Second language writing

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Second-language writing is the study of writing performed by non-native speakers/writers of a language as a second or foreign language.

In addition to disseminating research through the Journal of Second Language Writing, scholars in the field regularly participate in three academic conferences, the Symposium on Second Language Writing,[1] the TESOL convention,[2] and the Conference on College Composition and Communication.[3]

Symposium on Second Language Writing[edit]

The Symposium on Second Language Writing, which began in 1998 at Purdue University, is an international conference on second language writing. It was a biennial event through 2006, and annually after that. It has been hosted at Purdue University six times, but the 2007 symposium was held in Japan; the 2009 at Arizona State University, the 2010 in Murcia, Spain; the 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan; and the 2013 will be held at Shandong University, Jinan, China.[4]

Second Language Writing at TESOL, Inc.[edit]

In June 2005, the TESOL Board added of a new interest section on writing. The Second Language Writing IS; it held its first meeting in Tampa in March 2006, covering topics ranging from “Broadening Perspectives in Second Language Writing” and “Alternative Placement Methods for Second Language Writers” to “Issues in Technologies for L2 Composition Classrooms” and “Crossing Bridges with Second Language Writing Partnerships.”

As these suggest, the section provides a forum for researchers and educators at different grade levels and institutional settings to discuss second language writing. Specifically, the section's goals are:

  • to increase awareness of the significance of writing in teaching ESL/EFL,
  • to encourage and support the teaching of writing to ESOL students at all levels,
  • to provide a forum to discuss issues of writing assessment and the placement of second language writers, and
  • to disseminate and promote research on second language writing [5]

The section facilitates communication about writing across teaching levels and settings. Recent research on the scope of second language writing scholarship suggests that most of the field’s nationally (within the U.S.) and internationally circulated scholarship is produced by scholars in post-secondary education at research intensive institutions. Other contexts for writing (Pre-K through 12, two-year colleges, community programs, international K-12 schools, etc.) often have much larger populations of ELL/EFL writers, but scholars, particularly teacher-researchers, in these settings do not often receive support for researching and writing.

Given this, the section provides scholars with the opportunity to initiate more research and scholarship in these underrepresented contexts by supporting new collaborations and partnerships across levels and by providing a forum for discussing shared experiences. The section, like its parent body, TESOL, is distinctive in including all the academic levels and areas.

Second Language Writing at CCCC[edit]

Second language writing scholars also participate in a Special Interest Group on the field at CCCC.[6] In addition, the organization has a Committee on Second Language Writing to bridge work between CCCC and TESOL to involve more scholars in the field’s discussions.

Much recent attention focuses on the potential of Computer-mediated communication (CMC) to foster desire and opportunity to write.

In addition, attention has been focused on the practical application of teaching Second Language writing not only in academia but in the field.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grabe, William (2001). "Notes toward a theory of second language writing." In PK Matsuda & T Silva (eds.) On second language writing, 39-57.
  2. ^ Cumming, Alister (April 1987). "Decision making and text representation in ESL writing performance." Paper presented at the 21st Annual TESOL Convention, Miami.
  3. ^ Faber, Brenton (July 1996). "Rhetoric in Competition The Formation of Organizational Discourse in Conference on College Composition and Communication Abstracts". Written Communication. 13 (3): 355-384. doi:10.1177/0741088396013003003. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Symposium on Second Language Writing. (n.d.). Retrieved October 5, 2008, from
  5. ^ Second Language Writing Interest Section. (n.d.). Retrieved October 5, 2008, from
  6. ^ "Conference on College Composition and Communication". Retrieved 20 January 2015. 

External links[edit]