Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Felicia Lincoln

Committee Member

Wen-Juo Lo

Second Committee Member

Mounir Farah

Third Committee Member

Freddie Bowles


English As A Second Language, Rhetoric And English Composition, Teaching English Writing, Tutoring ESL Students, Writing Center Pedagogy, Writing Center Stakeholders' Perceptions


The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of the writing center tutorials. Based on the assumptions of the constructivist theory, this research tried to present a cognitive framework for better tutoring at the writing center and suggested better accommodations for ESL tutees. this exploratory study investigated the role of the writing center tutorials offered to ESL students through the perceptions of tutors, ESL tutees, and university instructors.

Methods. Eighty nine international /ESL students and 23 tutors were selected. They were given a survey to respond to. Afterwards ten out of the 89 students and ten out of the 23 tutors were interviewed. Volunteering ESL students, tutors, and ten university faculty were interviewed to explore their perceptions toward the writing center tutorials. Moreover, the researcher observed the two writing centers in which the study was conducted.

Data analysis. This Mixed Methods Research study combined a quantitative design using surveys and a qualitative part utilizing interviews, and non-participatory observation. Therefore, the result of the survey administered were statistically analyzed using independent samples T-tests. After the interviews, coding an analysis began to investigate similarities and dissimilarities among the participants’ responses. Tables of frequency were designed to examine the range between outliers and calculate percentages of each respondent in comparison to the other group members. Each theme had a representative code, a formulated meaning, frequency of the respondent, and a significant statement asserting such theme. The themes were collected across all cases to show frequency.

Findings. The findings of this study revealed that the writing center is effective in improving ESL tutees’ writing skills that may also be transferable to their future careers. Additionally, this study asserted that the non-directive tutoring approach, the commonly used in the U.S. writing centers, is not the only effective tutoring mode for all ESL tutees. Most tutors, according to this study, may not apply this prescriptive non-directive tutoring. Consequently, the study concluded that a reasonable balance between the tutoring dichotomies can make a difference with ESL students. Furthermore, the study emphasized that tutors need specialized ESL training to better assist and accommodate ESL tutees.