Calling All International and Multilingual Students! -->

Where instructors and editors talk writing.

Calling All International and Multilingual Students!


Kayla Skarbakka
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.
Consider these options as well:
  • 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!


  1. Maybe some might also find this phrasebank from the University of Manchester useful in their EAP endeavors:

  2. Are there some resources in the Walden Writing Center that seem to be the most important tools for international students? I will be developing a writing program for adult graduate students as part of my EdD project study. The student body is quite diverse, with many students coming from outside the U.S. At this point, I am getting ideas for the types of questions that should be included in the qualitative needs assessment research. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi, Marsha! In terms of the content for your study, we always, of course, recommend that your faculty be your go-to contact for ideas and advice, but do always feel free to reach out to us at!

      The tools we highlighted in this blog post are ones that we think will be most helpful to multilingual students, but we're also working to strengthen our services to better support our students, so stay posted! :)

  3. Not only would grammar itself be a problem but navigating the different ways to cite material used in a paper would be extremely confusing. I think it would be important to have a particular focus on that area. Many college professors will count off a letter grade from a paper for an incorrect works-cited page.

    1. What a great point, Boyd, and citation can definitely be difficult no matter what your native language is. For information about APA citations, references, stylistic nuances, and formatting, you can always check out the multitude of fantastic resources on our website (, and know that you can always reach out to us at with any APA questions!

  4. When your primary language is other than English, It is a big challenge writes scholarly papers in that language. Now, I am experienced this situation, but I am totally confident with the resources that Walden University Writing Center has, I can overcome them. Turnitin, Grammarly, Tutoring are some of the resources they provided me to achieve my goals.

  5. That's great to hear, and just let us know how we can help!