L2 Student Satisfaction In the Writing Center: A Cross-Institutional Study of L1 and L2 Students




Bromley, Pam
Northway, Kara

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International and multilingual student enrollments are growing around the world. Because 73% of international students in the United States come from countries where English is not an official language, the number of L2 students is likewise growing. Writing centers are on the frontlines in academically supporting L2 students, but tutor anxiety in sessions with L2 students is apparent. Empirical research on L2 student satisfaction with writing centers is only slowly emerging. Our quantitative study compares satisfaction of EnglishL2 students to those of English-L1 students through a common exit survey of student perceptions of writing center visits; perceptions are essential as they connect to achievement and learning outcomes. Overall, we find both groups are equally satisfied with their writing center visits, equally likely to return to the writing center, and have equally intellectually engaging sessions. Adding greater resonance, this study was conducted at three different types of institutions in the United States—a small liberal arts college; a medium, private, doctoral university; and a large, public land-grant university. Our study directly points to tutor-training strategies, including sharing empirical studies about satisfaction, increasing a focus on intellectual engagement for students and tutors, and incorporating global English strategies into sessions.


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