Paul Kei Matsuda

College English Special Issue

I just received a copy of the special issue of College English on "Cross-Language Relations in Composition." This is a project that Min Lu, Bruce Horner, and I started talking about a few years ago at CCCC. It may have been 2003 CCCC in New York.

Our inital conversation resulted in a featured panel on language differences (with Suresh Canagarajah, John Trimbur, and Catherine Prendergast) at 2004 CCCC in San Antonio, and we have been exploring different ways of making the issue of language differences central to composition studies.

In some ways, College English had long been more resistant to publishing articles related to L2 writing than CCC. Several people (myself included) have received comments from reviewers who did not think the College English audience would be interested in an article on L2 writing; they invariably recommended sending it to CCC.

It was a catch 22: CE had not recently published any article on L2 writing; therefore, the reviewers assumed that CE would not be interested in L2 writing; the reviewers rejected articles pointing out the problem of the lack of L2 perspective; because there is no L2 writing article, the reviewers assumed....

They did prove my point: The myth of linguistic homogeneity (which is the title of my article in this special issue) is pervasive among College English teachers.

But finally, under the editorship of Jeanne Gunner, College English published a special issue that focuses substantially on language differences. The issue features articles by John Trimbur; Suresh Canagarajah; Min-Zhan Lu; Gail Hawisher, Cynthia Selfe, Yi-Huey Guo and Lu Liu; and myself. It also includes a response article by Anis Bawarshi.

I hope this special issue helps CE readers see L2 writing issues--as well as larger issues of cross-language relations--as an important concern for everyone involved in the teaching of English at the college level.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Last update: January 6, 2008