Faculty Publications

Title

Writing across the curriculum, writing proficiency exams, and the NNS college student

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Second Language Writing

Volume

4

Issue

1

First Page

43

Last Page

50

Abstract

The growing trend in American universities toward establishing stricter standards of writing proficiency is an issue that directly affects students who are nonnative speakers (NNSs) of English. Traditionally, institutions have attempted to address NNS writing needs through a variety of means, including special composition courses and Writing Center-based tutorial assistance. However, the adequacy of such methods is now being tested as NNS students attempt to satisfy new and presumably more stringent institutional writing requirements. In brief, where it may once have been possible for NNS students to graduate without being expected to write as often-or as well-as students who are native English speakers (NESs), today's Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) programs mandate (theoretically, at least) that they be held to the same standards of writing proficiency as native speakers. This article explores issues concerning instruction and evaluation of NNS students in institutions employing WAC programs. It examines faculty expectations of NNS writing quality, NNS performance on Writing Proficiency Exams, and support options available to NNS students, and concludes that NNS students ore being held to a double standard that places them at risk. Finally, it discusses alternatives for recognizing and dealing with discrepancies in WAC policies and practices on both the individual and institutional levels. © 1995.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1995

DOI of published version

10.1016/1060-3743(95)90022-5

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