After providing an overview of research around effective practices Basic Skills in community colleges, Professor Bunch focused on the underlying question: How can we better understand the language and literacy demands of credit-bearing community college academic work, and how can students from language minority backgrounds best be prepared for and supported in meeting these demands?

To help address this question, four Metagenres in Higher Education  (Carter, 2007), have been identified:

  • —Empirical Inquiry (natural and social sciences): Hypothesis testing: lab reports, posters, scientific articles.“Descriptive empirical inquiry”: geology lab reports. Demonstrations of abstract knowledge of scientific process (anthropology research proposals)
  • —Research from Sources (humanities): Sources other than independent observations, with value intrinsic to the discipline (historical narratives, literary criticism, research project and papers).
  • Problem Solving (engineering, business management, animal science, mathematics): Business plans, feasibility reports, project proposals, technical memos
  • —Performance (architecture, art & design, rhetoric & writing): Focus on the “enduring understandings” demonstrated by performance (drawing, sculpture, “critiques,” news stories, websites)

The attendees then discussed the larger impact of this research on practices across disciplines


Linguistic Minority Students Go to College: Preparation, Access, and Persistence

Basic Skills Education in Community Colleges: Inside and Outside of Classrooms (same document but in paper format from the RP Group)

Click here for the complete presentation

Focusing on implications for the education of students from language minority backgrounds, this session will report on a preliminary study of the language and literacy demands associated with nine academic majors and professional preparation programs at Cañada College. The presenter will introduce a framework for understanding the “metagenres” associated with disciplinary and professional work:  Problem SolvingPerformanceResearch from Sources, and Empirical Inquiry. Attendees will be invited to discuss their perspectives as faculty members, counselors, administrators, staff, and students—and to participate in future aspects of the study.

Jenny Castello, Michelle Mendoza, and Jeanne Gross

Jenny Castello, Michelle Mendoza, and Jeanne Gross


Yolanda Valenzuela, David Clay, and David Patterson


Four Metagenres in Higher Education


Monica Malamud, Salumeh Eslamieh, Allison Field, and Yolanda Valenzuela

February 19, Tuesday, 2013

Time 4:30-6:00 pm

Location 9-154 (CIETL Center)

Professor George Bunch

Professor George C. Bunch is Associate Professor of Education at U.C. Santa Cruz. His research focuses on the language and literacy challenges and opportunities for language minority students in K-12 and higher education, and on policies and practices designed to serve such students. He is also active in efforts to prepare teachers for working with English Learners. Prior to his research and teacher education career, he taught high school ESL, social studies, and Spanish in Maryland and Washington, DC.

Selected Publications

Bunch, G. C., & Endris, A. (2012.). Navigating “open access” community colleges: Matriculation policies and practices for U.S.-educated language minority students. In Kanno, Y. & Harklau, L. (Eds.). Linguistic minority immigrants go to college: Preparation, access, and persistence. New York, NY: Routledge.

Kibler, A. K., Bunch, G. C., & Endris, A. K. (2011). Community college practices for US-educated language minority students: A resource-oriented framework. Bilingual Research Journal 34 (201-222).

Bunch, Endris, Panayotova, Romero, & Llosa (2011). Mapping the Terrain: Language Testing and Placement for US-Educated Language Minority Students in California’s Community Colleges. Report prepared for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Available at


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