An Investigation of NES and NNES Writing Tutors' Teacher Cognition and Practices and Students’ Perceptions
|關鍵字:||教師信念及實務;寫作諮詢;英語為母語及英語非母語寫作諮詢教師;學生感受;teacher cognition and practices;writing consultation;NES and NNES writing tutors;students’ perceptions|
In recent years, researchers have been probing into how teacher cognition interacted with teaching practices in second language education to find out how different factors influence teachers’ cognition and practices. Borg (2006) proposed three perspectives to probe into teacher cognition, including their past language learning experiences, teacher training education, and contextual factors. Although there have been rich studies on teacher cognition, little attention has been paid to writing tutors who are working for the increasingly popular service, writing consultation, to help students from different disciplines refine their English writing. In addition, regarding writing consultation, both NES and NNES teachers, having different language competence and learning backgrounds, are serving as writing tutors. However, how different factors shape their cognition and practices and students’ perceptions of them received little attention. Borg’s theoretical framework was employed to examine the formation of writing tutors’ cognition. In addition, the researcher adapted the coding scheme developed by Ferris et al (1997) to investigate how the writing tutors implemented their cognition. Finally, students’ perceptions of NES and NNES were also reported by the use of a questionnaire and interviews. The finding revealed that the tutors’ past learning experiences, teacher education training, and contextual factors were found to shape their conception for consultation. Contextual factors, including the school context, regulations of writing consultation, students’ proficiency, students’ learning backgrounds, and past teaching experiences and consultation experiences in English writing, were the most influential factors that influenced the tutors’ cognition. After comparing the tutors’ cognition, the NES and NNES tutors did not seem to possess significant differences in their cognition. They both expect that students can be actively engaged in editing their errors and finally become autonomous writers. As for their consultation practices, NES tutors were found to be more capable of dealing with the word problems when compared with NNES tutors. Interestingly, although previous studies indicated that NNES teachers tended to be more intolerant with local problems, the NNES writing tutors in the current study were found to focus much more on global problems. On the other hand, through students’ reactions to the two groups of tutors, students were found to appreciate NES tutors’ language competence and the two NNES tutors’ expertise in offering them suggestions on the content and organization of their writing. The current study reported the following implications. First, language centers may consider offering trainings or orientations to facilitate writing tutors to establish cognition and repertoire for consultation. Second, to make effective consultation sessions, tutors can diagnose students’ writing problems as soon as a session begins to target their core difficulties; on the other hand, students are encouraged to prepare their writing problems beforehand. Finally, writing tutors can refer to students’ reactions that help to unveil the gap between students’ expectations and their consultation practices.
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