The writing center is a common form of academic writing support in Canadian and U.S. universities (Moussu & David, ). With its nonproofreading policy, some scholars have indicated the service may be less effective for international students who require more explicit assistance on surface‐level features in their academic writing (Harris & Silva, ; Myers, ). However, these discussions often omit or insufficiently address international graduate students as a distinctive population (Phillips, ). To address this gap, this article presents results from two complementary case studies involving the use of writing centers by three second language (L2) Chinese graduate students (two doctoral and one master's) at a research‐intensive Canadian university. Drawing on a second language socialization theoretical framework (Duff, ; Zuengler & Cole, ), the researchers examine the role of the university's writing center in the participants’ enculturation into academic discourses, practices, identities, and communities. Data indicate that international graduate students spend considerable time and effort seeking out writing support to improve academic practices. Only the master's student was able to make full use of the writing center tutorials due to her strategic socialization of the tutor. Implications are provided to minimize student burden and maximize specialized writing support for L2 graduate students.
Tesol Quarterly – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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