ESL Full-Day Faculty Seminar: May 13th


By Christina Michaud

Though we miss the able leadership of Maria Z., the ESL part of the Writing Program marches on! This year we’ve been having discussion groups and workshops on various topics 4-6 times a semester. We feel strongly that everyone in the Writing Program–not just those of us with formal training and/or ESL-specific experience–is called to teach the intelligent, world-traveling, multilingual writers in our classrooms, and we would like to do whatever we can to help you in that task.

With the growing numbers of international students at BU, we are all becoming de facto ESL teachers as students move from WR 097 and 098 into WR 100 and 150. We therefore invite you to join us for a special one-day faculty seminar in May, after portfolios are finished and grades are filed, but before everyone scatters for the summer. Following the innovative and successful Arts Now model, and applying it to current research on multilingual writers, we present:

ESL Now: A Faculty Seminar — Tuesday, May 13, 9:00-3:00.

Readings will be drawn from the most recent three issues of the Journal of Second Language Writing (yes, there is one!) and will highlight the following topics, among others: corpus-based linguistics, collaborative writing, metacognition, linguistic accuracy, and cluster analysis. Generally, these articles are very accessible: no previous knowledge of or experience with ESL or linguistics is assumed. We’ll discuss what, exactly, it means to be teaching “second language writing” here, in our particular WR 100 and 150 classes, and how we can take pieces of this scholarship and return with it to our classes in September.

We’re going to try a different format for this faculty seminar: instead of meeting four times, each for an hour and a half, we will meet for six hours in one day (with a few breaks; Joe promised the Writing Program might be able to spring for lunch) for a sort of ESL “bootcamp” experience. (Also, if you haven’t yet attended a Faculty Seminar this year, this is your last chance to earn the generous $200 book stipend!) This should be a friendly, intellectual, bootcamp, though, if that makes sense, and we hope the scheduling allows for a diverse group of faculty to join us. Whether you have made it some or all of our “ESL Transfer of Knowledge” sessions last fall, or have attended the ESL Discussion Group this spring, or haven’t been able to get to any of those meetings, given the constraints of teaching and grading and life and time, we hope you’ll join us now.

Use Doodle to sign up here:

Email questions off-list to Christina at


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