Inclusive Pedagogies in Multilingual Writing Classrooms

A group of six Sweetland faculty gathered over the past five months to explore inclusive pedagogies in multilingual writing classrooms, thanks to a Faculty Communities for Inclusive Teaching grant from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. Faculty members Shuwen Li and Naomi Silver wrote the grant proposal. Sweetland faculty were also joined by the director of the English Language Institute, two Residential College (RC) faculty members and one Classical Studies faculty member who teach in first-year writing seminars offered by their units, and two graduate students in the Joint Program in English and Education.

The faculty learning community aimed to understand the core issues of inclusive teaching in multilingual writing classrooms, develop skills of responding to multilingual students’ needs, and design individualized pedagogies of inclusive teaching.

Going through six phases, the faculty learning community read and discussed articles covering an overview of multilingual writing classrooms in U.S. higher education, construction of a multilingual mindset, intercultural rhetoric in multilingual writing classrooms, EAP/ESP approaches to multilingual writing, internationalization of composition, and multimodal and translingual approaches to writing. Both theoretical orientation and hands-on practices were central to the learning community. Critical views were frequently cast on the readings. The community also invited a guess speaker, Professor Jim Zappen from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, into their discussion about intercultural rhetoric. Participants of the community appreciated the opportunity to exchange ideas and develop critical views on multilingual writing pedagogies to support an important group of students on the Michigan campus.

Building on the outcomes from the faculty learning community, Sweetland received another grant from CRLT to support a project titled “Develop Translingual Activities to Support Sweetland’s Multilingual Writing Curriculum.”

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