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This interpretive study explores the writing and writing experiences of 2 bilingual, Mexican, immigrant undergraduates at a US university. Hornberger and Skilton-Sylvester’s (2003) continua model of biliteracy situates writing interactions to understand how students explore and draw on their bilingual and bicultural resources as they develop academic writing in English in the university. Data include questionnaires, literacy history interview-conversations, text-based conversations, student writing, course syllabi, and assignment sheets. Biliteracy dialogues demonstrate how students approached writing. The 1st student, Diego, focused on negotiating what he perceived as appropriate to include in his writing, while the 2nd student, Nicolas, connected to academic reading and writing through previous educational experiences. The findings illustrate the writers’ bilingual and bicultural resources, suggesting that biliteracy dialogues have potential to facilitate bilingual writers in developing more confidence in academic writing. The findings have implications for tutoring, conferencing, and other 1-on-1 work with bilingual students.


This article was original published in The CATESOL Journal, reposted here with permission of the author.



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