Paul Kei Matsuda

'Lowering Higher Education' - Inside Higher Ed

"The corporate model treats students like customers, and as customers they expect services and products for their tuition fees. The services include high grades in return for little effort."

Really? My students are willing to work hard--and they do work hard--when lectures are engaging, when discussion and other activities are facilitated well, and when assignments are meaningful. While I am concerned about many aspects of corporatization, I'm increasingly disturbed by its critics who point fingers at students rather than reflect on their own practices. The customer mentality has its problems, but it may have allowed students to demand what they have always deserved--good teaching.

It's not enough to blame others for lowering higher education; we also need to elevate higher education by improving the quality of teaching.

Symposium on Second Language Writing 2011

Symposium on Second Language Writing 2011
Writing for Scholarly Publication: Beyond "Publish or Perish"
Howard International House, Taipei, Taiwan
June 9-11, 2011


The 2011 Symposium will be held June 9-11, 2011, in Taipei, Taiwan. Taiwan has long been a major site of second language writing research, and in recent years, it has emerged as one of the growth areas where increasing numbers of researchers and teachers from various disciplinary backgrounds--computer assisted language learning, English for Specific Purposes, literacy studies, rhetoric and composition, and TESOL, among others--are drawn to the topic of second language writing. It is also a context in which the pressure to publish in certain international journals is strongly felt by researchers across the disciplines.

Given the immediate demands in this and many other parts of the world, it seems natural to focus on the practical question of how to publish successfully in international academic journals. This goal continues to be important to second language writing specialists--both as teachers and researchers of written discourse and as active researchers who are subject to the same kind of pressure. Yet, the uncritical and widespread acceptance of the "publish or perish" attitude also perpetuates a problematic situation, in which evaluation criteria and funding resources constrain the knowledge creation process in ways that are not consistent with the goals and values of the fields. While continuing to serve the needs of students and researchers in various disciplines, we second language writing specialists also need to examine larger issues of the politics of knowledge making.

This year's Symposium will seek to move the field beyond the "publish or perish" mentality by bringing together internationally known researchers, teachers, and journal and book editors in writing- and language-related fields the world over to question, resist, challenge, negotiate and overcome institutional expectations for international scholarly publication. In so doing, we hope to generate a better understanding of issues in international scholarly publication that can not only help improve the productivity of researchers from various parts of the world but also to generate new knowledge that can help shape the evaluation system in ways that facilitates the production of truly valuable knowledge.

Plenary Speakers

  • A. Suresh Canagajarah, Pennsylvania State University, United States
  • Mary Jane Curry, University of Rochester, United States
  • Theresa Lillis, Open University, United Kingdom
  • John Flowerdew, City University of Hong Kong, China
  • Icy Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
  • Hui-Tzu Min, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
Invited Speakers
  • Dwight Atkinson, Purdue University, United States
  • Diane Belcher, TESOL Quarterly, Georgia State University, United States
  • Ulla Connor, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, United States
  • Neil Johnson, University of Aizu, Japan
  • Budsaba Kanoksolapathan, Silpakorn University, Thailand
  • Haiying Feng, Beijing University, China
  • Becky Kwan, City University of Hong Kong, China
  • Leo van Lier, Modern Language Journal, Monterey Institute for International Studies, United States
  • Rosa Manchón, Journal of Second Language Writing, University of Murcia, Spain
  • Paul Kei Matsuda, Arizona State University, United States
  • Lourdes Ortega, Language Learning, University of Hawaii, United States
  • Tony Silva, Purdue University, United States
  • Paul Thompson, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
For more information, including the online pre-registration form, please visit:

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Position in second language writing

Carleton College welcomes applications for the position of Assistant Director of the Writing Center and Coordinator of Second Language Writing<>. The Carleton College Writing Center provides assistance to students, regardless of their departments or writing ability by offering free, individual conferences during which student writers may discuss their writing with a trained student consultant. The assistant director provides additional tutorial assistance for second language writers/ELL students of varying skill levels and campus leadership regarding second language writing issues.
From the College's HR webpage: Founded in 1866, Carleton is a private, highly selective liberal arts college with 1950 undergraduates located Northfield, Minnesota, 45 miles south of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Best known for its academic excellence and warm, welcoming campus community, Carleton offers 37 majors<> and 15 concentrations<> in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Carleton is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse group of faculty and staff and offers a comprehensive benefits package. For a summary of benefits please visit the Office of Human Resources Web site<>.

The students who come here are generally very bright, interesting, engaged, and motivated. Carleton came out at #8 in the U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges 2011."

Essential job duties
• Provide one-on-one writing support for 8-12 second language students each term. This includes work on class papers, portfolios, application essays, comps, and reading strategies.
• Help select, train, assign, and supervise peer tutors, some of whom work as one-on-one second language writing tutors.
• Conduct writing workshops for second language students, International Student Orientation, faculty, and in other contexts, as needed.
• Provide support for faculty in their work with second language students by acting as a consultant, participating in faculty writing workshops, and meeting with academic departments.
• Assess the effectiveness of Academic Support Center's (ASC) one-to-one second language-writing tutoring program.
• Assist the director of the ASC with new writing consultant training and mentoring new and experienced writing consultants.
• Assist the director of the ASC in developing and performing outreach activities, including workshops, information fairs, New Student Week.
• Assist the director of the ASC in an ongoing assessment of student needs, including the development and implementation of Writing Center programs to meet identified needs, and the assessment of program outcomes with a focus on the continuous improvement of content and customer service.

Required Qualifications

• Master's degree in TESL, applied linguistics, or a closely related field.
• Experience in writing center work.
• Experience and demonstrated success in teaching/tutoring academic writing to second language students at the postsecondary level.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Excellent organizational skills.
• Demonstrated interpersonal skills in working with diverse students, faculty, and staff.
Kathy Evertz, Ph.D., Director
Academic Support Center
Carleton College
One North College St.
Northfield, MN 55057<>

Last update: January 6, 2008