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ERIC Number: EJ988209
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0147-1635
Stuck in the Remedial Rut: Confronting Resistance to ESL Curriculum Reform
Shapiro, Shawna
Journal of Basic Writing (CUNY), v30 n2 p24-52 Fall 2011
This article presents a case study of a university ESL program that was highly resistant to reform, despite substantial evidence that its curriculum and policies were ineffective. The author draws on surveys, interviews, and participant observation to show how remediation served not only as an instructional model, but as an institutional identity for the program. This remedial identity was reflected in a testing-heavy, basic skills curriculum focused primarily on lexico-grammatical issues, as well as in the program's policies for placement, tuition, and course credit. Through data-gathering and cross-departmental collaboration, the program was able to construct an alternative identity for itself--one in which its role was to support diversity, rather than to eradicate deficiency. This study adds to the growing body of scholarship on the ideological and political conditions in which basic/ESL writing is situated, and offers insights on how programs can re-envision their role within institutions. (Contains 7 notes.)
Kingsborough Community College City University of New York. Available from: Boyd Printing Company, Inc. 49 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. Tel: 800-877-2693; Tel: 518-436-9686; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A