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At the MSU Denver Writing Center, we believe all writers have the right to speak and write in their own version of English. Often, students who grow up speaking an English that does not align with “Standard Academic English” are penalized for not conforming to such standards.
Whatever version of English our students grow up speaking is valuable and should be respected. This idea also applies to multilingual students who may have grown up speaking different versions of English, such as pidgin English or a hybrid, and those who did not learn English until later in life and therefore “write with an accent.”
While we recognize that their writing can, at times, be difficult to read, we like to discern the difference between unclear writing and readers who are distracted by what they perceive to be “errors” in their writing.
We are always willing to support professors and faculty who are interested in learning more about how they can support students who are learning English. Here are some resources to get you started.
12 Ways to Support English Learners in the Mainstream Classroom: This link provides twelve ideas to create a more inclusive classroom for your Culturally and Linguistically (CDL) diverse students. Some of the ideas include incorporating visuals, look out for culturally unique vocabulary and using sentence frames.
English with an Accent: This book covers language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States. If you’re interested in learning more about why enforcing Standard American English is so harmful, this can be a good place to start. Stop by the Writing Center to check out one of our copies, or grab a copy from the Auraria Library.
Antiracist Writing Pedagogy Workshop: The Writing Center hosts this workshop for faculty and departments.If you are interested in learning more, or want the Writing Center to present to your department, please contact Elizabeth Kleinfeld at [email protected].
Help for English Language Learners: The Writing Center has created a long list of resources both on and off campus for MSU Denver CDL students. Please feel free to share this link with your students to help them find additional support.