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Skidmore College
Center for Leadership, Teaching and Learning (CLTL)

Thaddeus Niles
Lecturer in English
ELL Specialist for the Writing Center

Thaddeus Niles
Thaddeus Niles

I have worked as an ELL specialist for the Writing Center since fall 2010, after graduating from Kent State University in Ohio with an MA in TESOL. I am currently finishing coursework towards a Ph.D. from the University of Albany focusing on the learning experiences of non-native writers at small liberal arts institutions. As a writing specialist, my work focuses on composition processes of international/multilingual students, with a special emphasis on contextual and cultural factors that shape texts and the expectations of audiences. 

As a teacher of basic writing courses at Skidmore, I try to align curriculum with a Community of Practice model, where we attempt to learn from and through the authentic practices of professionals in a given field (whether we call that field an academic discipline or a broader category of "writers"). Thus I try to emphasize reading and reporting research, synthesizing technical knowledge into documents amenable to a wider audience, and exploring the reasoning that informs our positions on contemporary issues. 

My ideal vision for a first-year writing course imagines a student learning how to engage scholarly knowledge while also receiving affirmation that he or she can and should speak up on issues that matter. More than ever before, it seems vital that we bridge the gap between popular conversation and empirical knowledge from various fields of study. I hope that students engage popular issues with rigor, approach technical questions with expertise, and use writing as a tool to pursue both of these goals—no matter the discipline.