Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Conference on College Composition and Communication
Thanks in large part to the H.E. Carter Travel Award, I was able to attend two conferences back-to-back in Portland: Conference on College Communication and Composition and American Association for Applied Linguistics. It is quite fitting that it was a travel award from the Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs that allowed me to attend both of these conferences, which are among the largest events in their respective (and often mutually exclusive) disciplines. Through attending both these conferences, I was able to see the discrepancies and overlap between the fields of Rhetoric and Composition (CCCC) and Second Language Acquisition (AAAL). At CCCC, I attended a workshop and sessions that bridged the two fields and focused on multilingual writers, their place in the university, and ways to foster more inclusive environments. I also attended sessions by leading figures in corpus linguistics, which inspired new directions for my own fledgling work in the area.
At the conference, I presented an ongoing assessment of a new course for incoming international students. Seeing the audience’s strong interest in the project confirmed the need for more work in this area and inspired the course developers and I to publish on our work.
In addition to attending presentations by major figures in the fields of second language writing, I got to know my fellow UA Writing Program colleagues through shared meals, publisher-sponsored events, and other conference activity. Even though we all teach English composition, there is a disciplinary divide between our studies in Rhetoric and Composition and Second Language Acquisition. Outside of our typical work environment at UA, we had the time to more freely discuss what we each are currently researching and studying. This networking among fellow graduate students can potentially open doors for collaboration across disciplines within our Writing Program. All in all, my week in Portland was an interdisciplinary adventure that allowed me to attend two very different national conferences for the first time. This experience wouldn’t have been possible without the generous Carter Travel Award!