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I am very interested in this discussion, as I was once a peer tutor in
writing (as an undergrad), and am now a professional tutor in basic skills
(reading, writing, study skills, ESL).  When I was trained to be a peer
tutor in writing, we went through a training process that included learning
how to use Socratic questioning to help students interpret the work they
were writing on.  The rhetorical forms their writing took always arose from
their interpretation, therefore helping students process about
interpretation was crucial to the tutoring process.  Depending on the
training you provide for peer tutors, I think they are capable of many
things, including asking the right questions to help students create
personal interpretations of literature.  The training that I went through
was a 1 credit class, taught by Susan Hubbuch of Lewis and Clark College.
To this day I use the techniques and attitudes facilitated in that training.
If you are interested in more information about this, you can go the Lewis
and Clark Writing Center, at the LC website, www.lclark.edu.
Sharon

Sharon Hagy
Basic Skills Specialist
Mt. Hood Community College
(503) 491-7590
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Elizabeth Bergman [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2000 7:00 AM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      Re: Who tutors literature?
>
> I am the writing specialist, and I help students work through
> interpretations of literature. It's my favorite part of the job. I enjoy
> asking questions that lead them to an understanding of the work. From
> there, we work on building their thesis (if a paper is being assigned),
> which is crucial. I also have an ESL tutor who is often asked to help
> students understand what they read. She isn't comfortable with this. She
> helps them with the meaning of the words, but refers them to their teacher
> or to me for most questions about the author's meaning. I doubt if peer
> tutors could help other students with interpretation.