Sydney-Stanford Peer Writing Tutors Link-Up, Part 2

Through May 2012, students training to be peer writing tutors at the Hume Writing Center at Stanford University and The Hub Writing Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia, will post blog responses to readings and class discussions.

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One Response to Sydney-Stanford Peer Writing Tutors Link-Up, Part 2

  1. My name is Nina Foushee, and my response pertains to Bruce’s article about listening to an learning from ESL students. This article about tutoring ESL students really resonated with me because I come from a border region in which a huge amount of tutoring Spanish speakers in English writing occurs and because I have been an exchange student in an academic situation in which I needed a fair amount of help with my formal writing. By giving specific examples of tutee experiences from individuals with divergent backgrounds, this article reemphasized the idea that, ultimately, the tutoring experience should be immensely personalized and specific.

    While the article emphasized the need to get to know the tutee’s background on an individual level in order to help them, I found that the general advice in the article was also helpful. I noted that the article states that ESL students generally need to see how a reader will view his or her work, and that ESL writers often find it helpful for someone to read their paper out loud. I would like at some point to witness a tutoring session with an ESL tutee so that I can get an idea of how to non-condescendingly ascertain the kind of help someone needs WHILE upholding the principle of improving the writer, not the paper (i.e just going through and proofreading).

    Just out of curiosity, what is the status or level of integration for ESL students in Sydney schools? In terms of higher education, do large universities have a fair number of international students? Have any of you had an experience at some point of tutoring a ESL student? If so, do you think that would be different from the way that you would tutor in the center? I know that in my dad’s limited experience teaching reading and writing skills with literacy volunteers, he never dealt with bringing together or constructing college level work.

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