CMS and GWAR

Multilingual Students and GWAR

If English is your second or other language, SF State offers several options to help you succeed in your GWAR and other upper-division writing classes:

  1. If you have transferred to SF State from another college or university, and you have NOT completed English 1B (ENG 214), you may fulfill that requirement in the Composition for Multilingual Students Program (CMS) by taking ENG 215. This is a course designed for multilingual students and provides the same preparation for your GWAR class as ENG 214.

  2. If you have completed ENG 214, or its equivalent, but feel you may need more practice in academic writing and grammar before you take your GWAR class, you may take either ENG 215 or ENG 410. These courses may be taken CR/NC. To decide which class is right for you, please see “Self-Placement Survey.”

  3. If your department recommends that you take a CMS class instead of a GWAR class, you may fulfill this requirement by taking English 410 (if it is available). Your major advisor may also give you permission to take English 410 instead of a GWAR class.

  4. English 415: Grammar and Editing for Multilingual Students. Designed especially for multilingual students, this course may be taken with any upper-division writing-intensive class, including GWAR.

Mulitilingual and GWAR
Native-speaker options Multilingual options More Information
English 214 English 215 (CMS) English 215 satisfies the English 214 requirement. May be taken instead of English 214.
English 414 English 410 (CMS) English 410 may be taken instead of instead of English 414.
GWAR class English 410 May be taken instead of GWAR class with permission from major adviser.
English 418 English 415 Grammar and Editing for Multilingual Students May be taken with any upper-division writing class including GWAR.

GWAR & Multilingual Transfer Students: Frequently Asked Questions 

Who is a Multilingual Student?

A multilingual student is one for whom English is their second language and who most likely did not speak English at home.

What is GWAR?

GWAR stands for Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement. This is a requirement that must be fulfilled by all juniors at all CSUs.

How can I fulfill my GWAR? 

All students can fulfill the GWAR by taking a writing-intensive course in their majors. Visit your department website or office for more information about the GWAR class in your major.

When should I take the GWAR class in my major? 

You should take the GWAR class after you have completed 1A & 1B (ENG 214 or ENG 215 at SFSU).

Should I prepare for the GWAR class? 

Many multilingual students find the GWAR class quite challenging. If you would like more reading & writing preparation, you may take English 410 or ENG 215. These classes will give you practice in writing research essays, reading academic texts, and more.

How do I sign up for ENG 215 or ENG 410? 

Print out and fill in the self-evaluation questionnaire posted on the CMS website. Based on how you answer the questions, consider whether you are ready for the GWAR class, or if you would benefit from taking English 215 and/or English 410 first. Bring your completed self-evaluation to the CMS office, HUM 482, for further advising.

Will ENG 215 or 410 fulfill the GWAR? 

ENG 215 does not fulfill the GWAR. ENG 410 does not fulfill the GWAR requirement UNLESS your major does not yet have a GWAR class. In this case, ENG 410 WILL fulfill the requirement.

Attention GWAR Instructors

If you have multilingual students in your GWAR class who need writing and grammar support, the Composition for Multilingual Students (CMS) Program has several options to offer.

English 215

Equivalent to English 214, English 215 offers multilingual students instruction and practice in basic essay writing and research skills. Recommended for ML students in lieu of English 214, or as a review course for those who have completed this requirement, but could use more practice in fundamental writing skills. Students may take this course in preparation for their GWAR, or other upper-division writing-intensive courses.

English 410

An upper-division writing course designed for multilingual writers in any major with an emphasis on research and citation, as well as writing for a specific audience. Students may take this course as a preparation for their GWAR or other upper-division writing-intensive courses. Check class schedule for availability.

English 415

An upper-division grammar and editing course designed to be taken with writing-intensive courses, especially GWAR. The course offers instruction and practice in editing for accuracy and style, as well as correct use of citations. Students will also learn to understand and fulfill the requirements of diverse writing tasks.

We encourage you to recommend these courses to your multilingual students who would benefit from writing and language preparation before or during their GWAR course. Students who wish to take one or more of these classes should come by or email the CMS Office in HUM 482. cmls@sfsu.edu.

With your recommendation, GWAR students will be able to add a CMS class without taking the CMS Placement Test.