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This article presents three case studies that closely examine various types of inter-actions taking place in writing center tutorials involving newly arrived pre-ma-triculated ESL writers. By learning what strategies tutors commonly use and how successfully the ESL writers negotiate their goals for the visit and the form and meaning of their text through this sample, this study aims to help identify what characterizes successful tutorials and what unique challenges English language learners might face when interacting with tutors. Results from these case studies show that it is not how many corrections tutors make or suggest for the students’ papers, but how much the tutors engage their tutees in a meaningful dialogue that brings satisfaction to the ESL students. Findings also suggest that deliber-ate efforts should be made to equip ESL writers with necessary metalanguage to communicate their goals for their visit.
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