ABSTRACT Many problems confront the teacher of writing in the second language composition/conversation class. Second language teachers generally view composition writing in a second language as an academic exercise rather than as the communication of a message. Moreoever, the usual arrangement of having composition and conversation combined into one course does not permit the teacher to spend much time on the principles of writing. The heterogeneity of students' interests, abilities, and needs further makes the teaching of writing virtually impossible in the current arrangement. The following article suggests that second language departments incorporate in their programs a writing course, independent from conversation, individualized in format to meet the needs of all students. Such a course must include notional materials to make second language study worthwhile for all students. Many ideas and suggestions used by departments of English may be helpful to second language teachers.