ERIC Number: ED241958
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Bridging the Culture Gap: The First Phase of Training Writing Lab Tutors to Work with ESL Students.
Inservice training programs on the needs of English as a second language (ESL) students may help writing lab staffs work more effectively. The training program could be a series of sessions devoted to six areas of concern: bridging the culture gap; profiling students' strengths and weaknesses; identifying error patterns on which to work in the writing lab; presenting the materials that will be used in the tutorials; describing two sequences of activities, one for remediating and another for teaching certain features of grammar or writing; and "putting it all together" in tutorial sessions. The session on cultural differences should focus on ethnocentrism, the use of personal space, sex roles, the roles of tutors and teachers, and the uniqueness of each ESL student. It is important not only that the lab staff respect foreign students' customs, but also that foreign students learn to respect and cope with some of ours. For example, ESL students need to know that teaching methodologies vary from culture to culture. Since students' reactions to touching vary depending on their culture, tutors should learn to avoid it unless they know it is culturally acceptable. Tutors should also be aware of both students' motivations for studying in the United States and how they are adapting to U.S. culture. Adjustment problems may result in a lack of concentration, poor attendance, or tardiness. Through empathy and respect for cultural variation, tutors can achieve a better learning environment. (Attached is an overview of the session on cultural differences.) (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Laboratories
Note: Paper presented at the Midwest Writing Centers Conference (Iowa City, IA, October 21-22, 1983).