Transnational students in Mexico: A summer writing workshop as a way to improve English writing skills


  • Kathleen Tacelosky Lebanon Valley College


transnational students, writing workshop, Mexico



Transnational students, that is, those who have had one or more years of schooling in the US and are now in school in Mexico, make up a sizeable and growing population. For these students, the language of the home, Spanish, abruptly becomes the language of school and what was the language of school and socialization outside the home, English, is all but removed from their sphere. However, English is a language with which they identify. Further, in my interviews with them, transnational students express a desire to maintain English and express concern over lack of opportunities to do so. Thus, a writing workshop was offered for three weeks in the summer of 2015. The four member instructional team made up of US university students and a professor engaged the workshop participants in warm-up activities, mini-lessons, sustained writing periods and sharing of work. Some gains were found in the areas of mechanics, content and spelling, but the study’s greater contribution is as a case study on which to design an improved workshop in the future.

Author Biography

Kathleen Tacelosky, Lebanon Valley College

Dr. Kathleen Tacelosky is Department Chair of Languages and Professor of Spanish at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, USA. She earned her B.A. in Spanish (Ursinus College), her M.A. in TESOL (West Chester University) and her Ph.D. in Linguistics (University of Texas at Arlington). She is co-author of a textbook, Diálogos: Hacia una comunidad global, which is designed for Intermediate Spanish students. The book integrates experiential learning and language learning. In 2010-2011, Dr. Tacelosky was awarded a Fulbright grant to study transnational students in the Mexican context. Dr. Tacelosky has taught Spanish, ESL and linguistics in the U.S., Mexico, Japan, and Puerto Rico.






General Refereed Papers