English Language Learners in University Classrooms: Practical Resources for Faculty

As language specialists, we may be asked by colleagues from other departments how to better help international students (for the purpose of this blog, I will equate this term with English language learners) in college classrooms. Lots of resources are available out there—both print and online—that aim to raise university professors’ awareness of how to help these students succeed academically. In this blog post, I’ll list a few resources that may be helpful to university instructors who are not trained to work with English language learners. While I included several books and academic journals for those who’d like to dig deeper, most of the resources below describe practical suggestions and recommendations for university faculty.

Books on Supporting International Students

  • Goldschmidt, M. M., & Ousey, D. L. (2011). Teaching developmental immigrant students in undergraduate programs: A practical guide. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Shapiro, S., Farrelly, R., & Tomaš, Z. (2014). Fostering international student success in higher education. Alexandria, VA: TESOL Press.

Books on Teaching International Student Writers

  • Bruce, S., & Rafoth, B. (2009). ESL writers: A guide for writing center tutors (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Evans, N. W., Anderson, N. J., & Eggington, W. G. (Eds.). (2015). ESL readers and writers in higher education: Understanding challenges, providing support. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Leki, I. (1992). Understanding ESL writers: A guide for teachers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook.
  • Matsuda, P. K., Cox, M., Jordan, J., & Ortmeier-Hooper, C. (2006). Second-language writing in the composition classroom: A critical sourcebook. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Journals on Supporting International Students

The journal focuses on a wide range of topics, including intercultural communication, internalization, international teaching assistants, and cross-cultural studies.

The journal focuses in internationalization of higher education and includes topics such as internalization curriculum development, challenges faced by international students, and internalization policies.

 General Guidelines for Faculty

The resource describes ten practical suggestions for faculty.

This practical guide from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire offers a list of suggestions on interacting with international students.

The article offers thirteen issues that faculty may encounter when grading student papers. Each issue is followed by a solution.

The article describes several pedagogical points related to working with international student writers, including designing course assignments, responding to student writing, and grading.

The article offers some practical recommendations for faculty.

The resource provides practical guidelines for faculty to support international students.

This document provides a list of practical steps faculty can take to better support international students.

This online resource from the University of Michigan discusses several issues that university instructors may have when teaching international students and offers suggestions for overcoming these issues.

The article discusses the issue of adjusting grading expectations for international students.

This resource offers a list of strategies to use when interacting with international students.

The article provides some basic knowledge about international students.

The author provides general principles of working with international student writers.

This film, funded by Oregon State University, offers suggestions to faculty working with language learners on writing assignments.

Academic Writing and Grammar

This handbook provides suggestions to instructors and writing consultants working with second language writers.

This document discusses common misconceptions about nonnative speakers of English.

This online newsletter from the University of Hawaii is geared toward writing instructors. This issue focuses on ESL student writers.

About Elena Shvidko

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko is an assistant professor at Utah State University. She received her doctorate in second language studies from Purdue University and her master’s degree in TESOL from Brigham Young University. Her work appears in TESOL Journal, System, Journal on Response to Writing, TESOL interest section newsletters, and TESOL's New Ways series. Her research interests include second language writing, multimodal interaction, interpersonal aspects of language teaching, and teacher professional development.
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One Response to English Language Learners in University Classrooms: Practical Resources for Faculty

  1. Jo Hayridge says:

    Many thanks. We have been looking for something like this for a long time.