Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Gloria Park

Second Advisor

Curtis Porter

Third Advisor

Bryna Siegel Finer

Abstract

This qualitative study examines how multilingual international students interpret their experiences with L2 writing in their undergraduate academic classes across the curriculum. The purpose of the study was to understand how multilingual international students, who enter the university from a variety of backgrounds and preparations, navigate Writing Across the Curriculum by examining the writing preparation MLISs bring with them from their diverse backgrounds, the kinds of writing tasks they engaged in across the curriculum, the challenges they encountered, and the means by which they mediated their writing tasks. The study sought to illuminate their experiences of being asked to write in a variety of genres in a language they are still learning as they pursue their academic degrees in a US university, as well to determine whether they needed additional support and resources. The study found that while many faculty are incorporating writing in a variety of genres, not all faculty are doing so. Few are incorporating writing to learn activities. The reported experiences of participants in this study indicated that, with a few exceptions, faculty are receptive to helping international students with their writing, but they are not providing extensive written feedback. The lack of feedback was bothersome to students who wanted to improve their writing but not to those who were earning satisfactory grades. While some participants struggled more with writing than others, none reported that the writing they had to do impeded their progress towards their degree. Some faculty are providing detailed rubrics and clear assignment handouts, while others are not, and students found it easier to complete assignments when instructions were clear and students knew what they needed to do. The writing center is a resource frequently utilized by participants and generally reported as being very helpful to students. Multilingual international students overall are fairly resourceful in mediating their writing challenges. Most participants reported lack of speaking proficiency as a greater challenge than their writing tasks. Implications were presented for universities who seek to internationalize their campuses by recruiting international students.

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