Introduce Students to the ELLWC

Learning to write in a new language is about more than acquiring new vocabulary and grammatical structures. This learning consists of internalizing new values, rhetorical preferences, and conventions shaped by a new culture. This is as true for elementary school students as for college students and adult learners. At the ELL Writing Center, we aim to enhance multilingual writers’ awareness of rhetorical assumptions and expectations prevailing in U.S. academic culture and create multiple opportunities for students to engage their writing skills in new rhetorical contexts.

How to Encourage Students to Visit the ELL Writing Center

Show students your appreciation of the ELL Writing Center as a useful resource and expect them to use our services by:

  • including a statement about the ELL Writing Center in your syllabus

The Howe Writing Center (HWC)and English Language Learner Writing Center (ELLWC) recognize that all writers have more to learn and provide free support to Miami students and alumni in this work. The HWC offers help with academic, personal, and professional writing at any stage in the writing process, from brainstorming to polishing. The ELLWC offers more specialized help for students whose first language is not English, and who need particular assistance with grammar, word usage, style, and punctuation. Neither the HWC nor the ELLWC will edit your work; both will help students develop better strategies for invention, revision, and self-editing. Please visit our websites for more information, and to sign up for either on-campus appointments (HWC and ELLWC) or online appointments.

  • listing the ELL Writing Center website ( in your course resources
  • being knowledgeable about the Center’s function
  • asking the ELLWC Coordinator about any questions you may have about our services

Help students understand that writing is a process requiring a sustained effort over time and the feedback of a trained and friendly reader. Help students know that, to successfully complete writing assignments, they should:

  • start early, not the night before a deadline
  • get feedback from ELL Writing Center consultants throughout their projects, not only once
  • make themselves accountable for revising and self-editing their writing

Provide feedback on writing assignments by focusing on each student’s greatest needs, but do not overwhelm students with an overabundance of corrections. Avoid expressing disappointment or frustration if their papers are not error-free. Remind students to discuss assignments with ELL Writing Center consultants.

Offer extra credit for attending a consultation. Please specify criteria for receiving credit, e.g., by requiring a post-session reflection and/or a paragraph about the writing skills they worked on during the consultation.

Most importantly, avoid presenting the ELL Writing Center as a place for students whose language proficiency is low and thus implying that certain students require additional help. Instead, help students understand that all writing is produced as part of a complex process, and that any piece of writing (even your own) benefits from proofreading, editing, and polishing.