AWEJ Volume.4 Number.4, 2013 Pp.17-44
A Sociocultural Exploration of English Faculty Perceptions of the Writing Center in the Qatari Context
Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar
This study examines English faculty perceptions of the Writing Center at American Design University in Qatar (ADU-Q) through a sociocultural framework and social capitalist analysis[i]. The current proliferation of American higher education branch campuses in the Arabian Gulf region make this a timely study, as the local context warrants an in-depth analysis of how writing centers are situated in this unique environment of language learners and dynamic social and cultural changes. Data triangulation in this qualitative study was informed by three sources: interviews with English faculty, interviews with the ADU-Q Writing Center Coordinator, and archival documents. Preliminary findings suggest that collaboration between the Writing Center and various stakeholders tends to improve positive perceptions of the Center. Furthermore, the changing nature of the local context contributes to changes in these perceptions and ways in which the participants’ viewed their own role as faculty. This research unites the fields of Composition, TESOL, and writing center research; furthermore, it aims to inform an understanding of teaching and writing center practices in Qatar.
Keywords: Qatar, writing centers, sociocultural theory, ESL, faculty perceptions