April 26, 2022
This semester was my final semester working as a writing tutor for Trinity Western’s Learning Commons and Writing Centre. Working at the writing center over the years has been a joy and I am going to miss the people I have met and the experiences of working with the TWU community in this way. I am grateful for all the students I worked with who helped me develop my teaching pedagogy. I was given the opportunity to work with students in WRTG 101 and ENGL 101 where I met students from all over the world and was able to support them and their writing journeys. I was an embedded tutor for these classes for the past several semesters and this helped me build my confidence in understanding the assignment requirements and therefore, made it easier for me to guide students in their writing processes. As a writing tutor, I try my best to give as much encouragement and formative feedback to the students I met and I am grateful that everyone I met was receptive to the advice I was providing. Working at the writing center has also helped me grow a passion for TESOL and develop my skills to become a better second language teacher. As I was guiding each student, I made sure to also be mindful of their first language and how this may be translated into their writing. There were times when I found that some students were more comfortable sharing their ideas through spoken language rather than through their writing so I often had students verbally tell me the ideas they wanted to convey through their writing. I would make a few notes on my own to help guide their writing afterward. Gnevsheva, Szakay, and Jansen (2022) discuss their findings that second language learners are more flexible in spoken language and as first-language English speakers, it is important for us to be mindful of this and the learning objectives we have for students. I found that grammar stood in the way of students fully conveying what they wanted to say so I learned to first have students discuss their ideas with me before getting straight into the writing. Once we had specified the details of their writing, we worked on the syntax and sentence development. This strategy was helpful in guiding the students’ thinking and making things more manageable for our sessions.
Post-secondary writing can seem daunting for students but I hope that through the resources provided by the writing center and the learning commons, students will feel more comfortable seeking writing help. Overall, I am so thankful for my experience with the writing center and for being able to support students with their writing. I will take my experiences here with me into my future professional development and I am thankful for all the people I have met and the lessons I have learned!Page Break
Gnevsheva, K., Szakay, A., & Jansen, S. (2022). Lexical preference in second dialect acquisition in a second language. International Journal of Bilingualism, 26(2), 163–180. https://doi-org.twu.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/13670069211036932