Each year more international students enroll in American universities, and administrators nationwide must determine how to meet students' unique writing needs. Compared to similar institutions of higher learning, Brigham Young University (BYU) has a large percentage of international students—4.3 percent of the student body, approximately 2,000 students each year from 112 countries. Prior to Fall 2004, international students were placed in courses offered through the English composition program, which focuses on "mainstream" college writers who compose in their first language (L1) and not on second language writers and their unique needs. As a result, many international students did poorly and often failed their general education freshman writing requirement. The Department of Linguistics and English Language at BYU offers some English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in an effort to prepare students for freshman writing, but since these courses are electives and do not count towards the university general education requirement, many students opt not to take them. International students need a viable alternative to the "mainstream" freshman writing course. They need a course in academic literacy, combining the rhetorical and composition elements of a freshman writing course as well as the multicultural and applied linguistic elements of writing. The needs of writers need to be discussed and met through a balanced, interdisciplinary approach. Under the direction of the Department of Linguistics and English Language, I developed a course based upon an interdisciplinary approach to second language writing and academic literacy. I researched the needs of second language writing students, evaluated current ESL programs nationwide, created, implemented, and evaluated a curriculum for an international freshman writing course. It is a course in academic literacy, called Elang 105, which was specifically designed to meet the needs of international students and is now one of the general education (GE) first year writing options at BYU.



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Humanities; Linguistics and English Language



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Selected Project




second language writing, academic literacy, freshman composition, first-year writing, GE course, ESL, L2 writing, writing, curriculum development, ELang 105, international students



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Linguistics Commons