Improving Your Online Writing Center for International Students

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As international student enrollment rises at many institutions, it's going to be increasingly important to provide academic support for a growing population of students who may have diverse levels of fluency with academic writing in English. While there is a long tradition of providing ESL writing labs and other support for these "second language students" on campus, providing writing support for international students in an online writing center involves unique challenges and requires some specific expertise in the writing center staff in order to be effective.

For advice, we turned to Beth Hewett, an educational consultant in online writing instruction and an adjunct associate professor with the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and St. Mary's University and Seminary. A college instructor for 30 years, Hewett is the author of The Online Writing Conference: A Guide for Teachers and Tutors (Heinemann, 2010) and one of the most knowledgeable practitioners in this area.

We asked Hewett to offer some key considerations for institutions looking to launch or improve an online writing center or online tutoring service intended to support second-language students.

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