Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Committee Chair

Horner, Bruce M.

Author's Keywords

Canada; Writing; Multilingual; Allophone


Multilingualism--Canada; Multilingualism--United States; Education, Bilingual--Canada; Education, Bilingual--United States; Composition (Language arts)--Study and teaching


This dissertation examines the competing views of multilingualism that shape U.S. and Canadian post-secondary literacy education. Drawing on education, English studies, globalization theory, applied linguistics, translation studies, multiculturalism, and second-language studies, this project engages in a study of multilingual students from writing courses at a Canadian university. The analysis focuses on the relationships between Canadian multilingualism and current U.S. scholarship surrounding English monolingualism in terms of eradicationism, language segregation, and language interaction. The findings challenge previous research and popular opinion, as well as Canadian government policy, all of which tend to designate Canadian classrooms and society as definitively accepting of cultural and linguistic diversity. Instead, this project positions Canadian writing classrooms as aligned with eradicationist ideologies, which is a noteworthy contrast to growing calls by composition scholars for teaching translingual composition. The data collected situates Canadian students (like U.S. students) as extremely ethno-linguistically diverse; however, in Canada, this diversity continues to be confined to home communities. This research offers a critical assessment of how U.S. and Canadian postsecondary institutions can employ multilingualism as a resource, suggesting ways in which linguistic diversity can position students to excel in cultural exchange and political dialogue. Through drawing upon the ways a selection of U.S. compositionists have been successful in their employment of student multilingualism as a pedagogical resource, this project responds to gaps in international multilingual scholarship and validates the introduction of multicultural-multilingual initiatives into Canadian writing classrooms. This work calls on composition researchers and instructors, particularly those in Canada, to redefine writing pedagogy and curricula in order to consider how institutions that boast high levels of cultural and linguistic diversity can proactively address and make use of multilingualism.