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Title:Second language academic writing: What’s the target?
Author(s):Chason, Lisa R.
Director of Research:McCarthy, Cameron
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McCarthy, Cameron
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Prendergast, Catherine; Dhillon, Pradeep; Sadler, Randall
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):second language writing
translingual approach
multilingual faculty
graduate student writing
writing center
writing with an accent.
Abstract:This qualitative, interview-based study features nine multilingual faculty members at a major R1 university in the United States. They are all highly accomplished second-language writers (SLWs), and the study draws upon their lived experience and expertise in guiding SLW graduate students who are seeking to develop their proficiency in an immersive English-language environment. The university writing center plays a key role as well, as a place where increasing numbers of SLW graduate students receive one-on-one assistance, and where many of the issues raised in the study take shape. With two additional interview subjects – the director of the writing center and an accomplished local poet – the pool is enriched to discuss timely topics that are at once practical, theoretical, and philosophical. The study is framed by the tension underlying the contrasting scholarly fields of Second Language Writing and the Translingual Approach in Writing Studies, representing pragmatic versus critical perspectives but also different assumptions and values regarding language and writing. By posing the guiding question “What is the target?” a diversity of subjects are examined including the impact of an English-language style of academic writing, how native-like second language writing is expected to be, and contrasting the norms of Standard Written English and language accuracy with conceptions of language mix and fluidity. Concerns are raised with some of translingualism’s innovative theorization, leading to the alternative proposal of “writing with an accent” that advocates for applying to writing the kind of tolerance and negotiation that typically occurs with L2 speech, while not vilifying academic English language standards or those who teach them.
Issue Date:2021-03-29
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Lisa Chason
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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