Based on recent research, Sweetland has updated its multilingual writing curriculum.
Between April and May 2018, Sweetland faculty members Shuwen Li and Naomi Silver, and Joint Program in English and Education graduate student Ryan McCarty conducted a survey of 245 undergraduate international students and ran five focus group interviews to uncover students’ current needs for writing courses at Sweetland. Our data reveal a large number of international students majoring in STEM and a widespread interest in professional and technical writing and communication.
In Fall 2018, Sweetland updated the multilingual writing curriculum by revising WRITING 240: Professional and Technical Presentation for International and Multilingual Students and WRITING 340: Professional and Technical Writing and Communication in International Contexts. WRITING 240 focuses on presentation and writing skills to prepare international and multilingual students for effective delivery of complex information to experts and lay audiences in international contexts. WRITING 340 is designed for all students who will write and communicate professionally in international contexts, where different cultures interact. This course also aims to bring native and non-native speakers together to work on multicultural teams.
The updated WRITING 240 was launched in Fall 2019, and Sweetland welcomes students who are interested in taking WRITING 340 in Winter 2020.
Additionally, in Summer 2019 Shuwen Li, Naomi Silver, and Ryan McCarty gave a panel presentation titled “Balancing Acts: Creating Inclusive Curriculum for Multilingual and International Students at a Large R1 Institution” at the Council for Writing Program Administrators Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Their panel shared the research findings, and offered attendees Sweetland’s approach to better understanding international students’ choices in writing course enrollment. The presentation provided implications for teachers and administrators considering how to restructure courses to more inclusively meet student goals.