Learning how to find your voice in academic writing is challenging for everyone. Regardless of your language experiences, you will encounter new challenges when writing college-level essays because each discipline has its own style, or even multiple styles, of English. Multilingual students can think and speak and write in multiple languages already, which is a distinct advantage: you’ve learned how to cross linguistic borders and adapt to new audiences. However, the changing expectations and preferences of various readers—whether they are the different professors you are working with at the same time, various friends who have agreed to proofread your paper, and even different tutors you work with at the CWLT—can make learning how to write well in academic English even more confusing than it already is!
If English is not your first language and you would like to improve your writing skills, we encourage you to work with a long-term language partner at the CWLT. Whether you are an international student, have spent a significant chunk of your education in another country, or grew up speaking more than one language at home, you are eligible to opt in to the Language Partner Program.
Our Language Partner Program pairs writing advisors with multilingual students for a semester. Working with the same tutor once a week over the course of a semester allows you to benefit from continuity—you will develop a relationship with your language partner and can build on skills developed in each writing appointment. Whether you want to expand your vocabulary, improve your grammar, or simply find your own unique voice in the academy, your language partner will work with you over the course of the semester to help you meet your goals.
Once admitted to the program, you will be assigned a CWLT writing advisor as a long-term language partner and will together choose a regular day and time to meet, at least once and occasionally up to twice a week. Regular weekly appointments are a special privilege available to students enrolled in the Language Partner Program, so once you decide on a date and time with your partner, you must commit to showing up for these appointments. Repeated no-shows or last-minute cancellations in excess of 2 per semester will cause you to forfeit your spot in the program and may cause you to lose your appointment-making privileges at the CWLT for the rest of the semester.
Regular, weekly appointments can be useful even if you don’t have a paper due every week. Your language partner can help you analyze challenge reading assignments, brainstorm ideas for upcoming papers, work on big-picture issues like argument and organization, and address sentence-level issues like grammar and punctuation. Weekly appointments allow you to work with your language partner on a single assignment over multiple sessions so you can submit your best work.
In exchange for your commitment to regular attendance, the CWLT will help coordinate your tutoring schedule. We will book all of your appointments at the beginning of the semester to ensure you are able to meet with the same writing advisor throughout the term and that you will be able to get in for appointments even during busy times of year, like midterms and finals.
The Language Partner Program is entirely voluntary! If you’re interested in working with a language partner, submit an application. We are happy to admit students mid-term, as availability allows. Questions or concerns? Feel free to email Lura Morton at lmorton.pugetsound.edu.