LING-456 Second Language Writing
Spring for 2017-2018
This course introduces students to the field of L2 writing, which investigates how people become good writers in multiple languages – whether they are second/foreign/heritage languages, as all are implied in the term “second language” or “L2”. It also examines the implications of the research base for how to support the development of writing among linguistically and culturally diverse writers. Topics covered will include (1) the linguistic challenges L2 writers face (e.g., in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and linguistic resources needed to meet voice, audience, and rhetorical demands of diverse genres and academic/professional communities); (2) pedagogical options for L2 writing (e.g., use of multiple drafts, teacher and peer feedback, writing conferences, individual and peer editing); (3) rhetorical transfer and plagiarism, probably the two most contested topics regarding the relationship between literacy and culture; (4) the roles of agency, identity, and power in shaping success among multilingual writers; and (5) the impact of new technologies on multilingual literacies. These topics will be tailored to the particular literacy contexts that enrolled students want to know about, such as: heritage language curricula, EFL settings, Writing Centers, programs for adults with limited schooling, or k-12 education for English Language Learners. The course assignments will offer choices for either traditional projects (e.g., a literature review paper, a proposal for an L2 writing study) or hands-on mini-projects (e.g., developing and delivering a workshop for teacher/tutor training, analyzing L2 texts, designing corpus/concordancing activities for L2 writers). By balancing both research and pedagogical interests, the course seeks to appeal to students with diverse interests and with different career goals. It will serve students who want to develop cutting-edge professional expertise in the teaching of L2 writing as well as those who want to explore possibilities for conducting research on L2 writing. The course is open to graduate and undergraduate students.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None


LING-456-01 Second Language Writing
No faculty information available
Time: Wed. 4:15-6:45 ICC 205B

Advanced L2 writers face an array of challenges as they attempt to create effective professional discourse that meets the expectations of their target audience. Professional legal discourse, in particular, varies across languages and cultures in subtle but crucial ways, which are difficult for advanced L2 writers to appropriately evaluate and incorporate into their own writing. In the Fall 2008, the Second Language Writing class will focus on the needs of a special group of advanced L2 writers, international lawyers, and the particular discourse of professional US legal writing.


The course examines composition theories and current practices in teaching writing in a second language. In the FALL 2008 semester, the course will have a special focus on working with advanced learners who are engaged in learning US legal discourse. A special feature of the course will be guest lectures by Prof. Craig Hoffman of the GU Law Center who is an expert on teaching legal writing to international lawyers. In order to learn about the target genre, we will engage in analysis of select legal discourse. Each student will also work with a non-native writer throughout the semester. In class meetings, we will investigate issues addressed in the assigned readings as well as those arising from the students’ interactions with their non-native writing students.

Some of the key issues we will consider are:
-Writing as a process of discovery, vision, and re-vision
-Integrating reading into the writing class
-The role of contrastive analysis
-Developing the writer’s voice
-Developing an awareness of audience
-Writing for a focused discourse community
-The role of grammar in L2 writing
-Evaluation and feedback: Effective teacher feedback; the role of written and oral feedback

Ferris, Dana & John Hedgecock (2004) Teaching ESL Composition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hoffman, Craig & Andrea Tyler (2008) U.S. Legal Discourse. West Publishing.

A packet of readings including excerpts from: James Gee, John Swales, John Hinds, Eli Hinkle, Ann Raimes, Joy Reid, and Vivian Zamel, as well as pertinent US legal documents and case law

15% Class participation
50% Journal: weekly reflections on readings for class and interactions with L2 writer
35% Portfolio of writing students’ work with teacher’s analysis
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
More information
Look for this course in the schedule of classes.

The academic department web site for this program may provide other details about this course.