Although you as an instructor are prepared to guide and evaluate the writing of native English speakers, you may struggle with how to address non-native English speaking studentsí special writing needs. For example, how do you assess content knowledge in a paper full of grammatical errors? What writing topics should you select for students with varied backgrounds? How do you encourage non-native English writing students to participate effectively in peer response groups? Are you spending time and energy merely correcting your studentsí errors, or are you truly connecting with them for meaningful learning?
We have designed this web site to give high school teachers, university professors, and writing tutors without specific TESL training some basic guidelines about how to interact with their non-native English speaking students concerning writing assignments.
By offering simple recommendations about how to interact with non-native speaking students, we do not intend to oversimplify complex issues regarding cross-cultural classroom interaction. We understand that each student possesses his/her individual learning styles, cultural identity, and academic abilities. Therefore, the writing needs of each non-native English speaking student will vary. However, the suggestions in this guidebook may help you, as an instructor, connect with your students and meet their writing needs. We further feel that understanding these studentsí efforts and processes can lead you to discover your own solutions to writing concerns regarding non-native speaking students.