As we get ready for a new year, we want to pause and reflect on how far we have come as tutors, writers, writing center administrators, and scholars.

  • What are some of your writing center-related successes (big or small) over the last ten years that we can all celebrate?
  • What trends, ideas, and connections have you explored in your corner of the world to move our writing center community forward?

We would love to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the Comments box below and let’s reflect and celebrate together!

And, most importantly…..

 

8 Comments

  1. Amy Hodges December 19, 2019 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Looking back, one of the many things I’m proud of is the sustainable growth of TAMUQ’s Center for Teaching and Learning, especially the faculty development programs that have helped faculty become more effective assigners and assessors of student writing. I’m also very proud of the growth of the Middle East North Africa Writing Centers Alliance and the Doha Writing Centers Network – two organizations which have been invaluable to me and (I hope) to others in the region.

  2. Tetyana Bychkovska January 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    As an ESL Specialist and multilingual writer, I see recognition of a greater flexibility in tutoring approaches as one of the biggest advancements in the Writing Center field. An increasing number of publications and conference presentations have been challenging the standard one-size-fits-all approach recognizing that a non-directive pedagogy, which practically excludes focus on language use, cannot meet the needs of all writers. Writers who come from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, writers with disabilities, and, honestly, any writer in general all require individualized support that involves flexible scaffolding techniques and sometimes direct instruction on different aspects of writing. We at George Mason University Writing Center have been trying to follow this trend and develop tutor training accordingly, which I believe have made our practice more inclusive and increased our tutors’ and writers’ satisfaction with the support they receive.

  3. Courtney Massie January 4, 2020 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    I’m very grateful for, and have learned a lot from, scholars and administrators who have called upon us to address how writing centers and writing center pedagogy uphold institutional oppression. At George Mason’s writing center, we’ve answered this call by adding units to our tutor training that address issues of language diversity, equity, and combating systemic oppression in writing center sessions. We also devote time during professional development sessions to discussing anti-oppressive tutoring practices. We regularly revise these aspects of training and professional development based on tutors’ feedback and developments in the professional conversation. They are vital features of our tutor education, and I look forward to seeing how they continue to evolve in the new decade.

  4. […] about a writing-center-related success (big or small) from this year/decade on our main page. Click here and if you have a few minutes, do share your news. Our goal is to hear from our global network and […]

  5. Anita Moutchoyan January 7, 2020 at 5:50 am - Reply

    It has been so rewarding to utilize my valuable experiences, gained during several years of tutoring at the Lebanese American University Writing Center, in order to launch the Haigazian University Writing Center – enabled through a grant I received in Fall 2018 from the US Embassy in Lebanon.
    Haigazian University was established in 1955; it is inspired by the Armenian Evangelical heritage and follows the American liberal arts educational model. The establishment of the Center enabled the much-needed English language support across the curriculum within the university.
    Over the past year, the Center has served the Haigazian community (students, faculty, and staff) and has left an impact within a short period of time. Accordingly, the university has decided to continue funding the Center during the upcoming year due to its positive reception and powerful contributions.
    It is also noteworthy to mention that the Center also accomplished some outreach goals by creating professional development opportunities for English teachers in some Armenian schools within Lebanon.
    I look forward to the growth of the Center and am grateful to have shared its story with the larger Writing Center community through this space.

  6. Jeffrey W Gibbs February 4, 2020 at 12:59 am - Reply

    As the brand new writing center at Hisar School in Istanbul, we have only just begun, but I would like to share some of our successes in the first semester of operations.

    Hisar is a K through 12 private school in Turkey, and with a whole-school philosophy in mind, we established two writing centers, one in primary school called Brighter Writers and our regular writing center for the middle and high schools. Brighter Writers focuses on small group intensive writing sessions to get younger students used to writing as a way of thinking and reacting to the world. Our middle and high school center, on the other hand, conducts workshops, one on one and small group sessions focusing on a particular aspect of writing. We have also spent the first semester training a staff of 25 high school “consultants” to work with their peers on writing projects. Using authentic student texts from classroom assignments across all grades, we have worked with consultants on non-directive questions and how they may be utilized in various stages of the writing process. In addition, we have studied with the Bedford Guide and also researched the basic principles of pedagogy. Toward the end, we started to hold trial tutor sessions and then evaluated them as a team, revising strategies and approaches based on real experiences. We finally started authentic peer tutor sessions in December, and so far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive on exit surveys. In total, including both teacher-led and student-led tutor sessions, we have provided service to over 160 student writers.

    Inspired by our colleagues at the EWCA conference, we sponsored a “Night Against Procrastination” for students writing personal statements. We had 20 attendees from the 12th grade who worked for 8 hours straight on their college essays over pizza, snacks, yoga exercises and games. In conjunction with the English and counseling departments, we also ran an IELTS workshop at the end of the semester for 11th graders. In general, we have been very fortunate to have a school where all the departments are eager to cooperate with us. We have completed successful projects with the high school Spanish and philosophy departments and the middle school science, Turkish and social studies department. After such a busy first semester, we face a high bar for success in our second but are looking forward to the challenge.

    • Anita Moutchoyan March 4, 2020 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      Congrats Jeffrey! So glad your Center has accomplished so much success in such a short period of time!

  7. Anna Habib and Esther Namubiru March 25, 2020 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    This comment is on behalf of Paula Habre:

    As the LAU Writing Center is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary, reflecting on the most prominent achievements becomes timely. The most generous project it was able to fulfill was reaching out to the high schools in Lebanon by offering training on establishing their own writing centers 9 made possible with a small grant from the U.S. Embassy in Beirut). The result of the series of workshops led to the launching of five different writing centers in a number of high schools and one in a sister university: Haigazian University. https://www.lau.edu.lb/news-events/news/archive/lau_writing_center_supports_sc/

    The second achievement was holding the 6th regional MENAWCA conference at LAU Beirut attracting many presenters and attendees from several countries in the region. http://menawca.org/home-page/conference-2019 It was an opportunity for an exchange of ideas not only about writing centers but about the field of writing as a whole.

    The third distinctive achievement is serving MENAWCA; three of the LAU Writing center team are board members in different capacities: treasurer, IWCA and peer tutor representatives.

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