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March 28, 2007

3/27 Tutoring Session

Last night, I had a tutoring session with someone other than one of my roommates (a first in a few weeks). That in itself made it initially enjoyable because it seemed more like a legitimate tutoring session rather than just assisting my friends with their papers. The student and I went over a couple short papers together and we focused primary on what the student referred to as the “mechanics” of the paper. After reading his GSI’s comments on one of the papers and assuming that the student and the GSI meant “grammar” wherever “mechanics” was mentioned (he was an ESL student), I became a bit annoyed.

After going through the paper and pointing out key grammar errors, I realized that the papers were pretty solid despite the occurrence of awkward phrases and incorrect word choices every once in a while. When I thought we were done with one paper and began to move on to the next, I was surprised when the student made a point to ask me whether I thought anything else needed to be changed. He specifically asked about the structure and organization, and I was impressed.

I realized that the student wanted more than just assistance with his grammar; he wanted to make sure that he was being coherent and thorough in his paper. This unexpected inquiry from the student made the session enjoyable and I felt that even though he did not say much throughout the session, the student was engaged and interested in learning how to improve his writing.

Posted by aimroby at March 28, 2007 05:03 PM


It sounds like a really surprising and vindicating session. I've continually been impressed by the ESL students I've worked with. I think they're the most invested and interested students I've tutored yet.

Posted by: holricha at March 29, 2007 11:29 AM

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