Composition going global

The ‘Why?’ and the ‘How?’ of Making/Negotiating Meaning in Writing with diverse audiences across languages and geographical boundaries


  • Maria Houston Notre Dame College





In response to current trends in Composition as well as the challenges of langauging and pedagogy in the global reality, this qualitative classroom-based action research study was designed to gain a better understanding of strategies, practices, and competences exhibited by students of various linguistic and cultural backgrounds when composing, reading, and responding to the narratives of their peers in a multi- lingual composition class. In a focused presentation of a single student case study, the manuscript conceptualizes ‘effective’ writing in global contexts, outlines successful strategies to gain the ‘buy-in’ from culturally and linguistically diverse audiences when composing transnationally and translingually. The study concludes by suggesting ways and strategies to transform ‘traditional’ peer response assignments to engage global rhetorics and transnational frameworks for the sake of all students and their success communicating across languages, rhetorics, borders, and modes.

Author Biography

Maria Houston, Notre Dame College

Maria Houston has served in a number of managerial and teaching roles in Adult Education in and outside of the United States. She received her MA in Instructional Design and a PhD in Composition and TESOL from Indiana University of PA. Her current research agenda and professional mission extend to the design and implementation of transnational collaborative programs and curricula as well as composition pedagogies viable in current professional multi-cultural, -lingual, and -modal communicative reality. In her current role of an English Instructor at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, she is responsible for teaching a variety of Composition and English Linguistics courses across a number of degree-bearing and certificate programs.


St. Amant, K. and Rice, R. (2015). Online writing in global contexts: Rethinking the nature of connections and communication in the age of international online media. Computers and Composition 38: 113-176.

Anderson, F. (1993). The enigma of the college classroom: Nails that don't stick up. In P. Wadden (Ed.), A Handbook for Teaching English at Japanese Colleges and Universities, 101-110. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ardichvili, A. et al. (2006). Cultural influences on knowledge sharing in online communities of practice. Journal of Knowledge Management 1: 94-107.

Bennett, R., Aston, A., and Colquhoun, T. (2000). Cross-cultural training: A critical step in ensuring the success of international assignments. Human Resource Management 39 (3): 239-250.<239::AID-HRM12>3.0.CO;2-J

Berthoff, A. (1981). The Making of Meaning: Metaphors, Models, and Maxims for Writing Teachers. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers.

British Council. (2013). Culture at Work: The Value of Intercultural Skills in the Workplace. Policy Insight and Research.

Byram, M. (1997). Instrumental and educational dimensions of intercultural communication'. Stylistics and Theory of Language Communication: conference, Moscow.

Canagarajah, S. (2011). Codemeshing in academic writing: Identifying teachable strategies of translanguaging. The Modern Language Journal 95: 401-417.

Canagarajah, S. (2013). Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations. Abingdon: Routledge.

Canagarajah, S. (2012). Toward a rhetoric of translingual writing. Working Papers Series on Negotiating Differences in Language and Literacy. University of Louisville, Accessed 2 Mar. 2017.

Canagarajah, S. (2018). Materializing 'Competence': Perspectives from international STEM scholars. Modern Language Journal 102: 1-24.

Cavazos, A. (2017). Translingual oral and written practices: Rhetorical resources in multilingual writers' discourses. International Journal of Bilingualism, 21 (4): 385-401.

Conference on College Composition and Communication. (1974). Students' Right to Their Own Language. CCC, Vol. XXV.

Connor, U. (2002). New directions in contrastive rhetoric. TESOL Quarterly 36 (4): 493-510.

Council of Europe. (2001). Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Language Policy Division. Strasbourg.

Creswell, J. (2012). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA and London: SAGE Publications.

Education: New Structures for a Changed World. (2014). Modern Language Association. Mod. Lang. Assoc. of Amer., 2011. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <>

Ellwood, C. and Nakane, I. (2009). Privileging of speech in EAP and mainstream university classrooms: A critical evaluation of participation. TESOL Quarterly 43 (2): 203-230.

Guerra, Juan. (2016). Cultivating a rhetorical sensibility in the translingual writing classroom. College English 78 (3): 228-233.

Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations across Nations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hornberger, N. and Link, H. (2012). Translanguaging in today's classrooms: A biliteracy lens. Theory into Practice 51 (4): 239-247.

Horner, B., Min-Zhan L., Jones Royster, J., and Trimbur, J. (2011). Language difference in writing: Toward a translingual approach. College English 73 (3): 303-321.

Hurlbert, C. (2012). National Healing: Race, State, and the Teaching of Composition. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

Jones, E. and Brown, S. (Eds) (2007). Internationalising Higher Education. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kaplan, R. (1996). Cultural thought patterns in inter-cultural education. Language Learning 16: 1-20.

Kiernan, J. et al. (2016). Negotiating languages and cultures: Enacting translingualism through a translation assignment, Composition Studies 44 (1): 89-107.

Lagerström, K. and Andersson, M. (2003). Creating and sharing knowledge within a transnational team - The development of a global business system. Journal of World Business 38 (2): 84-95.

Martins, D. S. (Ed.) (2015). Transnational Writing Program Administration. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado. JSTOR, .

Matsuda, P. K. and Silva, T. (1999). Cross-cultural composition: Mediated integration of US and international students. Composition Studies 27 (1): 15-30.

McVeigh, B. J. (2002). Japanese Higher Education as Myth. Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe.

Miller, L. (1994). Japanese and American indirectness. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 5: 37-55.

Marshall, C. and Rossman, G. (2010). Designing Qualitative Research: Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010.

MLA Ad Hoc Committee on Foreign Languages. (2007). Foreign languages and higher education: New structures for a changing world. Profession?12: 234-245.

Molina, R. M. and Gutiérrez, A. C. (2013). Developing communicative competence in English as a Second Language by integrating business competencies. Business Education & Accreditation 5 (2): 65-77.

Pavlenko, A. (2002). Narrative study: Whose story is it, anyway? TESOL Quarterly 36 (2): 213- 218.

Randall, M. (2015). Everyday borders of transnational students: Composing place and space with mobile technology, social media, and multimodality. Computers and Composition 38: 126-139.

Solovova, E. (n.d.). Methodology of English Language Teaching: Core Course. Moscow: AST: Astrel: Poligraphizdat.

TMC. (2006). Six levels of culture. Cultural Orientations Approach, Accessed 16 Sep. 2016.

Toma, D. J. (2000). How getting close to your subjects makes qualitative data better. Theory into Practice 39 (3): 177-184.

Vertovec, S. (2007). Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies 30 (6) 1024-1054.

Warriner, D. (2010). Competent performances of situated identities: Adult learners of English accessing engaged participation. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies 26 (1): 22-30.

???????????, ???????. (2009). ??????????? ??????????????? ??????????????? ???????? ?????????? ?????? ???????????. ??????? O?????????? ?????? 2: 47.

'???????? ? ??????.', www:// Accessed 5 Oct. 2016.



How to Cite

Houston, M. (2019). Composition going global: The ‘Why?’ and the ‘How?’ of Making/Negotiating Meaning in Writing with diverse audiences across languages and geographical boundaries. Writing and Pedagogy, 11(1), 81–100.



Research Matters