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Visiting Scholar Series: Carol Severino (et. al.) on Teaching and Mentoring L2/ESL/ELL Writers

Event Location: 
502 King Science and Engineering Library
Event Date: 
Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 2:00pm

Event concludes at 3:00.

While most faculty do not specialize in the teaching of writing, they often find themselves in the role of "the accidental writing teacher" (Tauber, 2016). From first-year students to ABDs, writing represents a critical means not just for communicating but also for learning and discovery across the disciplines. Students whose first language is not English may encounter some additional challenges when engaging in academic writing tasks, and instructors can feel unprepared to address the unique challenges that each of these learners experiences. This panel will explore issues relevant to teaching and mentoring ESL writers, with a focus on ways that faculty can respond to student writing in meaningful and productive ways. Featuring Dr. Carol Severino of the University of Iowa, the panel will also include Angela Garner (Coordinator of International Graduate Student Initiatives in the Graduate School), and Dr. Jill Abney (Assistant Director, Presentation U, Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching).


Dr. Carol Severino, Professor and Director of the Writing Center at the University of Iowa, has built a scholarly career on the study of writing, writing pedagogy, and English-language learners. She teaches courses that explore the relationships between writing, language background, culture, and pedagogy, also the focus of her research. She teaches both tutor preparation seminars: Teaching in a Writing Center (for graduate students preparing to tutor in the Writing Center) and Writing Theory and Practice (for new Writing Fellows; taught with Megan Knight). She teaches Topics in Second Language Acquisition: Writing for the FLARE Program as well as travel writing for the Honors First Year Seminar Program. She also tutors in the Writing Center every semester and conducts a writing center practicum for Linguistics TESOL students preparing to tutor and tutoring in the Writing Center.

Carol was a Collegiate Teaching Award winner in 2003 and a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador in 2008, and has served twice as an English Language Specialist for the US State Department in Honduras. Recently, she has given workshops and presentations in Mexico and Ecuador, as well as at the Universities of Wisconsin and Mississippi. In 2015, she keynoted the Latin American Writing Programs and Writing Centers Conference in Colombia (by Skype) and the Southern Illinois Writing Centers Consortium Conference. She has written essays about teaching writing in Ecuador and about learning creative writing in Spanish in Writing on the Edge and a recent travel essay about Ecuadorian bus trips that appeared in the International Journal of Travel and Travelling Cultures in 2018. Her travel essay “Engagement Ceremony” appeared in The Best Travel Writing 2012 (Travelers’ Tales)

Carol serves on the editorial board of Journal of Second Language Writing and reviews for many other writing studies journals. Her writing center research study with Shih-Ni Sun Prim on word-choice errors in Chinese writers’ ESL writing and tutors’ online responses to them was published in the Fall 2015 issue of Writing Center Journal. Their recent article “Second Language Writing Development and the Role of Tutors” appeared in Fall 2017 issue of the same journal. An essay theorizing about her own and other teachers’ second language learning experiences in light of the perceived conflict between translingualism and second language writing appeared in the Fall, 2017 issue of Composition Studies. She recently wrote about her experiences tutoring first-grade writing compared to tutoring college writing, published in the Sept/Oct 2018 issue of WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship. With Prim and Deirdre Egan, she wrote up a study of second language writing development based on a survey study they conducted in the Writing Center, now under review at Writing Center Journal.