‘Tutoring Is Not Proofreading’. Exploring the Perceptions of Writing Tutors at University Writing Centres, Saudi Arabia: An Exploratory Study

  •  Rehab Alowayid    


Academic discourse is highly complex and requires writers to follow specific writing conventions. Many Saudi university students have underdeveloped writing skills (Al-Khairy, 2013). One way to assist second language (L2) learners and develop their academic writing skills is through academic language support offered by writing centres. The challenge for writing centre tutors lies in the predominant belief among many L2 students that tutors’ only role is to fix students’ mistakes. Although there has been significant growth in writing centres in Saudi universities, the perceptions of writing tutors concerning tutoring non-native students are still under-researched. This study uses thematic analysis to explore the role of writing tutorials as perceived by writing centre tutors in Saudi settings. Data were obtained using an interpretive inquiry through individual interviews of two tutors. The main findings of the interviews were that tutors perceived proofreading requests, low writing proficiency of tutees and tutees’ understanding of tutors’ role as influencing their tutorial practices. The implementation of this study may help regulate the role of tutors in writing centres in Saudi universities by highlighting new avenues that can improve writing tutorials, especially in Saudi Arabia.

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