Publications and Research

Document Type

Book Chapter or Section

Publication Date



The steady increase of movements of people around the world has transformed the face, potential, and expectations of the US writing classroom. These intersecting shifts have also contributed to critical discussions about how writing educators should integrate students’ linguistic diversity and ways of knowing into literacy instruction. This chapter’s central premise is to share with students how the work that they already do with languages has great value. Specifically, the chapter introduces terms, concepts, and strategies to support students in identifying how their own multilingual workin’ of languages contribute to the making of academic writing. Our goal is to support students in recognizing the value of their own language practices and to provide strategies that students can use to rethink their own relationships with writing. Orienting practices around translingualism and envisioning students’ language work as that of “language architects” creates opportunities to uplift, value, and sustain students’ rich language practices, as well as ways to critically understand their academic writing experiences.


Originally published as: Alvarez, Sara P, Amy Wan, and Eunjeong Lee. "Workin' Languages: Who We Are Matters in Our Writing." Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume 4, edited by Dana Lynn Driscoll, Megan Heise, Mary K. Steward, and Matthew Vetter, Parlor Press, 2022, pp. 1-17.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) and is subject to the Writing Spaces Terms of Use. To view a copy of this license, visit



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.