From Theory to Practice- Selected papers from the 2013 ICLHE Conference
Edited By Robert Wilkinson and Mary Louise Walsh
Beyond “English-only” in U.S. writing instruction: Fostering translingual dispositions in writing teacher education
Abstract This paper argues that policies governing U.S. graduate training in composition studies maintain a tacit English-only monolingualism at increasing odds with the languages of students, faculty, and academic work. Focusing on dominant “foreign” language policy requirements for doctoral study in composition, it shows how restrictions on the languages by which the requirement may be met, the use of imaginative literature translation in language requirement examinations, and the schedule for meeting requirements reinforce monolingual beliefs in languages as discrete and stable entities and the irrelevance of non-English languages to composition. The paper argues alternatively for teaching and research practices that would encourage “translingual,” cross-language work as the norm for teachers and scholars of writing.
Keywords: translingualism; writing pedagogy; writing studies.
Research in the integration of content and language in higher education has largely focused on the growing trend toward English-medium instruction in multilingual contexts across the globe as part of the internationalization of higher education. Contexts like the U.S., where English monolingualism is the perceived norm, can offer new perspectives on content and language integrated learning since internationalization plays quite differently in institutions traditionally dominated by a tacit policy of “English-only.” In recent years, U.S. colleges and universities have seen increased enrolments of both international and U.S. resident students identified as English language learners. In response, U.S. scholars and teachers of postsecondary writing, identified with the field of rhetoric and composition, have called for revising U.S. writing instruction to engage...
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