Bruna Sommer Farias
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
Symposium on Second Language Writing
November 13-16, 2019
I presented the paper entitled “Formal Knowledge and Identity in Multilingual Genre Learning” as part of the colloquium “Multilingual Genre Learning” during the Symposium on Second Language Writing in Tempe, AZ, in November 2019. My research investigates how students with multiple language backgrounds negotiate previous experiences with a variety of texts in other languages, i.e. genres, to write in additional languages. For this presentation, I shared results from a case study of a bilingual speaker of Spanish and English and his identity construction process as he participated in writing activities across disciplines and languages, including Portuguese. Receiving the Herbert E. Carter Travel Award to attend the conference enabled me to share the results of one dissertation chapter with the academic community before my defense. This opportunity was extremely valuable since I received feedback that helped me refine the analysis and discussion for further publications and job talks. I was also happy to showcase and promote research about the student population from the U.S. Southwest. The increasing number of immigrants from varied backgrounds and their access to higher education underscores the need to support students' development of translingual competence, or an ability to read and write confidently across languages. In this sense, participating in this conference strengthened my interests in pursuing research on how foreign language writing classes can validate cross-cultural writing practices of bilingual students through a pedagogical focus on writing texts for authentic purposes. Finally, all the talks I attended provided me with important information about the direction of the field and how to position my research as a relevant contribution to L2 writing. Conversations with established and early-career researchers also nurtured partnerships for future collaborative projects and publications.