Paul Kei Matsuda

CCCC 2009

Here are some of the things I will be doing at this year's CCCC:

Wednesday, March 11, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
RN.1 Research Network Forum
Plenary Talk: "Got Multilingualism? Why and How of Integrating a Multilingual Perspective into Writing Research"

Wednesday, March 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Executive Committee Meeting

Thursday, March 12, 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.
Newcomer's Coffee

Thursday, March 12, 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
A.16 Transnational English(es) and U.S. Composition: From Global to Glocal

Thursday, March 12, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
TSIG.06 Second-Language Writing SIG: Discussing the Revised CCCC
Statement on Second-Language Writing and Writers

Friday, March 13, 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
J.05 Racism in Assessment
Session Chair

Friday, March 13, 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
FS.K Featured Session: Voice in Written Discourse: Implications for Multilingual Writers
"A Critical Theory of Voice for the Multilingual Composition Classroom"

Friday, March 13, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
FSIG.24 Transnational Composition

Saturday, March 14, 9:30 a.m. to Noon
Committee on Second Language Writing Open Meeting
Union Square 9, Hilton San Francisco


Here is a list of L2 writing-related sessions at CCCC 2009 in San Francisco (with thanks to Gladys Vega Scott):

Wednesday Workshops

MW.2 Keeping Multilingual Writers in Mind: How Universal Design Can Lead to Inclusive Pedagogies and Practices (Part I)
Wednesday, March 11, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Imperial Ballroom B, Ballroom Level
Chairs: Christina Ortmeier-Hooper, University of New Hampshire & Kathryn Nielsen-Dube, Merrimack College
This workshop provides participants with an overview of issues related to multilingual writers in higher education and explores ways to serve both L1 and L2 students better in writing classes, writing centers, and in WAC/WID programs.

AW.2 Keeping Multilingual Writers in Mind: How Universal Design Can Lead to Inclusive Pedagogies and Practices (Part 2)
Wednesday, March 11, 1:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Imperial Ballroom B, Ballroom Level
Chairs: Michelle Cox, Bridgewater State College & Steve Simpson, University of New Hampshire
This workshop builds on themes presented in the morning workshop, allowing participants to further explore inclusive writing pedagogy designed with L2 students in mind.

Thursday Sessions

A.01 Un/Documented Literacies:Rewriting Cultural Citizenships in the United States
A.16 Transnational English(es) and U.S. Composition: From Global to Glocal
A.33 Four Voices from the Contact Zone of Composition Theory and Linguistic Minority
B.32 Waves of Transnational Composition, Ways of Doing Intercultural Rhetoric
C.11 Exploring Student, Teacher, and Tutor Limitations in the Linguistic Development of Multilingual Students in Mainstream Composition Classes
C.17 ESL Practices: Community, Voice and Identity
C.18 Surfing International Waves: Issues for Chinese Teachers and Writers
C.35 Teaching English Abroad: The Wave of the Future
D.03 Universal Design and Writing Programs: Constructing a Student-Centered Universe(ity)
D.27 ESL, Feedback, and Assessment
D.30 You’ve Been Served: Practice and Development of Service Learning for ESL and Writing-intensive Courses and for Teacher Development
E.03 Sovereignty and Dialect: Non-standard English Patterns in the Writing of Navajo Students
E.04 Multilingual Graduate Students and Composition Studies: Issues and Concerns for our Field
E.36 Grammar, Writing, and Communication
E.38 Strategies for Staying Afloat in the Multi-Lingual Classroom

TSIG.06 Second-Language Writing SIG: Discussing the Revised CCCC Statement on Second-Language Writing and Writers Thursday, March 12, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Chairs: Kevin Eric De Pew, Old Dominion University and Jill Swavely, Temple University College of Education
The mission of the Second-Language Writing Special Interest Group (SIG) is to bring scholars and practitioners together to discuss the issues that all writing instructors, and, by extension, all writing programs face when working with second-language writers. This year we will present the revisions of the Statement and discuss the draft before it is proposed to the CCCC Executive Committee.

Friday Sessions

F.28 Writing on Different Wavelengths: Competing Perceptions of Teaching and the Academy
F.31 Cultural Expectations in Cross-cultural Classrooms: ESL and International Issues
F.39 Going Global by Going Local: Connecting Study Abroad and International Students with the Writing Support They Need
G Featured Session: Walking the Talk: Teacher Response and Best Practices
H.07 The Research Plan is Sinking—Locate the Lifevest!: Navigating Research Methodologies and Realities
H.13 Approaches to Teaching Writing to L2 Learners and ESL Students
H.25 Multicultural/Multilingual
K Featured Session: Voice in Written Discourse: Implications for Multilingual Writers

Saturday Sessions

L.01 Think-Tank for Newcomers Developing Papers and Sessions for CCCC–2010
L.23 Assessment of Student Writing
L.30 ELL Practice: Work, Pedagogy and Literacy
M Featured Session: Literacy in Higher Education in Mexico
M.14 Authorizing Multiculturalism at the Center: Tales of Trials and Triumphs
M.26 World Englishes: Possibilities/Limitations of Code Meshing
N.26 Writing in the Technical and Scientific Disciplines
O.07 Global Issues: Closing the Divide between Locals and Transnationals in Freshman Composition

Committee on Second Language Writing Open Meeting (p. 32)
Saturday, March 14, 9:30 a.m.–Noon - Union Square 9, Fourth Floor
Co-Chairs: Susan Miller-Cochran & Christina Ortmeier-Hooper
Each year, the Committee on Second Language Writing sponsors an open meeting to plan activities and sessions for the following year. If you’d like to get involved in second language writing workshops or the Special Interest Group on Second Language Writing, please come to this meeting. We will also share ideas for panel proposals.

This is not a complete listing of second language writing-related sessions:
for a complete list, please consult the convention program.

SLW.CCCC: Second Language Writing at CCCC Email List
In order to facilitate communication among CCCC members who are interested in second language writing, the Committee on Second Language Writing sponsors an email discussion list (hosted by North Carolina State University).

To join the list, send an email message to with the following in the body of the message (do not type anything in the subject line):
subscribe slw_cccc

If you have any questions about L2 Writing at CCCC, please feel free to email Susan Miller-Cochran or Christina M. Ortmeier-Hooper, Co-Chairs of the Committee on Second Language Writing:

Christina M. Ortmeier-Hooper

Susan Miller-Cochran

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My Video Self

So far, I haven't met anyone who isn't disturbed by their own recorded voice. It's understandable because it just doesn't match our self-image--it's not what we are used to hearing. After giving many talks using microphones, I came to accept my own physical "voice" as it is heard by others.

I can ignore the microphone pretty well. When Dwight Atkinson and I decided to record our usual conversation, we just carried our conversation as usual, and it came out pretty good and coherent when we had it transcried (by Steve Simpson--thanks, Steve!) verbatim with very little edits (Matsuda & Atkinson, 2008).

But I still can't get used to my own video voice. (Here, I'm using a slightly modified version of my own definition of voice as "the amalgamative effect of the use of discursive and nondiscursive features that language users [appropriate], deliberately or otherwise, from socially available yet ever-changing repertoires" [Matsuda, 2001, p. 40].)

When I give a lecture at other universities, some people ask if it would be OK to video-record my lecture. I usually say yes on two conditions. The first condition is that I get a copy of the video. (I usually don't watch it, but I want to have it for archival purposes.) The second is that they have to promise that they don't circulate it outside the institutional circle. This is partly to protect my intellectual property, but it also has a lot to do with the uncomfortable feeling of my "video-recorded voice" being circulated beyond my control. I know it's probably much closer than I think to what people are actually experiencing when I give a live talk. But still....

I don't like being video-recorded because I get too self conscious. I don't really get nervous when I give a talk--even when it's impromptu. But being video-recorded is an entirely different story. (I feel their pain when I ask my teaching mentees to have their own teaching video-recorded.)

But I'm not the kind of person to let these feelings hold me back when there is an exciting new opportunity. I have agreed to be video recorded several times to share my experties.

The first one I remember is when I had a video interview with a BYU production crew at TESOL. It was for a grant-funded project on second language instruction. I haven't seen the outcome, but if my clips weren't used, I wouldn't be surprised.

The second was a series on foreign language teaching, directed by Rick Donato at the University of Pittsburgh. I remember driving down to Boston to partipate in the production at the WGBH studio. (The person who did my make-up told me that she was the make-up artist for the famous Antique Roadshow.) I remember being really self-conscious, but I managed to get through it--thanks to the help of Rick and the great WGBH crew.

I guess this one is being widely circulated--there have been a number of sighting reports. Cindy Gannett told me once that she saw it on TV in Baltimore. More recently, a graduate student from IUP mentioned on Facebook that he watched it online. It's available at:

Another video-recorded project is Take 20, produced by Todd Taylor for Bedford/St. Martin's Press. It was a compilation of a series of interviews, organized around 20 questions about the teaching of writing. It features 22 writing teachers, including:

  • Linda Adler-Kassner
  • Cheryl E. Ball
  • Dave Bartholomae
  • Patricia Bizzell
  • Bill Condon
  • Ellen Cushman
  • Cheryl Glenn
  • Brian Huot
  • Erika Lindemann
  • Andrea A. Lunsford
  • Paul Kei Matsuda
  • Don McQuade
  • Christine McQuade
  • Mike Palmquist
  • Malea Powell
  • Nedra Reynolds
  • Mike Rose
  • Jacqueline Jones Royster
  • Raul Sanchez
  • John Schilb
  • Nancy Sommers
  • Howard Tinberg
I thought it was a great idea, and I was happy to be part of this project. But because it was filmed during CCCC convention, I was sleep-deprived as usual. When I got to the hotel where Todd was filming the piece, I looked really tired--I was pale and my skin was dry as desert. I felt horrible, but my schedule for the rest of the conference was jam packed, so I wasn't even able to ask to be rescheduled. I was somewhat releaved when I saw the CD the following year--Todd had decided to go black-and-white. (Maybe everyone looked tired.)

I thought it was a great resource for teachers--to hear established writing teachers talk about their own experiences. But I just had to laugh everytime I came on the screen with a series of one-liners. I remember describing it as a "fortune-cookie" discourse. The transcripts read like this:

Matsuda: I tried to be very structured.
Matsuda: It's much more complex than it seems at first.
Matsuda: Janice Lauer.
Matsuda: Every student is different.


None of my substantive comments were included, it seemed. Of course not. I was tired--I thought I was going to fall asleep during the interview--and when I get tired, my cheeks get stiff. The chilly and rainy weather didn't help, either. And I didn't give straight foward answers to questions like "If you had to pick only one book for a writing teacher to read, what would it be?" I just don't believe in one book that's important for everyone--or even for me. Different books offer insights that we need at different times. Blah, blah, blah....

But the last question rescued me: "How do you approach difference?"

Matsuda: "In the next few years, writing teachers need to learn a lot more about language differences, and I'm not talking about just language differences in terms of language and gender, or language and social class. Those are important issues as well, but I think writing teachers need to expand their notion of language and spend some time seriously thinking about the issues of speakers of different varieties of English and speakers of different languages altogether. And I think in the past, because composition and ESL, for example, have been developing as separate disciplines, many people seem to think that it's okay for writing teachers not to know about language issues or students who come from different language backgrounds. And because the student population is becoming more and more complex, that's becoming less and less the case."

That was my favorite question, of course. I was also finally warming up. I even thought maybe I was asked to participate in this project just to answer this question.

As I left the room, I remember telling Todd that, if he needed to retake my interview, I'd be happy to drive down to the Bedford/St. Martin's Office in Boston or even to Chapel Hill. (I was still in New Hampshire at that time.)

OK. Enough rambling for tonight. If anyone is interested in my fortune-cookie discourse--I mean, if anyone is interested in this great resource, it's available at:


Matsuda, P. K. (2001). Voice in Japanese written discourse: Implications for second language writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 10(1-2), 35-53.

Matsuda, P. K., & Atkinson, D. (2008). A conversation on contrastive rhetoric: Dwight Atkinson and Paul Kei Matsuda talk about issues, conceptualizations, and the future of contrastive rhetoric. In U. Connor, E. Nagelhout, & W. Rozycki (Eds.), Contrastive rhetoric: Reaching to intercultural rhetoric (pp. 277-298). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Taylor, T. (Ed.). (2008). Take 20: Teaching writing. [CD-ROM] Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press.

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The Problem of Multiple Identities

The problem of multiple identities in academia has been an important driving force behind my work. (It all boils down to the issue of identity and power, it seems.)

Over the last 15 years, I have been fighting the pervasive perception in some of my fields (i.e., applied linguistics, composition and rhetoric) about multidisciplinarity--that it's not possible to be a full-fledged member of more than one discipline. Back when I was in graduate school, if I said I was specializing in second language writing, people in rhetoric and composition often thought I was really a second language specialist who happens to be coming to CCCC; some people in applied linguistics also thought that I was an "L1" compositionist who happens to be coming to applied linguistics conferences. (This has not been much of an issue in TESOL for some reason—perhaps because L2 writing was already well-established there?)

It didn't seem to occur to many of them that I was actually starting out in both fields at the same time.

This is one of those tacit cultural assumptions in academia that is hard to challenge because people don't seem to realize that they have those assumptions nor are they able to articulate what their own assumptions are or why they came to those conclusions. It may be because some people in those fields are not used to working in multiple disciplines that the notion of being multidisciplinary was unimaginable. (People who cross those disciplinary boundaries often seem to keep quiet about their other disciplinary identities). It may also be related to the institutional practices that require people to identify their "tenure home" and to align their professional activities with the job description when they got hired. Whatever the case may be, challenging unarticulated assumptions is one of the hardest things to do intellectually.

This was one of the most intriguing and disturbing dissonances that I decided to make fighting monodisciplinarity one of my professional missions. How did I do that?

  • I went to all the major conferences—AAAL, CCCC and TESOL—on a regular basis. I have tried not to miss any except when the schedule overlapped or when there was a family situation that required my attention.
  • I got myself elected or appointed to various committees, such as the Executive Committee and Nominating Committee, and to other leadership positions.
  • I published my work in journals in multiple fields and subfields. My goal was to establish a tenurable record in each discipline so I didn’t have to worry about tenure requirements—I didn’t want to shift my attention away from what I considered to be the most important research issue or problem.
  • I articulated the unarticulated assumption. I explicitly pointed out the problem of monodisciplinarity through my research and placed them in high profile journals to change the perception in both fields.
  • I helped make L2 writing an integral part of composition studies by institutionalizing the cause.
  • I took positions in departments where my multidisciplinary expertise would be valued.
  • I refused to choose one discipline or another as my primary discipline and insisted that I belonged to both.

After more than a decade of hard work, the world seems to be a better place—at least to people who specialize in second language writing. But sometimes I still get remarks—even from close friends who know my work well—that seem to imply that I’m more X than Y or that I should choose one over the other.

Old habits die hard, I guess.

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Childcare information from the CCCC website

I should have sent this in my earlier message, but here is the information from the CCCC website (

This year we are offering an on-site activity center for childcare, Camp CCCC, during the convention from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday right in the Hilton Hotel. Children ages 6 months to 12 years old are welcome. The center, staffed by experienced CPR and Pediatric First Aid certified professionals, will provide age-appropriate entertaining and educational activities, including storytelling, hands-on crafts, games, the “Build It Zone,” and the “Boogie It Zone.” Infant care stations, rest areas, and “SecurChild®” photo check-in and check-out will ensure a safe, secure environment.

You can register for half-day or full-day care. Registration deadline is January 1, 2009. To get more information about facilities and to register for childcare, go to

I hope this information is helpful,


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Last update: January 6, 2008