Homework: Read Gillespie and Lerner, chaps. 2 & 3. For your blog entry, compare the strategies Gillespie and Lerner list to your own. Consider the following prompts:
- What strategies could you add to their list and share with your fellow Fellows?
- Under what writing situations or conditions have they been helpful?
- Similarly, which specific writing challenges do they help you address?
- Pick at least one new strategy to try out at your next tutoring session
While reading this text I found that the important aspects of the second chapter revolved around the idea of writer’s identity. A peer tutor’s job is not to create copies of themselves within others writing, but instead to encourage the voice of the one writing;this seems to be a simple idea, but when you read one’s papers, you will find yourself rewriting the paper in your own voice (I know I have been a victim of this when editing others papers). This continues on to the discussion of writers ownership– the writer must feel as though they have ownership over the text, they must become engaged with the text on some level.
In the following chapter Gillespie and Lerner detail the methods of the tutoring process, discussing different ways to engage your student and how to begin a session (asking questions, reading aloud, etc.). Although it is touched on when they overview “Asking Questions,” one of the methods I find effective and important is looking at (and analyzing) the prompt. Many times I find that when people ask me to read and review their paper they haven’t thoroughly addressed the prompt, leading to a lack of substance in their essay. I always make sure that the writer has highlighted or underlined specific parts of the prompt that they need to address. I make sure that they understand what each part has them looking for, and that they can find evidence to back up a claim.
A technique from the longman guide will most likely be having the student read their essay aloud. It not only allows them to edit their writing, but it helps them realize where the gaps are in their writing and also gives them some confidence in their writing because it’s like they have become the teacher, the “Expert”