When a GSI feels that a student writer’s work is so problematic that the GSI really can’t tell how much the student has learned or what he or she means to say, there are several options.
For more information on plagiarism, please see the Teaching Guide section Academic Misconduct: Plagiarism.People in the latter two groups often share in common that they have learned the language well by ear but are still working to become fluent on paper.Of course there are many accomplished English-language writers among multilingual students.Students can’t really process comprehensive error marking, but they can understand a pattern to correct if the GSI can help them learn to identify and work on it themselves. The grading standards for all students’ work should remain the same.If improvement of student writing is a major course objective, please see the page Working with NNS Writers for further elaboration and productive strategies. “Accommodation” is a technical term for specific measures stipulated for individual students with specific mental, physical, or other disabilities, and these measures are formally determined case-by-case by specialists at the Disabled Students Program. Grading, however, is not the only thing GSIs do with student papers; they also respond with comments.It’s best not to generalize or prejudge students’ abilities or needs based on linguistic background.GSIs are not asked to perform like ESL professionals.What GSIs are generally tasked to do is to evaluate students’ mastery of specific course materials or awareness about a topic based on their writing assignments, using an appropriate grading rubric (a specific set of standards).More helpful than singling out multilingual student writers for special attention is to consider all student writing as falling somewhere along a continuum from very correct, elegant, and effective to ungrammatical, awkward, or incoherent.GSIs often want to know more about working with multilingual writers — students whose first language is not English.Although people often use the term “ESL” (English as a Second Language) to refer to students whose first language is not English, professionals in the field now usually prefer “non-native [English] speakers” (NNS) or “multilingual students.” The term “multilingual” respects both students’ ability to function in more than one language and the challenge they face when writing in English.