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English language writing centres in Japanese universities: What do students really need?

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Author(s): Jim McKinley

Journal: Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal
ISSN 2185-3762

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: writing centre | Japanese university | EFL writing | peer editing | writer feedback.

ABSTRACT
The installation of English language writing centres in Japanese universities is a relatively recent event—the first ones established with funding from the Ministry of Education in 2004. Because of the EFL writing context, setting up a writing centre requires consideration of students’ needs and cultural expectations of writing and writing centres. In general, writing centres that have been established in Japanese universities follow a structure similar to those in the US. This raises the question as to whether or not this is appropriate for the particular needs of EFL students and the obstacles they face. For this study, in order to explore students’ attitudes toward writing centres and the role they play in writing education, interview data was collected from students of English composition in two different departments at a university in Japan well known for its English language education: the English department, which does not have a writing centre, and the liberal arts department, which has one of the first writing centres established in Japan.
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