Re-Examining the Tutor Informant Role for L1, L2, and Generation 1.5 Writers


L2, Generation 1.5, Rhetorical, Cultural, Linguistic, Informant, Writing Center


Writers for whom English is a second language (L2) are thought to benefit from tutors who function in an informant role in which they provide cultural, rhetorical, and linguistic information that L2 writers sometimes lack. While this approach is intuitively satisfying because L2 writers may have gaps in their schematic knowledge of English or related rhetoric and culture, researchers have yet to ask students whether they want informant-tutors or to compare student preferences across language backgrounds. In this study, I operationalized three types of information tutors might supply: rhetorical, cultural, and linguistic. Students from across the U.S. (N=200) who had recently attended a writing tutorial completed a survey asking them to rate the relative importance of several sub-skills within each informant category. The students were further categorized as L1, L2, or Generation 1.5 writers based on responses to an extensive demographic section. Results show that all groups felt it was important for tutors to be informants with almost no significant variation across language groups. These findings emphasize that all writers want academic information and suggest that tutors should provide this irrespective of a student’s language background.

Original Publication Citation

Eckstein, G. (2018). Re-examining the tutor informant role for L1, L2, and immigrant writers. The Peer Review, 2(2).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The Peer Review







University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor