Presentation Title

P-08 “I Don’t Understand What You’re Saying!”: Lessons from Three Tutoring Sessions between ESL Writers and Native English Speaking Tutors

Presenter Status

Department of English

Location

Buller Hallway

Start Date

1-11-2013 1:30 PM

End Date

1-11-2013 3:00 PM

Presentation Abstract

Writing center staff often expresses their frustrations of falling into the trap of doing what they least desire: editing papers rather than engaging in a collaborative dialogue when working with ESL students. The analyses of three tutoring sessions between native English speaking tutors and ESL students reported in this study tell compelling stories, offering hope, as well as providing clear warning signs that should be attended to. The student’s willingness and confidence in expressing his or her thoughts was a key to a successful tutoring session, and the ESL students’ repeated confirmations through various echoing phrases could actually signal lack of understanding and competence on the students’ part. The study shows ESL students need as much guidance in communicating their needs and should be provided with linguistic tools as well as a nurturing atmosphere where they can freely, not hurriedly, voice their problems, challenges, and confusions.

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Nov 1st, 1:30 PM Nov 1st, 3:00 PM

P-08 “I Don’t Understand What You’re Saying!”: Lessons from Three Tutoring Sessions between ESL Writers and Native English Speaking Tutors

Buller Hallway

Writing center staff often expresses their frustrations of falling into the trap of doing what they least desire: editing papers rather than engaging in a collaborative dialogue when working with ESL students. The analyses of three tutoring sessions between native English speaking tutors and ESL students reported in this study tell compelling stories, offering hope, as well as providing clear warning signs that should be attended to. The student’s willingness and confidence in expressing his or her thoughts was a key to a successful tutoring session, and the ESL students’ repeated confirmations through various echoing phrases could actually signal lack of understanding and competence on the students’ part. The study shows ESL students need as much guidance in communicating their needs and should be provided with linguistic tools as well as a nurturing atmosphere where they can freely, not hurriedly, voice their problems, challenges, and confusions.