Writing Center Journal


This study investigates postgraduate (PGs) and faculty needs concerning academic writing (AW) tutors’ qualifications in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context. Tutors are the core element of a writing center (WC) (Hays, 2010). These professionals listen to (Burns, 2014), advise, and exchange information (Reid, 1993, in Hays, 2010) collaboratively so students can resolve their writing issues (Hays, 2010). However, in EFL contexts, scant research exists about WCs, writing programs (Molina & López, 2019), and qualifications to recruit tutors (Özer, 2020). Thus, to plan a WC, 24 participants in chemistry were interviewed and surveyed. Findings reveal that EFL PGs expect specialized tutors in target fields, with high English proficiency, experience in teaching, and in writing scientific articles. However, recruitment is challenging as candidate tutors also need support in AW and to help their tutees as writers. Thus, the tutors can be scientists, teachers, or PG students with English, but must be trained in specialized and general English writing and tutoring approaches. The study contributes to knowledge concerning needs in WCs and tutors’ qualifications, and it offers possible suggestions to accommodate the PGs’ preferences in an EFL context. However, the small sample size and homogeneity of the participants make the results nongeneralizable.