Decolonizing Academic Writing Pedagogies for Multilingual Students

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This article discusses how academic writing pedagogies for multilingual students can be transformed by the literacy traditions that these students bring to North American classrooms. This is an embodied and personal rendition, situated in the author's South Asian literacies as illustrative of Global South traditions, and draws from his own empirical research and teaching practices for writing instructors in TESOL. Informed by developments in decolonization, the article highlights the principles of embodiment and relationality as significant for Indigenous and Southern communities, and contrasts them with texts being treated as autonomous and instrumental in the European tradition. It reviews the different pedagogical models in the disciplinary field of “L1 composition,” which also influence academic programs labeled as “L2 composition,” to demonstrate how recent revisions to accommodate social and material influences are still influenced by Eurocentric epistemological values of logocentrism, cognitivism, and individualism. After reporting from the author's study of scientific research writing to illustrate how its entextualization demonstrates the distributed practice of diverse social networks, material resources, and semiotic repertoires across expansive space and time, the article recommends an ecological writing pedagogy that draws from situated learning and embodied apprenticeship as practiced by Southern communities. (Translations of abstract in

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-306
Number of pages27
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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