Event || Writing Support-Southwestern Ontario group meeting – February 27th, 2015

Reflect & Recharge at the WS-SWO Winter Meeting Feb. 27th!

If you work in a writing centre, teach writing, or provide general writing support, please join us at Wilfrid Laurier University on February 27th for the next meeting of the Writing Support-Southwestern Ontario group, affiliated with the Canadian Writing Centres Association.

There will be plenty of opportunities to share ideas with colleagues on issues affecting writing centres and writing instructors in our region. Our keynote speaker, Theresa Hyland, will set the stage for discussions about the experiences of international students in our writing centres with her talk, “Multilingual Students in the Writing Centre: Building an International Community of Practice” (full description provided below).

Lunch is included!

Date & Location

February 27, 2015, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Paul Martin Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University


9:30 am           Welcome & Coffee
10:00 am         Keynote Speaker: Theresa Hyland “Multilingual Students in the Writing Centre:  Building
an International Community of Practice”
11:00 am         Q & A Panel: International Students in the Writing Centre
12:00 pm         Lunch
1:00 pm           Q & A Panel: Tutors’ Perspectives on Working in the Writing Centre
2:00 pm           Wrap-up Discussion and Future Plans
2:30 pm           Depart

Registration: $10 (to cover the cost of lunch)

To RSVP, please email Boba Samuels, bsamuels@wlu.ca
*Please let Boba know if you have any dietary restrictions.

Please feel free to share this with any colleagues who might be interested.


Multilingual Students in the Writing Centre:  Building an International Community of Practice

Dr. Theresa Hyland,  Huron University College

Diane Wenger (1998) described “Community of Practice” as being a situation where  there is mutual engagement in a joint enterprise with a shared repertoire, shared  strategies, and a common vocabulary,  and where participants respect and challenge each other in this enterprise. Nancy Grimp (2013) applies this idea to the Writing Centre in her article “Retheorizing Writing Centre Work” where she states “Writing Centres can be understood as places where these identities of participation or non-participation are being negotiated and the policies and practices of a particular writing centre can either encourage or discourage the process of developing an identity of belonging to an academic community” (p. 96).  Greenfield challenges common practices with international students in Writing Centres as being based on the deficit model of language acquisition, and as promoting the imposition of North American values and academic practices on these students, in a practice known as “code switching”.  This practice ignores the values and expertise international students bring to the Writing Centre and views their language skills as problematic within the academic community. In order for international students to succeed in this environment, they must participate not as active members of the enterprise, but as passive entities who submit their work to be “fixed”. This raises two important questions: (1) Can an academic community of scholars and students ever be a community of practice as defined by Wenger? (2) Under what conditions can a Writing Centre be a site where that community of practice is situated? In this talk, I will outline how best practices with international students can reinforce the academic community of practice of the university.

THylandDr. Theresa Hyland is Director of Writing and Cross-cultural Services at Huron University College.  She earned her doctorate in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Toronto and has many years’ experience preparing multilingual and first-language students for successful writing within a university environment.  Her research interests include writing assessment, the referencing practices of first and second language students, and the writing tasks that professors across and within disciplines assign to their students.  She has served on the Research and Certification Committees of TESL Ontario, as well as Affiliate Representative for London, and has been Vice-Chair, Chair, and Past-Chair of the Canadian Writing Centres Association.  She has been privileged to mentor colleagues engaged in EASL programmes both locally and abroad.

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