Fostering an Environment for ESL Student Success in College and University Writing

  • Paula Wilder Durham Technical Community College
Keywords second language writing, teaching strategies, prewriting, feedback, revision, English for Academic Purposes
Keywords second language writing, teaching strategies, prewriting, feedback, revision, English for Academic Purposes

Abstract

Student success and retention remain key factors for colleges and universities, with faculty and staff working with students to help them overcome barriers as they complete their programs of study. Although students bring with them different and individual challenges, for those students who are entering colleges with English as a second language, they have an added challenge of learning the cultural, linguistic, and syntactical differences of writing in higher education. One way to help these students is raising faculty awareness of the specific challenges that students face when writing in a second language. This article seeks to increase awareness of these differences and help faculty provide students with a place to discuss the writing differences among their cultures and foster opportunities for students to succeed in their writing assignments—specifically, through the inclusion of pre-writing activities, explicit organizational instructions, specific feedback along with chances for revision, and engagement with students’ past and present experiences in writing.

Author Biography

Paula Wilder, Durham Technical Community College
Paula Wilder received her MA in TESOL from Greensboro College and her BA in English from Guilford College. She serves as Director/Instructor in the academic EFL program at Durham Technical Community College in Durham, NC. Paula has been responsible for the creation and implementation of academic EFL curriculum programs at two community colleges in NC. She also serves as a consultant to other community colleges who are in the process of implementing their EFL programs. She is also an instructor in Greensboro College's MA in TESOL program where she serves as the thesis advisor and instructor in such courses as Language and Culture, TESOL: Adult Learners, Academic Writing for ELLs. She also teaches at NC State in the TESOL certifcate program. She has taught at Harvard University's Institute of English Language and freshman English composition at Greensboro College. In 2014, Paula received the TESOL International Ruth Cryme's Award and was a runner-up in the 2016 TESOL International Teacher of the Year Award. She has presented her research in a variety of venues, including the TESOL International, NC Community College System Office Conference, SETESOL, Carolina TESOL, TALGs, NCADE, NCEI.

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Published
2017-02-09