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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Tutor-student interaction in one-to-one academic writing tutorials Seminar

17:00 - 18:30
18 April 2018
Lecture Theatre C Building 65 Avenue Campus SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Prof Jennifer Jenkins at .

Event details

Part of the annual seminar series for the Centre for Global Englishes (CGE).

One-to-one advice on academic writing, which has a long tradition in US universities, has recently proliferated in the UK university system.  As this is a cost-intensive provision, evidence of teaching behaviours that lead to satisfactory outcomes for students is important. Previous research has identified dialogic instructional discourse, in which knowledge is scaffolded and co-constructed, as a feature successful tutorials (e.g. Haneda 2004; Thonus 2002). In a recent study, I analysed ten tutorials involving five tutors and eight students for interactional features related to dialogic teaching, focusing on exchange initiations, distribution of knower roles, and moves which facilitated extended sequences of exploratory talk. The findings show a prevalence of collaborative dialogue that enabled the joint construction of meaning and knowledge. However, there were also examples of monologic tutoring, characterised by a lack of questions and a high occurrence of unmitigated directives. Based on these findings, I make some recommendations for tutor training and the organisation of academic writing tutorials.


Haneda, M. (2004). The joint construction of meaning in writing conferences. Applied Linguistics 25, 178 – 219.

Thonus, T. (2002). Tutor and student assessments of academic writing tutorials: What is “success”?  Assessing Writing 8, 110 – 134.

Speaker information

Ursula Wingate, King's College London. Senior Lecturer in Language in Education

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