Panelists: Christopher Henderson (American University of Afghanistan) · S M Mahfuzur Rahman (BRAC University) · Cameron Wilson (Bard College Berlin)
This panel weds together CLASP’s commitment to student-centered, writing-rich learning and the ELL community’s emerging interest in using formative writing practices to explore how professors can better reach ELL students through writing and student centered pedagogies. The panel delves into how instructors can structure their teaching strategies to offer ELL students space to play with their writing and create meaning in ways that reflect and interact with their lived histories and realities.
As Paul Kei Matsuda notes, “We need to start moving from testing [ELL] students repeatedly until they get it somehow to actually helping them develop by letting them play with words and sentences, see what they can do with writing, and letting them see how different readers react to their language use” (“A Special Interview with Paul Kei Matsuda about Second Language Writing,” 2019, 6). The learning of English has often been taught through rote memorization of grammar, vocabulary, and syntax, which can leave language learners feeling cut off from any sort of real world situation or context. This traditional way of teaching language learners how to write de-centers the student’s lived experience and ignores the myriad of ways that language(s) exists within and outside of dominant, academic contexts.
This panel seeks, as Matsuda recommends, to move ELL instruction away from testing towards an emphasis on connecting students’ lived experiences to the learning of the English language through student centered and writing rich pedagogies. The panel offers the expertise and insights of multiple OSUN institution faculty, who will provide attendees with alternative ways to structure their lesson plans, assessments, etc, giving them new ways to bring their ELL students more fully into their classroom experiences.