Are you worried about how to grade multilingual student writing fairly? Do you wonder how to hold students accountable for correctness without punishing them based on language difference? Consider the following strategies to make your grading easier and more equitable for all students:
- Design assignments to take advantage of cultural differences rather than punishing students for what they don’t know
- Use the writing process in your course, including brainstorming, drafting, conferencing, and peer review
- Explain explicitly what counts as plagiarism in your field
- Use a minimal marking system that directs students to patterns of errors rather than spending time correcting student papers
- Use a rubric that holds students accountable for grammar and mechanics but that also rewards them for their distinct ideas and ways of expressing themselves
- Differentiate between idiomatic expressions, which often take a lifetime to learn, and true grammatical mistakes
Many of these strategies will be addressed in our workshop on “Painless Grading in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms” (12/2, 3:00-4:30 IMU Oak Room). Led by Katherine Silvester, Coordinator of Multilingual Writing and Assistant Professor of English, this workshop will focus on grading this semester’s final writing assignments, using rubrics, and attending to language issues.
The Campus Writing Program has several other useful resources, including consulting services for instructors. The tutors at Writing Tutorial Services (WTS) have extensive experience and training in assisting multilingual students. We also have several resources to come in the spring, including an additional workshop on multilingual writing by Dr. Silvester (date T.B.A.). On April 7, Michelle Cox, Director of the English Language Support Office at Cornell University, will visit campus for a talk sponsored by the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program.
Are you interested in learning more about helping diverse student writers? Consider attending our winter workshops and events on such topics as addressing stereotypes and preventing plagiarism. Additional Resources: Responding to International Students’ Writing