Calling All International and Multilingual Students!
By Kayla Skarbakka, Writing Consultant
Every so often, we tutors receive e-mails from students expressing concerns about writing in English. “Some of my issues are related to translation,” a student recently noted. “My first language is Spanish, so you can imagine how difficult it is to write a paper in English.”
As someone with an embarrassingly limited knowledge of other languages, I certainly can imagine the challenge. There’s no way around it: scholarly writing is tough. The sophisticated vocabulary, tone, and structure needed to write clearly about complex ideas can prove arduous even if you’re writing in your first language. When you’re writing in a second (or third or fourth) language, the challenge is, of course, all the greater.
However, the rewards of this struggle are also great. In my year and some as a Walden writing tutor, I’ve read countless eye-opening papers from international and multilingual students. I’ve learned about education in Japan, healthcare in Nigeria, and business in Saint Martin. I’ve read accounts of identifying with multiple cultures and triumphs in navigating in a new country. And I’ve developed a profound respect for all the dedicated, hardworking multilingual students whose perspectives and experiences enrich the scholarly dialogue at Walden.
To help with the challenges of academic writing in English, the Writing Center offers great resources, 100% free of charge, to all Walden students:
- Aone-on-one tutoring service for assistance with individual course papers, conducted entirely via e-mail for your convenience no matter where in the world you’re located. You are free to submit your work wherever you are in the writing process; whether you send us an outline, a paragraph, a rough draft, or a complete paper, we’re happy to offer guidance and feedback.
- A website full of tips on tricky grammar issues such as verb tense and subject-verb agreement.
- Exercises and quizzes to practice your skills.
- Live webinars on a wide variety of topics, including Entrance Into the World of Scholars, which offers tips on scholarly tone and academic approaches, and Mastering the Mechanics of Writing, which focuses on common issues in grammar and punctuation. You can register for upcoming webinars or download recordings from our webinar archive.
- Grammarly, an automated tutor and writing revision tool that provides immediate feedback on grammar and punctuation.
- Writing courses through the Academic Skills Center. One course to consider is Graduate Writing for Non-Native English Speakers, which reviews the grammar and writing skills necessary for success in your work here at Walden.
- DailyBuzzword or The Challenge to build vocabulary.
Finally, and most importantly, we’re always looking for ways to improve our resources. If you're a current international and/or multilingual Walden student, please take our brief survey to help us improve our services for you. The survey link will remain posted here as long as the survey is active. Thank you!