Practices emerging from writing centers and writing programs in Spanish Latin American initiatives

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1 Practices emerging from writing centers and writing programs in Spanish Latin American initiatives

2 Justification Historical context 1994 A Puerto Rican writing center (WC) The first WC in LA Research and teaching initiatives date in Spanish Latin America (LA) since early 90 s (Teaching on English as L2 and Spanish as L1 + UNESCO chairs) Teaching on technical English (ESP) in Engineering and Economics 1994 Creation of UNESCO chairs across LA for the advancement of teaching Spanish as L1 in all levels Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico after 2000 Data source from interviews in Spanish-Speaking countries (Fall 2013 and Summer 2014) ILEES project

3 Objective Distribution of writing initiatives in LA Analyzing practices of writing programs and writing centers to learn about their institutional arrangements and sustainability strategies as well as frame them as research sites for Writing Studies in LA Freshman composition writing 18,5 Writing in disciplinary courses Writing courses after the first year Graduate courses or workshops 12,6 12,1 13,6 Faculty development initiatives Tutoring (peer or assistants) 9,3 9,8 Writing programs 7,7 Courses or workshops non-academic community 6,9 Writing centers Writing initiatives in languages other than L1 (Spanish or Portuguese) 4,4 5,1 Data source from surveys (Summer 2014) ILEES project

4 Data collection Writing centers and programs reported by surveyees in Spanish LA Exploring websites and online information of writing programs and writing centers reported by the surveyees until summer Total Data source from surveys (Summer 2013) ILEES project

5 Data collection Websites or digital information available of writing centers and programs Total Data source from surveys (Summer 2013) ILEES project

6 Data analysis Describing websites or digital information of writing programs and writing centers, as possible, into the following categories: Name of the university University type (private/public) Historical information of the initiative Types of Initiatives: objectives, justifications & target audiences

7 Results Public vs Private universities Private Public

8 Results Public vs Private universities 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% Private Public 5% 0%

9 Results Time in existence years 4-6 years 7-10 years More than 10 years

10 Results Time in existence 5 4,5 4 3,5 3 2,5 2 1,5 1 0,5 0 Argentina Chile Colombia México Puerto Rico Venezuela 1-3 years 4-6 years 7-10 years More than 10 years

11 Results Origins of the initiatives 1. Drawing on public and institutional reforms in higher education: PLEA in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: strategic institutional plan ( ) and institutional large-scale assessment on writing abilities 2. Institutional requests asked by academic units outside of the language or writing departments: Programa de desarrollo de habilidades de lectura y escritura académica a lo largo de la carrera (PRODEAC) in Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina Collaborative work between engineers and language scholars 3. Leadership of language and composition scholars Writing centers or programs that were embedded as outcomes of research projects Centro de escritura académica de postgrado (CEAP), Universidad de Buenos Aires 4. UNESCO chairs for reading and writing in LA as a leading network in developing writing centers and programs: Centro de Redacción Multidisciplinario in Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto Metropolitano Escritura Académica in Universidad Central de Venezuela Centro de escritura académica de postgrado (CEAP) in Universidad de Buenos Aires

12 Results Types of Initiatives objectives & target audiences Counseling services for undergraduates Pedagogical counseling services for faculty members Publishing counseling services for faculty members Writing coursed led by writing instructors (mandatory and elective courses) Research initiatives either upon the program or higher education writing Counseling services for graduates (publishing and senior thesis writing) Counseling services for administrative staff Counseling services in languages other than Spanish Editing services for publishing projects of faculty members and students

13 Narrowing their scopes through 3 strategies: Results Sustainability strategies 1. Running pilot projects: Centro de escritura, Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile. Programa de Enseñanza de la escritura académica, Universidad Católica Argentina: the project plans to be implemented over 3 years. 2. Developing disciplinary-oriented initiatives: Centro de escritura, Universidad Minuto de Dios (Uniminuto), Colombia: communication (advertising, graphic design, social communication, and journalism) Programa de Enseñanza de la escritura académica, Universidad Católica Argentina: Department of education Programa de desarrollo de habilidades de lectura y escritura académica a lo largo de la carrera (PRODEAC), Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina: team-teaching between disciplinary professors in engineering and bussiness with language specialists 3. South-south regional cooperation and north-south collaboration Consulting services from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Cali and Bogotá, Colombia towards Centro de escritura, Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile (UTA). Consulting services from Programa de desarrollo de habilidades de lectura y escritura académica a lo largo de la carrera (PRODEAC), Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina towards Centro de escritura de la Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile (UTA).

14 Results Justification of the initiatives Designing and disseminating guidelines and formats for writing assignments, rubrics for writing assessment, and/or supporting writing processes of academic genres Developing reading and writing skills for HE learning Develoing professional and disciplinary writing competences Supporting scientific publishing of professors and students Supporting on students shortcomings as writers Supporting thesis and dissertation writing Training the future composition specialists (student-tutors)

15 Conclusions Institutional arrangements, sustainability strategies & and research sites opportunities Writing centers and writing programs in Latin America have developed their local and regional identities within the contexts of higher education reforms and needs in the region (most of the initiatives have 1-3 years in existence). The existence of writing centers and programs implies designing online platforms, guidelines, and formats. Research implication: New ways of online interaction for tutoring seem to emerging through forums and chats. A flexible curriculum is offered (i.e., writing courses for non-university audiences or elective courses in undergraduate and graduate programs) and it seems to be part of funding strategies (most of the initiatives are run by private institutions).

16 Conclusions Institutional arrangements, sustainability strategies & and research sites opportunities Leadership of some initiatives by articulating services and research projects. Research implication: Collecting and analyzing data from the type of practices developed on the writing centers and programs. Regional cooperation between the initiatives might become an exchange program for scholars. Research Implication: Opportunity to develop an exchange interregional program for boosting research and faculty development.

17 Conclusions Institutional arrangements, sustainability strategies & and research sites opportunities A deficit rhetoric remains (problems of student writing) in the justifications of the initiatives. Debates Diverse student population accessing higher education LA Discussion on the transition between secondary and higher / tertiary education. Discussion of the concepts of academic writing (as a generic / homogeneous concept) vs. disciplinary writing Tendencies Formats and guidelines of writing assignments as homogeneous and standardized academic practices (i.e., summaries, academic essay, steps for planning, drafting and editing any written assignment) There are initiatives more aligned with disciplinary writing framework: Data Writing in Biology: How to make a lab report Genres in accounting Writing assignments in learning History

18 Elizabeth Narváez Cardona Universidad Autónoma de Occidente, Colombia PhD candidate University of California, Santa Barbara

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