On Second Language Writing
Edited by Tony Silva, Paul Kei Matsuda
Routledge – 2000 – 241 pages
On Second Language Writing brings together internationally recognized scholars in a collection of original articles that, collectively, delineate and explore central issues with regard to theory, research, instruction, assessment, politics, articulation with other disciplines, and standards. In recent years, there has been a dramatic growth of interest in second-language writing and writing instruction in many parts of the world. Although an increasing number of researchers and teachers in both second-language studies and composition studies have come to identify themselves as specialists in second-language writing, research and teaching practices have been dispersed into several different disciplinary and institutional contexts because of the interdisciplinary nature of the field. This volume is the first to bring together prominent second-language writing specialists to systematically address basic issues in the field and to consider the state of the art at the end of the century (and the millennium).
"This balanced collection provides discussions on both the affective and cognitive sides of L2 college writing….A valuable addition to education libraries and to those interested in second language programs and teaching."
"On Second Language Writing is a collection of 15 papers resulting from a small symposium held in the late 1990's at which well-known and respected scholars of L2 writing considered the state of their discipline at the end of the 20th century. The chapters, remarkably diverse in viewpoint, method, and style, address L2 writing teachers and students, theory and research, instruction, assessment, politics, and articulation of issues between L2 writing and other fields of study and standards…Though some chapters will naturally appeal to some readers more than others, the collection is important in synthesizing the state of the art of L2 writing as it now stands."
"…a major contribution to the emerging field of L2 writing, and will be of interest to anyone who teaches writing, particularly at the college level, to the multicultural, multilingual students who make up such a large proportion of students today, particularly in the United States…I would like to note a laudable and distinctive characteristic of this book: throughout the volume there is a clearly manifested and consistent focus on the people who are the reason for all this scholarship: L2 writing students themselves. I believe that this concern with the multifaceted reality and needs and lives of actual students is a defining characteristic of L2 writing research and instruction, so it is appropriate and encouraging to see this characteristic concern displayed so clearly in the book On Second Language Writing. Tony Silva and Paul Kei Matsuda are to be commended for editing this fine contribution to second language writing scholarship."
"In their edited collection, On Second Language Writing, Tony Silva and Paul Kei Matsuda bring together articles that illustrate the diversity of issues important to the field…it is a valuable resource for classroom instructors, administrators, and/or researchers in this field. As demonstrated above, the chapters contain information that is pertinent to all of these groups and it is my opinion that it would be a valuable addition to the library of anyone involved in L2 writing."
—The Reading Matrix
"This book would be useful for English as a second language (ESL) specialists in education and speech-language pathology professionals working with ESL students. This work provided beneficial information on assessment, instruction, research, and collaborative efforts needed in the field. The book was both anecdotal and formal, which contributed to the ease in reading the 15 chapters, each written by a different contributor. Although there is an exhaustive number of publications on this issue, this collection finds internatinally recognized experts together addressing issues in the field. Finally, a source to acknowledge the wide variety of needs found in the area of second-language writing and its instruction."
—American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
"This collection of 15 widely varied papers covers vast ground, impressively accomplishing the editors' goal of taking stock of the body of work on L2 writing at the end of the millennium….It provides a good sense of where the field has been and where it is going, delineates key issues, raises a host of questions to guide further inquiry, and prompts critical reflection on basic issues in L2 writing research and pedagogy. It will be of great value and lasting significance to researchers, theorists, and teachers in many fields, including L1 and L2 composition, SLA, and the teaching of English to speakers of other languages."
—The Modern Language Journal
"The fields of ESL Writing and Composition have drifted apart in recent years. Disjunctions have arisen about the roles and types of research and theory, about the uses of textual analysis, about 'resistance' in institutional practices, and about critical pedagogy….This collection should do much to undo this regrettable polarity. Here we find 15 leading scholars and practitioners addressing such issues as an appropriate theory of writing, gender in ESL, critical pragmatism, assessment and fairness, instructor response, and EAP curriculum reform--and in a wide-ranging mix of modes and styles. Editors Tony Silva and Paul Matsuda are to be congratulated for assembling these boundary-crossing perspectives at the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a multicultural century."
—John M. Swales
University of Michigan
"If the field of second language writing can be thought of as a territory, then Silva and Matsuda's volume is far and away the best and most current map available. Equally important, this volume indicates just how vast a territory it is, and many of the most exciting things that are currently going on within its boundaries. Student advocacy, second language acquisition, text-based research methods, testing, curricular standards, critical pedagogy, EAP, relationships with L1 composition, the place of politics and gender, responding, and theory construction--all are covered in this volume. The combined result is a varied and colorful landscape, attesting to the current vitality and richness of the field."
University of Alabama
Contents: Preface. B. Kroll, The Composition of a Life in Composition. I. Leki, Hearing Voices: L2 Students' Experiences in L2 Writing Courses. P. Currie, On the Question of Power and Control. W. Grabe, Notes Toward a Theory of Second Language Writing. D. Belcher, Does Second Language Writing Theory Have Gender? L. Goldstein, For Kyla: What Does the Research Say About Responding to ESL Writers? C. Polio, Research Methodology in Second Language Writing Research: The Case of Text-Based Studies. L. Hamp-Lyons, Fourth Generation Writing Assessment. T. Smoke, Instructional Strategies for Making ESL Students Integral to the University. J. Reid, Advanced EAP Writing and Curriculum Design: What Do We Need to Know? S. Benesch, Critical Pragmatism: A Politics of L2 Composition. T. Santos, The Place of Politics in Second Language Writing. J. Carson, Second Language Writing and Second Language Acquisition. C. Severino, Dangerous Liaisons: Problems of Representation and Articulation. A. Cumming, The Difficulty of Standards, For Example in L2 Writing.