Writing Centers in China | The Writing Center @BNUZ School of Design | Part 1 of 5

Over the next few months, we will be posting on writing centre work in China. Contributing are 杨雪 Xue (Rachel ) Yang, Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai School of Design; 宋凌珊 Lingshan Song, Writing Center Assistant Director, Mississippi College; Jessie Cannady, Module Convenor Writing Centre, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University; Brian Hotson, Director, Academic Learning Services, Saint Mary’s University; and Julia Combs, Writing Center Director,  Southern Utah University.

杨雪 Xue (Rachel ) Yang is the writing center coordinator at Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai, School of Design.

中文版

We first came up with the idea of establishing our own Writing Center in Spring 2015. We were facing an ever-increasing number of students enrolled who had to grapple with higher expectations in English competency. The program we build at the School of Design focuses tremendously on a globalized education which internalizes its doctrine in preparing students to be more active and engaged global participants through its ever more internationalized guiding themes, curriculum framework, teaching staff, study environment, and exchange program. A heavily IELTS-driven English language curriculum has therefore been introduced. 2+2 program students are required to pass the official IELTS test before the end of their sophomore year so that they can transition smoothly to a collaborative overseas program. 4+0 program students are asked to prove their English proficiency through IELTS as well since starting from the third year, all their design-related major courses will be instructed by lecturers/professors sent from Germany, where English is the main and only teaching language in class. At this point they will have no help from teaching assistants anymore. 4+0 program students will also need the IETLS score report for them to receive the bachelor’s degree from the German university side.

From this description, you can get a sense of how English language proficiency is a matter of life or death for students in our program.

Nearly every instructor in our English language team has some education background in a foreign country, and thus we are considerably excited and revitalized by the Writing Center idea. I did my master’s degree at Boston College which has a writing center that I took huge advantage of. The BC writing center is a sub session within an overarching learning center, which centers on tutoring that covers over 60 subjects, ADHD & Learning Disability Support Services, and writing support. “Writing support” is similar to what we have here at the School of Design Writing Center.

The Writing Center officially launched in September 2016, and we called it the “beta” trial version. We were the first on-campus writing center at our university, basically with no prior experience to build on. Thus, the format of the tutorial, size of student populations we intended to serve, and what kind of tutors we wanted to hire were all tricky problems we encountered. There is no perfection in your first try. What matters is that you do try. Bearing in mind this belief, we decided that the tutorial should follow the format of an ESL writing assistance session. These writing appointments focus on not only helping students formulate their writing ideas, structure and flow of papers, but also checking for their grammatical mistakes. Students are asked to come prepared with drafted writing pieces and attempted problems. Student population size is another thing that is hard to predict. The writing center aims at serving sophomores of international cooperation programs, accounting for over 450 students in total. However, this writing appointment service is on a completely voluntary basis, making the visits tricky to predict. We later agreed on providing 10 available sessions to the students and seeing how things go as time went on. As for recruiting tutors, we soon abandoned the idea of hiring student tutors. Back in early 2015, we did hire some senior student tutors from the School of Foreign Language to help our students with IELTS reading and listening, but it did not end up well. One of the challenges was it was extremely difficult to recruit sufficiently qualified tutors with a proper sense of responsibility and another was that the student tutors’ schedules varied to a great degree which caused unnecessary trouble for scheduling writing appointments.

Throughout the past 10 months, we have accrued concrete records of the Writing Center visits and plan to use these data for further adjustment of scheduling, which parallels the “big data” trend in the Internet environment where information is being densely analyzed for manifold purposes. Through browsing our visit tracking book we can easily see the pattern of student visits: which weeks are the peak visiting periods, which time during the day is mostly preferred, which student groups like to take advantage of this service the most, and which tutors are most frequently booked by the students. Continue reading “Writing Centers in China | The Writing Center @BNUZ School of Design | Part 1 of 5”

The Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association: Legitimizing and Sustaining the Work of Secondary School Writing Centers

Kate Hutton is the director of the Herndon Writing Center at Herndon High School in Fairfax County, VA, and the Vice President of the Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association. She served on an IWCA-sponsored panel of Secondary School Writing Center Directors at NCTE 2016 entitled, “Writing Centers as Sites of Advocacy.”

In the past decade, the Secondary School Writing Center (SSWC) movement has gained tremendous momentum and traction, and perhaps no region has seen such rapid growth in the establishment of SSWCs as the greater Washington, D.C. area. When I became co-director of the Herndon Writing Center in 2012, I was excited about what our center could do within our school. It wasn’t until I became involved with the network of SSWCs that eventually became the Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association (CAPTA) that I recognized how important it is for me to engage in a professional community dedicated to celebrating and supporting the work that SSWCs do. In an effort to highlight the ways in which CAPTA has unified and amplified the voices of SSWCs, I reached out to long-time and new CAPTA members to ask them to share how our network has helped them to legitimize and sustain the work we all do in our SSWCs.

CAPTA has grown out of what was once an informal network of SSWCs that began in Fairfax County, Virginia. Amber Jensen established one of the first area SSWCs at Edison High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, in 2009, and by 2011, SSWCs had established enough of a presence in the region to warrant partnering with the University of Maryland and George Mason University in hosting what has become an annual peer tutoring conference hosted by CAPTA. “From the beginning, it was evident that the sustainability of our centers would require working together to develop a vision for the role of an SSWC director and to collaborate on creating and sharing resources specifically tailored to our contexts,” Jensen explains. “The growth of SSWCs in our area, I think, is directly related to the work of this informal network of directors to create and share replicable implementation models, to collaborate in creating and modifying resources, and to support and share the emotional labor of defining and continually negotiating our positions in our schools and within the greater writing center scholarly community.”

In 2014, six SSWC Directors—Amber Jensen of Edison High School; Beth Blankenship of Oakton High School; Alison Hughes of Centreville High School; Jenny Goransson of West Springfield High School; Hannah Baran of Albemarle High School; and me—officially founded CAPTA, an organization dedicated to building community among, promoting advocacy for, and supporting the development and sharing of resources for new and existing SSWCs in the greater Washington, DC, area.

The CAPTA Executive Board at CAPTA 2016

While many of us acknowledged the need for and sought out opportunities to connect with other university writing centers around the country via existing peer tutoring networks, we quickly realized that SSWCs, their directors, and their tutors faced challenges and opportunities unique to the world of secondary schools. CAPTA was born of the need to create a sustainable network that specifically catered to our needs, that legitimized our work, and that encouraged scholarship in the field of SSWCs.

Janice Jewell, founder of the Herndon Writing Center, reflects, “The creation of CAPTA gave a wider sense of legitimacy to the fledgling writing centers. I think that as centers become established, participation in CAPTA normalizes these programs, so that once established, they become part of their communities, and the impulse to do away with them can subside.” As a diverse group of directors from schools with diverse needs, the formalization of the CAPTA network helped us to establish norms and identify our own best practices for sustaining successful SSWCs.

Trisha Vamosi, Director of the Eagle Writing Center at Osbourn High School in Manassas, VA, and CAPTA’s website curator, has found “the resources and guidance from other directors to be overwhelmingly supportive. CAPTA has provided not only an irreplaceable resource toolkit, but a space inviting constant networking” among directors in the field.

Continue reading “The Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association: Legitimizing and Sustaining the Work of Secondary School Writing Centers”

SEEKING YOUR RESPONSE: How Are Writing Centers Working Out within Learning Centers?

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-10-32-18-amWLN editor, Dr. Mickey Harris, writes with a special announcement:

More and more writing centers now exist within or are moving into learning centers (or Student Success Centers or Academic Skills Centers, or whatever name they are given), but how are they faring? This complex question needs to be explored from numerous perspectives and by numerous voices, so we at WLN have decided to ask you to identify problems you’re solving and write about positive aspects of existing within a learning center and how you achieved success.

What wisdom, insights, solutions can you pass along to others? What are conditions that could prove to be problematic? Consider your audience as other writing center directors who are wondering how to fit in or improve their writing center and want to learn from colleagues who have clarified problems and found solutions. This will be a collaborative effort of as many voices as we can fit in to an issue of WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship.

Please send your 1500-word (Works Cited included in that number) responses to the editors:
Kim Ballard: <kim.ballard@wmich.edu>
Lee Ann Glowzenski <laglowzenski@gmail.com>
Muriel Harris <harrism@purdue.edu>

Continue reading “SEEKING YOUR RESPONSE: How Are Writing Centers Working Out within Learning Centers?”

WLN News Round-Up: August 2016

Here is some of what has been on the WLN news radar lately:

“A life in review: Writing tasks that academics do that we don’t talk about”– Sue Starfield, Director of the Learning Centre at UNSW Australia, explores genre conventions that academics utilize, but don’t often discuss or teach. [Doctoral Writing SIG]

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“Ditch Writing Stress Through Journaling”– Matt Baker from the University of Nevada, Reno writing center discusses the benefits of keeping a journal and where journaling falls within the writing process. [University of Nevada, Reno]

“Everyone Loves a Slinky”– Brodie Willard from Texas A&M University writing center discusses a tutoring session where using toys helped communicate feedback to a writer. [Peer Centered]

“Four Resolutions for the New Semester”– David Gooblar lays out four goals for his teaching  practice. What are your resolutions for the upcoming academic year? Let us know in the comments! [Vitae]

CFP: Special Issue of WLN–What We Believe and Why: Educating Writing Tutors

Karen Johnson, Associate Professor at Shippensburg University, and Ted Roggenbuck, Associate Professor at Bloomsburg University, direct writing centers in the same state system. Over the past several years, they have collaborated to develop cross-institutional trainings and research. Their ongoing discussions and scholarship about educating writing tutors span several publications, conferences, and workshops, piquing their thirst for topics surrounding tutor education.

Key to our success in the important work of writing centers is our effectiveness in providing tutor education. Our field has over three decades of scholarship on how to educate writing tutors in a multitude of settings, but the wealth and variety of resources can create challenges for those seeking guidance. However, that we also have a number of excellent and popular (though not universally used) resources such as The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors, The Longman Guide to Peer Tutoring, and The Oxford Guide for Writing Tutors does suggest at least some consistency in how we educate tutors. But to what degree do we share core beliefs about tutor education, how do we know what aspects of our programs to prepare writing tutors are most effective, and to what areas are we not paying adequate attention? Moreover, what are effective contexts for educating tutors? Although credit-bearing courses appear to be ideal contexts for tutor education, what particular aspects of a course make it effective? And for directors who are unable to offer a course or even paid time for educating tutors, how can they effectively prepare tutors for the different rhetorical situations and writers they will encounter?

Continue reading “CFP: Special Issue of WLN–What We Believe and Why: Educating Writing Tutors”

WLN News Round-Up for the Month of June

Here’s some of what has been on the WLN news radar lately:

“Managing an anxiety disorder in higher ed is a full time job”- This author discusses their generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and anxiety-provoking assumptions (APAs) in terms of how they directly relate to a career in academia, as well as personal anxiety management techniques that they use. [The Guardian]

“From Learning Commons to Learning Communities”- This article from the American Society for Interior Designers explores how learning spaces can be designed to best fit millennial learners. In particular, the author discusses a “mixed-use learning zone” at the University of Florida. Does anyone have a writing center designed in this way? Let us know in the comments! [Icon]

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“Why Mentoring Others Has Helped Me”- This post discusses how mentorship can be beneficial not just to mentees, but also to mentors. In relation to writing center work, this sentence stood out:

“One wonderful benefit of working with younger students or professionals is that they were more recently in school, and can help keep you current with the latest information, best practices, and new techniques in your industry.”

Within our centers, it is key to consider how tutors can assist in the decision making process when it comes to tutoring techniques and practices, as well as choosing which technologies to use! [Huffington Post]

“Summer Reading List”– As the school year winds down for many of us, we turn to a hobby that often gets neglected during the school year: reading for fun! In this post, Inside Higher Ed contributors share what they’ve been reading lately. [University of Venus]

AUM Collaborates with Student Artists to Create Murals in Learning Center

 

001-Matthew KempEditor’s Note: Today’s guest post is from Matthew Kemp, the Writing Student Services Coordinator at the Learning Center at Auburn University at Montgomery, sharing how they teamed up with student artists to create murals in their tutoring space.

A communal coffee pot (or perhaps a Keurig), grammar textbooks, computers, loose leaf paper: things you’ll probably find in writing centers from Texas to Toronto and beyond. Recently in the WCENTER listserv, a question arose regarding ways a new director could decorate his/her center. Of course, there are many ways to answer this question, and many answers were offered: posters, chairs, rugs, paintings, local newspaper articles. However, the suggestion that struck a chord with me was student art. You see, my multidisciplinary center has three large murals painted on our walls, and all of them were designed by students for a Typography course. My center uses these murals as ways to brand ourselves on campus. They represent our mission as well as our values to students, and we absolutely adore them.

AUM LC Mural 2So how did my center come to have these large murals? I can tell you with certainty, it wasn’t originally our plan! A few years ago, my center relocated from a small room in the nursing building to the second floor of our library tower. We filled our new space with the typical items from above. It wasn’t unlike many other centers across the world: computers, funny memes pinned to the walls, pencils, and scratch paper. The idea of murals never entered our minds. That is, until we saw our student phone operator, a graphic design major, working on some homework for her Typography course. The assignment asked students to sketch and alter letters and numbers.  As our center is a multidisciplinary office, the sketches of various letters and numbers seemed to be a perfect way to illustrate what we did. We asked if she thought her class could do a mural in the same vein as her homework. She was delighted at the prospect! So our director contacted the Typography professor and told her our idea.

The professor immediately agreed. She thought it would give her students not only good experience working with clients but also pride in seeing their work become a part of campus. Our office agreed to buy any materials needed, and she agreed her students would paint it. Campus administration had previously told us we could decorate the space as we pleased, so we didn’t even have to fill out forms or requests (this may not be the case at every university; check in with your campus administration about regulations). As our walls were gray, we asked the students to design a black mural. It also needed to incorporate elements of both numbers and text that represented our services. To get a feel for our attitude and work, we linked the students to our campus website and gave them a copy of our mission statement. Continue reading “AUM Collaborates with Student Artists to Create Murals in Learning Center”

WLN News Round-Up: April 25-May 8

Here’s some of what has been on the WLN news radar lately:

“We Need to Retain Highly Qualified Directors in College and University Writing Centers,” – This petition calls on administrators to end the practice of dissolving writing centers and replacing qualified writing center directors with administrators  who have minimal experience in writing center administration or theory. Sign to show your support! [Change.org]

Joey Pulone for The Chronicle of Higher Education
Joey Pulone for The Chronicle of Higher Education

“A Final Round of Advice for Final Exams” – Because final exams and the end of the school year are fast approaching at many colleges and universities, The Chronicle of Higher Education has compiled highlights from their posts about finals. One of our favorites is approaching finals as a “finale” rather than an exam. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

“‘Something Magical in Meeting with a Group of Like-Minded People’: Graduate Writing Groups in the Writing Center – This post discusses the structure of writing groups for graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then features seven doctoral students who share why they attend the writing groups and what they get out of them. [Another Word]

“Why grad schools should require students to blog”- In this post, Maria Konnikova shares the connections she sees between her academic and popular writing and asserts that academia should more thoroughly embrace non-academic writing pursuits. [Scientific American]

 

Interview with UBC tutor Cole Klassen

Editor’s Note: The University of British Columbia in Canada, which has an enrollment of about 60,000 students, is planning on closing its Writing Centre. Tutors have been fighting to prevent this closure. We interviewed a UBC Writing Centre tutor, Cole Klassen, about current and future efforts to fight the closure of the Writing Centre.

You can find our initial post on the UBC Writing Centre closure here. To show your support for keeping the UBC Writing Centre open, you can sign this petition!

ColeKlassenHeadshot (2)Hi Cole! Can you tell us about your studies at UBC and your work at the Writing Centre?

I transferred from Douglas College to UBC last summer. I’m just finishing my third year. I am in the creative writing BFA program and I am minoring in philosophy. I’ve worked at the UBC writing centre since the start of the fall semester as a peer writing tutor. I began tutoring at the Douglas College Learning Centre, where I worked as an online and face to face writing and content peer tutor for two years.

Who is involved in the efforts to keep the UBC Writing Centre open? What have you done so far?

The movement was started by current and past UBC writing centre tutors. We started by creating the online petition, then worked to spread the word through sharing it on social media, emailing instructors, and visiting their classes to talk to students. One of our tutors also did an interview for the Ubyssey article on the issue. We also emailed Writing Centre experts for advice, such as people from the IWCA. We’ve been collecting letters to submit with the petition as well, from some students, UBC teachers and officials, and writing centre experts. Recently we spoke to some UBC officials about how to proceed with the petition, and plan to submit it soon. Continue reading “Interview with UBC tutor Cole Klassen”

WLN News Round-Up: February 1-14

Here’s some of what has been on the WLN news radar this week:

Small changes can improve teaching (and tutoring!). James M. Lang offers three activities for boosting engagement in the first few minutes of class. These strategies—such as asking what they already know about a subject—can be useful to tutors as well. With many institutions starting up a new semester, now can be a great time to re-examine teaching and tutoring practices! [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

A new book advocates creating a more individualized higher education experience. This article explores the ideas in Todd Rose’s The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World that Values Sameness. In terms of colleges and universities, Rose advocates for less focus on grades and “seat hours” and more student agency. [Times Higher Education]

Teaching and writing for the ear. Like many writing center professionals, Dr. Stuart Sherman believes in the connection between good writing and reading out loud. Complete with sample feedback, this article walks readers through Sherman’s approach to teaching writing, which relies heavily on students writing for the ear. [PC Mag]

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Special Announcement: Introducing WcORD of the Day! This Facebook page, curated by Patrick Hargon, shares daily posts from WcORD, a searchable database of writing center resources. WcORD invites all members of the writing center community to add their own resources and share the database on their websites and social media outlets!

 

Report back on the first South African Consultants’ Day: 30 July 2015

Rose Richards (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) last reported to us about the South African Writing Centre’s group. Here she fills us in on this summer’s national writing consultants’ day!

Blackberry photos 488On 30 July, 2015, Stellenbosch University Language Centre hosted the first South African national writing consultants’ day. Writing consultants from 11 South African universities participated (Stellenbosch, University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, University of the Western Cape, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria, Walter Sisulu University, Durban University of Technology, University of South Africa and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) and an observer from the National University of Lesotho. We had a full schedule of presentations in which consultants shared their work experience and practise.

Participants described Consultants Day as “a superb and very worthwhile event” (Brenda Vivian, University of Pretoria), “informative” (Taahira Goolam Hoosen, UCT), “a turning point for consultants/ peer tutors nationally as it recognized and validated their experiences” (Laura Dison, Wits), “a delightful treat as well as an educational and interesting journey” (Zandile Xesha, Wits), “eye-opening” (Lisa Weideman, NMMU) and “warm and collaborative” (Ben Saxby, Stellenbosch).

Continue reading “Report back on the first South African Consultants’ Day: 30 July 2015”

#Intlwritein: 44 schools participate in global chain event

Jill Gladstein and her crew at the Swarthmore College Writing Center share an update about the #IntlWrtIn initiative!

Cram Jam”, “Writers’ Block Party”, or “Final Paper Countdown”– International Write-In events may go by many names, but all share one goal: to unite student writers to remind them that they aren’t alone with their writing.

After a successful first run in December that saw over 1000 students come together on 27 college campuses and across social media for a week of writing events, the Spring 2015 International Write-In has become even bigger, with 44 colleges and universities participating between April 24 and May 5. This semester’s group includes a variety of institutions spanning Community Colleges, SLACs, HBCUs, and R1s, each providing writers with a space to come together to write. Participants have been connecting via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #IntlWriteIn, and will continue to do so throughout the event. Swarthmore College’s Writing Associates Program is proud to have helped sponsor the Spring 2015 International Write-In by connecting participating colleges and universities online. For more information, please check out the International Write-In webpage.

For a sample of some of the action, check out some of the highlights below:

Continue reading “#Intlwritein: 44 schools participate in global chain event”

CFP: Global academic publishing

From Mary Jane Curry, PhD. Associate Professor of Language Education at the Department of Teaching & Curriculum at the Warner Graduate School of Education of the University of Rochester

After successful colloquia at AILA and AAAL on global academic publishing, Theresa Lillis and I are pleased to issue this call for proposals to contribute a book chapter to an edited volume to be published by Multilingual Matters: Global academic publishing: Policies, practices, and pedagogies. Proposals due to mjcurry@warner.rochester.edu by June 15. Details included in the call for proposals, below.

Continue reading “CFP: Global academic publishing”

#EstoyconEndil2014 and the Latin America Writing Center Association

In November, Violeta Molina-Natera, director of the Javeriano Writing Center in Colombia, sent out an invitation to the Writing Center Listserv to stand in social-media solidarity with participants of an academic conference in Venezuela, who are facing considerable economic and political challenges.

After the conference was over, I asked Violeta to share more about the exciting work that her writing center is doing, along with others in Latin America. Her responses are below, in her own words.

Continue reading “#EstoyconEndil2014 and the Latin America Writing Center Association”

Writing Lab Newsletter will be changing its name

Waaaay back in 1977, when I started WLN, those of us who were opening new or developing existing writing centers needed a way to keep in touch. In those ancient days before the Internet and e-mail, I thought a newsletter would help us to keep in touch with each other and share information or resources or just let each other know where we were. Over the years, WLN morphed into a journal with articles that are peer reviewed, a scholarly publication. So it is now a journal, not a newsletter, and it’s time to recognize that Writing Lab Newsletter is no longer a name that fits appropriately. But we want to hang on to a bit of our past and not forget where we started from, the WLN part.

Beginning with Vol. 40.1, in September, the publication will be (drum roll, please…..)

WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship

Eventually, instead of referring to WLN, we’ll use WCS as a shorthand when we don’t stop to spell out the full name, and we invite you to do so also. I hope you like the new name as much as we do.

Mickey

Call for WLN Online Writing Center Resources Developers

Dear writing center colleagues,

The Writing Lab Newsletter (WLN) is building a resource bank of links to online resources for all aspects of writing center work. We are currently bookmarking useful sites and are looking for volunteers to help with this huge project. When we have a reasonably rich set of resources, we’ll offer the site to anyone who is searching for links to topics that we often ask about, e.g., questions that come up repeatedly on writing center listservs and this blog. In response, people offer assistance and links, and it’s those messages and links that we want to bookmark and keep in a resource bank, along with resources such as job descriptions, promotional and instructional videos created by and for writing centers, tutor training materials, data collection software, etc., etc.. What we hope to build is a go-to place for links to such topics. At this beginning stage, we don’t yet have a specific list of topics to search for and would expect the topic list to grow and grow and grow, along with a continually expanding bank of links to resources. If you don’t have time to volunteer to help build the resource bank but have topics to suggest, please let us know.

So, this is a call for helpers to build this site, people whom we’ll call “WLN Online Writing Center Resource Developers (WLN OWCRD) Hey, titles are important for CVs and resumes! But I wish we had an easier or clever acronym.

Some qualities we are looking for:
• A reasonable familiarity with writing center listservs and writing center work so that you know what questions are perennial ones and need to be bookmarked for people looking for resources on such topics. (Links would be to websites, relevant posts on WCenter, EWCA, and WPA-L, etc., and posts to other relevant listservs with archives, plus links to specific articles in WLN, WCJ, Praxis, etc.)

• A reasonable familiarity with working online and searching for sources

• A willingness to spend time learning to work with Diigo, the software we’re using to build this resource

If you are interested in joining this project, please send an e-mail to Lee Ann Glowzenski and Alan Benson:mailto: laglowzenski@gmail.com . Please put WLN OWCRD in the subject line and respond to these questions:
• Why are you interested in this?
• What experience do you have with WCenter and writing center work?
• What topics would you suggest? And what sites or listservs or other sources might you be interested in searching to link to?
• How much time could you volunteer each week and for how long (this semester? this year? longer?) do you foresee devoting to this?
• Anything else you want to share with us?

We’ll, of course, appreciate notes that are reasonably brief, but also complete enough to let us see if you would be a helpful contributor. Brilliant suggestions for the WLN Writing Center Resource Bank are also welcomed. 😉

Mickey
———————–
Muriel Harris
Professor Emerita of English
Writing Lab Director (retired)
Writing Lab Newsletter, Editor
https://writinglabnewsletter.org/
harrism@purdue.edu
WLN on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/4drdrqu
WLN on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WLNewsletter
Prentice Hall Reference Guide

“If you cannot write well, you cannot think well; if you cannot think well, others will do your thinking for you.” — Oscar Wilde.

New issue of the Writing Lab Newsletter

The first issue of Vol. 39 of the Writing Lab Newsletter is now published and winging its way to subscribers’ mailboxes, and the Tutor’s Column is available to read online. Previous issues are, as always, available in the open-access archive: https://writinglabnewsletter.org/

“What a Difference Three Tutoring Sessions Make: Early Reports of Efficacy from a Young Writing Center” – L. Lennie Irvin

“Creating a Space for Business Communication” – Elizabeth Tomlinson

“Review of Researching the Writing Center, by Rebecca Babcock and Therese Thonus”- Reviewed separately by Sherry Wynn Perdue and Sarah Littlejohn

Tutor’s Column: “The Writing Space: A Forum for the Technological Age” – Elizabeth Busekrus

Plus the Conference Calendar of forthcoming writing center conferences.

Invitation to be a visiting scholar at the University of South Africa

I am a lecturer at the University of South Africa, UNISA, and my main interests are in academic writing at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Many of our students struggle with writing and I have dedicated my time into supporting students in this area. I intend planning a 3-4 year project examining our practices for teaching writing, especially for EFL, ESL and EFL students. I have several requests:

· First, I invite any of your colleagues to my university in 2015 or 2016 as a visiting scholar, to offer workshops and a presentation or two.

· Second, I request 5 or 6 scholars in academic writing who are willing to come to UNISA for a year or so beginning in 2015 or 2016. The USA Embassy here in Pretoria offers funding for US scholars and my university can also contribute to the funding.

· Third, is it possible to come up with a collaborative research project on student writing between UNISA and a university?

Mirriam MK Lephalala, PhD (Edinburgh)
Associate Professor
Manager: The Povey Centre
Coordinator: Short Learning Programmes
Department of English Studies
University of South Africa
Office 6-38, Theo van Wyk Building
Tel: 012 429 6396
Fax: 012 429 6222
Email: lephammk@unisa.ac.za

book on student-centered learning in Tanzania

If you are interested in student-centered learning in Africa, you may be interested in this book, and it’s free if you are in Africa:

 Teaching in Tension: International Pedagogies, National Policies, and Teachers’ Practices in Tanzania, edited by Frances Vavrus and Leslie Bartlett, published by Sense Publishers (2013)

Hardcover: $89.10: Paperback: $48.60. But the publisher has agreed to distribute the book for free as an e-book in “developing countries.” Anyone in Africa who is interested in the free e-book version can contact one of the editors, Frances Vavrus: vavru003@umn.edu. (She says she has already distributed over 1000 free copies.)

The Amazon page for this book has a lengthy description that starts this way:   “In recent years, international efforts to improve educational quality in sub-Saharan Africa have focused on promoting learner-centered pedagogy. However, it has not flourished for cultural, economic, and political reasons that often go unrecognized by development organizations and policymakers. This edited volume draws on a long-term collaboration between African and American educational researchers in addressing critical questions regarding how teachers in one African country-Tanzania-conceptualize learner-centered pedagogy and struggle to implement it under challenging material conditions.”    (to read more of this: go to the Amazon.com page: http://is.gd/4MGk7L)

Mickey

 

Survey for Peer Tutors Outside the U.S.

A student at the Fashion Institute of Technology is working on a study about peer writing tutors outside the United States. If you work with, know, or are a peer writing tutor working in a center outside the United States, please help Nkem Chukwumerije learn more about your experiences.

If your writing center is outside the U.S., please share this survey with your tutors.