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ERIC Number: ED419414
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
How To Communicate Politely and Be a Tutor, Too: NS-NNS Interaction and Writing Center Practice.
Thonus, Terese
A discussion of communication between native English-speaking (NS) tutors and their non-native-speaker (NNS) students draws on a study conducted in the Indiana University writing center and focuses on conflicts between effectiveness in communication and effectiveness in instruction technique. Examples of tutor-student (NS-NNS) interaction are drawn from a corpus of 34 writing tutorials, with students of varied language backgrounds, between 1992 and 1996. Tutors were six male and five female graduate students from various departments. Analysis of the tutorial sessions looks at questioning strategies, balance of interlocutor participation, comprehensibility of the interactions, coherence, and politeness. It is concluded that conflicts between effectiveness, comprehensibility, and politeness are common, and writing tutors find themselves involved in trade-offs between communicative and social goals in order to perform their tasks effectively. Tutors face a triple-bind: what they believe to be effective tutoring may not be comprehensible, but what they believe to be comprehensible may be neither polite nor good tutorial practice, and what they believe to be polite and effective practice with native speakers may miss the mark entirely with non-native speakers. Necessary compromises place the tutor-student contract of collaboration in jeopardy. (Contains 22 references). (MSE)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A