Writing Resources for
Departments, Teachers, & Students

Teaching Writing in a Multilingual University

Over the last several years, international students have become a big part of the UW student population. While this change enhances the university's academic and social environment, it can also present new challenges for teaching.

Teaching Writing in a Multilingual University offers preliminary readings on how to meet the challenges of working with non-native speakers of English:

Grading International and ELL Student Writing

College Support Measures for Teaching International and ELL Students

Writing Support Resources on Campus

Further Reading on Teaching Writing at a Multilingual University

For a self-help guide to redesigning writing assignments visit our Writing-Integrated Course Design pages, which include information on low-stakes writing and how to assign it, creating grading criteria, managing student papers effectively, and much more!

Background on International and ELL Enrollments at UW

Who are our international and ELL students?

Although UW reduced by about 10% the number of international students admitted for the 2013-14 academic year, the number of new international students has made up around 15-18% of the incoming first-year class over the last four years. In addition, it is estimated that upwards of 15% of domestic undergraduates, most of them Washington state residents, do not speak English as their first language.

This means that is estimated 1/5 undergraduates did not learn English as their first language, with about 1/6 or 1/7 is an international student.

What are international and ELL students majoring in?

While around 1/6 students is an international students, i-student enrollments are not evenly distributed.

  • In the 2012-13 school year, 90% of declared i-student majors in the College of Arts and Sciences were concentrated in seven majors: math sciences, communications, economics, mathematics, psychology, statistics, biochemistry, and biology.
  • The major with the highest representation of i-students is economics with 681 international students, or about 56% of its overall student major population.
  • Outside of the College of Arts and Sciences, engineering contains the highest population of i-students.