Tutors’, Spanish-Speaking Students’, and Writing Center Directors’ Dispositions Toward Literacy and the Effect of their Dispositions on Tutoring Sessions

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University composition classrooms and writing centers have continued to see an influx ofmultilingual students, particularly self-identified Hispanic students entering the academy and bringing with them a plethora of knowledge and experiences of their lived realities within and outside of academia. Yet these experiences are often overlooked for the sake of identifying one particular system for aiding them in their writing needs. This study uses semi-structured narrative inquiry-based preliminary interviews, observations of tutoring sessions, and follow-up interviews to examine the ways in which writing center tutors, heritage Spanish-speaking writing center tutees’, and writing center directors’ attitudes toward language and literacy are formed from their academic, sociocultural, linguistic, and cognitive experiences to understand the effects their lived realities have on tutoring sessions. In this way, this interdisciplinary study responds to calls from researchers in education, rhetoric and composition, and writing center studies for more research and expands upon current scholarship that highlights multilingual students’ lived realities as assets to the writing classroom and writing center rather than as deficits. Results from this study highlight the ways in which tutors and Spanish-speaking tutees’ dispositions toward literacy do have a positive impact on tutoring sessions, whether it is specific teaching styles the tutors have developed over time that are influenced by their own learning experiences, taking small moments within sessions to find commonalities with one another that therefore facilitate a collaborative rapport, utilizing techniques that encourage tutee agency, finding ways to empathize with tutees so that they feel comfortable enough to return to the center, and much more. These findings then have implications for improved tutor training initiatives that emphasize individualized instruction for multilingual students who attend writing center sessions, and assignments that require tutors to examine and reflect on their own literacy learning practices.