Tutor Training and Services for Multilingual Graduate Writers: A Reconsideration
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Multilingual graduate writers make few appearances in writing center discussions. These students live, work, and write at the intersection of two subjectivities—graduate writer and multilingual writer—neither of which is the core population of native-English-speaking undergraduates with whom most writing centers have traditionally worked. Writers who are multilingual or “ESL”1 have received frequent attention (e.g. Blau and Hall; Bruce and Rafoth, Myers; Harris and Silva), and a handful of scholars have considered the challenges of tutoring graduate students (e.g. Pemberton; Powers; Gillespie; Snively). However, the research tells us little about how to work effectively with students who are both multilingual and graduate writers (hereafter, MGWs). In this essay, I place interviews with MGWs in conversation with a survey of writing center practices with MGW student populations. Based on the experiences of the MGWs I interviewed, I suggest that writing centers could better meet MGWs’ needs by adopting a more holistic approach to the writing process that is more disciplinarily informed and that resists creating false dichotomies between global and sentence-level concerns. I argue that for MGWs, sentence-level problems—even those that tutors might judge to be minor or moderate—may have serious implications for their professional advancement.