Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Goodell, Joanne

Subject Headings

Writing centers, English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching -- United States, English language -- Study and teaching -- United States -- Foreign speakers, Writing Centers, tutoring, Non-Native English Speaker, NNES, English as a Second Language, ESL, TESOL


This study examined the perspectives of both tutors at university writing centers and the Non-Native English Speaking (NNES) students who use the centers. Using qualitative methods, this study looked at perceptions of the academic writing needs of the NNES students, along with characteristics of tutoring sessions which made the sessions successful in the eyes of tutors and students. The study used interviews, observations, a survey, and artifacts to look at these topics and then compared the perceptions of tutors and students. Additionally, the study compared writing centers at two universities, one of which employs an English as a Second Language (ESL) specialist, in order to learn if employing this specialist affects success for the tutors and NNES students. Results indicate that student and tutor perceptions of student needs were similar in that they expressed consistent need for grammar assistance and help with low-order concerns (LOCs). Sessions at both universities were successful, according to tutors and students, if sessions focused on these grammar and LOC needs. Employing an ESL specialist did not affect the perceptions of students or tutors nor did it seem to effect the success of sessions for either students or tutors

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