April 6, 2014

Recognition for the WIT program

The WIT (Writing Instruction for TAs) program, which Linguistics has been involved in for the past five years, was awarded the Northrop Frye Award (departmental/divisional award) at the 2014 Awards of Excellence Ceremony held in the Isabel Bader Theatre on the evening of April 1.

Vice-Dean Sandy Welsh accepted the award on behalf of WIT, and thanked all those who have been involved in the program, including departmental WIT contacts, chairs and instructors, Lead Writing TAs and course TAs.

WIT attendees at the ceremony included Margaret Proctor, coordinator of WIT in its early years (now retired); Andrea Williams, current WIT coordinator; several members of the Faculty of Arts & Science writing committee; and Lead Writing TAs (LWTAs) from several departments involved in WIT. Alex Motut attended as the current Department of Linguistics Lead Writing TA (held from 2010 to the present).

Linguistics has been a part of WIT since 2009. During that time, there have been two departmental WIT contacts, Elaine Gold and Alexei Kochetov, two departmental Lead Writing TAs (Catherine MacDonald and Alex Motut), and many, many course TAs and instructors who have worked as part of this program, to incorporate discipline-specific writing and writing instruction into Linguistics courses, and train TAs in writing evaluation and instruction.

The program has promoted collaboration around writing instruction across the department, and between departments, and has led to the development of many linguistics-specific, writing-related resources. It has also helped create and foster a continuing conversation about teaching in the department, between faculty, graduate students and TAs, introduced helpful instructional practices such as moderated marking (benchmarking) sessions to many courses, and provided TAs with more in-depth writing-related training.

At the same award ceremony, Elizabeth Cowper was awarded (in absentia since she's at GLOW) her Vivek Goel Faculty Citizen Award.

(Post courtesy of Alex Motut.)

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