Directiveness in the Center: L1, L2, and Generation 1.5 Expectations and Experiences


writing, generation, expectations, native speakers, L2


Writing centers generally espouse tutoring policies for native speakers intended to help students improve their writing skills through minimalist intervention and a reliance on student intuition. At the same time, researchers have recommended somewhat directive tutorials for L2 writers who may lack native-speaker intuitions about culture or language. Yet the literature is unclear about whether L1, L2, and Generation 1.5 writers observe a difference in writing center practices based on their language background. This study examines the reported expectations and experiences of 462 writing center tutees by grouping them according to their language background (L1, L2, and Generation 1.5) and comparing their expectations with their reported writing center experiences on eight measures of tutorial behavior. Results indicate that all writers reported receiving similar and directive tutorials, a finding that differs from discourse-analytic results. The findings further demonstrate differences in what writers expect, with L1 writers expecting reflective tutorials, Generation 1.5 writers expecting negotiation, and L2 writers expecting directiveness. While necessarily abstract, results can nonetheless be useful in pre- or in-service tutor training in centers with high concentrations of Generation 1.5 or L2 writers.

Original Publication Citation

*Eckstein, G.(2019). Directiveness in the Center:L1, L2, and Generation 1.5 Expectations and Experiences. Writing Center Journal, 37(2), 61-92.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



International Writing Centers Association







University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor