As an ESL composition teacher for more than two decades and as an ESL program director since the early 1990s, I have witnessed the immense changes in the immigrant student populations entering California colleges and universities. Increasingly, those of us who develop composition courses, as well as conduct initial writing placements, must consider the special situations of bilingual students who have spent enough time in U.S. schools (at least 4-5 years) to reject the “ESL” designation as a stigmatizing label but who, on the other hand, still experience serious difficulties in college level writing. Many of these learners, as junior high or high school newcomers to the U.S., are eager to learn English in order to interact with and be accepted by their American peers as well as (and sometimes secondarily) to achieve academically. Unfortunately, as Laurie Olsen (1997) has so poignantly described in Made in America, her 2-year ethnographic study of immigrant newcomers at a California school she calls “Madison High,” these learners more often than not find themselves both figuratively and literally on the margins of their schools. Linguistic and social prejudices prevent them from developing meaningful social relationships with native English-speaking peers, some of whom ridicule their accented English; as a result, the newcomers may form “ESL ghettos,” or exclusive L1 social groups along the perimeter of their school courtyards. In addition, these English language learners often lack access to a curriculum that gives them the language skills they need for advanced level work. As Olsen puts it, “The reality is that few immigrants get the preparation they need academically or the language development required for academic success” (p. 11). Upon entering a college or university, these underprepared students may find themselves overwhelmed by language demands; at the same time, they find ways to lessen these demands, choosing majors that emphasize mathematical abilities and courses that do not require papers and that assess only with multiple choice exams. These L2 learners may call upon peers-including native English speakers if they find willing ones-to “check” drafts for courses with writing requirements (read: correct errors, rewrite unidiomatic language). As researchers have noted (e.g., Johns, 1991; Leki, 1995), students who develop academic coping strategies to get around language deficiencies often, in terms of overall grade point averages, look very successful.