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Global Connections

Building Your Spring Course? Include the ELLWC!

To help multilingual international students succeed in your courses, connect with the English Language Learner Writing Center (ELLWC).

ELLWC consultant meets with a student
Global Connections

Building Your Spring Course? Include the ELLWC!

Although students who are not native speakers of English have been described by different names, the term multilingual (ML) students is preferable because it emphasizes students’ strength—speaking multiple languages—rather than suggesting skills deficiency. Unfortunately, ML students may not realize that there’s always a gap between their language proficiency and high standards for written work. In addition, some students don't realize that clarity and grammatical accuracy matter in all classes, not just English composition classes.

At Miami, faculty and international offices can work together to support ML students at the English Language Learner Writing Center (ELLWC). According to ELLWC coordinator Larysa Bobrova, empirical research on second language writing shows that learning to write in a second language is a multidimensional process consisting of internalizing new cultural values, rhetorical preferences, and conventions shaped by a new academic culture in addition to simultaneously learning a second language.

With these challenges in mind, faculty can refer ML students who need help with learning to write in their disciplines and improving their academic English skills to the ELLWC. Bobrova says, "Students can make on-campus appointments, which involves in-person interaction with peer consultants. We also offer written online appointments: the student’s paper is returned with comments and no in-person interaction." Adding a message to your syllabus (see below) may further encourage students to seek assistance on their own.

To better serve international students, Bobrova collaborates with Molly Heidemann, director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), and assistant director of ISSS Dan Sinetar, who manages the International Student Center (ISC). This collaboration enables peer editors to meet with international students in a convenient MacMillan Hall location, near ISSS advisors and Global Initiatives offices.

Although the ELLWC is closed until January 30, Bobrova would be delighted to meet with faculty to discuss how the ELLWC can help students maximize their success in their courses. Reach out to her at

Sample Syllabus Paragraph

Miami University (enter your course) course operates in close partnership with the English Language Learner Writing Center (ELLWC).

ELLWC consultants will help you:

  • understand assignment requirements and brainstorm ideas
  • identify content, organization, and grammar issues in your drafts
  • revise your drafts to reflect your instructor’s input
  • learn how to make your writing clear and concise

I strongly encourage you to schedule writing consultations to complete course assignments. After meeting with your ELLWC consultant, you'll receive a summary of the session (the Client Report Form) which you can forward to me.

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