Paul Kei Matsuda

Symposium on Second Language Writing: Abstracts Available

Abstracts of presentations at the 2009 Symposium on Second Language Writing are now available in word format at

I have also added more information about the Symposium site and the area at I hope this makes it easier as participants make decisions about hotels and other activities during their stay at ASU.

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Mark A. James on Learning Transfer

Mark Andrew James, a colleague of mine at ASU, just published yet another study of learning transfer. The article, "'Far' transfer of learning outcomes from an ESL writing course: Can the gap be bridged?" appears in the most recent issue of the Journal of Second Language Writing.

Mark is also serving as the Associate Chair of the 2009 Symposium on Second Language Writing to be held in November at ASU.

Congratulations, Mark!

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15th Annual Graduate Linguistics/TESOL Symposium

15th Annual Graduate Linguistics/TESOL Symposium
March 6th 2009

Featuring Keynote Speaker Carol A. Chapelle

Carol Chapelle is Professor of TESL/Applied Linguistics and Chair of the Cross-disciplinary Linguistics Program at Iowa State University. She has served as President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Editor of TESOL Quarterly, and Chair of the TOEFL Committee of Examiners. She is current Co-Editor of the Cambridge Applied Linguistics Series of Cambridge University Press. She is widely recognized as the pre-eminent scholar in the field of CALL. See Carol Chapelle’s webpage:

Twin Palms Hotel
225 E. Apache Blvd
Tempe, AZ 85281
For venue information and directions:

This symposium is brought to you by:
Interdisciplinary Committee on Linguistics, Department of English, and
Graduate Scholars of English Association

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The Problem of Multiple Identities, Part II

The problem of multiple identity is also multifaceted. If it's hard for people to imagine belonging to more than one discipline, it also seems hard for some people to understand that a researcher doesn’t have to be bound to a single mode of inquiry or a methodology.

In the last few months, I have had conversations with a few graduate students (who haven't taken my research methods course, of course) who made remarks that seemed to imply that I didn’t specialize in empirical research.

Well, yes, if it means that I don't do empirical research exclusively. But if that means I don't do empirical research, I don't know what to say. Perhaps I'm better known for my historical and philosophical inquiry, but I have published a fair share of empirical studies as well (e.g., Matsuda, 1999, 2001, 2002, Matsuda & Matsuda, 2001; Matsuda & Tardy, 2008; Tardy & Matsuda, 2009), using a range of methodological tools—from interviews and surveys as well as discourse analysis.

As a student of Janice Lauer who has always insisted that her students be proficient in multiple modes of inquiry--including philosophical, historical, empirical (qualitative and quantitative), and rhetorical (and to this list I would add narrative)--I'm not comfortable with the assumption that it's OK for people to stick to a single mode of inquiry.

Like Tony Silva, I firmly believe that all researchers in my fields should familiarize themselves with various theoretical and methodological tools and incorporate those that would best address the research question at hand. I thought I made that clear in the introduction to Second Language Writing Research (Matsuda & Silva, 2005) but I guess not everyone reads everything—sigh.

I do realize that many people have their favorite modes of inquiry and methodological tools that they rely on. It's also natural that people are drawn to certain research questions that lend themselves to the mode of inquiry one is most familiar with.

But as researchers, we need to develop a rich repertoire of theoretical and methodological tools if not to use them all then to understand and, if necessary, critique contributions by other researchers.

As Dwight Atkinson says in his chapter in Second Language Writing Research, “do try.”

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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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College English Conference, 11th April. Abstracts due soon

From: [] On Behalf Of simon smith
Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2009 8:53 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: To all English teachers: College English Conference, 11th April. Abstracts due soon

Dear Colleagues

I am writing to you, on behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee, about National Chengchi University's College English Conference, to be held on 11th April 2009. The deadline for abstract submissions, 2nd February, is coming up quite soon.

Information about the conference, including CFP, may be found at The conference is being organized in collaboration with the Language Teaching and Research Center, National Chiao-tung University, and features ESL writing scholar Professor Paul Kei Matsuda, of Arizona State, as keynote speaker.

We'd be most grateful if you could pass on the details of the conference to colleagues and friends who might be interested.

We have tried to think of suggested topics which are stimulating, and in many cases original. Contributions within the broad compass of our theme College English: Opportunities and Challenges for Teaching and Learning are however all welcome.

The conference aims to provide a stimulating and rewarding academic forum for presentation and discussion of English teaching in colleges and universities, including Freshman English programs.

We look forward to receiving your abstract in the next few days.

Best wishes
Simon Smith

(for Organizing Committee)



Simon Smith, PhD

Assistant Professor
Foreign Language Center
National Chengchi University

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The price of language appropriation

Here is an interesting article about the appropriation of an Asian language by European scientists.

Science journal mistakenly uses flyer for Macau brothel to illustrate report on China

A respected research institute wanted Chinese classical texts to adorn its journal, something beautiful and elegant, to illustrate a special report on China. Instead, it got a racy flyer extolling the lusty details of stripping housewives in a brothel.

The author, Clifford Coonan, quotes some of the reader comments posted on

On, a foreigner-baiting website set up after a commentator on the US broadcaster made anti-Chinese comments following the crackdown in Tibet in March, the reaction was mostly "evil fun". One wrote, "Next time, please find a smart Chinese graduate to check your translation", and another said they should try writing "I am illiterate".

I like how this article highlights the need to consult language experts. But I thought this Beijing-based author of this article could also have used some help from an expert when he wrote:

Chinese is a tonal language, which means words sounding the same can often have very different meanings depending on how they are spoken.

No, the point is that the words don’t sound the same to people who understand the language, though they may sound the same to those who don’t understand a tone language.

(With thanks to Jeff Harling who forwarded the link to this article.)


CFP - Issues in Applied Linguistics

A refereed journal published by the graduate students of UCLA’s Department of Applied Linguistics and TESL, Issues in Applied Linguistics (ial) is currently seeking submissions for volume 17 (2009). The deadline for consideration in volume 17.1 is January 31, 2009; the deadline for consideration in volume 17.2 is July 31, 2009.

ial is particularly interested in publishing new departures and cross-disciplinary applied linguistic research. In the past we have published work on the following topics:

Discourse Analysis
Conversation Analysis
Language and the Brain
Functional Grammar
Second Language Acquisition
Language Socialization
Language Education
Bilingual Education
Language Minorities
Professional Ethics
Research Methodology

ial also publishes book reviews and interviews with notable scholars in applied linguistics, sociology, anthropology, education, and other fields. If there is a researcher you would like to interview, don't hesitate to contact us with your idea.

To submit your manuscript for consideration, please email a copy to and send three copies to the following address:

Issues in Applied Linguistics
UCLA Department of Applied Linguistics
3300 Rolfe Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1531

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SSLW 2009 Call for Proposals

The Call for Proposals for the 2009 Symposium on Second Language Writing, to be held at Arizona State University on November 5-7, 2009, is now available in PDF format.

Please distribute widely!


Paul Kei Matsuda, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Director of Writing Programs

Arizona State University
Department of English
Box 870302
Tempe, AZ 85287-0302 USA

Founding Chair, Symposium on Second Language Writing

Editor, Parlor Press Series on Second Language Writing

Web Administrator, Journal of Second Language Writing

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CFP: Conference on College English at National Chengchi University, Taiwan

Call for Papers

The 3rd Conference on College English

College English: Opportunities and Challenges for Teaching and Learning

National Chengchi University
Taipei, Taiwan

The 3rd Conference on College English will be organized by the Foreign Language Center of National Chengchi University (NCCU) on 11th April 2009. The conference is an annual gathering, which provides a stimulating and rewarding academic forum for presentations and discussions of various issues regarding College English. Teachers and researchers in ELT/TESOL are invited to offer scholarly papers on teaching and learning English at college or university level. The theme for this year is "College English: Opportunities and Challenges for Teaching and Learning."

With English becoming the lingua franca in the global village, ELT has been more and more important in higher education in Taiwan and other countries. Many English teaching theories, pedagogical approaches, and research models have been originated in or imported from the English dominant countries. This influx of studies has encouraged dynamic English education and offered plenty of opportunities—as well as challenges—for both teachers and students in teaching and learning. Therefore, this year’s conference will focus on critical issues of opportunities and challenges in college English education in all aspects.

Principal keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Kei Matsuda (, is currently Associate Professor of English and the Director of Writing Programs at Arizona State University. As one of the most influential scholars in the field of L2 writing, Professor Matsuda has published widely on second language writing in various journals and edited collections; he has also edited numerous books and special journal issues in this field. Interested in L2 writing development in Asian countries, Professor Matsuda has been a visiting scholar at the University of Hong Kong and Nagoya University in Japan in the past years. Moreover, he is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2005-06 Richard Ohmann Award for the Outstanding Refereed Article in the journal College English and TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award from Educational Testing Service in 2006.

The Conference Organizing Committee is now circulating a call for abstract proposals for individual paper presentations. Abstracts are welcome in any areas that fit the conference theme. Please submit your anonymous abstract proposal of 250-500 words and a brief bio in either English or Chinese as a Word/PDF attachment to by February 2, 2009. Full-paper manuscripts to be considered for inclusion in the proceedings should be submitted for blind peer review by May 8, 2009.

Important dates:

  • Conference: April 11, 2009
  • Abstract due: February 2, 2009
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: February 13, 2009
  • Full manuscript due: May 8, 2009
Conference organizer: Foreign Language Center, National Chengchi University

Postal Address: Foreign Language Center, National Chengchi University
64, Sec 2, Zhi-nan Rd., Wenshan District, Taipei 11605, Taiwan

Abstract Submission

E-mail Address:
Contact Person: Derya Liu (02)2939-3091 ext. 62396

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You Are What Conferences You Attend

An academic's identity is shaped in part by what conferences she or he attends. This is true especially for graduate students and junior scholars who are just beginning to discover and construct their own disciplinary alignments.

When I was a graduate student, I attended AAAL, CCCC and TESOL on a regular basis. I also attended local affiliates and special topic conferences being held in the area. But how can a graduate student afford to attend all these conferences? Attending multiple conferences can be especially hard for graduate students who are working in interdisciplinary fields. Well, I wasn't particularly rich--my spouse and I were both on TA stipends--but I was able to find ways to finance my trips.

Here are some strategies:

  • Apply for internal travel funding. Check with the graduate student organization and the graduate program in your department to see if they have any travel funding for graduate students who are presenting a paper. The graduate school at your institution may also have some travel funding.
  • Apply for external travel funding. Some professional organizations (e.g., AAAL, CCCC, TESOL) have travel grants and awards for graduate students. Many local TESOL affiliates also offer travel grants for attending the international TESOL conference.
  • Apply for graduate student awards. I applied for many awards for graduate students that provided some additional funding. It also helped enhance my profile and boost my confidence.
  • Look for volunteer opportunities. Some conferences, such as AAAL, provide graduate students with opportunities to volunteer for a few hours in exchange for registration discount or waiver. The volunteer work itself is a good way of getting to know the organization and other members.
  • Split the cost with someone else. Share a hotel room with other graduate students from your program or other programs. Plan to arrive at the airport at the same time with other people you know so you can share a cab. Making these arrangements becomes easier as you develop your professional network by attending more conferences.
  • Find inexpensive hotels in the area. Many cities have public transportation options that make commuting to the conference realistic. I personally didn't use this strategy too much, though, because I wanted to be in the middle of action. I tended to stay at the headqarter hotel (or ones that were close to them), which tends to be more expensive. I go to conferences to meet people, not just to attend sessions.
  • Find a grocery or convenience store and get water, cookies, energy bars, and other inexpensive and quick breakfast and lunch items. At conferences, it's usually more important to be able to go to dinners with people you meet, but sometimes you end up going to really expensive restaurants (depending on who you hang out with), so it's important to find ways to reduce the cost for breakfast and lunch.
  • Go to publisher's exhibits where coffee and snacks may be available.
  • Go to events and receptions where food is served. For example, CCCC invites first-time attendees to a breakfast where pastries and coffee are served.
  • Forget expensive vacation plans. You get to travel to a lot of different cities by attending conferences. Plan your vacations around them, if necessary.
  • Attend local and regional conferences. Attending small conferences could be more rewarding than people may realize because it provides opportunities to meet people in the field in a more relaxed and intimate setting.

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Ph.D. Program in Applied Linguistics at ASU

Here is the poster for the Ph.D. Program in Applied Linguistics at ASU. If anyone would like a hard-copy version to post on their bulletinboards for their undergraduate or master's students who might be interested, please let me know.

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Call for Proposals: Symposium on Second Language Writing 2009

Call for Proposals

Symposium on Second Language Writing 2009

November 5-7, 2009
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Theme: The Future of Second Language Writing

The 2009 Symposium Organizing Committee seeks proposals for 20-minute presentations that address various topics within the field of second language writing--broadly defined. Any topic related to second language writing is welcome, but we particularly welcome proposals that seek to challenge the status quo in the field by introducing new topics as well as theoretical and methodological approaches.

As always, we are interested in L2 writing issues in any second or foreign language and at various levels of education--from emerging literacy and adult literacy to L2 writing across the disciplines and in the professions. We also encourage proposals that connect L2 writing with other related areas of inquiry, such as computer assisted instruction, computers and composition, corpus analysis, language testing, rhetoric, writing program administration and world Englishes. We welcome proposals from around the world.

Although there will not be a separate graduate student conference this year, graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals. After all, future of the field of second language writing depends on today's graduate students.

To submit your proposal, please use the online proposal submission form.

Proposals must be received by April 30, 2009 (Arizona Time/MST).

We look forward to receiving your proposal!

Paul Kei Matsuda and Tony Silva, Chairs
Symposium on Second Language Writing

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Christopher Brumfit PhD/Ed.D. Thesis Award 2008

Christopher Brumfit PhD/Ed.D. Thesis Award 2008

Sponsored by Cambridge University Press and promoted by Language Teaching


To recognize doctoral thesis research that makes a significant and original contribution to the field of SLA and/or FL teaching and learning.


Cambridge University Press books to the value of £500


To be considered for the award:

-The candidate's institution must have accepted the thesis for PhD/Ed.D. defence within two years before the date of the award application.
-The research must have been completed as part of the requirements for a doctoral degree or its equivalent at a university.
-Although the thesis under consideration must be in English, the research may be related to work concerning any second language.

Application Process

In the first instance, applicants must submit the following:

-A summary of the thesis, not to exceed 15 double-spaced pages, excluding references, and a 150-word abstract of the thesis. The summary should include a brief description of the theoretical background of and the rationale for the research, research methods (including data analyses), results, and implications of the results.

-Proof of acceptance of the thesis as a PhD/Ed.D. defence by the candidate's university. Only electronic applications are accepted. Evaluation


-Scholarly or professional significance to the field of second or foreign language

-Originality and creativity

-Quality of presentation


30th November 2008 - Deadline for receipt of summary and abstract and official proof of thesis acceptance

1st February 2009 - Call for electronic submission of theses of finalists

15th March 2009 - Deadline for receipt of theses

1st August 2009 - Announcement of award winner by the Editorial Board of Language Teaching

Contact details for application and further information

Dr Graeme Porte, Editor
Language Teaching

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Extended Cognition and Second Language Learning

A presentation by Dr. Dwight Atkinson, Purdue University

Monday, November 3, 2008
Language and Literature 316

Presentation: 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Reception: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Based on the assumption that second language acquisition (SLA) is an internal cognitive process, SLA studies is increasingly viewed as a branch of cognitive science. But cognitive science is a vast enterprise featuring diverse perspectives on cognition. In this presentation, I examine how one such perspective, the extended mind hypothesis (e.g., Clark & Chalmers, 1998), might be brought to bear in understanding second language acquisition.

The extended mind hypothesis holds that human cognition subserves real-world ends: adaptive behavior promoting organismic survival. More specifically, cognition is viewed as part of a functionally integrated system comprising brain, body, tools, ecological affordances, interactants (including other human beings), and situated activity systems. In this sense, cognition extends beyond the head and into the ecosocial world. Such extension allows human beings to align with our ever-changing environments in ways that promote our well-being and survival.

If SLA is a cognitive process, but cognition extends into the world, then what does this mean for second language learning? I discuss three possibilities, both negative and positive: 1) the cognitive-social/head-world dichotomy is largely meaningless; 2) SLA can be viewed as an ecologically adaptive process; and 3) the fine details of individuals’ alignment with their ecosocial environments matter fundamentally in SLA. I illustrate this last point using videotaped interactions of a Japanese EFL learner with her tutor, textbook, and sociocognitively constructed world.

Dr. Dwight Atkinson is an applied linguist and second language educator who specializes in writing (first and second language), qualitative research approaches, and second language acquisition. Current projects include an attempt to establish a view of second language acquisition on “sociocognitive” principles and research in India on the experiences of vernacular language-schooled students in English-language universities. Past work has covered a wide variety of topics, from the history of medical and scientific research writing in English, to critiques of commonly used concepts in university writing instruction such as critical thinking and voice, to explorations of the concept of culture, to writings on qualitative research methods. Atkinson teaches courses in qualitative research, postmodernism, and second language acquisition at Purdue University, where he is an associate professor of English.

Sponsored by Interdisciplinary Committee on Linguistics and the Department of English

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Job Ad: Assistant Professor in Historical/Comparative Linguistics

Assistant Professor in Historical/Comparative Linguistics

Required: Ph.D. in Linguistics or a related discipline; college-level teaching experience; and evidence of a compelling record of ongoing, high quality research and publication in Historical/Comparative linguistics. A demonstrated interest in the history of English.

Desired: Experience using historical and contemporary corpora in research and teaching; a demonstrated interest in non-European languages.

Teaching load is 2/2 for tenure-track faculty with a significant research agenda. Teaching opportunities are at undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD levels. Candidates will be expected to teach relevant courses on historical and comparative linguistics and typology.

The appointment will be in the Department of English ( Arizona State University is a large metropolitan university with programs in linguistics housed in various departments.

Applicants must send: Cover letter, vita, names and contact information for three professional references. Send to: Chair of Historical/Comparative Linguistics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-0302. Application Deadline (no faxes or emails): postmarked by October 13, 2008; if not filled, then every Monday thereafter until the search is closed. A background check is required for employment. Arizona State University is an equal opportunity employer (AA/EOE).

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Job Ad: Assistant Professor: Second Language Acquisition Syntax

Assistant Professor: Second Language Acquisition Syntax

Required: Ph.D. in Linguistics or a related discipline; college level teaching experience; and a evidence of ability to maintain a compelling record of ongoing, high quality research and publication in Second Language Acquisition Syntax.

Teaching load is 2/2 for tenure-track faculty with a significant research agenda. Teaching opportunities are at undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD levels. The appointment will be in the Department of English. Arizona State University is a large metropolitan university with programs in linguistics housed in various departments.

Applicants must send: Cover letter, vita, three letters of recommendation, and a brief sample of relevant academic writing. Application Deadline (no faxes or emails): postmarked by October 9, 2008; if not filled, then every Monday thereafter until the search is closed. A background check is required for employment. Arizona State University is an equal employment employer (AA/EOE).

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As I was searching for something else on the web, I found an interview that I had earlier this year with ESL Globe.

The title is: "What Strategies or Instructional Approaches are Particularly Effective for Second Language Writers?"

Because it happened at the busiest time of the year, I had almost forgotten that I had done this.

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A friend of mine--a rising star in rhetoric and composition--told me recently that he has received a request for permission to reprint his article, which is quite an honor. He was wondering if there were any issues he should be aware of.

Here is my response (with a few minor changes):

Congratulations on having your article reprinted.

The answer depends on who owns the copyrights. If you signed a copyright release when you had your article published with the journal, then this is a courtesy request. You can say no and I’m sure the editor would honor that, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to have your article reprinted. The original publisher has the final say in whether to grant permission (and charge a fee).

If you kept your copyrights (or more precisely, part of the copyrights) concerning the right to reprint (which is unusual in humanities journals), then it would be your decision alone (though I would also have the editor contact the publisher just to be safe).

Normally, reprint authors in our fields don’t get any royalty, but it wouldn't hurt to ask to have a copy of the book sent to you. If you wish to make any minor changes to the article (typos, copy editor’s edits you didn’t like), you can also ask about it at this point. I wouldn’t make any major revisions at this point, though.

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2008 Symposium

The 2008 Symposium on Second Language Writing was a great success. As always, it was good to see many familiar faces as well as new ones. This year, we focused on foreign language writing--English as a foreign language as well as foreign languages other than English.

This year's Symposium would not have been possible without the contributions of the two Associate Chairs. Melinda Reichelt was the driving force behind this year's program--she was instrumental in assembling the list of speakers who represent a wide variety of languages and contexts. Tony Cimasko worked hard in taking care of local details; everything went smoothly thanks to him.

The Graduate Student Conference, organized by Jihyun Im and Beril Tezeller Arik, was also stimulating. The discussion at the end, where participants reported on issues they found interesting, gave me a lot of ideas for next year's Symposium.

We also benefited much from the support provided by the Symposium Assistants from Purdue University, Arizona State University, and the University of New Hampshire. They are: Haiying Cao, Shihyu Chang, Lixia Cheng, Yin Ling Cheung, Cristyn Elder, Fatima Esseili, Brian Guthrie, John Hitz, Mike Hubert, Jaisree Jayaraman, Beth Kramer, Elena Lawrick, Xianqiang Li, cristine McMartin-Miller, Wongjan Poolpoem, Laurel Reinking, Tanita Saenkhum, and Steven Simpson.

The next Symposium will be held on November 5-7, 2009, at Arizona State University. The theme will be the future of second language writing.

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Second Language Writing IS at TESOL 2009

Here is a really useful message from Gigi Taylor, current chair of the Second Language Writing Interest Section at TESOL:

Dear IS Members,

As the deadline draws near (this Monday, June 2nd, 11:59 p.m. EST), I urge you to put the finishing touches on your TESOL proposals and to submit them under the Second Language Writing Interest Section.

Very simply, each interest section is represented proportionally--if SLW-IS proposals represent 20% of all TESOL proposals received, then we are assigned 20% of the adjudicated program slots.

If you have more than one brilliant idea, submit them all! You can only be the primary presenter on one of the accepted proposals, but the reviewers will select the one that will be of greatest interest and value to a balanced program. Please, give us plenty to choose from!

Also, please note that Discussion Groups are adjudicated this year, so even if you've got more questions than answers and would like to hear others' ideas, propose a discussion group this year.

Listed below are the topics brainstormed at this year's planning meeting--quite a varied list. Please know that your colleagues are interested in what you're doing and eager to learn from you.

All of us together are making the SLW-IS the vibrant, rapidly growing interest section that it is. Thank you for your participation and your proposals!

Best regards,

Gigi Taylor
SLW-IS Chair, 2008-2009

Brainstorming List from Planning Portion of Meeting: Suggested Proposal Topics

  • Corpus linguistics
  • Intercultural rhetoric (analysis through student interviews)
  • Acquisition of academic language (native & non-native; academic language as a second language)
  • Overlap with L1 academic language development
  • Case studies from K-12 to Postsecondary
  • What happens after ESL classes when students enter mainstream (thinking, pattering, prep in EAP)?
  • Mainstreaming too early
  • Higher Ed mainstreamed – longitudinal tracking across 4 years (post-ESL)
  • Program administration – realistic expectations, institutional context, resources, funding sources
  • “How to” advocacy for second language writers and SLW programs (successful program models for advocacy and for collaborating across contexts)
  • All of the above in EFL (strategies, challenges, plagiarism, successes, environment)
  • Assessing instructional needs
  • Linked courses
  • Materials development
  • Assignment design
  • Writing Across the Curriculum issues
  • Graduate research writing (comparisons across ranches/disciplines)
  • Teacher education/professional development for mainstream teachers
  • Teacher training for graduate students for working with second language writers
  • Programs that offer composition training and offer ESL
  • Balancing ESL teachers’ expertise with need for all teachers to develop some expertise
  • Professional placement of ESL writing professionals (rank? Track?)
  • Writing Centers – L2 writing/inter-cultural sensitivity
  • Writing strategies in EFL
  • Plagiarism in EFL
  • Formative feedback, effect
  • Writing for accuracy versus writing for content
  • Reading/writing connection
  • Grammar
  • Writing assessment (machine assessment/scoring, context, teacher education, placement, outsourcing)
  • Rising [x] exam (i.e., rising junior)
  • No Child Left Behind
  • “Teaching despite the standards” (Meeting the standards and still using best practices)
  • High school exit writing exams
  • Continental/cultural differences: Dialogue about context (ESL vs. EFL, K-12 vs. HE)
  • Conversation among people from different contexts
  • Populations of L2 writers (voice, pedagogy)

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Symposium on Second Language Writing

The 2008 Symposium is just around the corner. I'm really looking forward to reconnecting with many of the colleagues from around the world as we explore the issue of foreign language writing.

In the meantime, I'm already working on the next one--to be held at Arizona State University on November 5-7, 2009.

The theme of the 2009 Symposium will be "The Future of Second Language Writing," and the call for proposals will be available sometime this fall.

I hope you will join us in exploring the future directions for this young and vibrant field.

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Recent Publications

I've been too busy to even keep track of my own work. Here are a few publications that recently came out.

Knoblauch, A. A., & Matsuda, P. K. (2008). First-year composition in the 20th century U.S. higher education: An historical overview. In P. Friedrich (Ed.), Teaching academic writing (pp. 3-25). New York: Continuum.

As the title suggests, this chapter provides an overview of the development of first-year composition--starting with the creation of the first-year composition course in the late 19th century. It also considers the rise of rhetoric and composition as a discipline in the mid 20th century and explores some of the major pedagogical approaches in the 20th century. Abby, by the way, is going to start as Assistant Professor at Kansas State University.
Matsuda, P. K. (2008). Myth: International and U.S. resident ESL writers cannot be taught in the same class. In J. M. Reid (Ed.), Writing myths: Applying second language research to classroom teaching (pp. 159-176). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
This piece examines one of the extreme positions I've seen people take--that ESL writing courses (intensive or first-year) are for international students only and that resident students' needs are too different from international students for them to be placed in the same course. Well, it may be, but given the demographics, all writing teachers--mainstream, basic, or ESL--need to be prepared to work with students who come from various language backgrounds.
Matsuda, P. K. (2008). Voice in second language writing: Implications for Japanese learners of English. JACET Summer Seminar Proceedings, No.7: Issues in L2 Writing Instruction (pp. 9-14). Tokyo: The Japan Association of College English Teachers.
This is an outcome of a JACET summer seminar in Kusatsu, Gunma, Japan. (If you are in Japan in August, I highly recommend it.) Based on my earlier study of voice (Matsuda, 2001), I considered the implications of voice for English learners in Japan. While my view on voice encompasses both individual and social voice, I couldn't help but notice that many Japanese students want to develop their own individual voice. That is, they don't want to stand out but they don't want to be the same as everyone else. Individual identiy, after all, is something we create by combining socially available discursive and non-discursive repertoire.
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.
Dwight and I often have conversations on various topics in the field (and we often don't agree with one another), and we decided it would be a good idea (and fun) to share some of those conversations with other people in the field. So we tape-recorded one of our conversations when I visited his family cottage on Deer Isle, Main. Steve Simpson transcribed the conversation for us. (He reflects on that experience in Simpson and Matsuda (2008) that I mention below.) We edited it very little, but it sounds remarkably coherent and even handed--it was interesting for us to see what kinds of conversations we often have. (We were aware of the presence of the tape recorder, of course, but after a few beers, it just didn't seem to matter.)
Matsuda, P. K., & Tardy, C. M. (2008). Continuing the conversation about voice in academic writing. English for Specific Purposes, 27(1), 100-105. (doi:10.1016/j.esp.2007.04.002)
This is a response to the response that Paul Stapleton and Rena Helms-Park wrote to our article on voice (Matsuda & Tardy, 2007). It may sound pretty strong, but we felt compelled to respond to all the points that Stapleton and Helms-Park raised in their piece. (I've met them both, and they are great people.) Chris and I have a follow-up article on voice (though not in response to this dialogue) that's being considered for publication as we speak.
Simpson, S., & Matsuda, P. K. (2008). Mentoring as a long-term relationship: Situated learning in a doctoral program. In C. P. Casanave & X. Li (Eds.), Learning the literacy practices of graduate school: Insiders' reflections on academic enculturation (pp. 90-104). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Steve and I wrote this piece during the summer of 2006. I thought of this as a culminating experience for our mentoring relationship at UNH and an important step toward our relationship as colleagues. It was useful for me to reflect on my approach to mentoring and to hear Steve's perspective as well. I was also happy that we were able to receive responses from some of my other mentees, including Michelle Cox, Joleen Hanson, Matt Schneider, and Christina Ortmeier-Hooper. Matt Schneider, who came from San Francisco State to work with me during the summer, observed the whole process of writing this piece. I was lucky to have had the chance to work with these and many other great grad students at UNH, who remain my important colleagues and friends.
A list of major publications is available at:

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CFP: AAAL 2009 in Denver

AAAL 2009 Abstract Submission Announcement

The 2009 conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) will be held March 21-24 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, Denver, CO.

The 2009 conference's plenary presentations and invited colloquia (see below) address the theme of the relevance of applied linguistics-to the real world and to other fields of scientific inquiry. Proposals addressing this theme are particularly encouraged, but proposals are welcome in all of the following topic strands:

Analysis of discourse and interaction
Assessment and evaluation
Bilingual, immersion, heritage, and language minority education
Language and ideology
Language and learner characteristics
Language and technology
Language cognition and brain research
Language maintenance and revitalization
Language, culture, socialization, and pragmatics
Language, planning, and policy
Reading, writing, and literacy
Second and foreign language pedagogy
Second language acquisition, language acquisition, and attrition
Text analysis (written discourse)
Translation and interpretation

The abstract submission deadline is August 15, 2008.

To login and submit your proposal, go to:

For hotel reservation information, go to:

For conference registration and rates, go to:

The early registration deadline date is February 20, 2009.

AAAL Business Office

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Last update: January 6, 2008