Writing centres and the turn toward multilingual and multiliteracy writing tutoring
Book chapter, 2016
Introduction Writing centres are student-centred and learning-oriented spaces, which, compared to many other aspects of higher education, offer very good conditions for facilitating learning, peer learning, and life-long learning. Historically, writing centres have been structured around the tutorial, and staff have offered advice mainly to undergraduate students on the writing they do at university – advice ranging from argumentation and paragraphing to the mechanics of writing (e.g. spelling, punctuation, and grammar). Pedagogically, tutorial work in writing centres has embraced rhetorical approaches to written communication (North 1984) and emphasised the triad of genre, audience, and purpose. Consequently, the ethos of the traditional writing centre model is that students mature in their knowledge and independence as academic writers through collaborative discussion with a writing tutor, and through opportunities to work in guided ways on writing processes and strategies (Lunsford 1991). The collaborative discussion is crucial to the beneficial learning environment, and the possibility of conducting one-to-one sessions focused on an individual student’s writing development is central to the writing centre approach.