The 2015 Symposium on Second Language Writing will take place 19-21 November, 2015, at AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand. The theme, Learning to write for academic purposes: Advancing theory, research and practice, will focus on advancing our knowledge and understanding of what is involved in learning to write for the many and varied academic purposes that second language (L2) writers encounter while studying in educational settings and working in various professions and workplaces.
The importance of the theme is underscored by the increasing number of L2 writers studying and working in educational and professional settings where epistemologies and expectations may be quite different to those they have grown up with.
The particular academic purposes that L2 writers encounter as students and as working professionals can vary according to the contexts and settings in which writing for academic purposes is undertaken. These can be broadly categorised as follows:
Educational contexts and settings where teaching and learning take place
- Schools (e.g. primary and secondary; public and private institutions)
- Pre-tertiary (e.g. foundation programmes; private language schools)
- Tertiary (e.g. university, polytechnic, college)
Workplace contexts and settings where L2 writers are employed
- Training institutions (e.g. teachers’ colleges)
- Teacher/academic professional activities (e.g. writing books, articles, reports, conference papers; reviewing, assessing and examining)
In educational contexts, issues associated with learning to write for academic purposes can be viewed from both the L2 learners’ and teachers’ perspectives. In workplace contexts, they can be seen from both the L2 writers’ and assessors’/gate-keepers’ perspectives.
Whenever academic texts are produced, some form of assessment is expected. It may be offered in a formative sense (responding to the work in progress) or in a summative sense (test, assignment or examination grades; acceptance of a text for publication or presentation). Issues associated with the assessment of L2 writers’ texts or with L2 writers assessing texts may also be considered relevant to the theme.
While the symposium invites proposals on any aspect of second language writing, those that address one or more aspects of the theme will be particularly welcome.
The Auckland organizing committee is particularly proud to be hosting the 2015 symposium as it is the first time the event has come ‘downunder’. We are also pleased to be able to showcase our beautiful city—‘the city of sails’—and hope you will have time to see other parts of the country as well.
John Bitchener, 2015 Symposium Chair
Paul Kei Matsuda, Founding Chair