Fostering Intercultural Competence in First Year Writing
With graduate students from Second Language Studies and Rhetoric & Composition at Purdue, I have developed a curriculum for paired mainstream and L2 writing classes (writeic.org). Through both exposure to diverse texts and structured collaborative writing and research interactions, our curriculum enhances students’ intercultural competence as well as their writing, research, and communication. Research-based curricula designed to develop intercultural competence help students meet the university and workplace professional communication requirements. To evaluate the effectiveness of this curriculum, we collected data from student culture-themed writing, systematic reflections, and a pre- and post-course measure of intercultural competence, the Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale (MGUDS) tool. Research team members also interviewed students after course completion to evaluate the effects of their participation in this curriculum beyond the treatment semester. Our research team won four internal research grants from the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research (CILMAR) and an external research grant from the Council of Writing Program Administration (CWPA). We used funding from grants to expand our research team, collect data, develop a robust grounded theory coding scheme, and analyze data . We examine data to respond to two main research questions:
- How can first-year writing curricula be designed to promote social and academic adjustment for international and diverse domestic students?
- How can we assess the effects of critical pedagogies on improving students’ intercultural competence?
Collaborative Research and Writing in the Disciplines
An extension of my dissertation research about the development of intercultural competence in First Year Writing would be to study collaborative research and writing in other disciplines like Engineering, Agriculture, Business, and Health Sciences. By partnering with professors from other colleges, I plan to study collaboration and examine teamwork through ethnographic research. During my ethnography, I plan to observe the community of research labs in Engineering. Faculty research labs in Engineering recruit both undergraduate and graduate student researchers, and collaborative writing groups include both domestic and international students. From my experience teaching collaborative projects in First Year Writing and Professional Communication, I observed how students exercise various power dynamics in their participation and involvement in both research and writing tasks based on identity markers and domestic vs. international student status. The division of labor tends to be formulaic rather than equitably participatory and immersive. I will collect field notes, community artifacts, think-aloud protocols, reflections, and data from follow-up interviews to answer three main research questions:
- How do research communities in other disciplines divide labor among participants?
- How do identity dimensions influence access to participation in team projects?
- What kind of writing instruction and mentoring do professors who run research labs provide to students?
Selected Publication Projects
Tutor Identity and Writing Centers
“Floating on Quicksand: Negotiating Academe While Tutoring as a Muslim” is a chapter in Harry Denny et al’s edited collection Out in the Center (2019) by the University Press of Colorado. In this chapter, I focus on navigating my identity as it surfaces while working with different writers and responding to different challenges in the Writing Center. I discuss all components of my identity as they clash, grapple, and meet with each other. I showcase the complexities of identity intersectionality: refugee status, immigrant status, religion, nationality, multilingualism, and dialecticism to provide a unique narrative exposing the diversity spectrum in student populations at US institutions of higher education. In this chapter, I deconstruct my reality and multiple belongings as I share my narratives inside and outside the writing centers of three institutions in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Assessment of Second Language Writing in EFL Contexts
At SSLW 2017 in Thailand, I participated in a colloquium focusing on work from ten different countries on the political considerations that shape assessment in a variety of institutional contexts. My chapter “Policymakers, Assessment Practices and Ethical Dilution” is included in Todd Ruecker and Deborah Crusan’s edited collection The Politics of English L2 Writing Assessment in Global Contexts (2018) by Routledge. My chapter discusses the gap between the theoretical stance towards ethical assessment practices in writing classes and its practical applications in settings where the classroom conditions for teaching writing are not met. I describe the conditions of the writing classroom at a local university and a foreign US institution in the United Arab Emirates with a focus on internal institutional policies put forth by the stakeholders involved.