Does linguistic background affect tutoring style? Multilingual tutors helping multilingual writers in the writing center




Aguirre, Aurora

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The current educational landscape includes a growing population of multilingual writers. Writing is an essential skill in higher education, and often the only place for additional help is at the writing center. Tutors grapple with the balance of helping these students while still following the expectations of their position. There is scant research, however, on the multilingual writing tutor. The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the practices of multilingual tutors with multilingual writers and how these compared with the practices of monolingual tutors. Data collection included two sources: session observations and interviews with three multilingual tutors. A total of nine online and face-to-face sessions with multilingual students were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed following a priori codes established in the research literature as well as through emerging themes. Findings showed that the tutors took a direct approach in both local and global concerns and spoke more than the students, generally showing dominance in the interaction. Secondly, these multilingual tutors exhibited behaviors remarkably similar to those of monolingual tutors with multilingual students in the research literature. Implications for the training of writing tutors regardless of linguistic background are explored.


This item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff. To download, navigate to Log In in the top right-hand corner of this screen, then select Log in with my UTSA ID.


face-to-face tutoring, multilingual tutors, multilingual writers, online tutoring, writing center, writing tutor



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies