AWEJ Volume.4 Number.4, 2013                                                                       Pp.17-44

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A Sociocultural Exploration of English Faculty Perceptions of the Writing Center in the Qatari Context

Molly McHarg
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


[i] Selections of this article were taken from the original study; see (McHarg, 2013b).


Dr. Molly McHarg is an Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University
in Qatar. She has lived and worked in Doha since 2005. She is currently President of the Middle
East-North Africa Writing Center Alliance and serves on the Qatar TESOL Executive Board.