The AWP 2020 organizers accepted the proposal for a panel I’ll be moderating, called “Nurturing Future Danticats and Nabokovs: Engaging Multilingual/ESL Students in Creative Writing.” With the 35% proposal acceptance rate, it is a testament to the importance of the topic and the joint expertise of our panelists. Here is the panel description and the required statement of merit:
Multilingual and ESL students, a sizable segment of college populations, are traditionally underrepresented in writing courses. How do we help them develop their voices? How can we tailor writing pedagogies to their needs? Community college panelists from around the country discuss teaching creative writing and publishing to migrant farmworkers, utilizing poetry translation in multilingual classrooms, refocusing grading policies to foster creativity, and writing contest and journal inclusion.
Non-native and multilingual speakers constitute a large segment of college student population, yet are underrepresented in writing activities and courses. Their English language proficiency appears to be an obstacle, but is it really? This panel will share successful strategies from around the country (CA, KS, NC, TX) to destigmatize these writers’ voices and to engage them in creative writing and publishing. The panel will provide a deeper understanding of their needs and practices / curriculum to address them.