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ERIC Number: EJ915054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0889-6143
The Polarities of Context in the Writing Center Conference
Janangelo, Joseph
Writing Center Journal, v30 n1 p16-22 2010
Conferences with one's own students are always influenced by personal context. They differ from first-time tutorial encounters in that teachers have "personal knowledge" of their student writers' strengths and weaknesses--where they are with a piece of writing and where writing tutors' experience tells them they need to be in order to succeed in the academic community. But the degree to which this personal knowledge helps facilitate a writer's growth depends on how it is used. In this article, the author shares his experience from the conferences he had with his two students, Eric and Lynn. He emphasizes that if personal context made his conferences with Eric a failure, his conversation with Lynn shows that context can also play a creative role in student-teacher conferences. His conferences with Eric and Lynn dramatize the polarities of context. Meaning can be submerged in the throes of a "too personal" personal encounter or it can flourish under conditions of trust and understanding. Whatever the case, because a writing conference involves individuals who have different personalities and backgrounds, there can be no neutrality in human exchange. The moment one's word encounters that of another, it immediately becomes subject to a myriad of new associations.
Writing Center Journal. 011 Memorial Hall University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19718. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A