflection (Chapter 10). The “Invitations to Write” and the suggestions for writing make these chapters useful and helpful for teaching.

In the second section, “Writing Groups,” Painter devotes nine short chapters to sharing her own experiences in a writing group and encouraging others to form writing groups. At 18 pages, this section is a quick read, and the value of peer feedback and sharing with an audience are abundantly clear. It also serves as a nice transition to the final section “Teaching Writing.”

For most ESL teachers, even those who do not have enough students or the right set-up to run a writer’s workshop, the final section has much to offer on teaching and encouraging writing. At this point, it also becomes apparent why it is so important for a teacher to be a writer: so he or she can share and model his or her own processes of writing. Each chapter in this section has a parallel chapter in the “Writing for Yourself” section, sharing all the same chapter titles from “Mining Ideas” to “Reflection.” Painter makes some very powerful points on the role of the teacher in the writing workshop, such as the following: “The focus of your teaching is on writing strategies, not writing topics” (p. 85). Here, the notebook takes on a prominent role as the source of the topics and ideas. The teachers’ role is to encourage and facilitate writing through sharing his or her own experiences as a writer in mini-lessons and in one-on-one conferences. For the writing group, Painter suggests writing partners rather than a group of peers. She offers options for publication in print and on the Internet. The best parts of this section were the many reproductions of student writing at the various stages, including cross-outs and uncorrected errors.

For an ESL teacher, the reminder that all writers struggle with ideas and language and that writing truly is a process is particularly heartening. To close with some encouraging words from Painter, “The correctness of writing will come; be patient and enjoy the fruits of your teaching” (p. 85).

Kirsten Reitan has an MEd in English Education and another in TESOL. Currently, she teaches ESL at the University of Buffalo.



Context Column Call for Submissions

New Context Column: Four-Year, Private Liberal Arts Colleges/Universities

Marian Woyciehowicz Gonsior, Context Column Editor, SLW News, mgonsior@madonna.edu

In her final appendix, Articles, brief reports, and information of interest to those working in four-year, private liberal arts college and university settings will appear in this column. Let’s make this a venue for sharing our successes, rethinking our challenges, and crafting the future of our profession. Possible topics include research, pertinent teaching experiences, ideas for lesson plans, and observations on issues and trends that apply to this area. Hyperlinks are encouraged to take advantage of the electronic format of the newsletter.

Submissions should be

  • Short (500-1500 words)
  • Include a 50-word (500 characters or less) abstract and 2- to 3-sentence author biography
  • Include no more than five citations
  • Follow APA style guidelines
  • Be in MS Word (.doc(x)) or rich text (.rtf) format
  • Procedures for submissions:

  • Send via e-mail attachment to Marian Woyciehowicz Gonsior at mgonsior@madonna.edu
  • Use “SLW News Submission” as the e-mail subject
  • Submit by June 30 for the August/September issue.
  • Please direct any questions and/or submissions to:

    Marian Woyciehowicz Gonsior
    SLW News Context Column Coeditor
    ESL Program
    Madonna University
    36600 Schoolcraft Rd.
    Livonia, MI 48150
    E-mail: mgonsior@madonna.edu
    Tel: +1 734-432-5543 (work)

    Marian Woyciehowicz Gonsior is an adjunct assistant professor in the ESL program at Madonna University, Livonia, Michigan, USA. She also works as a tutor in Madonna's Writing Center. She is currently coeditor of MITESOL Messages, the newsletter of the Michigan Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.



    Convention Updates TESOL 2009 Highlights

    Spend Saturday morning with SLWIS:

    Second Language Writing and Applied Linguistics Intersection: Writing Across the Curriculum and Applied Linguistics: Research and Practice
    Saturday, March 28, 2009
    7:00-8:45 a.m., Colorado Convention Center, Room 706
    This session highlights the rich connections between applied linguistics and writing across the curriculum. Presenters will explore the ways in which corpus and genre research can inform the teaching of academic writing and will share an in-depth example of cross-disciplinary collaboration in the development of a disciplinary writing course.
    Organizers: Christine Tardy (SLWIS), Ali Shehadeh (ALIS)
    Speakers: Ken Hyland, Fredricka Stoller

    Second Language Writing IS Academic Session: Contexts of Second Language Writing
    Saturday, March 28, 2009
    10:00 a.m-12:45 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Room 707
    This Academic Session explores the relationships among the many contexts of second language writing. After an overview of “context” in L2 writing, presenters will share research within specific settings, probing some of the major issues at play in elementary schools, secondary schools, and U.S. and EFL higher education.
    Organizer: Christine Tardy
    Speakers: Lourdes Ortega, Meg Gebhard, Youngjoo Yi, Ilona Leki, Miyuki Sasaki, Paul Kei Matsuda

    Check out this additional SLWIS-Sponsored Session:

    NNEST and Second Language Writing InterSection: Strangers Here Ourselves: How NNESTs Work With Second Language Writers
    Friday, March 27, 2009
    10:00-11:45 a.m., Colorado Convention Center, Room 706
    For years NNESTs have taught writing, but how do NNESTs work with multilingual writers? Presenters consider issues of “accent” in multilingual writing and how NNESTs manage teaching composition classes with native and nonnative speakers, mentor multilingual writers, and teach writing in EFL contexts. They also discuss the “hauntedness” of nonnative writing.
    Organizers: Brock Brady (NNESTIS), Christine Tardy (SLWIS)
    Speakers: Ryuko Kubota, Icy Lee, Jun Liu, Lucie Moussu, Luciana de Oliveira

    For a searchable list of all TESOL presentations, including many other SLWIS sessions, go to http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/convention2009/ and click on “Convention Schedule” in the left-hand menu.


    Special Event at TESOL 2009

    At TESOL in Denver
    You are invited to attend

    An Evening With the Second Language Writing Interest Section
    Forging New Pathways in the Teaching of Second Language Writing

    Thursday, March 26
    8:00-10:00 p.m.

    Marlowe’s
    501 16th St
    16th and Glenarm Place
    Denver, CO 80202
    (303) 595-3700
    (just 4 blocks from the Convention Center)
    (Visit http://www.marlowesdenver.com for more information on the restaurant.)

    Discuss hot topics in second language writing, visit with the experts, and enjoy the camaraderie of others interested in second language writing

    Light appetizers compliments of SLWIS members like you.
    Cash bar and dinner-on-your-own menu available.



    Announcements and Information In Memoriam: Subarna Banerjee

    1972-2008

    It is with much sorrow that we report the death of Subarna Banerjee, book review editor and steering committee member of the Second Language Writing Interest Section (SLWIS). She was also one of the earliest members of SLWIS. Subarna was born October 2, 1972, in Berhampore, a small town near Calcutta, India. She lost her long battle with breast cancer on July 20, 2008, in her home in Berhampore where she spent her last few months with her parents.

    Subarna earned an MA in English from Jadavpur University in Calcutta. She entered the TESOL program at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1999, shortly after her first bout with cancer. Although her cancer returned twice, she never slowed down. As she went through treatments, she attended classes, taught classes, mentored new teachers, and kept writing. She defended her dissertation in September 2007 and accepted a prestigious postdoctoral position at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Unfortunately, she was forced to leave this position and return home to India in February 2008.

    Friend and colleague Jill Swavely writes, “Over the nine years I knew her, our relationship evolved from that of teacher and student to friend and colleague. We worked on numerous projects together, including research, conference presentations, and curriculum development. We also had fun together, attending dinners and parties at Temple and at CCCCs. I’ll always remember her as the one who could keep a committee meeting focused as well as one who would move from person to person at a dinner table, engaging everyone in lively conversation. It was always a pleasure to be around Subarna because she was so consistently bright and cheerful. She was also an incredibly thoughtful person. For these reasons, she had many close friends at Temple. In the process of becoming an accomplished salsa dancer, she also made many friends throughout Philadelphia. Poised, beautiful, courageous, caring, driven: This is how I will always remember Subarna.”

    Subarna was active in TESOL’s SLWIS, CCCC, and NCTE. To recognize Subarna’s accomplishments as a researcher and teacher, and to honor her memory, Temple University’s TESOL Program has established the Subarna Banerjee Excellence Award, an annual award that will be given to a Temple TESOL graduate student for the best research paper or dissertation.


    Symposium on Second Language Writing 2009: The Future of Second Language Writing

    Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA
    http://sslw.asu.edu/2009/

    The 2009 Symposium on Second Language Writing will take place at Arizona State University (http://www.asu.edu), November 5-7, 2009.

    With the theme “The Future of Second Language Writing,” this year’s symposium aims to provide an opportunity to contemplate the future of this young and vibrant field in the presence of well-established, internationally known researchers and teachers as well as relatively young teachers and researchers who bring new energy and enthusiasm to this growing field of inquiry.

    The 2009 Symposium will feature distinguished plenary speakers who are internationally recognized experts in second language writing, including Carole Edelsky, Mark James, Ann M. Johns, Mark Warschauer, and Gail Shuck. A series of invited colloquia will address various issues concerning the future of the field. Some of the topics include the future of second language writing, assessment, EFL writing in schools, genre, defining “generation 1.5”, the interface between second language acquisition and second language writing, systemic-functional linguistics, and second language writing.

    There will also be two half-day workshops: one on error feedback led by Dana Ferris and the other on plagiarism led by Christine Tardy. In addition, a special panel will feature doctoral programs where students can specialize in second language writing. The symposium will conclude with a message to the new generation in a special session featuring well-respected, seasoned members of the field.

    Concurrent sessions will address a wide range of topics and issues in the field of second language writing. An open call for proposals for 20-minute presentations is available athttp://sslw.asu.edu/2009/proposal.html. Proposal deadline is April 30, 2009.

    For more information, including the list of featured speakers, please visit http://sslw.asu.edu/2009/. To receive updates by e-mail, please subscribe to SSLWLIST. Subscription information is available at the Symposium Web site.

    We look forward to seeing you in November!

    Paul Kei Matsuda and Tony Silva, Chairs
    Symposium on Second Language Writing


    SSLW Interactive

    http://sslw.asu.edu/interactive/

    SSLW Interactive is an online community of second language writing teachers and researchers sponsored by the Symposium on Second Language Writing, an annual international gathering of second language writing specialists. The purpose of SSLW interactive is to provide a centralized resource portal for second language writing teachers and researchers from around the world. It also seeks to connect various communities of second language writing teachers and researchers who attend different conferences. For more information, please visit http://sslw.asu.edu/interactive/.


    Open Access to All TESOL Communities

    Open access allows all members to access as many IS and caucus e-lists and e-newsletters as they wish at no cost. There are no longer any fees associated with subscribing to additional ISs and caucuses.

    To maintain a core membership for each IS and each caucus, members are required to select a primary interest section and primary caucus. Members are able to vote only in their primary IS and caucus. Statistics are tracked only on primary selections.

    However, e-newsletters, e-mails, and other correspondence issued for an IS or caucus will be sent to anyone who is currently identified with the IS or caucus.

    A special Web page, called My Communities, has been created. It is accessible by logging on to the TESOL Web site and clicking on the “My Communities” link in the Member Toolbox.

    From this special Web page, members are able to easily choose whichever primary IS and caucus they would like to belong to, as well as join as many other ISs or caucuses they would like. They are also able to easily turn mail on and off while on vacation, determine how they would like to receive their e-lists (digested or not), and manage their membership in the ISs and caucuses. They can also provide an alternative e-mail address at which to receive e-mail or e-news.

    From this page members can also manage their subscription to other free e-services provided by TESOL, such as TESOL Connections, student e-lists, electronic placement bulletins, book updates, education program information, and so on.

    TESOL hopes that the new Web page simplifies the entire e-list and e-news process and makes information more easily accessible.



    About This Member Community Second Language Writing IS Contact Information

    TESOL’s Second Language Writing IS provides a forum for researchers and educators across grade levels and institutional settings to discuss and exchange information in the area of second language writing.

    Discussion E-List
    Visit the “Communities” link on the TESOL Main Page (http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/index.asp) to subscribe to SLWIS-L, the discussion list for SLWIS members, or visithttp://lists.tesol.org/read/?forum=slwis-l if you are already a subscriber.

    Web Sites
    http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=929&DID=4127
    http://secondlanguagewriting.com/slwis/

    SLWIS Community Leaders 2008-2009

    Chair

    Gigi Taylor
    E-mail: vgtaylor@email.unc.edu

    Chair-Elect

    Christine Tardy
    E-mail: ctardy@depaul.edu

    Secretary

    Cate Crosby
    E-mail: ccrosby@wcupa.edu

    Steering Committee

    Allison Petro (2008-2011)
    E-mail: apetro@ccri.edu

    Charles Nelson (2006-2009)
    E-mail: charles.p.nelson@gmail.com

    Tony Silva (2006-2009)
    E-mail: tony@purdue.edu

    E-List Manager

    Youngjoo Yi
    E-mail: youngjooyi@hotmail.com

    Web Manager

    Charles Nelson
    E-mail: charles.p.nelson@gmail.com

    Newsletter Coeditors

    Cate Crosby
    E-mail: ccrosby@wcupa.edu

    Margi Wald
    E-mail: mwald@berkeley.edu

    Book Review Coeditors

    Steven Bookman
    E-mail: academicchef@yahoo.com

    Sharon Whitehead-van Löben Sels
    E-mail: sharonwhitehead@sbcglobal.net

    Context Column Editors

    CALL
    Catherine Smith
    E-mail: catherinesmith@troy.edu

    EFL
    Lilian Farag Allah
    E-mail: lilian.mina@gmail.com

    Four-Year, Private Liberal Arts College/University
    Marian Woyciehowicz Gonsior
    E-mail: mgonsior@madonna.edu

    Historian

    Paul Kei Matsuda
    E-mail: Paul.Matsuda@asu.edu

    Past Chairs

    2007-2008
    Deborah Crusan
    E-mail: deborah.crusan@wright.edu

    2006-2007
    Jessie L. Moore
    E-mail: jmoore28@elon.edu

    2005-2006
    Christina Ortmeier-Hooper
    E-mail: christina.ortmeier@unh.edu


    SLW News: Call for Submissions

    SLW News is soliciting articles on second language writing theory, research, and pedagogy in all ESL/EFL settings. Deadlines: June 30 for the August issue and December 31 for the February issue.

    SLW News welcomes articles that focus on L2 writer and characteristics and text features, classroom materials and practices, placement and assessment issues, writing program administration, teacher development, and other related areas. SLW News encourages submissions related to any educational setting, especially traditionally underrepresented contexts (pre-K through 12, two-year colleges, community programs, international K-12 schools, etc.). In light of the newsletter’s electronic format, authors are encouraged to include hyperlinks.

    Submission Guidelines

    Articles should

  • be no longer than 1,500 words
  • include a 50-word (500 characters or less) abstract and 2- to 3-sentence author biography
  • contain no more than five citations
  • follow the style guidelines in the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition (APA style)
  • be in MS Word (.doc) or rich text (.rtf) format

    Please direct your submissions and questions to

    Margi Wald, SLW News Coeditor
    E-mail: mwald@berkeley.edu
    tel: +1 510.642.2652

    Book Review Policy

    SLW News welcomes reviews of teacher resource books and student texts dealing with second language writing, teaching, research, and administration. Anyone interested in writing a review for SLW News may choose a recently published book in the field and contact the editor for approval and review copies. Reviews will be considered for publication based on the quality of the reviewer’s evaluation and description of the book, and the book’s relevance and importance to the field.

    Reviews should

  • be in APA style
  • be 600-900 words in length
  • include a 50-word (500 characters or less) abstract and a 2- to 3-sentence author biography

    Further information and book review suggestions are available from the SLW News book review coeditors: Steven Bookman, academicchef@yahoo.com, and Sharon Whitehead-van Löben Sels, sharonwhitehead@sbcglobal.net.

    CALL Column Submissions

    SLW News welcomes CALL-related articles, announcements, reports, and reviews in the following categories:

  • Software/Hardware (e.g., organizing systems or integrating software/hardware in learning environments to enhance writing instruction, assessment, or program evaluation).
  • Materials Design (e.g., using software such as Flash or MonoConc to design language-learning activities or materials that address specific language-learning goals, including discovery activities, practice exercises, storybooks, quizzes, or games).
  • Curriculum Design (e.g., using course management software such as Blackboard or eCollege to design e-courses, e-programs, or hybrids for second language writing).
  • Applied Writing Research (e.g., writing computer programs to identify lexico-grammatical features, discourse patterns, or errors/learner variation in writing, i.e., corpus linguistics).

    Submissions should be in APA style and include a 50-word (500 characters or less) abstract and a 2- to 3-sentence author biography. Further information is available from Catherine Smith, CALL Column editor, at catherinesmith@troy.edu.

    EFL Column Submissions

    This column welcomes both short and long submissions.

    Topics for short submissions (under 500 words) include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Statements of instructional problems
  • Classroom tips that worked
  • Resources and how to integrate them in classroom instruction
  • A recent article review

    Topics for longer submissions (up to 1,200 words) include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Summary of research
  • Literature review with pedagogical implications
  • Book review
  • Lesson plans
  • Handouts and activity sheets
  • Proposed joint research projects

    In order to ensure diversity of interest and coverage of as many areas of instruction in the field of EFL writing as possible, the EFL column encourages submissions on the following themes:

  • University writing classrooms
  • Pre-K-12 writing instruction
  • Learner communities in the writing classroom
  • Computer and the Internet in the writing classroom
  • Writing for tests (TOEFL and IELTS)
  • Technical writing as a booming genre in the EFL context
  • EFL writing instructors’ professional development

    Submissions should be in APA style and include a 50-word (500 characters or less) abstract and a 2- to 3-sentence author biography. Please direct questions and send your contributions to Lilian Farag Allah, column editor, at lilian.mina@gmail.com.

    Four-Year, Private Liberal Arts Colleges/Universities Column Submissions

    SLW News welcomes articles, brief reports, and information of interest to those working in four-year, private liberal arts university settings. Possible topics include research, pertinent teaching experiences, possible lesson plans, and observations on issues and trends that apply to this area.

    Submissions should be

  • Short (500-1,500 words)
  • Include a 50-word (500 characters or less) abstract and 2- to 3-sentence author biography
  • Include no more than five citations
  • Follow APA style guidelines
  • Be in MS Word (.doc(x)) or rich text (.rtf) format

    Procedures for submissions:

  • Send via e-mail attachment to Marian Woyciehowicz Gonsior at mgonsior@madonna.edu
  • Use “SLW News Submission” as the e-mail subject