Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

English Rhetoric and Composition, PhD

Committee Chair

Horner, Bruce

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Lu, Min-Zhan

Committee Member

Lu, Min-Zhan

Committee Member

Williams, Bronwyn

Committee Member

Soldat-Jaffe, Tatjana

Committee Member

Canagarajah, Suresh


Drawing on text-oriented data from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, this study examines how writing teachers and students constantly negotiate tensions between translingual sociolinguistic realities on one hand and monolingualist assumptions about language and language relations on another that dominate curricular and pedagogical designs in first year writing courses. The study involves a multiplicity of data sources, such as official institutional documents, individual instructional materials, classroom observations, structured interviews, and a method of "talk around texts." Writing teachers in this study sensitively grappled with tensions between the constant political pressures of generating the status quo and their ideological orientations towards keeping up with rapid sociolinguistic changes on the ground. As multilingual student participants in this study continued to grow more worldly with English, this study demonstrates the relevance of a translingual approach to their specific personal, social, linguistic, and cultural affiliations in addition to their academic and professional aspirations. By taking a translingual approach to writing instruction, this study puts forward strategies of ideological and pedagogical change aligned with translingualism that pays special attention to the diversity and complexity of linguistic and discursive resources already flowing into the writing program and classroom.