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“Becoming an Ally: Tutoring Multilingual Writers” to debut Oct. 11

From staff reports | Oct 2, 2017

becoming an ally graphic

The Ohio University Student Writing Center and Graduate Writing & Research Center have developed a new training film designed to help tutors provide academic support to international and multilingual students.

Becoming an Ally: Tutoring Multilingual Writers will debut at 7 p.m. on Wed., Oct. 11 in the Baker University Center Theatre.

The film features six scenes of 8-12 minutes in length that depict real tutors and international or multilingual students working through common issues encountered in university tutoring environments.

For example, students may seek help with grammar questions instead of realizing that there are larger issues such as genre, organization and development that are more important, explained Talinn Phillips, director of the Graduate Writing & Research Center. Global English users—native English speakers from countries outside of the United States—may rely on vocabulary and syntax that could be unfamiliar to American readers. Students also may be surprised to find that a tutor is a fellow multilingual speaker, Phillips noted.

Rachael Ryerson, then the associate coordinator of the Student Writing Center and now lecturer in English, first pitched the idea of the training video after finding only text-based training resources for tutors. The centers engaged Matthew Love and Carrie Love, students from the School of Film, to help develop, shoot and edit Becoming an Ally. The film was written by Phillips, Ryerson and Candace Stewart, coordinator of the Student Writing Center, and features Ohio University’s tutors and writers.

“This is an all-OHIO project,” Phillips said. “All the pieces were really created here within our community.”

Phillips and Ryerson also have developed an accompanying viewing guide and discussion guide to assist users of the film. The film will be freely available through the Graduate Writing & Research Center website, www.ohio.edu/graduate/gwrc, for other university writing centers and tutors to view.

“Trying to find out how can we do the best job possible to support our international and multilingual students has never been more important than now,” Phillips said.

Individuals interested in attending the film screening should RSVP at  https://goo.gl/forms/PTHblIBuomMbEqyk2.

Both the Student Writing Center and the Graduate Writing & Research Center assist undergraduate and graduate students with writing projects such as theses, dissertations, journal articles, personal statements, job search materials or conference materials. The Graduate Writing & Research Center also assists postdoctoral scholars, provides writing groups and retreats, and assistance with research. The Student Writing Center, located on the second floor of Alden Library, is part of the Academic Achievement Center in University College, which provided substantial funding for the project. The Graduate Writing & Research Center is located in Alden 309 and is part of the Graduate College.