Publication Date

Winter 2019


second language writing, tutoring, writing fellow


This study reports on a pedagogical intervention in Spanish second language writing classes designed to shift learners’ attention away from lower-order concerns (e.g., morphosyntax) and toward higher-order concerns (e.g., content, tone, organization of ideas) through the support of a Spanish writing fellow (tutor) who worked with the 300-level college participants. Those in the treatment group, but not those in the control group, were required to meet with the tutor. Multivariate analyses revealed that (a) learners in both groups improved in their writing from the graded rough drafts to the final versions, and (b) some gains were observed in the treatment group (suggesting some advantage), but, overall, learners still struggled to shift their attention away from lower-order concerns. These results are discussed in light of several write-to-learn and learn-to-write approaches to writing instruction, sociocultural theory, and research on anxiety in language learning.



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