“Grammar and its (Dis)Contents”

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By Emily Hall

On February 12, the Writing Fellows Program hosted its annual Joint Writing Center/Writing Fellows Staff Meeting.  The meeting focused on grammar and how Writing Center instructors and Writing Fellows can and should address students’ concerns about grammar in their sessions.  This year, our staff of 50 undergraduate Writing Fellows, close to 50 graduate WC instructors, and numerous academic staff was joined by writing center tutors from Edgewood College and UW-Waukesha.  The addition of tutors from other institutions created wonderful opportunities for exchanges of experience and knowledge.

The meeting consisted of workshops led jointly by a Writing Fellow and a Writing Center TA. Here’s what we discussed:

  • Grammar Across the Disciplines: Different Ways to Write, Different Ways to Teach Grammar? Led by John Bradley (WC) and Rachel Witt (WF)

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  • Grammar:” Definitions and Interpretations Led by Annie Massa-Macleod (WC) and Alicia Williams (WF)

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  • Grammar Workshop Led by Brian Kaufenberg(WF)  and Katie Lynch (WC)

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  • Teach, Don’t Edit: Grammar in Multilingual Writing Locations Led by Rebecca Lorimer (WC) and Rebecca Rozek (WF)
  • The Writing Center/Writing Fellows Stance on Grammar: What Is It?  What Should It Be? Led by Sarah Harrison (WC) and Matt Regner (WF)

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By all accounts, the meeting was a great success.  While some tutors honed their own grammar prowess in the grammar workshop, others debated the multiple meanings of grammar or ruminated on the place and importance of grammar in our many different tutoring sessions. Many of us came away from the meeting with a sense that grammar can provide us with a way in to discussing and addressing global and conceptual issues writers face.  There were delicious refreshments and lots of opportunities opportunities for tutors to do what WC/WF tutors do best—collaborate with thoughtful peers!

3 thoughts on ““Grammar and its (Dis)Contents”

  1. I really appreciated this stimulating discussion of grammar and the questions I left with . . . for example, how does “grammar” differ across the disciplines? Thanks to the organizers and presenters!

  2. Pingback: Now is The Writing Center Website of Our Discontent, Made Glorious Summer by This Sum of Our Work (or Feast Your Eyes on Our Revised Individual Help with Writing Page!)

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