Paul Kei Matsuda

Symposium on Second Language Writing 2006

The first of the three-day event went really well. It was the Graduate Student Conference. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the presentations and talking with the presenters afterwards.

I was pleased with the overall quality of graduate student presentations. Chris Casanave told me she was glad to see that most of the presenters made the effort to "speak to" the audience rather than "read" papers. Most of them were well-informed by the relevant literature, and there were signs of serious attempts to contribute new knowledge to the field. I also felt that the questions and answers afterwards were becoming more sophisticated and well-informed while remaining colleagial. I take it as an indication that second language writing is maturing as a field.

I was also happy to see that many of the invited Symposium speakers as well as other established researchers in the field attended the Graduate Student Conference and interacted with the presenters and participants. Many grad students told me that they appreciated the opportunity to get to know the "authors" whose work they have been reading. I can't wait to see these budding scholars return to future Symposia as the "authors."

The biennial social gathering at Lafayette Brewing Company (my favorite hangout while I was at Purdue) was well attended, and the participants seemed to be enjoying themselves. This is one of my favorite parts of the Symposium.

Tony Cimasko and Steve Simpson did an outstanding job in organizing the Graduate Student Conference. I was especially impressed by how well they handled the pre-conference meeting with session chairs as well as the small-group discussion at the end. Thanks for your hard work, Steve and Tony. Well done!

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Last update: January 6, 2008