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Alister Cumming, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
“Connecting writing assessments to teaching and learning: Distinguishing alternative purposes”

Guillaume Gentil, Professeur associé, Université Carleton

« D’une langue à l’autre: Pour une didactique plurilingue et translangagière de l’écrit »

Alister Cumming
Alister Cumming is a professor emeritus in the Centre for Educational Research on Languages and Literacies (CERLL, formerly the Modern Language Centre) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, where he has been employed since 1991 following briefer periods at the University of British Columbia, McGill University, Carleton University, and Concordia University. For 2014 to 2017 Alister is also a Changjiang Scholar at Beijing Foreign Studies University. His research and teaching focus on writing in second languages, language assessment, language program evaluation and policies, and research methods. Alister’s recent books are Agendas for Language Learning Research (with Lourdes Ortega and Nick Ellis, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), Adolescent Literacies in a Multicultural Context (Routledge, 2012), A Synthesis of Research on Second Language Writing in English (with Ilona Leki and Tony Silva, Routledge, 2008), and Goals for Academic Writing (John Benjamins, 2006). Alister’s full CV appears on his university home page.
Guillaume Gentil

Guillaume Gentil is Associate Professor in the School of Linguistics and Language Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He currently serves as co-editor, with Icy Lee, of the Journal of Second Language Writing, an international, peer-reviewed journal that publishes theory and research in second and foreign language writing and writing instruction.

His research interests in second language writing and biliteracy development in professional and postsecondary settings originated from his academic literacy experiences in France, the USA, and Canada. As a student of biology and agricultural sciences at France’s Institut National Agronomique (M. Sc. in plant pathology, Paris), and then a student of applied linguistics in Canada (M.A. and Ph.D. in second language education, McGill University, Montréal; postdoctoral internship with Alister Cumming, University of Toronto), he experienced firsthand the challenges of bilingual academic writers who must shuttle back and forth between languages and discourse communities, writing in one language while reading in another, and alternating the language of composing while negotiating divided linguistic loyalties. This interest has resulted in several case studies and institutional ethnographies of academic and professional biliteracy over the last ten years with a threefold focus on multilingual writers’ motivations for biliteracy, individual and institutional strategies for biliteracy, and ways to design enabling contexts for biliteracy.

This research work has appeared in Canadian Modern Language Review, Discourse & Society, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Journal of Second Language Writing, Written Communication, and several co-edited books. The theoretical and programmatic piece “A biliteracy agenda for genre research,” originally published in JSLW, was reproduced in The Best of the Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals: 2011.

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