Paul Kei Matsuda

What's wrong with the term "second language writers"?

What's wrong with the term "second language writers"?

It's this very question that requires critical scrutiny.

If some people feel there is anything negative or pejorative about it, that means they have implicitly accepted the idea that being an L2 writer is somehow negative. By avoiding the term without challenging the negative perception, people are inadvertently perpetuating the problem.

It's important to focus on positive aspects of L2 writing and writers, but that cannot be the only thing we do to address the issue. If we ignore the challenges they face, and the need to learn and develop to accomplish their own purposes, or if we simply dismiss other people's negative perceptions and feed them the "correct way" to talk about the issue, we are simply evading the real issue.

I don't do what I do to feel good about myself. I prefer to face the real challenges, even though other people may not see it as pleasant or fashionable. While some may prefer to gentrify the discourse, someone has to do the real work of understanding the situation as it is and promote that understanding so appropriate responses can be developed. It is this kind of work I choose to engage in.

I accept second language writers as they are--with all their amazing accomplishments and daunting challenges they face.

I am a second language writer. And I'm proud of it.

Job Opening: American University of Sharjah, UAE

American University of Sharjah, United Arab  Emirates

Department of English




Ad should be placed in:    The Chronicle of Higher Education 

MLA job list

AUS Website


Faculty Position in TESL-Composition / Second Language Writing

The American University of Sharjah, an internationally ranked and accredited American-style university of 6000 students in the United Arab Emirates, seeks a faculty member with a Ph.D. in TESL-Composition / Second Language Writing for a full-time appointment in the Department of English. The faculty member will teach courses in critical writing at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Successful candidates will have a completed Ph.D., a record of excellent teaching experience, active scholarly publication, and a commitment to productive institutional service. Some experience in course leadership is also desirable. The University is fully committed to equal opportunity at all levels without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, family status, or national origin. As a university formed on American models, AUS will give priority to candidates who have substantial experience in American models of higher education.  

Interested applicants should send a letter of application (including a statement of teaching experience and research interests), curriculum vita, and the names and addresses of three referees to: Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, American University of Sharjah, e-mail:

Completed applications received by October 17, 2015 will be given priority consideration. 

Last update: January 6, 2008