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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

NSU Researcher Spotlight: A Cross-Institutional Study of Multilingual Writers

Shanti Bruce, Ph.D.

Shanti Bruce, Ph.D.

Shanti Bruce, Ph.D., professor and interim chair of the Department of Writing & Communications in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences,  is principal investigator of the study titled “The Language Repertoires of First-Year Writers: A Cross-Institutional Study of Multilingual Writers.” Funded by a Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Research Initiative Grant, the research team also includes Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, Ph.D., UMass-Amherst, and Deirdre Vinyard, Ph.D., Emily Carr University of Art and Design-Vancouver.

This cross-institutional study is designed to produce a rich description of the multilingual backgrounds of students in first-year writing classes, forwarding the CCCC goal to “recognize and take responsibility for the regular presence of second language writers in writing classes, to understand their characteristics,” and to use this data “to develop instructional and administrative practices that are sensitive to their linguistic and cultural needs.”

The increasingly multilingual nature of students in institutions of higher education requires a reexamination of educational practice, which has been traditionally based on the assumption that university students in the U.S. are monolingual English speakers. The negative effects of the “myth of monolingualism” have been documented in writing studies. Before writing programs can begin to “conceptualize linguistic diversity as the natural state of things” (Shuck), institutions must establish a clear understanding of the language experiences students bring to the university. Calling for studies on the linguistic backgrounds of university students, scholars have pointed out that this lack of detailed information about students’ language backgrounds hinders the creation of support structures for multilingual students. Understanding a student’s relationship to English, and her ability to use it in an academic setting, is crucial to the construction of curricula and services that can adequately support students throughout their academic careers. Gaining a greater understanding of students’ language backgrounds will provide administrators, curriculum designers, writing center directors, and faculty with insights into ways to create more inclusive institutions for multilingual students.