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Abstract

The increasing numbers multilingual students in US universities, whether international students or multilingual citizens and permanent residents, have made it clear that students’ language needs can no longer be relegated to the ‘experts’ in specialized courses or tutoring centers. All faculty will teach multilingual students, yet few faculty have received specialized training to prepare them to work effectively with the multilingual writers in their classrooms. While there is a need for professional development efforts designed to help faculty more effectively teach multilingual writing, institutional divisions between first language (L1) and second language (L2) writing instruction pose challenges for the organization and delivery of such professional development efforts. One way to overcome such challenges is through grassroots forms of collaboration across institutional boundaries. This article reports on one such grassroots effort, the creation of two faculty development workshops designed to help teachers across the disciplines to work more effectively with multilingual writers. These workshops were unique in that they were initiated by an interdisciplinary graduate student led research group. This article describes the formation of this group, the creation and curriculum of the workshops, and ongoing adaptation of the workshops for new audiences. We also consider faculty responses to the workshops and reflect on the challenges and rewards of such grassroots collaborative efforts.