Getting to Know ESL Writers
In reading a book for our course titled "ESL Writers: A Guide for Writing Center Tutors" by Shanti Bruce & Ben Rafoth, I've been learning the importance of getting to know the college students that I tutor as well. I'm realizing that I haven't been acknowledging the differences between myself and the ESL Writers that I tutor, largely because of the risk that may be involved. I really don't want to offend anyone, but the book made an excellent point by inviting tutors to "...show interest in their home language, country, or culture by engaging them in the kind of small talk that usually accompanies tutoring sessions..." (p. 13). I've been feeling cut-off from many ESL Students and unsure of how to help them, especially when they are not engaging socially. I feel like, when appropriate, if I acknowledge what I would like to know about a Writer that I'm tutoring by asking them, it might fuel the personal connection that I have with them, deepen the waters that we're allowed to swim in, and allow for a more effective and rewarding session.